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I have been casually checking prices on servers for some time as I have always wanted to replace my tower/desktop "server" with a real server. I came across a great deal on a used SuperMicro 1u server, a CSE-815TQ-560B w/ dual Quad Core 2.5gHz Xeons and 32gb ECC ram. But when I boot it up it is insanely loud. Understand, I have been a web developer for almost 20 years, and I have been in my share of data centers, so I know that servers are typically a few decables higher than your typical desktop, but this thing sounds like a concord taking off!

The case has 4 fans, all seem to be turning at about 13500-15000rpms, according to the bios. Is it possible to quiet this thing down at all? I have it in my closet, sitting on the floor right now, and I had planned to build a small mobile rack to hold it (and possible future server purchases) but if I can't get this thing to be at least a tad quieter I am not sure if I will be able to keep it in my home office.

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    Noise-cancelling headphones? Get used to it, rackmount servers are loud. There's no way around it if you want to get enough airflow in with such small fans. – Michael Hampton Mar 18 '15 at 23:07
  • Again, I have been around servers. I know they are typically loud, but this thing seems excessively loud. I was hoping maybe I could swap out the fans for quieter units or something. Or maybe some setting in the BIOS that would control fan speed as-needed. – CodeChimp Mar 18 '15 at 23:09
  • This is a no-no in production, but you may be able to install something like a watercooling system which will draw the CPU heat from the case, hopefully allowing you to replace the existing fans with slower ones while still keeping the system cool enough. – user186340 Mar 18 '15 at 23:14
  • The problem with 1U servers is that they need to move the same amount of heat as a 2U server, but the fans are 1/4 the size, so you need a) more of them to be at b) a higher RPM. A am surprised by your 1U server only having 4 fans - normally they'res about 6 or 8 of them. Both of these increase the volume of noise dramatically. You'll find a 2U server is much quieter, and almost bearable. – Mark Henderson Mar 18 '15 at 23:21
  • I have plenty of silent 1U servers... But definitely not Supermicro gear. – ewwhite Mar 18 '15 at 23:28
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Depending on the board inside, most SPMC motherboards have fan speed setting ... you probably have it on full power. Some even have 'silent' setting. Which means you will at least hear another person yelling at you :)

oh, and it usually is in BIOS settings.

and on some boards you can control it remotely through IPMI.

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    So, buried in the BIOS was a setting to set the fans to "Optimized for Server". Changing to that setting caused the 4 fans to all slow to around 9-10k, and about half the decibels. Since I am running Ubuntu, I also tried installing lm-sensors and fancontrol, but pwmconfig reported that it can't control the speed of any of the fans. At least I can hear myself talk with the closet door shut now. I have had it running in there over night, and kept checking the temps of the intake and outtake fans, and they seem to be holding at about 90º. – CodeChimp Mar 20 '15 at 13:15

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