Xeon Dual Core build

A Xeon Dual Core Build. This is a cheap build, under 75.00 bucks total including a used case…
This is a dual core Intel XEON in a desktop board.

The 1st Generation XEON processors were based on the LGA775 socket, then switched to their own LGA771 socket. I have read a few stories about the why of it, it seems Intel didn’t want those processors in desktop machines. Where would the incentive to buy a Core Due or Core Duo Quad be if you could just get a XEON server processor and toss it in any old board. None is the answer. Given a choice I would want the XEON.
Xeons are faster, can be overclocked much faster and remain stable, and are designed to run non stop.
These LGA775 and LGA771 processors are prety cheap now and most people probably ignore them because they are a few years out of date, however you can build a fast machine still.

The last few I have built have been mixed bags. Two DELL T5400 boards in a row (One above, one below).

Those boards can handle 12 cores in two LGA771 sockets and up to 48 gig of memory. They have native 3gb SATA, no IDE, but plenty of expansion slots to add a raid card if you need it.

After the two DELL T5400 builds I built two Intel desktop boards, one with a 3.48 ghz core duo and Solid State drives. With 8 gig of memory, running Windows 10 the board is very fast.

Then this build.
This build is an Intel Board that can run both XEON, and the desktop array of processors as well. So Pentiums, yes, that old, Core Duo, Core Duo Quads and XEON LGA775 series processors. The board was under twenty bucks. 4 Gig of ram about another twenty and two XEON 3.16 ghz processors I picked up for about 15 bucks. I used another DELL case. The P490 and T5400 T3500 case and a few others are all cases that will handle big boards, however I had the case on hand (eBay for nine bucks) and wondered how well it would handle a MATX board.
You can see in the image that the board looks a little lonely in that big case, but using that small board left me plenty of room for cards and drives.

All in I had about 75 bucks in the build and a little time to put it together. This is a XEON dual core. I have two 2.5 drives installed (SATA 2) and a CD and DVD on an IDE channel. I used mostly recycled parts in this build as I didn’t want to spend anything, just build something from common parts.

I tried a couple flavors of Windows and Linux and settled on Ubuntu 18:04. This does run Windows 7 pro very fast, but I have a windows machine that I built with 8 cores that is much better suited to what I do in windows; and I’ll be honest, I love Windows 7 pro, but I wanted to build a low cost Linux machine that I would actually use…

It works well, fast, and has all the same programs I use in Windows 7 and 10 – GIMP, Audacity, LMMS, Libre Office (A fork of Open Office) I can do everything here that I can do in Windows, except build video games, but there is software available to do that, I would just have to download/install it and learn it. All in all I’m happy with the build and the OS.

I made the desktop orientation drive cover out of a piece of plastic sandwich material for signboards. Easy to measure, cuts easily too, and works fine. I painted it with black primer and shot two coats of matte clear on it to protect against flaking and flex chips. I also added the SD card reader which runs off any open USB port because I use a Cannon camera to shoot images that uses an SD card. I can simply pop the card out and browse files. I can also take that same SD card to my tablet. The stock DELL Card reader is old tech that is still useful and available on eBay for about $11.00 with the cable.

The T3500 case was 9.00 bucks on eBay. Surprising to me, which is why I am an eBay hound, constantly checking to see what has been added…

An ultrawide monitor that I hated so much that I abandoned it, seems to work well here with a DELL 15 inch digital as the second monitor. Go figure why that should be…

I had used a Radeon video card, but switched to a 512 meg Nvidia dual outlet card/DVI/VGA to run the separate monitors…

I have enough to watch, I think 

I hope you enjoyed the build. It’s a good machine for under $75.00. I did add a third Sata drive that I had pre-loaded with books I am working on and music files because, even though they are on a windows formatted drive, Ubuntu allows me to access and use those files in the Ubuntu OS… Hey! Be safe this July 4th holiday!!! Geo…

Update on the 8 core machine build

Update on the 8 core machine:

The 8 core machine came out perfectly with only a few very minor changes from what I originally envisioned.

The case is a DELL P490, the face plate was repainted. The Dell T5400 board did drop right into the case with the exception of the back panel and the front panel connector.

The front panel was an easy fix, I simply ordered a front panel connector for a T5400. It fit in the front face mount and the board. No issues.

The back panel was also an easy fix: I simply cut the area out where the plug-ins were different. I did this while the case was apart and I very carefully vacuumed it after to make sure there were no pieces of metal left. Next I took a black acoustic guitar pick guard. These are stick-on thin plastic. I made a template from the existing back and then cut it out of the pick guard and pressed it into place. Overcut; it enclosed the area and looks like it came that way.

There are 5 fan plug ins on the T5400, only 4 on the P490. I ordered a Delta 5 pin 4 wire fan and mounted it in the back panel.

Other than that everything worked from the first boot with a few preparations.

First; be aware that the way Windows records Serial numbers now that you may have to purchase a new copy of your flavor of windows or spend some phone time reactivating your copy. A DELL board for a DELL board presented no problems for me.

The Bios: I upgraded the T5400 board to dual quad XEON’s at 3.16 ghz. Not the top of the line the board will handle, but plenty fast and a good dollar bargain. The machine did boot, but with a warning that the processors were not supported. However windows ran them anyway. I went online, downloaded the version 11 upgrade for this bios and I used the Executable file, ran it and it installed fine.

There were no other issues with the machine. It runs my video game building software, Direct X Modeler, And UV skinner with no problems. It also handles the LMMS DAW, Audacity with a ton of extra plug ins. Photoscape, FotoSketcher, OpenOffice, Microsoft NET framework. Open GL, Direct X, My Akai Midi board, Chord Pulse and A73 Piano station. GIMP, Hydrogen, Microsoft C++ Visual, Microsoft office and a ton of other software both 64 bit and 32 bit.

Chrome is very fast on this machine. Windows Video Maker is also very fast.

End results: This technology was not meant for building a desktop machine, it was meant for a server. It is very fast, 8 cores and 24 gig of system memory is hard to kill. The two Radeon cards work perfectly in non SLI format and run the four 19 inch flat panels with no problems at all. In the BIOS I simply chose the second option for the PCIE 16 video slots and the bios automatically loads the cards to work together on an extended desktop.

The case, T5400 board, processors and memory, drives, video cards, extra fan and a second extra fan I installed that pulls air directly off the cooling stacks for the XEON’s, cost me less than $200.00 total. The rest was working on it.

Most of the information I used for the two boards came off DELL PDF SPEC sheets you can find online. That way I was relying on what DELL said would work: With the exception of installing the T5400 board in the P490 case. That was mentioned in an article I came across and intrigued me: However no one in the article seemed to know how to do it or if it would work and so I did it myself to find out.

The monitors are used class A condition, a little less than $40 each. All the parts for this build were used; purchased from New Egg, Amazon and eBay. I built a longer desktop from 3/4 inch BCX plywood and an old steel table base while I was at it. Makes for a solid desk top with plenty of space.

Hope this helped or at least showed you that  you don’t have to spend a thousand bucks or even half that to get a fast machine that will handle pretty much anything you throw at it and will last you some time, Dell.

Building an 8 core machine for 3D Modeling

Building an 8 core machine for 3D Modeling

Computer fun… My new machine, almost done… My current machine that looks very similar, and parts, parts and parts..

This is a re-worked DELL P-490 case with a DELL T-5400 board in it with dual 3.17 ghz quad core processors (Matched pair of XEON 5460) and 24 gig of ECC RAM.

The board is a direct swap with a few exceptions. You will have to cut the rear of the 490 case because the keyboard and USB ports are arranged differently. No big deal, a small area was removed and the board dropped right in.

The second mod is that the front panel plug-in to the old P-490 board will not fit the T-5400 board as the pin out is different. I went on eBay and ordered a front panel plug with the cable for a T-5400 board. It mounted perfectly to the P-490 case and plugged right into the T-5400 board. Problem solved.

The T-5400 board cost about $25.00 the front panel mount with the cable cost $8.00. The case cost under $20.00

Dual SLI ATI RADION Graphics cards both with dual DVI and S-Composite out. The SLI cables are left off and so on this board it allows you to use 4 monitors. Each of those slots are 75 watt PCI E 16 slots. This and the ability to run 5400 series XEON processors were the main reasons for the upgrade to the T-5400 board.

The processor towers. To the right is a huge fan. That is an 8 inch high RPM fan that blows directly into the two towers to cool them. Next to it is an 80 millimeter fan that helps cool the graphic cards. When the case lid is on there is another 8 inch fan that pulls air off the memory. All of the memory modules have cooling fins mounted on them to dissipate heat quickly.

This is a Red Metallic Chevy color, with cleared matte black on the faces..

This is a very heavy case. I got it for 15 bucks plus shipping, with 40 bucks worth of fans already in it. I disassembled it and shot the red and the black. I re-badged it from StickerShock on eBay for a couple bucks…

All in I will have slightly more than $150.00 in this build and my time. It runs Direct Draw 9, 10, and 11 and more. It handles OPEN GL. It handles the NET framework. It handles visual C++ files. It runs Ultimate Unwrap, it runs the Open FX modeler, it runs GIMP and Photoscape. It runs 3D RAD and allows me to build and play 3D RAD games. A note, the case could have been configured as either a tower or a desktop, I chose the desktop configuration. I also use it to write my series of novels, Earth’s Survivors…


Ultimate Unwrap      Open FX     3D RAD 

GIMP   Photoscape    

Earth’s Survivors     StickerShock