custom cluster cabinets (was Re: 1U P4 Systems)

W Bauske wsb at
Wed May 23 10:32:15 PDT 2001

Bari Ari wrote:
> W Bauske wrote:

I personally don't give a flip about 1U setups. I prefer 2U to allow
breathing room for the components. However, your layout seems
problematic. By that I mean physically mounting 8 2.5in drives, 8
1U power supplies or one exotic one with 8 connections, 8 LAN connections,
and enough memory to keep the P4's occupied seems unlikely to fit into
a "normal" 1U slot, say 17in by 28in. Are you assuming a different chassis
length? Or, are you assuming something else about the layout I don't
see? Using a single mainboard would, I think, require multiple power
connections due to the P4's current draw. In case you haven't looked,
a P4 uses 3 power connectors on it's M/B. These sorts of custom setups
would probably preclude the use of GEnet and Myricom I would think.

> > Bari Ari wrote:
> >
> >> There is no reason that a 16 node cluster should take up anymore space
> >> than a 2U and a 64 node box should fit under a desk. Single P-III and K7
> >> nodes have been built as small as 3.5" x 5" x 1.25" with a 20GB 2.5" HD,
> >> 256MB SDRAM and 10/100 Ethernet ... SiS 635s make it easy.
> >>
> >
> >
> > That pretty much excludes your solution for a P4 cluster doesn't it?
> >
> > Wes
> >
> I did a quick compute of the P4 thermal design and it would be possible
> to put 8 P4s into a 1U if you could use the entire surface area of the
> top of the enclosure as a heat sink along with forced air cooling in the
> order of 400 - 800 LFM with a maximum ambient inlet air temp of 30 deg
> C. You could mount all the P4's on the top of the mainboard contacting
> the top of the CPU case via a low resistance thermal joint compound. The
> top cover would need low profile extruded fins (maybe .5" h spaced 3/8"
> apart to increase the cooling surface area) and then force air through a
> 1/2" gap (top of heatsink fins to bottom of the enclosure stacked on top
> with 1" actual air/fin space) between the stacks of enclosures . You
> would lose about 1/2 of the enclosures internal height so you'd have to
> use 2.5" hard drives and mount memory DIMMS at angles or perpendicular
> to the mainboard. So a 1U enclosure like this would only have a .75"
> internal height plus a .5" heatsink (as a top cover) and allowing .5"
> gap between enclosures. This would still allow for the standard 1.75"
> per 1U requirement and you'd have a neat hair dryer at the same time.
> Bari

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