After quite some time, I finally found a PSU which is very quiet and fits (kind of) into the server case. By mere chance, I found a very small power supply from bequiet. The “bequiet! TFX Power 3 300W gold”. This is a TFX form factor which I never heard of. It’s too small for a 2U server case but this is something we can solve with a 3D-printed adapter.
Obviously, bequiet isn’t the only company that offers this kind of form factor, it’s just the company I prefer.
I also bought a cable extension for the 4 fans. An Arctic 120mm PWM Fan Connector Cable. This way I can route them to the motherboard and hopefully control the fan speed with “fancontrol”.
Let’s take a look.
The power supply
This PSU is really small. Much smaller than I thought.
It has 1x P4 (CPU), 1x PCI-E 6+2 (GPU), 3x SATA power, 2x PATA (Molex) and 1x 20+4 (Motherboard) connector. Additionally, you are getting a pack of zip ties, a power cable and the user manual.
The two molex and two SATA connectors with adapters are used for the HDD backplane.
The motherboard actually requires an 8pin connector for the CPU, but the 4pin connector should be sufficient as long as I don’t overclock or decide to replace the current i5-3550 with something more powerful.
So far it is running without any issues.
The back of the case
So, let’s take a look at the back of the case. As you can see in the picture below, the PSU is too small. I will be using a 3D-printed adapter for this. I was going to create the model myself, but apparently, there are a lot of people using the same combination. Who knew…
There are two that should fit. I will link both, but I used the first one. Why you might ask? Because it looks nicer.
The fan cable extension
As I mentioned before, I bought a cable extension for the fans, allowing me to connect the fans to the motherboard and control them via “fancontrol” in Linux.
First I tried it with the 4-pin socket on the motherboard, which should be PWM capable. But this didn’t work for whatever reason. So I switched to a 3-pin socket. This allows me to control the fans via the voltage.
By the way. Here is a great explanation by the user “paperdoc” about the different ways 3pin and 4pin fans are controlled.
Anyway. I reduced the fan speed down to around 1500rpm. This should be enough to cool the hard disks down to around 35-40°C and not be too loud.
To use “fancontrol” install the package “ln_sensors” in CentOS/Rocky Linux/Fedora using DNF.
fedora-kde :: ~ » sudo dnf install lm_sensors
Next, execute “pwmconfig” to detect the sensors on your board. The defaults are fine most of the time and will control the fan based on the temperature, so just hit enter a few times and follow the instructions.
fedora-kde :: ~ » sudo pwmconfig
Once the configuration is done, you can enable and start the fancontrol service.
fedora-kde :: ~ » sudo systemctl enable fancontrol.service --now
Check the service for any errors.
fedora-kde :: ~ » sudo systemctl status fancontrol.service
That’s about it. The server is actually very quiet now. I might need to adjust the speed a little bit more, in case the temperature rises too high, but this shouldn’t add too much to the noise.
Till next time.