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Ready Player Eight - Build Log

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Element88, Apr 21, 2022.

  1. OP
    OP
    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Yeah, first build (RP4) was a single PC running as a hypervisor with 4x VMs with GPU and USB controller passthrough for 4 players (each with their own monitor and USB port for peripherals)

    The Purpose of RP8 is to have a single box on a big table, with 8x individual PCs running cables for monitor and USB hub for each person. BYO mouse, keyboard, headset and game
     
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  2. OP
    OP
    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Air will be coming in from both the front and back so it should be ok. I had originally planned to have them the mounted all facing the same way but now the Breakout boards sit underneath the PCs more evenly, saves on running all the 12v wires from one side to the other, now they just run straight up
     
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  3. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    How many of the HPs did you end up getting? I'm always interested in 12v builds and never realised these were 12V internally!!
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Haha, I did get 9 but gave one to a mate in a pinch

    you do need to run a small DC-DC stepdown to a pin on the motherboard to trick it into thinking that it has a HP PSU. There are some more details about that process in post #9
     
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  5. Jaco

    Jaco Member

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    Came here as this was featured on the OCAU Facebook, that's pretty sick!
     
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  6. mibberz

    mibberz Member

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    OCAU has facebook? where have I been all my life?
     
  7. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    That was my thought too!

    Let me know how you go with those HP power supplies, Element88. We had a few discussions on SFFn about similar 1U/12V supplies from all the big OEMs (HP, Dell, Lenovo etc), but they were all super-loud or 100%-fan in a non-original enclosure, and they also couldn't be fan-swapped because the firmware detects it and cuts power completely :( Even Gurywha had a go and couldn't find a workaround.
     
  8. Jaco

    Jaco Member

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  9. OP
    OP
    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    I'm out all this weekend, but should be getting ready to test more that 1x PC at a time on the HP PSUs sometime next week

    When testing with a single PC + GTX970 I could only just hear the fans switch on after a few minutes

    Will try to get some audio data to share. Am kind of banking on keeping the load low enough to prevent the jet engine scream (hence 4x PSUs)
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Wired up 2x PCs to a single PSU and did some testing

    Janky Test Setup, but its in the Case! (Proper Support Brackets for the GPUs are next on the list)

    Had a DB meter app on my phone directly above the PSUs, while running 2x benchmarks I couldn't hear anything from the PSU fan at all. the EVGA 970 was silent but the MSI 970 was the noisiest out of everything running (the 61db max reading was me taking the screenshot)

    Power wise, I estimate that there was somewhere between 400-500w of load. GPUZ was indicating 180w from the GFX cards + 50w ish for the CPU x2

    The noise levels are certainly looking promising from this 10-15min test, will dig out my kill-a-watt meter for the next test and try to let it run for longer to let everything heat up properly (~18C in the garage tonight)

    [​IMG]

    Noise as heard by my phone:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    Great result Element88 ! Fingers-crossed it keeps that volume even with some extended gameplay and the extra heat from the additional PCs / PSUs, but it looks super promising :)

    ::EDIT:: Curious about the Aluminium welding too, is that a bastard of a job to learn to do? i.e. are you an experienced welder (by profession or otherwise) or just a hobbyist who learned for stuff like this?
     
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  12. OP
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    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Cheers OCMunkee,

    re: the alu welding it’s still something I’m trying to learn. Definitely just a hobbyist, but have done bits and pieces of welding steel etc
     
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  13. OP
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    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Update:

    - Made up 2x GPU support brackets, super simple but the Card is rock solid once installed (still need to make the other 6)
    - Finish mounted the Power Switch Panel in the bottom of the case so it doesn't move
    - Finish mounted the mounts for all 4x Motherboard Backplate mounts
    - Added some high density foam to the Power Supply support brackets to ensure they are mounted solidly
    - Mounted all motherboards with pcie risers and support brackets

    ** Lots of cleanup still to do on the small brackets for the Motherboard plates, still focusing on function so aesthetics arent too much of a focus **
    ** Pcie support brackets still have some excess length that I need to cut down, same reason as above **
    ** I made a calculation mistake with the height of the motherboard backplates, resulting in the top screw hole for the GFX brackets to be un-useable. live and learn **

    So far with everything except wiring, graphics cards and external panels the whole case feels somewhere between 15-20kg. Its looking hopeful that I wont break my back each time I need to move it by myself, huzzar!

    Pics:

    [​IMG]

    Top down:

    [​IMG]

    GPU Support Brackets:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Have been all over the place this last week, finally getting some time to make progress. Thankfully this time I'm inside out of the freezing cold garage, just burning off my fingerprints with the soldering iron instead :)

    Progress made:

    - Made up harnesses for all 16x 12v 4 pin connectors down to the PSUs
    - Made up harnesses for all 8x of the P2 connectors down to the 12 > 1.8v stepdown regulator (extra green & purple cables have been cut, separated from each other and shrink-wrapped for isolation)
    - Made up a bracket and mounted the Regulator to its final location
    - Added some holes to the motherboard plates for some cable management for the cables that run under each motherboard tray (zip ties and velcro for now)
    - Made up the rest of the GPU support brackets
    - Loaded up Windows on 6 of the PCs

    ** I'm using 2x different brands of 12v breakout boards, and forgot that they have different orientations. so I have had to flip 2x of the PSUs around. luckily I didn't need to modify the 240v cabling to accommodate **

    ** Confirmed that 1x PC with a GTX970 draws between 200-220w at the wall during a Unigine Heaven Benchmark, haven't had a chance to test with a 1060 or with 2 or 3 at once yet **

    Next on the Cards:

    - Finish wiring up the P2 connectors to the Stepdown Voltage Regulator and made a lead for it's 12v supply
    - Find some Clips to replace the velcro on the horizontal support bars (wrap-around velcro will foul the sides once i get up to that stage)
    - Verify that I don't let the magical pixies out when switching on the PSUs
    - Mount all the GPUs and start make up 12v lines for the pcie power connectors for the GFX
    - Load windows on the last 2 PCs
    - Start testing with more load on each PSU for noise and power consumption (1, 2 and 3 PCs with GFX on a single PSU)
    - Weigh it

    ** Don't worry about the gaping holes in the bottom of the frame, they were left the let out metal shavings while drilling and taping holes and will be welded shut when I finish weld the rest of the frame **

    Pics:

    P2 Connector Harness:

    [​IMG]

    12v Stepdown Regulator final mounted location:

    [​IMG]

    Starting of the 12v Motherboard Harnesses:

    [​IMG]

    12v Motherboard Wiring Done:

    [​IMG]

    PSUs and Breakout Boards - Side 1:

    [​IMG]

    PSUs and Breakout Boards - Side 2:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  15. OP
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    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Update Time

    Tasks Completed:
    - Mounted all Graphics Cards and roughed in pcie power cables (will extend / reduce lengths and run them properly later)
    - Loaded windows on the last 2 PCs
    - Basic Drivers and Unigine Benchmark installed for simple 2-click quick start to load up the Graphics Cards
    - Tested with 3x PCs with Graphics Cards on a single 750w PSU for 30+ minutes
    - Left 7x PCs running Unigine for 30+ minutes

    Notes:
    ** I thought I had 8x Graphics Cards, but I can only find 7... found a GTX1650 Super that will be added in next week **
    ** I haven't weighed it yet, but can still pick it up and move it around easily enough with the GPUs added, I think we have cracked 20kg **
    ** PSU #3 is emitting some semi-serious coil whine like noise, will need to swap it out **
    ** None of the PSUs have spun up their fans audibly during load tests so far, one did for 2-3 seconds on power up after being switch off then back on again after the first 3 PC load test **
    ** List of Graphics Cards: 5x GTX970s, 2x GTX1060, and one GTX1650 Super still to come (shame, would love them to all be the same)

    Rough Data:
    - 1x PC with GFX running Unigine Benchmark = 200-220w load at the wall
    - 3x PCs with GFX running Unigine Benchmark = 550-580w load at the wall
    - 7x PCs with GFX idling in Windows = 220-240w load at the wall
    - 7x PCs with GFX running Unigine Benchmark = 1230-1260w load at the wall

    Pics:

    Fully Assembled: (less one GFX Card)

    [​IMG]

    7x PCs Load Testing:

    [​IMG]

    7x PC Load Test - Power Reading:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
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  16. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    Amazing work mate - coming together beautifully. Now all you need is an ex-miner with a dozen 1060s and you're in business :thumbup:

    I'm impressed with everything (your custom cable work is particularly awesome), but the total draw is better than I had guessed by about 500W - I know you're still one PC short for another 200W or so, but it's still bloody impressive. Solid PSU choice!

    I know you need the portability, but would castors be a worthwhile addition?
     
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  17. OP
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    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    cheers, pretty happy so far with how it’s going

    I have thought of castors, but without getting long cables for each station this is kind of destined to sit on top of the desk in the middle of the monitors

    have some rubber feet to mount for now, but who knows how it will develop

    will note down the PSU model numbers when I tear it down to weld out the frame properly for anyone who’s interested

    hoping to help run a small LAN in a few weeks, will be the true test with extended runtime
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
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  18. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    Ah sweet, keen to see how she goes in service. I continue to appreciate the photos and depth of the posts mate - top work! :thumbup:
     
  19. GeeBee

    GeeBee Member

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    Doing the right thing and staying at home.
    Always remember that grinder and paint makes you the welder you aint. Where did you pick up your layout table?
     
  20. OP
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    Element88

    Element88 Member

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    Very true words, but might get the frame powder coated if everything checks out

    otherwise will just brush sand with high grit and throw on some clear coat

    table was a cheapy from eBay. Wouldn’t recommend. Came from rolled steel and was curved from the get-go. Plus too much clearance was given for the laser cut pieces

    just couldn’t get approval for a proper table, and this one works ok with spacers to get things level (just lots of checking and re-checking, and still didn’t get some angles/measurements right)
     
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