[Beowulf] materials for air shroud?

David Mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Wed Aug 31 10:29:18 PDT 2011

Anybody know of a nice cheap, high melting point, easy to work with
sheet material, for making a custom air shroud?  

We have one box with stuff in it that looks similar to HDPE, the
material the white flexible cutting boards are made of, but it is a bit
thinner and more rigid that that.  Unfortunately there are no markings
on it, so HDPE is just a guess.  Whatever it is, it cut easily with
scissors (I had to trim it slightly at one point.)

Background.  We have an older Supermicro SC-823 server with dual
processors.  The air shroud it came with only covers the first
processor.  That didn't matter much when it had two low power processors
in it, but after upgrading it to dual Opteron 280s, the uncovered second
one runs considerably hotter than the covered front one.  (Swapping the
processors around didn't help - the heat stayed where it was, so a
ventilation issue, not a processor issue.)  Supermicro does make a newer
shroud which extends to the back of the case, but the manual (google for
"SC-823 air shroud user's guide") indicates that it is designed for
Intel CPUs.  So it may or may not fit around the Opterons.

The redesigned air shroud will probably work, but I'm about 90%
confident that taping a sheet of plastic onto the back of the existing
shroud would work as well - if I can find a plastic that won't flap
around or melt.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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