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[#] Sat Feb 10 2024 09:25:45 EST from Nurb432

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Silly question, still researching but thought id ask anyway.

New MB i just popped in a case this weekend. its got a couple of  PCIe X1 ports.  Thought about getting a USB C card, but wondering if it will work with Linux at all for starters, and if so, would it work with a USBC hub that has ports like HDMI, etc.. or just USBC data and that is it. If that is all it does, it makes it sort of pointless i think, unless you have no USB2/3 ports to use ( or need more ), and even then you can get a x1 card with tons of usb on it for cheaper )

So far i keep seeing 'includes drivers for windows x' but that is about it.

[#] Sat Feb 10 2024 17:51:15 EST from Nurb432

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More cleaning. Out goes the 10m switches..  WiFi G routers.. gone gone gone!

And lots of disks..  windows server 2008 licenses, ghost enterprise ( 25 year old )   and wow, they still sell ghost.. surprised... figured it would have been retired and replaced with Altiris suite when they bought them. ( and jack up the price )

[#] Sat Feb 10 2024 18:06:15 EST from Nurb432

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ooo old apple time machine too ( 15 years + old ). i thought i have gave that away already. 


For a short period of time i used it as a router + backup, had some Linux tool that could manage it.  That ended up breaking so it went into the closet.  Same for my gen 3 ipod.. Linux tool to manage it... that quit.. so in the trash the device went.

[#] Sun Feb 11 2024 10:28:22 EST from Nurb432

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Grrrr M.2 in my AI server. Decided to die this morning. 

[#] Fri Feb 16 2024 13:01:53 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: My weird backplane

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So here's something weird.  The mITX case I bought has a 2.5" drive cage with a very odd backplane.  Through a lot of exploring I've come to understand that it is from a company called AIC and it's some sort of "dual port adapter".  The side that the disk plugs into appears to be a SAS/SATA compatible socket:

But the back has TWO SATA PORTS per drive:

I've never seen this before.  You can see that it accepts SAS disks because in the middle of the socket is the big gap and the small 7-pin receiver that attaches to the second channel of a dual-port SAS drive.  It looks like the side of the slot that is common to both SAS and SATA is wired to the first SATA port, and the SAS-specific part of the slot is wired to the second SATA port.

I've never seen anything like this before.  I'm wondering if the manufacturer's intention is for the system builder to use an SFF-to-quad-SATA cable like this one:

Again, I've never seen the second channel of a SAS disk broken out onto a SATA connector like that.  But if I choose a controller that supports both SAS and SATA, I'm wondering if it would work?  Might it even see both channels in a multipath configuration?  I am a data center veteran so I know all about multipath I/O and how to make it work on Linux.

No guesses please!  Answer if you know.

[#] Fri Feb 16 2024 13:44:13 EST from Nurb432

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No guesses..  I have never seen that before either. 

[#] Sat Feb 24 2024 11:51:47 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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The reason I find it interesting is because I may have a source for some "gently used" SAS SSDs.  If I can get them, and the backplane supports them, it would be worth buying a controller to get them running.

In case you haven't figured it out, I think about this project every day, but I am not buying the parts until after my truck is paid off in about three months, so it's a bit frustrating...

[#] Sun Feb 25 2024 19:10:50 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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And I'm wondering how big a power supply I "really" need. My PicoPSU is 120 watts. I could squeeze more power out of it by bypassing it for the P4 connector and using a bigger brick. What does a modern computer do if the power supply can't deliver enough watts? Does it just slow down or does it go into Mr. Bonkers mode?

[#] Sun Feb 25 2024 19:21:58 EST from Nurb432

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Last one i had that was low on power, it just shut down.  ( my fault, i put too big of a CPU in it.. was just a tad more than the PS could supply )

[#] Mon Feb 26 2024 18:15:32 EST from darknetuser

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2024-02-25 19:10 from IGnatius T Foobar
And I'm wondering how big a power supply I "really" need. My PicoPSU

is 120 watts. I could squeeze more power out of it by bypassing it for

the P4 connector and using a bigger brick. What does a modern computer

do if the power supply can't deliver enough watts? Does it just slow

down or does it go into Mr. Bonkers mode?

It goes Bonkers. Typically it is individual components that go Bonkers.

For example, if you have a slightly underpowered supply and you turn a machine with many devices on, some devices may attempt to initialize and fail. Sometimes the firmware retries.

At least, that is the theory I was explained. It was common for underpoered disk arrays to attempt to spin all the drives at once, have some of them fail at the first try, and bring the whole array online on second try. It is bad for the lifespan of the components. Don't fall short.

[#] Mon Feb 26 2024 21:58:02 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Yeah. Apparently you can set a "TDP limit" on some motherboards now. Probably intended for heat management but I will need to keep the consumed power down as well. Undervolting also appears to be a thing.

[#] Tue Feb 27 2024 07:10:33 EST from Nurb432

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kids and their fancy toys. in MY day, we.....   lol


Tho the other day when i had to find a heatsink+fan for that MB i pulled out of the closet. Not needed to pay attention for a while, but man they have become huge beasts.... was hard to find one small enough to fit in my case.  not the heatsinks when i grew up.


Now, get off my lawn!

[#] Tue Feb 27 2024 18:28:54 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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The reason I'm wondering is because I sort of jumped the gun and bought a CPU/RAM/Motherboard that was offered to me at a pretty steep discount, one that was so good that I forgot to check the power requirements. My power supply might be hurting as much as my credit card bill :(

Gigabyte H310N 2.0 ITX + i9-9900 GPU + 32 GB RAM.

I've got to get that running inside a 120 watt power budget. At idle this should be no problem but I will certainly need to put a cap on boost mode.
The i9-9900 has a 65 watt TDP. From what I've read, it's no slouch even at its base clock. 120 watts at 12 volts is 10 amps, and my multimeter has a 10 amp capacity for current readings, so I'll be putting that in line to see what it's drawing.

And of course it will be running for quite a while before I move my workloads to it, because I don't have the disk drives yet.

[#] Tue Feb 27 2024 18:32:51 EST from Nurb432

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cutting it pretty close. 

Be easy to load it down with some benchmarks, see if it holds up, instead of theoretical calculations and WAGs only.

[#] Wed Feb 28 2024 17:10:11 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Yeah. I'll have the hardware soon enough, and plenty of time to run tests before I put it into production. That's why I intend to put it on the meter while I test it. Maybe it's fine with no TDP cap, maybe I have to set one.
Working in my favor is the fact that as a server it will not be using the GPU and my workloads are not really calculation intensive.

If I really run out of power budget I can get a bigger 12 volt supply and connect the P4 ("cpu power") connector directly to the input, bypassing the PicoPSU. That might work, especially if I were to get a small UPS and attach directly to the battery, bypassing the inverter. That's a thing, isn't it?

[#] Thu Feb 29 2024 08:53:04 EST from LoanShark

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You might have to go all the way down to a 35W TDP limit -- if your board can be set that low.

[#] Thu Feb 29 2024 09:04:01 EST from Nurb432

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Sort of funny, talking about such small wattage. A couple of my GPUs will suck nearly 300 watts each. 


[#] Thu Feb 29 2024 19:34:01 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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You might have to go all the way down to a 35W TDP limit -- if your
board can be set that low.

I'm looking at the manual for the motherboard now. (It'll be here in a day or two anyway, but just looking in advance.)

There's definitely an option to turn off Intel Turbo Boost, so that would theoretically cap it at the base clock and therefore the base wattage. Can also disable some cores, but I'd rather not do that.

Let's see what else is there...

"CPU Thermal Monitor" (reduces core frequency and voltage when it heats up)
"Voltage Optimization" (reduces power consumption)
And a bunch of controls for undervolting specific components.

So I guess I'll come out of the gate with turbo boost disabled, and take some power measurements. I probably shouldn't have bought this board, but it was CPU+motherboard+32GB for basically the price of the CPU alone, so I accepted the offer without thinking to check the power draw.

Also there are apparently some Linux kernel settings that can perform finer adjustments.

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