[Beowulf] Quiet *and* powerful

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Fri Dec 12 13:03:00 EST 2003

Hi Joshua:

  You should probably look to larger cases with larger fans.  The bigger 
fans move more air at the same RPM.  Also, larger cases are easier to 
pad for sound absorption.  The Xeon's I have seen have been using blower 
technology which is simply not quiet.  A 2-3 U system might be easier to 
cool with a larger fan (~10+ cm).  A better case would help as well if 
you could pad it without drastically affecting cooling (airflow).

   Other options include silencing enclosures (enclosures with acoustic 
padding) to encapsulate the existing systems.  These reduce roars to 
hums, annoying but lower intensity.


Joshua Baker-LePain wrote:

>Yes, I know this has been discussed a couple of times, and that my stated 
>goals are at odds with each other.  But I really need the best bang for 
>the noise for a system that will reside in the same room with patients 
>undergoing diagnostic ultrasound scanning.  Our current setup (6 1U dual 
>2.4GHz Xeons, with about 11 little fans per node) is ridiculously loud, 
>and annoys both the patients and the physicians.  This is Bad.
>We're willing to pay for better, but don't want to take too much of a 
>speed hit.  Does anybody have a good vendor for quiet but still high 
>performing systems?  Is there any hope in the 1U form factor (my Opteron 
>nodes are somewhat quieter, since they use squirrel cage fans, but are 
>still too loud), or should I look at, e.g., putting Quad Opterons in a 3 
>or 4U case?  Or should I look at lashing together some towers (this system 
>also needs to be somewhat portable)?
>Thanks for any hints, pointers, recommendations, or flames.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 612 4615

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