Supermicro SC846 4U JBOD Replacement Fans

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
I've won an eBay auction for a used SM SC846 4U JBOD. I'll be putting this in my apartment. I know the fans are quite loud. They're 80mm, but they're very thick. They have 3 pins. There are 3 along the backplane, and 2 at the back. Does anyone know of any good, quiet replacement fans for this JBOD? Thanks!
 

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,811
If you think the 80mm case fans are the loud bit, you're in for a surprise when you plug it in and hear the ones in the power supplies.
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
If you think the 80mm case fans are the loud bit, you're in for a surprise when you plug it in and hear the ones in the power supplies.

Haha! Every time I've powered up an SC846 JBOD, I've been in a server room. It's always noisy in there :) Guess I'll find out next week!
 

PigLover

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
1,181
Actually, the PSU fan noise depends entirely on which PSU happened to be in the chassis.

The most common ones on eBay have the redundant 800w PSU (PSU-801-1R). These are fairly noisy.

The PSU modules are generally interchangeable (but both PSUs have to be the same model). There are a couple of models that are nearly silent (PWS-920P-SQ & PWS1K28P-SQ). The "SQ" designation stands for Super Quiet. These are also both 80+ Platinum. Unfortunately, these modules will run you $170-250 each.

There are also a couple of modules that are Platinum rated and reasonably quiet. PWS-721P-1R & PWS-920P-1R). These are usually much less expensive. The 720W version can often be found on eBay around $50-80/each. They are both quite suitable for home use. There is also a 500w platinum module (PWS-501P-1R) but I've never seen these used on eBay. Brand new they run ~$150.

See here for fans: http://www.ebay.com/itm/SuperMicro-...466?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460ce3926a. These are listed for the 2U case but it is the same fan. You'll need to swap it into the carriers from your case because the newer ones are just a bit different dimension.

You'll also need 4-pin cables, here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-...ase_Accessories_Tool_Kits&hash=item4ab536286c

With a motherboard that has good fan control these 4-pin fans will run slow and quiet.

Of course, when you get done spending another $300 on PSUs, Fans and Cables to make it quiet enough to use at home and you'll have to ask yourself if it really was the good deal you thought it was.
 
Last edited:

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,811
He got the first generation which are not the least bit quiet. I'd also like to point out that the power supplies are not fully interchangeable. I forget which way you could swap things around, but it was only in one direction (newer power supply to older chassis or older power supply to newer chassis). Confirmed this a while back with my own testing (I own multiple generations of this chassis).
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
Actually, the PSU fan noise depends entirely on which PSU happened to be in the chassis.

The most common ones on eBay have the redundant 800w PSU (PSU-801-1R). These are fairly noisy.

The PSU modules are generally interchangeable (but both PSUs have to be the same model). There are a couple of models that are nearly silent (PWS-920P-SQ & PWS1K28P-SQ). The "SQ" designation stands for Super Quiet. These are also both 80+ Platinum. Unfortunately, these modules will run you $170-250 each.

There are also a couple of modules that are Platinum rated and reasonably quiet. PWS-721P-1R & PWS-920P-1R). These are usually much less expensive. The 720W version can often be found on eBay around $50-80/each. They are both quite suitable for home use.

See here for fans: http://www.ebay.com/itm/SuperMicro-...466?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460ce3926a. These are listed for the 2U case but it is the same fan. You'll need to swap it into the carriers from your case because the newer ones are just a bit different dimension.

You'll also need 4-pin cables, here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-...ase_Accessories_Tool_Kits&hash=item4ab536286c

With a motherboard that has good fan control these 4-pin fans will run slow and quiet.

Thanks for the info. However, the chassis does come with fans, I'm just certain they're noisy. The motherboard going into the chassis is the one listed in my sig. Supermicro X8DTH-6F with dual CPUs and passive heatsink fans.
 

twistacatz

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
182
I have the SM CSE-837E16-RJBOD1 3U JBOD and the hot swap fans are very loud and it's very annoying. I plan to swap them out at some point but the only fans that I've seen that offer similar static pressure with less noise are very expensive. I was using a set of 120mm that I had laying around but just didn't do the job.
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
I have the SM CSE-837E16-RJBOD1 3U JBOD and the hot swap fans are very loud and it's very annoying. I plan to swap them out at some point but the only fans that I've seen that offer similar static pressure with less noise are very expensive. I was using a set of 120mm that I had laying around but just didn't do the job.

Didn't do the job of cooling? That's the problem. Those backplane fans not only cool the drives (which I won't even be nearly filling up yet), but they also cool the CPUs. I've got dual Xeon E5520s with the SM fanless heatsink. I hope the 120mm fans I have will work. Do you have a picture of your 120mm fans on the backplane?
 

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
10,996
I've got a (new) 846 myself, so I'm fairly interested in this thread. The 920W PSU is no louder than your average enthusiast PSU. It's actually very nice. The fans, though, can be annoyingly loud. My advice:

1) If you've got a Supermicro motherboard, set the fan speed to "Optimal". This varies the fan speed based on temperature. The fan connected to FAN A is used by the system to cool the cards inserted. If you have no cards, the fans will run at about 2500RPM. Loud, but you don't have to raise your voice to have a conversation. With a card in, it's 3000-3500RPM. Far too loud to not be annoying if you're in the room with it.

2) If you're running Windows, get SpeedFan or similar and control the fans manually. You should be able to drop them down to about 2100RPM, which is "acceptable" noise levels. At this speed, they're still pulling enough air to cool most components. If you're running 150W CPUs or 15K drives, though...

3) You're going to have to pay attention to static pressure if you want to replace your fans with quieter ones. There's really no way to get around it. You need some high static pressure to keep those drives cool. For consumer drives, it's realistically probably half of what the stock fans can do. That's still going to be a "loud" fan. I'm partial to FrozenCPU for buying fans. I like the way their site's laid out - You can find just the 80x80x38mm fans. Take it from someone who had to learn the hard way - Even with a lot of room between the drives, they WILL overheat if you count on something like a 900rpm fan.

I used to have a Supermicro SC942 chassis. Back then, they used 120mm fans. I have no idea why they stopped, but I really wish they'd bring 'em back.
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
I've got a (new) 846 myself, so I'm fairly interested in this thread. The 920W PSU is no louder than your average enthusiast PSU. It's actually very nice. The fans, though, can be annoyingly loud. My advice:

1) If you've got a Supermicro motherboard, set the fan speed to "Optimal". This varies the fan speed based on temperature. The fan connected to FAN A is used by the system to cool the cards inserted. If you have no cards, the fans will run at about 2500RPM. Loud, but you don't have to raise your voice to have a conversation. With a card in, it's 3000-3500RPM. Far too loud to not be annoying if you're in the room with it.

2) If you're running Windows, get SpeedFan or similar and control the fans manually. You should be able to drop them down to about 2100RPM, which is "acceptable" noise levels. At this speed, they're still pulling enough air to cool most components. If you're running 150W CPUs or 15K drives, though...

3) You're going to have to pay attention to static pressure if you want to replace your fans with quieter ones. There's really no way to get around it. You need some high static pressure to keep those drives cool. For consumer drives, it's realistically probably half of what the stock fans can do. That's still going to be a "loud" fan. I'm partial to FrozenCPU for buying fans. I like the way their site's laid out - You can find just the 80x80x38mm fans. Take it from someone who had to learn the hard way - Even with a lot of room between the drives, they WILL overheat if you count on something like a 900rpm fan.

I used to have a Supermicro SC942 chassis. Back then, they used 120mm fans. I have no idea why they stopped, but I really wish they'd bring 'em back.

I do have an SM motherboard (in my Sig). I will be running ESXi for the foreseeable future. I do not plan to fill the chassis right now. I will have 4 SAS drives and possibly 7 SATA drives. We'll see. I know SATA drives don't like being on an expander, but this is only a single expander and not dual so I might be ok.

Thanks for the recommendation on the fans. I'll check that site out. Also, I'm glad to hear that the PSU fans aren't add loud as the other poster said they were. Either way, I'll find out soon!

It's interesting you mention the SC942. That's the current chassis I have the SM board in. I have a couple 5in3 drive cages. I'll be keeping that chassis and using it as a JBOD once I have more room/basement.
 

patrickdk

Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
744
Single vs Dual expander has nothing to do with sata.

The sata disk will only ever connect to the first expander. The issue is the expander and hba. The hba presents the disk to you as sata, and converts the sata to stun, the expander then converts stun over to sata to the disk.

We believed the earlier expanders didn't do this conversion correctly, causing the issues.
 

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
10,996
I do have an SM motherboard (in my Sig). I will be running ESXi for the foreseeable future. I do not plan to fill the chassis right now. I will have 4 SAS drives and possibly 7 SATA drives. We'll see. I know SATA drives don't like being on an expander, but this is only a single expander and not dual so I might be ok.

Thanks for the recommendation on the fans. I'll check that site out. Also, I'm glad to hear that the PSU fans aren't add loud as the other poster said they were. Either way, I'll find out soon!

It's interesting you mention the SC942. That's the current chassis I have the SM board in. I have a couple 5in3 drive cages. I'll be keeping that chassis and using it as a JBOD once I have more room/basement.
I've got 7x3TB SATA drives connected to an 846E16 chassis right now. I've got them spaced out so that there's an empty bay above and below each drive, so that they shouldn't heat up much. In this configuration, I could probably use much quieter fans without any issues... But I don't have any. With a reverse breakout cable, all my fans ran at a nice, calm, ~2500RPM. With the controller, FAN A runs loud. All of my drives are detected fine in Solaris, and work very well. The power supply I mentioned was the 920W PSU that I have - It's a newer one, and one of thier 80+ platinum PSUs. Their older ones (as I'm sure you're aware from the SC942) are real screamers. If nothing else, it's good to know that quieter replacement PSUs are available!

I'd actually love to read a quick review when you get your chassis in. Let me know how loud your PSUs are, how loud your fans are, if you have the same FANA problem I have, etc.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
1,622
The 920w high efficiency PSU is well worth it if as the loudest thing is the PSU. The rest of the fans really aren't bad at all if you run them at 5v with molex adapters which should be adequate enough cooling for the majority of situations..

Actually, the PSU fan noise depends entirely on which PSU happened to be in the chassis.

The most common ones on eBay have the redundant 800w PSU (PSU-801-1R). These are fairly noisy.

The PSU modules are generally interchangeable (but both PSUs have to be the same model). There are a couple of models that are nearly silent (PWS-920P-SQ & PWS1K28P-SQ). The "SQ" designation stands for Super Quiet. These are also both 80+ Platinum. Unfortunately, these modules will run you $170-250 each.

There are also a couple of modules that are Platinum rated and reasonably quiet. PWS-721P-1R & PWS-920P-1R). These are usually much less expensive. The 720W version can often be found on eBay around $50-80/each. They are both quite suitable for home use. There is also a 500w platinum module (PWS-501P-1R) but I've never seen these used on eBay. Brand new they run ~$150.

I realized the 920w would be quiet by looking at their effeciency test report as under max load the fan wattage was only 5w (compared to a lot of others which were 20w at all load) and <2w under medium load. Anyway it looks like to make it obvious to others they later renamed the model -SQ but they appear to be the same. They are both even the same exact PDF so I wonder if the -SQ is getting you anything on the 920w version:

Code:
root@sigoto: 01:24 PM :~# wget -q -O - http://www.supermicro.com/products/powersupply/80PLUS/80PLUS_PWS-920P-SQ.pdf | md5sum
9dc60adcee2c0e5fc3101ad3a8650a98  -
root@sigoto: 01:25 PM :~# wget -q -O - http://www.supermicro.com/products/powersupply/80PLUS/80PLUS_PWS-920P-1R.pdf | md5sum
9dc60adcee2c0e5fc3101ad3a8650a98  -
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
So, the SM 846 arrived yesterday. I put up some pictures and a short video on Google+. Here ya go. The PSU fans weren't that loud at all. I know the case fans will be so I'll be looking for quiet chassis fans now. Thanks for everyone's input!
 

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
10,996
I updated the G+ Album to show the PSUs.
Aah, the older 900W versions. I can't recall if those are interchangeable with the current-generation "-SQ" PSUs or not. That being said, if you're okay with the noise level, who cares!? :)

Also, you've probably figured it out by now, but if you unplug one of the hot-swappable PSUs from the backplane, it won't beep at you. The backplane is just seeing two power supplies, and thinks that the power cable slipped out on one of 'em, so it's telling ya about it. If it only detects one, it'll assume you know about the other one being missing.
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
Aah, the older 900W versions. I can't recall if those are interchangeable with the current-generation "-SQ" PSUs or not. That being said, if you're okay with the noise level, who cares!? :)

Also, you've probably figured it out by now, but if you unplug one of the hot-swappable PSUs from the backplane, it won't beep at you. The backplane is just seeing two power supplies, and thinks that the power cable slipped out on one of 'em, so it's telling ya about it. If it only detects one, it'll assume you know about the other one being missing.

............

I feel like an idiot for not even trying that. LOL! Thanks for the tip!
 

invade

n00b
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
8
This also piqued my interest as I recently picked up a server from ebay as well. Same PSU as you OP D:
 
Top