Cooling Is Finally Set For The Dozens Of Linux Benchmarking Systems
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 14 November 2015 at 09:00 AM EST. 7 Comments
HARDWARE --
After months of continually trying out different methods of cheap yet effective cooling for the 60+ systems running daily Linux benchmarks, I'm finally happy with now having been one week of the room maintaining an ambient temperature of 68~72F (20~22C).

Last week I wrote about Tjernlund M-6: Finding A Better Way To Cool The Benchmarking Server Room. That Tjernlund M-6 is mighty powerful with pushing around 530 CFM of air, but its noise got to me so I ended up making some modifications to the entire design for better cooling the custom-built basement computer room.

First, rather than mounting the ventilation fan against the wall, I ended up mounting it from the ceiling in order to try to main a straight duct run rather than the two turns...

Additionally, the Tjernlund M-6 was hung via a few bungie cords rather than bolting it to the ceiling in an attempt to minimize vibrations.

I was also trying to go with rigid metal ducts once moving to a straight run, but got frustrated with trying to line everything up, etc, while being cramped working in this sump pump closet. So I ended up settling for running a semi-rigid duct on the exhaust from the fan while running short on supplies and aligning everything right so the intake side is still using a flex duct. I also went a bit overboard on spraying Great Stuff (spray foam insulation) around the vents, etc, to try to reduce any noise/vibrations.

Unfortunately, even with those modifications the Tjernlund 530 CFM fan was still too noisy in my office where the exhaust vent is located. So I ended up buying this VenTech VTSPEED Dial Router Fan Speed Controller.

I was able to drop the fan speed just enough where it was still pushing a lot of air but where the noise level was much more manageable.

So now for the past week, the room has maintained 68~72F for an average room temperature without needing to run any extra cooling, etc. The warm air being exhausted is also keeping the rest of the house warm enough that I have yet to turn on the furnace for the winter months. I also no longer need to keep any windows open for fresh cool air from the outside.

Things should be good now in terms of the cooling and come next summer will see if any further adjustments need to be made and I'm quite happy now with my experience with Tjernlund cooling products.

The Linux benchmarking is happily running along without cooling issues, powered by the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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