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  1. #1
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    Motherboard & 1U Chassis Compatibility

    Hi all,

    What are the compatibility issues to be aware of when purchasing 1U chassis? I had thought that "ATX" was a standard guaranteeing compatibility between compliant chassis and motherboards. However, I'm finding that a number of 1U chassis vendors are advertising compatibility with a particular motherboard. What gives?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Dave

  2. #2
    It's usually an issue of the layout of the rear I/O. If you get the wrong combo, you'll have to run without a rear plate. Additionally you have to be concerned about the placement of the first PCI slot (for the PCI riser) and it's relation to the AGP slot, if there is one. If you're running a board with integrated video, that doesn't pose as much of a problem.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  3. #3
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    Also likely they're talking about the size of the board. Some 1U cases won't accept the larger 12x13" motherboards.
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  4. #4
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    Some 1U cases won't accept the larger 12x13" motherboards.
    Are those motherboards referred to as "X-ATX" or some such thing?

    I presume that if I purchase an "ATX" chassis, it will support a micro-ATX motherboard. Likewise, if the chassis supports "X-ATX" (or whatever it is called), it should also support the smaller standard ATX and micro-ATX, right?

    Dave

  5. #5
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    you have to be concerned about the placement of the first PCI slot (for the PCI riser) and it's relation to
    We only use motherboards with integrated video. However, are there any known compatibility issues involving the motherboard's PCI riser lining up properly with the chassis' expansion slot?

    Dave

  6. #6
    Micro ATX is generally what you want for a 1u rackmount case. Yes when I bought by first motherboard & rackmount, etc I ran into the I/O Plate issue, but not only that The motherboard had steel statue square thingy's that stood up and you couldn't close the cover of the 1u . So just watch out for things such as this.

  7. #7
    Originally posted by Circa3000
    We only use motherboards with integrated video. However, are there any known compatibility issues involving the motherboard's PCI riser lining up properly with the chassis' expansion slot?
    Yes. If the PCI slot doesn't line up correctly, you CANNOT use a standard riser. You'll need to purchase a special, more costly riser.

    I'll tell you what, I've learned a lot watching my custom builder put rackmount servers together. He also says that the one motherboard manufacturer he can consistently count on to properly layout the I/O and PCI slots on motherboards for 1U servers is Biostar.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  8. #8
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    A little off topic here, but...

    Unless you're going to build a lot of boxes, I'd just buy the server. IMHO it's a real pain to find a chassis that lines up correctly with the mobo and then getting the proper CPU fan that will clear the cover etc., etc., etc.

    So far I've bought 2 server. The first a high end from www.qsol.com and the second a lower end from www.interpromicro.com.

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  9. #9
    Originally posted by ffeingol
    Unless you're going to build a lot of boxes, I'd just buy the server. IMHO it's a real pain to find a chassis that lines up correctly with the mobo and then getting the proper CPU fan that will clear the cover etc., etc., etc.
    I strongly disagree, but certainly everyone's opinion is valid.

    Having learned how to build such boxes I think finding the right combination of equipment is quite simple. In fact, if anyone wanted to build such a box, I could quite easily provide an exact list of products, by number.
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  10. #10
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    Mostly the layout of the case and the construction of the board affect what you can put in a 1U box
    springer

  11. #11
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    Hi guys,... only just tagged on to this thread but here i go anyway...

    I've never had a problem with the size of motherboard and I/O layout... maybe i've just been lucky.

    Admitedly, i did have a problem with the riser for one of our chasis, but after a quick call to the supplier, recommendations were made to have the chasis redesigned... i now like that supplier!

    Little OT, but what motherboards do you guys use for your solutions?

  12. #12
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    Unless you're going to build a lot of boxes, I'd just buy the server.
    While purchasing a pre-configured server may be comfortable now, it radically complicates service issues. I can't afford to toss the whole box when its power supply dies.

    In my mind, an inventory of components is a necessary evil, both to build new machines and to replace old, dead parts. Compatibility keeps inventory small and turnover of parts rapid -- a good investment. Each new incompatibility decreases the value and effectiveness of that investment (while requiring more and more space to store all of these disparate parts).

    But, we can't expect the world to halt progress. Incompatibilities and sea changes in component designs are inevitable every couple of years. C'est la vie.

  13. #13
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    Well, there's really only two types of boards I've run into that don't fit the standard I/O plate for most 1u cases.

    1) Tyan mother boards.. their nic cards are where most low end mboards sound board is... but thats an easy fix since most suppliers carry tyan I/O plates..

    2) The newer p4 boards... some of those have a very new config... I've not had to build one in a 1u yet so I don't have any recommendations there

    Also you'll need to make sure you don't go off and get extremly tall ram, you can look for either "low profile" or I find that most crucial ram fits.. corsair makes a low profile just don't overpay for it.

    Other than that... expect a tight fit with a full sized tyan board and hrm thats about it.. the rest is fairly easy.
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  14. #14
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    Tyan's most times will come with thier own plate in the box.
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  15. #15
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    Yes, but not all 1u servers accept universal plates

    2u and up normally do but most of the 1u's have custom I/O plates.
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  16. #16
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    Little OT, but what motherboards do you guys use for your solutions?
    We've deployed a number of Intel CA810EAL motherboards over the years. They have long since been superceded by the 815 boards.

    As of 11/01/02, the 815 boards are also discontinued by Intel. Intel recommends an upgrade path to the 845, but those diverge to newer FSB and, consequently, different memory. So, we must now decide whether or not to purchase a big inventory of the last remaining 815 boards in order to maintain a consistent inventory or instead leapfrog to a new platform (P4?) that will stay in vogue for the next couple years.

    Frankly, few websites will benefit from a P4, so I can't see spending the extra cash on P4 motherboards unless P3s fall off the earth tomorrow.

    Dave

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