How to Build a Server Computer – Page 5



Researching server grade CPUs, we wanted central processing units that offered true multiprocessing, as many cores as possible, and to stay within a budget. We decided on Intel Xeon processors. Xeon processors are server grade CPUs with true multiprocessing and large amounts of onboard cache memory. We installed two Intel 5600 series Westmere-EP CPUs for the larger server which provided a total of eight cores, four in each CPU. In the smaller server, we purchased a single Intel 5500 series Gainestown CPU which is also a quad core CPU. When installing the CPUs it is important to know your environment and ground yourself prior to touching the CPU. Even a small amount of static electricity can destroy the CPU.



Top and bottom pictures of an Intel 5600 Westmere-EP CPU

CPU Cooling Unit

The CPU cooling unit is a very important component. The relatively low cost of the cooling unit isn’t indicative of its importance to the system. Its main function is to keep the CPU from over heating and frying itself. For the server, we decided to get fan-less cooling units. The advantage of fan-less cooling units is that there are less mechanical parts to fail. Cooling units that rely on fans can fry the CPU in the event of a fan failure.


Video Demonstration

In this video, we install two Intel quad core Xeon processors into the motherboard LGA 1366 sockets. Care needs to be made to ground yourself when touching the CPUs so as to not transfer static electriciy to the chips which would destroy them.

In this video, after cleaning debris from the bottom of the CPU cooling units, we secure the CPU cooling units, so they are making contact with the CPUs. To improve the transfer of heat from the CPU to the cooling unit we apply Arctic Silver thermal compound.

Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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