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Night Fury - SR-2 [dual LGA1366]

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Hello there.



I´m doing another project-build, after finishing my previous project in december of last year ( https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/realizing-my-childhood-dream-lga775-nvidia-sli.247398/ )

Since last time I focused on that childhood mGPU dream, I´m going for the dual CPU setup this time.
It was a very spontaneous decision, I was scanning local offers for old GPUs when I stumbled across this board and fell in love. Fully functional, already equipped with 48GB DDR3 2400MHz and dual X5690s.

Again it is one of those holy grail pieces that I never could have afforded as a teenager but always dreamed about what it would be like. Well now here it is :)

I still need to sketch parts of the build, I had some trouble to find a case to fit this HPTX-monster which costs less than the board itself. My only real option was the Nanoxia Deep-Silence 6 tower. Not an ideal choice, because I´m a huge watercooling enthusiast and I plan to use water on atleast the board and CPUs, hopefully the GPU too.
In the end I decided to stick with the DB-6 because I can always use my external Mo-Ra3, so I´m not limited to the 2x 280mm radiators the case supports.

So, I got the board (EVGA SR-2), CPUs (X5690), RAM and a case. I also got a reservoir and a pump. I´m in the process of getting a full waterblock custom made for the board (should arrive in September). I will re-use the PSU from my previous build (EVGA 1600W T2).

What I still need to choose is a fitting GPU option and if it will be integrated into the waterloop or air-cooled. And I need to find some lighting options to hit a specific purple color. This might get a bit tricky, but I still got some time till September to figure something out before I can assemble it.
I wanted this to be a more subtle machine compared to the Nvidia theme I did before. So no fancy window-panel, no colored cables, no branded case. Instead I´m aiming for a big, black tower with an ominous purple glow from the top vents and the side-inlets of the front panel. The specific hue and intensity will be the most difficult part. It would be really cool if I could take it further but I´m not a case modder and every mod I have ever done fits in the ghetto mod section...

What I am most interested in however, is to see how this system will hold up to modern hardware and what kind of overclock I will be able to squeeze out of a dual socket setup.

First thing I can start on is taking apart the boards heatsink and give everything a very gentle but thorough clean. I will also lap the CPUs, maybe even delid them and replace the solder with liquid metal, but I´m not sure if I´ll do that. Seems a little unnecessary even to me :)
 
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Once upon a time, I had a Skulltrail (2xQX9775) available to me at work, and I always wanted an SR-2 but I could never justify getting one, even years down the line. Kudos for this project!
 
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This era of Xeon reminds me of the old Musclecar era. These CPUs had a different purpose in their day, but can now be tricked out and tuned to be so much more. Today they are the fun retro CPUs we only dreamed about owning when they were new, but now we can attain them. I look forward to unleashing the power and nostalgia. :)
 
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I took a look under the heatsink cover of the SR-2 today and it looks really nasty. Not only is the dust nearly completly clogging the airflow, it smells like a 14 year old trying to hide his smoking habit from his parents. Intense deodorant smell with a strong undertone of cigarette smoke...





The good news is everything else looks good. Only minor 'damage' I could spot was this PCIe-pin sticking out a bit:



Gonna remove the heatsink, clean everything and move over to lapping the CPUs.

As for the GPU to choose I´m really torn on two things. First, I want to use a modern GPU that suits the CPU to create a balanced build, but on the same time I again feel like it would be very cool to get something completly silly like dual 980ti.
The second thing about it is, do I stick with an EVGA theme and have board, PSU and GPU all from EVGA or do I just get whatever since it won´t be looked at 95% of the time anyway?


@Mr.Scott that seems like a solid result. Did you run some 3D stuff on it too? If so, what GPU did you pair it with?
 
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I took a look under the heatsink cover of the SR-2 today and it looks really nasty. Not only is the dust nearly completly clogging the airflow, it smells like a 14 year old trying to hide his smoking habit from his parents. Intense deodorant smell with a strong undertone of cigarette smoke...





The good news is everything else looks good. Only minor 'damage' I could spot was this PCIe-pin sticking out a bit:



Gonna remove the heatsink, clean everything and move over to lapping the CPUs.

As for the GPU to choose I´m really torn on two things. First, I want to use a modern GPU that suits the CPU to create a balanced build, but on the same time I again feel like it would be very cool to get something completly silly like dual 980ti.
The second thing about it is, do I stick with an EVGA theme and have board, PSU and GPU all from EVGA or do I just get whatever since it won´t be looked at 95% of the time anyway?


@Mr.Scott that seems like a solid result. Did you run some 3D stuff on it too? If so, what GPU did you pair it with?
That’s one nasty HSF. Poor baby couldn’t breathe!
 
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Them boards did command $450 not to long ago, I think it still about the same even not working condition.
 
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Them boards did command $450 not to long ago, I think it still about the same even not working condition.
Yeah they seem to hold a price around that 400$ mark. I´m surprised to see how frequent these still are for sale tho, so far every time I´ve been looking there were atleast 1 or 2 available. Currently there is a guy on ebay selling one as broken with a weird 50/50 boot chance and the offers are already above 250€.
I got it for 680€, including the CPUs which each don´t go for less than 80€ plus the 48GB of fast RAM and including two coolers:



All in all it wasn´t a steal, but I don´t feel like I overpaid either.

I have done no 3D benching to speak of on it.
I usually bench 3D on LGA 1151, unless it's AGP, then AM2NF3-VSTA.
I don´t plan to use this for 3D benching, but I´d like to pair it with a GPU that balances the CPU-power and I have no clue how well these Xeons in dual config hold up. I might stick an RX 5700 in there if I go with recent stuff.
For 3D-benching I´d always use the latest CPU platform possible.


Definitely. It runs hot even whistle clean.
Which is why I decided I have to use water on the board. I read a lot about these boards/chipsets failing over time, probably due to heat-cycle stress. I don´t want to run it hot, this board deserves a comfortable retirement. Finding a used waterblock without a board is very difficult these days, which is why I was very happy to find someone still making the blocks for the SR-2 if you ask for it.
 
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The dual Xeon trays for the classic Mac Pro are also still really expensive. Granted, they usually come pre-equipped with X56xx CPUs, but they usually go for $400-600.
 

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Yeah they seem to hold a price around that 400$ mark. I´m surprised to see how frequent these still are for sale tho, so far every time I´ve been looking there were atleast 1 or 2 available. Currently there is a guy on ebay selling one as broken with a weird 50/50 boot chance and the offers are already above 250€.
miners? I mean once the system is up and running you never need to take it down
 
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May I make a suggestion & take a look at what TechYesCity on YouTube did with one of these if you haven’t already. He did an SR2 build not long ago and came out awesome. Perhaps join his Discord and drop a message about it?
 
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I took the heatsink off and found some more nasty stuff. Mostly just brown dust, but this little transistor caught my attention:



It must have gotten hot and been hot for a longer period of time. It looks like it let the magic smoke out.



I have been trying to get the part but this number (ALHV / 1Z) turns up nothing for me.
Lets just hope it is nothing important, if I´m not mistaken this is part of the power delivery for the fan that was with the heatsink. If I use my waterblock this hopefully will be worked around neatly.

Still I would rather like to find this to replace it, better safe than sorry.

Some more of the nasty stuff:



Looks like a worm ate through it.





This is the fan cable connecting to the header close to the transistor in question. It shows some heat discoloration too, I think the poor chipset was cooking during the last days of use from the previous owner and the fan tried as hard as it could to compensate the lack of airflow.
I hope I got this poor thing in time to save it.



This yellow tape is right above Q172, showing how hot it got.







Time for a proper bath. For me and the board after working on this.

As for the GPU question, I got a neat idea. This platform seems powerful enough for even a 1080 or higher as TechYesCity showed that is maxes out a 980ti most of the time. I´m on the same 1440p resolution and instead of investing in another card that is basically on par with my main systems Vega I´ll rather buy my upgrade now and use it in this for a while. This will eliminate any potential GPU bottleneck too, and we will see exactly what this dual Xeon platform is capable of. Been thinking towards the 5700 XT.
 
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@Dinnercore ,don't resolder unless wb / pot on die. Personal 2 penny's
 

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Some dude on here built tons of those systems for some customer. T_ski? Or something. Beastly things, I really wish there was a market for an equivalent these days.
 
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Just my own experience, but I had an old GeForce where I accidentally knocked a cap off the back. Card still worked just fine.
 
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Just my own experience, but I had an old GeForce where I accidentally knocked a cap off the back. Card still worked just fine.
For a cap sure, I´ve had the same experience. They usually just filter noise from a signal or supply line and one more or less is within spec and does not change much for functionality.

This Q172 / ALHV 1Z is not a cap tho, but a transistor of some kind. Maybe a mosfet. It is not as simple as a missing cap. If that thing is broken some functionality will be lost. In this case, since the fan was still spinning, I would guess it has to do with the fan speed control, more precise it is the power regulating part of the circuit and now the fan might be at a fixed speed.
I did not test it, just let board post and boot once, was happy that it worked and did pay no attention to the fan since it was spinning.

If all my assumptions about this SMD are correct, it may be ok to leave it be. Broken or not, I will not plug a fan in there again anyway.
 
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The a63a chip seems to be this:


A sot5 opamp. Compare the pinout to your board layout and verify.

That transistor isn't showing up; but if it's a fan driver, it's going to be a 1/2 A or so transistor, probably.

See which pin is connected to power, and post back.

This post made me find this:
Which is very cool. :)


EDIT: looking at my board, if you run the fans slow, there's a bunch of power dropped across that transistor.
It may be normal.
I'd try it, and if it works, it's probably ok.
Worst case, it won't work at all, or will run full speed.
 
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The a63a chip seems to be this:


A sot5 opamp. Compare the pinout to your board layout and verify.

That transistor isn't showing up; but if it's a fan driver, it's going to be a 1/2 A or so transistor, probably.

See which pin is connected to power, and post back.

This post made me find this:
Which is very cool. :)


EDIT: looking at my board, if you run the fans slow, there's a bunch of power dropped across that transistor.
It may be normal.
I'd try it, and if it works, it's probably ok.
Worst case, it won't work at all, or will run full speed.
Thank you so much, this is very useful stuff for me.

I will poke the thing with my DMM when I run the board again, but this will have to wait until the waterblock arrives (eta during september).
Looks like I got nothing to worry about tho, the part is not vital for the overall function. My guess for what this transistor does was quite accurate, funny how easy it is to figure these things out if you just look at it and think about it, even without having much background knowledge.
 
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