Colony West Project

Build Log:

In an earlier post I wrote about my plan to put a bunch of older hardware I have just laying around back to work. As I intend this to be an ongoing, evolving thing, I’ve decided to dub it “Colony West”. Now this isn’t just some name I came up with out of the blue — it’s actually a fictitious name I’ve had registered first with Polk County, Iowa, and now with the Missouri Secretary of State.

Before going into this full-tilt, I needed to have an idea of what I’d be in for.

I already had an Athlon X2 system running. It was the gaming server I built for my wife with the X2 4200+. I installed BOINC to it and have been running it for over 24 hours continuously as I write this so I’d have an idea of what to expect. With both cores maxed out for that entire time, the CPU core temperatures stayed around the mid-40s Celsius. The CPU is being cooled by a Noctua NH-L9A CPU cooler, and the system has three intake fans: two Noctua 60mm fans and an Enermax 80mm fan. The chassis reports an internal temperature of 39C.

So the system is definitely having no difficulty remaining stable and at a good temperature doing this. Currently the CPU time is being contributed to Milkyway@Home, chugging along at about 2.2 GFLOPS per core. My FX-8350, however, is getting close to 6 GFLOPS per core.

So I’m thinking this X2 4200+ system will stay running BOINC, and I’ll take the other X2 and use it for my wife’s Minecraft server. It’s a slightly slower processor, but the mainboard has 4GB of RAM on it. For some reason the MSI board won’t recognize the 4GB of RAM, but the Abit board has no issue with it. Oh well. The Minecraft server will benefit with the extra RAM more than BOINC. Plus that other X2 was my wife’s previous system, so it only seems fitting.

But the rest of the hardware will be purely running BOINC. I’m just not sure which system I’ll bring online next — likely transplant the running system into a 3U pr 4U chassis so I can use an AIO with it along with a better graphics card.

The current build for the X2 4200+ has a Radeon HD5450, which Milkyway@Home does not use — it only uses nVidia CUDA on Linux. I have a spare GT 620 I can put into this. I’ll have an extra cooling consideration, and it’s going to be fueling my decision on which chassis I buy next — I’m thinking a 3U chassis instead of the slim 2U.

I also have a couple GTX 660s still lying around too that I can possibly put into this — but that’ll likely happen when I get the 990FX mainboard up again. I’ve got a couple ideas in mind for that. Speaking of, I’ve opted for the FX-8370E for that system instead of the Opteron.

So given that my experiments have yielded desirable results, time to see where this’ll go. Next step, though, is building the cabinet.