[SOLVED] Shall I Shoot Myself Now? AKA - Cooling my NAS Without a Fan on the Heatsink?

Team-Talk-Fusion

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Oct 21, 2015
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OK, guys, forgive my lack of familiarity with NAS & server issues, this is my 1st NAS & I'm probably being way too cautious, but heat is a killer & I am always trying to keep temps down on the boxes I build, so here's my concern...

I dropped more than I probably should have on a motherboard for simply serving media to the entire house, as well as to provide a central location for work/documents we use at home for business. Eventually, we want to be able to utilize the server from our satellite/remote office locations as well, but for now I just want to be able to stream throughout the house... we have computers in every room these day (7).

The Supermicro A2SDi-H-TP4F has the embedded Intel Atom C3955 with a simple heat-sink attached; no fan... this seems wrong to me, despite everything I read telling me the Intel Atoms producing very little heat. Can that be true when streaming to a few rooms in the house at once, hi-res video, etc? On Supermicro's website, on the specifications page for this mobo, they show a couple of chassis' optimized for that motherboard, & 2 of the 3 images/systems displayed there, show a small fan attached to the heat-sinks. I called Supermicro & they didn't have any advice except to look at the same images I note above (if you want to take a look, here is the link to the specs page, scroll to the bottom & click the links to the images of suggested chassis: https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/motherboard/A2SDi-H-TP4F?locale=en

Other images here: https://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-a2sdi-h-tp4f-review/

Anyone have a suggestion as to what fan I might use & how to attach? I haven't been able to find a fan with the right hardware or measurements to attach... I have been planning to use the Fractal Design Node 804 case, but I have been thinking maybe I should use the Coolermaster Cosmos I have laying around here... It's a freakin' massive beast, I wanted to get rid of it but maybe it's a better idea? On that little 6.7"x6.7" board, I could get a lot of airflow over that heat-sink without an attached fan & the more I am thinking about it, the better it sounds, as far as heat is concerned, if I can't find a fan to attach directly... I was trying to create a small footprint & keep it in my home office, but I think putting the server in a closet I have, centrally located in the house, might be a better solution. Low temps are FAR more important than a noisy box, especially if it is not anywhere near anyone. The tiny cases always concern me, so much heat generating electronics in a compact size seems to be asking for problems.

Has anyone ever used a small closet as a server room? Again, I am concerned about temps even in that closet. I designed a way to have a small window air-conditioner to vent into that room, but I was thinking that a small air conditioner like that might create too much condensation... any thoughts on that would be welcomed as well...

Thanks guys, always appreciate the knowledge & help offered here!

T.
 

Karadjgne

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32w is only a few more watts than a laptop, which honestly doesn't have a heatsink as such, just a fan blowing across a big flat metal plate.

Honestly I believe you are overthinking this. Wouldn't be very hard at all to stick a fan somewhere, anywhere even close to that included heatsink and double it's cooling ability.

And I don't think you went nuts on the board, supermicro builds some of the best workstation/server boards in the business. They've been around forever, and you don't hang with the big 3 this long unless you can back up your reliability.
 

Team-Talk-Fusion

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Oct 21, 2015
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I see a lot of worrying about the system temps, but no mention of what the temps actually are.
I haven't put the box all together yet... Thanks to a heads-up on a separate inquiry, I checked ark.intel.com & the TDP is only 32 W... It should be fine but I think putting a fan on this heatsink is worth the extra headache, just because I have dealt with electronics for several decades & "anything that can go wrong, eventually will go wrong..." I will post temps with & without once i get it figured out.

Thank you, USAFRet
 
Last edited:
Jul 12, 2020
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I would use a well-ventilated case and it likely will be fine. The drives also need cooling (and those failing mean data loss, unlike this CPU failing)
 

Karadjgne

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32w is only a few more watts than a laptop, which honestly doesn't have a heatsink as such, just a fan blowing across a big flat metal plate.

Honestly I believe you are overthinking this. Wouldn't be very hard at all to stick a fan somewhere, anywhere even close to that included heatsink and double it's cooling ability.

And I don't think you went nuts on the board, supermicro builds some of the best workstation/server boards in the business. They've been around forever, and you don't hang with the big 3 this long unless you can back up your reliability.
 

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