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Last reply by 08-20-2008 Unsolved
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PE2650 - Fans Issue

Hi all,

 

I've bought a PE2650 off eBay to use it as a Media Server (using Mythbuntu), and overall I'm really pleased with it. However, the noise of the fans to simply too distracting. In fact, I suspect it might be able to drown out the noise in our server room at work! Anyhow, I've been searching the net and these forums for a solution, and I've not come up with much. I was hoping that a change to the BIOS to enable fan control would be the solution, but I've got the A20 version of the BIOS, which isn't that old. The README for the A21 version doesn't mention fan control, so I've decided to leave it. There are no errors appearing on the front panel, so I don't suspect that the fans are compensating for a hardware problem.

 

The only reasonably successful solution appears to simply change the fans to quieter ones, but I'm a little reluctant to do this due to potential heat issues with lower RPM fans (or am I just paranoid?). Does anyone have a definitive answer to this problem? 

 

Many thanks in advanced. 

 

Regards,

aiw_2000

Replies (7)
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are you sure all the fans are working ?  when our sc1425's have fan failures they default to full speed and you cant sit in a room with them otherwise i have 5 running in the same room as me noisy but not totally unbearable.  also the sc1425 fans are double ended so its not always obvious which ones gone not sure what fans you have in your pe2650.  mind they are a nightware to get as dell dont sell them and there agents for ireland never answer phone calls or emails ive bought them on ebay from the states when i had to get some.

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watch this thread: http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=pes_other&thread.id=20951

 

I changed my fans and now the server is really quite. If I have time I'll make a summary and will post my "howto". You also find links to photos I took to know what the fans have to look like and what pin-layout you need for changing the PSU-fans.

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Thank you for your replies so far.

 

ednwireland: I'm certain they are all working as all fan LEDs are lit green. There's nothing to suggest that there's anything wrong with the server, although I haven't been able to install the monitoring software yet.

 

BBQigniter: I saw that thread and I'm very interested to know how you get on. I've seen this fan:

 http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=191430&Tab=2&NoMapp=0

which might do the job. I noticed that you were concerned with the CPU temperature, and that you needed an additional fan. Is this still your current set-up, or will you change to fans with higher CFM?

 

Regards,

aiw_2000

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Yes, I still have my 12cm fan lying above the CPUs (picture here) and an open case; but it works pretty well - temperatures not getting higher than 42°C. Changing the fans again wouldn't be really an option for me because then I would have soon invested more in the fans (now about 150,- EUR) than the server had cost me :D.

I'm now done with my server and happy that it's still running *g*.

 

Looking at your fans: Wow - 29CFM (that are about 49m³/h) is really nice with only 23dba. They should do it well. You really can try it but always watch your temperature with the DRAC sensors :). As I found out opening the case gave me an huge temperature advantage.

 

In the next few days I hope I'll be finished with my summary what I did and then I will post it on my homepage.

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Fair enough!! The server I have will be sitting on top of a cupboard with a laser printer on top of it, so I don't have the option of leaving the lid off, or putting a fan over the processors. Unfortunately, that fan I found appears too good to be true. Here's the spec from the manufacturers: http://www.akasa.co.uk/akasa_english/spec_page/fans/spec_ak_186_l2b.htm

 

Airflow is only 12.9 CFM! :smileysad:Lucky I spotted that before I ordered them! I'll just keep looking.... watch this space!

 

BTW, does anyone from Dell want to comment on this particular issue (e.g. minimum airflow etc)? Of course, it would help if the BIOS was more sensible in its control of fans..... :smileywink:  

 

aiw_2000

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Is there any update on this issue? I want to change my Fans as well, but none posted a "problem solved" thread yet.

 

@aiw_2000:  did you find fans that work?

 

Will be grateful for every comment;) Thanks!

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Hi Maddhin,

 

I haven't really found a fan that can do the job, although I gave up looking shortly after my last message. I found that fan noise is more or less in direct proportion to the amount of air you can get through it, which is what you expect. Some manufacturers/models are better than others, but they all tend to follow this rule. The problem is that in order to keep the temperature at a reasonable level, you need to get quite a lot of air through the unit because it is a confined space (assuming you need to keep the lid on as I do).

 

Your available options are:

a) follow BBQigniter's guide which is excellent, but you appear to need an additional fan on top of the processors and thus you cannot use the lid. If you don't need the lid, this is your best bet.

b) lobby Dell for a firmware fix (I can't see Dell doing this, but I would be more than happy to be proved wrong!)

c) just fit slower fans, but risk higher processor temps when the lid is on. 

d) sell the server, and get another one.

 

My own situation is that I haven't been able to deal with the problem as I'm moving house and this project has fallen way down the priority list. However, there is a chance that I might discover a software solution to the problem based on something from here: http://linux.dell.com/monitoring.shtml. I'm not very optimistic about it as it's quite possible that there are no software controls available for the fans (to be honest, if there was, I'm sure someone would have produced a tool to address this problem by now, but it's worth a go anyway).

 

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. If I do find something of use, I'll let you know on this forum.

 

Regards,

aiw_2000

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