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RE: Dell power edge server as home desktop computer.

The problem with using a dell server as a desktop is many fold:

  • the server may produce more noise than your average desktop will produce and it will become rather irritating very quickly, especially on those hotter days.
  • the bios does not allow you to disable the embeddded video controller, thus getting a PCI/PCIe graphics card to work is rather hit/miss.
  • the server takes much longer to boot up as compared to a desktop.
  • the server may not accept the many varied PCI/PCIe cards that one installes into a desktop without thought and/or issue -  servers can be cantankerous beasts.

Such problems can be overcome or worked around but the time and effort and hardware costs to achieve them may be much more than one expects.

For example fan noise can be reduced by using different fans than spin slower but the downside is thay may trigger a low fan speed error and the system will force them to high speed. See here and here for some details on solving this for other dell servers than yours (but it will give you an idea).

As for the graphics card problem, this is a different nut to crack and will require some web searching. Possibly someone has found a card that works with your server or possibly not. Or you can look into bios modding as its possible Dell has simply hidden the embedded video disable option within the bios (i've never checked dells server bioses). Otherwise you could explore using a USB3 card and USB3 graphics device. Anything is possible really but you need to check things out yourself and find an understanding computer shop that will take returns should your purchased hardware not work for you.

The reality is that a new desktop based i7 will have more grunt than an old server box and be much easier to live with. But it all depends on why you want to go that old server route... if it's to save lots of money on a powerful sstem, then you may find this to be a bit of a false belief...

Good luck...

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RE: Dell power edge server as home desktop computer.


There isn't an issue re purposing the server to a desktop. The issue you are running into is that very few of the Poweredge line support using a 3rd party graphics card, as it conflicts with the embedded video. Now that being said, that doesn't mean that there won't be one that could work, it just isn't a tested configuration so we wouldn't even have a suggestion of one that will work. 

Hope this helps.

Chris Hawk

Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro 
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Dell power edge server as home desktop computer.

I have an old, well second hand Dell power edge 840 server. I'm thinking of repurposing this thing as a home desktop system. so far I installed 3 gigs of off the shelf DDR2 5300 desktop ram, got it booting, I also rigged it to boot from the raid, got installed and working a sound blaster audigy SE soundcard (I'm listening to youtube while posting this. it is running windows 7 home premium, now my dilemma is video, the onboard ATI ES1000 aint gonna cut it, I'm leaning toward an Nvidia PCI-E x1 server card (1GB DDR3 onboard) I'm wondering are there any other vendors that work with dell's x1 PCI-E slot format?

From what I'm seeing these old retired servers make pretty formidable desktop systems. I realize Dell doesn't support them being used in that capacity, but it's a great way to recycle these guys Smiley Happy 

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