The Colony West project continues… this time with more proof of concept on the ideas I have in mind. In this case it’s hooking up the graphics cards through USB panel mount connectors rather than having the USB cables pass through an open slot in the back of the chassis. This test serves two purposes: confirm the idea is feasible, and, in so doing, build out a final (or near final) configuration for this system.
Obviously I needed panel mount connectors (I ordered both 3ft and 1ft lengths, two of each), but along with that I ordered left-angle extension cables — everything being USB 3.0 obviously. This required changing the configuration on the chassis, and I pulled out the Radeon card in the process along with the SATA RAID card. The cables were a little bit of a tight fit, so another set might not work out nearly as well, or I’ll have to get a little more creative. We’ll see.
The Fedora 21 install on the SSD didn’t like the changes, so I had no choice but to redo the Linux installation — taking it as a chance to upgrade to Fedora Server 22 in the process.
But the key thing is that the system recognized the graphics cards through the USB panel mount extensions with no loss in performance. While I had little reason to believe this wouldn’t work, again I wanted to be certain. There will be panel mount extension cables on the other side as well, and I have little reason to believe those won’t work as expected. Not sure yet if I’ll do a proof of concept on them, though. Maybe later.