Watercooled 1U Server

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by RAMhog, May 15, 2018.

  1. RAMhog

    RAMhog New Member

    May 4, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Build’s Name #1: 1U Watercooled Server
    Operating System/ Storage Platform: TBD
    CPU: Intel Celeron E1200 @ 1.6Ghz
    Motherboard: Intel System Board DG31PR
    Chassis: Supermicro 1U
    Drives: TBD
    RAM: 1 GB (to be upgraded to 4GB)
    Add-in Cards: TBD, likely 2-port gigabit ethernet via PCIe riser
    Power Supply: Ablecom 200(?) Watt 1U
    Other Bits: Corsair H5 SF

    After completing (or taking a break from continuing to work on) the 2U watercooled server (in this thread:
    https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...d-2u-server-from-poweredge-c2100-corpse.19727 ), I took the Corsair H5 SF AIO and broke it into as many pieces as I could without opening the water loop:


    I'm working with a fairly shallow Supermicro 1U chassis, and an old motherboard, an Intel System Board DG31PR (Intel® Desktop Board DG31PR Product Specifications):[​IMG]

    There are a few things right off the bat that will end up causing problems with the cooler. One is the height of the farthest RAM module from the viewer; it is very close to the ceiling/lid of the chassis, so the tubing must go around that module and can't go over it. Another issue is the (in this photo's orientation) top-left corner of the northbridge heatsink.

    As you will be able to see in the next photos, I fixed the first issue by using only the closest low-profile DIMM for now, and ordering another low-profile DIMM for the other slot. I then bent the fins of the northbridge heatsink at about a 45 degree angle:


    Next was the problem of cooling the radiator. I opted to avoid using the Corsair H5 SF's blower fan, as it was pretty loud, and the only available space for it would direct airflow at the side of the radiator, leaving very little airflow going through/over the fins.

    I had several promising ideas that just didn't quite work for one reason or another. The first idea was to jam a few 40mm fans against the inside of the front of the chassis:
    Notice the raised "lip" on the bottom of the chassis, and also the screws protruding from that area every few inches. It so happened that a 40mm fan fits snugly when positioned inside this nook, but only in the spot where there is a screw to press up against the bottom of the fan. The problem with this approach was that the screws were located too far apart in the middle of the radiator:

    Those two fans farther away from the camera, inside the front area, are both very snugly and securely situated in their respective locations. However, placing a third fan in between them would not result in such a fit, since there is no screw in that area:

    I scrapped this idea, and then decided to try affixing 3 fans to the front of the radiator in a pull configuration. The benefit with this approach is that the radiator already has a foam ring around the front edge, which should help reduce/eliminate air gaps:

    Again, an issue prevented this from being viable: note the metal cylinder sticking up in between the radiator and front bezel in the above pic. I thought this would be like all the other similar pieces and could be simply unscrewed, but it turns out this piece (and apparently only this piece) is welded into the chassis. Okay... on to the next idea.

    Time to get creative. The last obvious option was to place the fans behind the radiator in a push configuration. But how to affix the fans to the radiator? For lack of a better/more permanent solution, I cut up some strips of electrical tape and rolled them into self-adhesive cylinders. I attached one to the top lip of the rad, and another to the bottom:

    I also put a small piece on the circular guard of each fan, and then pressed it in to place:

    I was fairly surprised with how decent the end result turned out:

    There is still some work to do, but initial tests seem to indicate that temps are stable in this configuration.
    CheapSushi, smtr and maze like this.
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