This post continues my migration into my new rack.
It’s lived in a Fractal Design R4 case for years, and I love that case. When packed full of 140mm fans, it’s got the room for 10 3.5″ HDDs, a few SSDs, and an insanely large cooler. Once the fan on that cooler died and the temps still never went above 31C at full load.
The case also make it so all the PCIe slots are available. So I’ve got an HBA (9201-16e), a nVidia Quadro P2000 for Plex transcoding, extra space for additional networking cards, and the ability to add more if necessary.
So when on the hunt for a replacement case, the obvious option seemed like some kind of 4U. The Supermicro 846 seemed like a no-brainer:
It would allow me to keep my current i4 CPU cooler and all my PCIe cards would plug in without any hassle.
So I ordered an empty case from TheServerStore.com, and waited a week or so.
Even though it *SHOULD* have fit, before the new case arrived, I started to suspect that the existing cooler would not fit based on some rough measurements. Because I didn’t want to get stuck, I just ordered the new 3U cooler just to be safe.
Although buying a cooler should be simple, it took some hunting as my board only supports narrow ILM.
The actual migration went smoothly. All the PCIe cards came out:
The board got installed:
And I tried to put the top on the case. As expected, the fit was *VERY* tight. I suspect it might have worked because the difference was only a few millimeters, but:
- It would have put pressure on the CPU.
- The orientation for airflow was wrong anyway.
So I pulled the old cooler:
Cleaned up the CPU with some alcohol and coffee filters
The new cooler installed and mounted:
Finishing it up
All that remained was to hook up the fans, and wire up the SSD. Because the case I ordered has a SAS2 expander backplane, and that backplane is getting passed through to a different server via a SFF-8088 to SFF-8087 adapter, the SSD needed to be inside the case connected to onboard SATA.
At this point, the sharp-eyed might notice a PCIe placeholder shoved in between the fan banks and the backplane. Yep, that’s still there, because I didn’t notice that until I was looking through pictures.
The final picture, with the SFF adapter wired into the backplane. Once again, the PCIe blank is there. I just haven’t had a reason to derack it and pull it.
And finally, all racked up (this is the one with yellow tabs):
One more to go with the R420…