[Beowulf] Interesting google server design

Tony Travis a.travis at abdn.ac.uk
Sat Apr 4 06:47:13 PDT 2009

Bill Broadley wrote:
> [...]
> Most normal cases I've seen have a power supply in the top rear and suck air
> from the bottom of the power supply (usually very near the cpu) and exhaust it
> out the back.  So while it burns about 10% of the energy for the PC (typical
> efficiencies in the nicer power supplies are around 90%) very little of that
> heat should flow upstream.... unless you lock your PC in a cabinet.  For this
> reason I've found it quite strange that high end cases (apple, antex, lian-li,
> and others) have put the power supply in a separate airflow chamber in the
> bottom of the case.  Seems of no benefit to the CPU/GPU/motherboard where most
> of the heat is generated.  I guess it helps the power supply since it's
> sucking air at ambient, or past a few drives which shouldn't change the air
> temp much.

Hello, Bill.

I bought some IWill SFF dual Opteron servers thinking they would make 
good Beowulf cluster nodes: They have a reputation for sounding like 
they are about to take off when you make them work hard because of the 
noise the CPU fans make. These fans exhaust through the PSU, and I've 
'cooked' six miniature EPS12V PSU's in the IWill systems. I've managed 
to get four of them repaired, but two are "beyond economical repair".

Original kit is a custom designed PSU and fan Unit manufactured by:

	Teamgreat Technology Corp.
	BE-WELL Electronics Co., Ltd.
	PSU Model T43B014 (300/350W)

IWill were bought out by Flextronics, who immediately ceased manufacture 
of all IWill retail products, including the IWill SFF Opteron servers. 
Pity, because these are powerful little boxes: In fact it says on the 
top of the external PSU casing 'Warning "Hot" !'. They're not kidding...

Flextronics now host the IWill product support web site. The IWill SFF 
servers got rave reviews when they were launched. This is the Zmaxd2 
spec. if anyone is interested:


I've already searched the web for information about these SFF PSU's, and 
I tried to contact the manufacturer to no avail. I'd be grateful for any 
suggestions from the Beowulf list about where to get replacements or 
alternative PSU's for IWill Zmaxdp/Zmaxd2 miniature EPS12V PSU's.


Dr. A.J.Travis, University of Aberdeen, Rowett Institute of Nutrition
and Health, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK
tel +44(0)1224 712751, fax +44(0)1224 716687, http://www.rowett.ac.uk
mailto:a.travis at abdn.ac.uk, http://bioinformatics.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt

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