Building a dual Xeon X5680 workstation

In a previous post I detailed how I built a NAS server from a SuperMicro X8DTL-3F motherboard with Xeon E5645 CPU and DDR3 ECC Registered memory.

It set me thinking on my spare PC. This PC used to be my main PC before an upgrade and is not really appropriate for what it is used for. It has an Intel Core i7-3770K 4-core (8 thread) CPU and 32GB DDR3-1866 memory. Since I use it mostly for builds, far more cores would make for a PC far better suited for what I use it for so I decided to build another server system, but this time configured as a workstation.

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Getting a Dell U2713HM to run 2560×1440@60Hz in Ubuntu

Just a quick post.

I recently did a fresh install of Ubuntu 17.04 on my Ubuntu PC which has an nVidia GTX 1050, and on the fresh install I no longer had 2560×1440 as a display option for my Dell U2713HM monitor. In fact, I was limited to a maximum of 1920×1080

Various searches on the internet have revealed the following key facts, which in the spirit of DataHamster I record here for posterity.

  • The Dell U2713HM has inputs for VGA, HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort, so you have a lot of choices.
  • You must use a dual link DVI cable if you want 2560×1440, and your graphics card must also support dual link. If not, the most you will get is 1920×1200 (although the maximum I was presented with was 1920×1080). I tried both a Dual Link cable and also a Dual Link DVI to HDMI cable, but neither worked for me. Perhaps the GTX 1050 doesn’t have Dual Link on its DVI output.
  • The HDMI input on the Dell U2713HM is apparently only HDMI v1.3, and although the HDMI specs say that the maximum resolution of v1.3 is 2560×1440, some comments suggest that this is an issue for this monitor. The more expensive Dell U2713H has v1.4 on its HDMI input, apparently.
  • The DisplayPort input worked fine and instantly gave me the full 2560×1440 resolution.

Some comments suggested using xrandr to make a new custom resolution, but this didn’t work for me. Instead I got the dreaded “low graphics memory” error after reboot, both with DVI-to-DVI and HDMI-to-DVI.

So, in conclusion, I would suggest using the DisplayPort input on this monitor. If your graphics card does not have a DisplayPort output, but does have HDMI, then a HDMI to DisplayPort cable might do the trick.


After-market coolers for LGA1366/1356 Xeon CPUs

This is a summary / condensed version of my previous post to cut to the chase for people who are googling for the relevant information on how to mount an after-market cooler to a LGA1366 serverboard.

It covers the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, and has now been updated to cover the Arctic Freezer Xtreme Rev 2 as well.

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Building a Xeon E5645 FreeNAS server with a SuperMicro X8DTL-3F

I’ve been running a small NAS server for several years using the excellent HP MicroServer N40L upgraded to 8GB RAM (officially its max, although I know some people have got it to work with 16GB), and with five WD Red 2TB drives, running FreeNAS v9.

N40L MicroServer

N40L MicroServer

The N40L only has 4 warm swap bays, or “Non-Hot Plug” as HP calls them, but also has a 5¼” optical bay into which I had put a 3½” bay adaptor tray to run a 5th drive. I had it configured as a 5x2TB RAID-Z array giving 8TB of filestore.

However, with FreeNAS now needing a minimum of 8GB RAM, and the 5th bay dragging the speed of the SATA ports down to 1.5 GB/s, I felt I had outgrown it.

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