Saturday, June 06, 2009

Water-cooled IBM workstation update...

All the water-cooling parts and pieces are in my hot little hands right now. Readers will remember that I had previously upgraded my IBM Intellistation M-Pro 6850 with these two hyper-threaded XEON MP 3.0Ghz processors, packing a 4Mb L3 cache, which IBM never intended to have running on their non-server machines. Intel, however, made them pin-compatible with their lesser Xeon DP siblings, so I had to give it a try.

These processors work very nicely, but you don't get extra performance for nothing. They generate a lot more heat than the original 2.2Ghz - 2.4Ghz Xeon DP processors, and force the thermostatically-controlled CPU fans and case fans to go into jet engine mode, just to keep things below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Even then, they bumped into that temperature way too often for my personal taste.

Here are the two CPU waterblocks and 3/8" ID braided PVC tubing:

These will replace the factory IBM heatsinks and wind tunnel shroud, as seen here:

I've also checked to make sure my power supply can handle the extra draw of the two pumps, radiator fans, and controller circuitry. I attached a loop of 3/8" ID tubing to the output and input of the Koolance Exos 2, filled the reservoir with the blue antifreeze/water mix, and let it run. The loudest thing in the system is the gurgling of the coolant in the reservoir, and if I burp it of air bubbles once or twice again, I'll bet that'll subside, too. It looks pretty good sitting on top of the machine, contrasting nicely with the 1948 Tucker model on the SCSI hard drive tower:

So far, so good. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Felix said...

I am updating my mpro 6850 with 2 xeon 3.0 MP as well. But my machine always stalls at the IBM Logo. Then I updated the BIOS to latest version, and also modified the BIOS with the XEON MP's microcode, but still the same.
Could you let me know how you managed to get it run?
Thank you