Silent Dell Power Edge 2650

Some time ago I bought a Dell PowerEdge 2650 as my new serverplatform. I wanted and did virtualize all my servers but before I really could use my new server I had to silence it because it was loud like a turbine of a helicopter ;o). So I searched the internet for any hints but didn’t find much and I had to experiment for myself. For everyone who is looking forward to have a silent Dell PowerEdge these are my advices (with movie).

Preamble

Please be cautious modding this server – especially the PSUs. I do not take any responsibility for any damages to you or your server. And don’t blame me if your server burns down. It’s all in your hand.

All started with my thread in the Dell Community Forum: https://www.dell.com/community/PowerEdge-Hardware-General/Dell-PowerEdge-2650-noise-again-o/m-p/2861239#M17935

My server now runs with following temperatures (taken from the DRAC-card):

Sensorname Value
ESM Frt I/O Temp 38 °C
ESM Riser Temp 42 °C
ESM CPU 1 Temp 42 °C
ESM CPU 2 Temp 41 °C
BP Bottom Temp 39 °C
BP Top Temp 39 °C

The Fans

The server has seven fans that are plugged to the mainboard and one fan in each powersupply. The fan specs are (thanks to “DeafInBothEars” for the research):

Part Number AFB0612EH-F00
Manufacturer Delta Electronics, Inc., China
Size, Inches 2.35″ X 2.35″ X 1.0″
Size, mm 60mm x 60mm x 25mm
Voltage 12 volts DC
Current 0.48A
Watts 5.76
RPM 6800
Flow CFM (Max) 38.1 (about 64m³/h)
Noise (dBA) 46.5
Bearing Type Dual Ball Bearing
Life Expectancy-MTBF 50,000 Hours

So you see – nearly 7000RPM and 47db – that’s a little too much for your ears especially if your server has his place is in the kitchen. Now my SilenX fans have these specs:

Part Number SilenX IXP-34-16
Size, Inches 2.35″ X 2.35″ X 1.0″
Size, mm 60mm x 60mm x 25mm
Voltage 8-14 volts DC
Current 0.09A
Watts 1.08
RPM 2000
Flow CFM (Max) 18 (about 30.56m³/h)
Noise (dBA) 16
Bearing Type FDB, fluid dynamic bearings

You nearly don’t hear 16db but the airflow is also not so powerfull and I recommend useing some stronger fans up to 30db. I still kept my SilenX fans because they weren’t that cheap ;o). For the powersupply fans I took some others:

Part Number YS-Tech FD 126025 MB
Size, Inches 2.35″ X 2.35″ X 1.0″
Size, mm 60mm x 60mm x 25mm
Voltage 12 volts DC
Watts 1.44
RPM 3700
Flow CFM (Max) 34 m³/h
Noise (dBA) 29,5
Bearing Type Dual Ball Bearing
Life Expectancy-MTBF 80,000 Hours

 

The Procedure

Prerequisits

  • soldering rod and solder
  • wire stripper
  • wire cutter
  • lots of time

Mainboard-Fans (the short/cheap procedure)

  1. Take out the mainboard fans with the blue assembly part and separate them – do this with caution and don’t break them.
  2. Cut the wires off the fans and keep the part with the power plug – the cables shouldn’t be too short.
  3. Solder the cables together with the cables of your new fans. Watch out for the right pin configuration. If the cables have the same color this shouldn’t be too hard, should it ;o)?
  4. Assemble the blue part with the fan and plug the fan back on the mainboard.

CAUTION: If you have fans like me with some kind of cross beams then you have to cut a little peace out of it. I used my Dremel I’ve bought some years ago. Look at my foto what it should look like:

fan.jpg

PSU-Fans (with movie)

  • Take the PSUs out of your server. Prepare your fan like in the picture below. Simply push the metal clips firmly in and pull the cables out to put them in the right order back.
psu-fan.jpg
  • As you can see in the following video there are several screws. You can watch the video below to see how I replaced my fan. In the video you also see the right pin-layout the fan-plug must have in comparison to the original one.

  • Beware which fans you take, as I took too weak ones I had to put one 12cm fan above my two CPUs. I removed the fan that is normally blowing at the PCI-slots and built a adapter for the big fan. Like here:

server16.jpg

Finished

My whole server in my “kitchen-rack” looks like this 😮 now:

server22.jpg

The not so cheap but nicer procedure

As I found out in my researches you can buy the adapters, plugs, etc. used in the DELL PE 2650 at www.digikey.com. The parts are from the “Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 Series”.

Here are the links to the needed parts:

The really cheap and fast method (thanks to Alex)

Just connect a pair of original CPU fans in series. This reduces RPMs by half. Procedure takes 20 min. Server now 50% quieter. 🙂 Zero expenses required.

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