On the Dell CS24-SC Server….


I sure anyone looking for a cheap rackmount server on eBay or many other sites has come across this server. It’s everywhere but information is hard to come by about it. Even Dell Support doesn’t know about this server. I recently purchased one with the intent on using it to upgrade my existing ESXi server (basically a Dell Studio 540 PC). I’ll be returning it but I wanted to do a quick review and list of features and resources I found in researching this.

The Dell CS24-SC are custom, 1U 2-way servers manufactured by a unknown company for clustered and cloud computing. They are full depth, about 28″ and weigh roughly 36lbs/16.3kg with 4×3.5″ drives. It has 2xGBic (1000Mbit) network ports running on the Intel® 82567 Gigabit Ethernet Controller and an additional 100Mbit management port. There are 2 USB 2.0 ports on the front and 2 USB 2.0 ports on the back along with a VGA port, Serial, and PS2 Keyboard/Mouse ports. It has a single PCI-E x8 expansion port on a riser. One major reseller is Stallard Technologies, Inc though most of the server on the market are resold through eBay. The closest PowerEdge server seems to be the Dell PowerEdge 1950 Gen III or one of the earlier PowerEdge C1100 Cloud servers.

Now lets talk about some Pros/Cons. This is a solidly built 1U server. It will hold up to some abuse. With 4×3.5″ drives you can install up to 16TB of raw storage space. You can get this server pretty cheaply as well, usually cheaper than comparable Dell PowerEdge servers.

There are some negatives however with the CS24-SC. One of the most glaring is the noise. It’s not uncommon for 1U servers to be loud but the CS24-SC takes it to another level. Dell’s thermal management system seems to have only 2 settings: off or maximum. The issue is that as long as the server is on it’s pretty much at the later. The fans never spin down no matter what the internal temperature is. There are some options such as replacing the fans, modifying the voltage manually (the bios will not allow you to do so) or hacking the bios to enable lower fan speeds. There’s not out-of-the-box, easy solution though. At idle it is as loud as a vacuum cleaner. If you’re planning on using this in a home lab or anywhere where people will be working, sleeping or otherwise occupying you may want to look at alternatives. I would suggest you keep this in another room or basement unless you have a soundproof rack or server room.

The Dell CS24-SC also server only supports RAID 0 or 1, contrary to some sources that include RAID 10 in the specification. Some listings will say otherwise but there are no options for RAID 10. Another issue is boot times. Even after multiple tweaks I could never get this server to boot though BIOS in less than 2 minutes. This is not booting to the OS either. This is just to get through the BIOS! That means you can add 2 mins or more to your boot times no matter what. While this may not be a issue once the server is up, it becomes a serious flaw when updating, tweaking or rebooting from a crash or environmental failure like a power outage. A final issue is with the depth. This is a full depth server, about 28″. This means that if you want to mount it in a rack, you will need a 4 post, 30″ or deeper rack.

Overall it’s not that bad of a server but does have some serious flaws. I’ll be returning mine and looking for another solution.

Dell Custom Server Technical Specifications:

Form Factor:
1U Rackmount Server
Processors:
Up to two Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 sequence processors
Up to two Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 sequence processors
Up to two Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5200 sequence processors
Up to two Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 sequence processors
Up to two Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5000 sequence processors
Chipset: Intel 5100
Memory:
256MB/512MB/1GB/2GB/4GB/8GB DDR2 DIMMs in matched pairs;
667MHz or 800MHz; 6 sockets for support up to 48GB
I/O Channels:
1 PCI-e 8x expansion slots
Drive controller:
Intel SATA controller ATA or AHCI
RAID Controller:
Intel ICH9R RAID (Software Raid capable of 0 or 1)
Drive Bays:
Four hard drive chassis with 4x 3.5″ SATA
Maximum Internal Storage:
Up to 8 TB: Four 2 TB hot-plug 3.5″ SATA*
Communications:
2x Onboard Intel 82567 Gigabit NICs, 1x Intel PRO 1000M Gigabit NIC (for BMC)

*note: May be higher as this device was introduced before 3-4TB drives existed but I can't confirm it.

Pros:
+ 1U
+ 4x 3.5″ drives
+ Name-Brand Dell Server
+ Usually pretty cheap

Cons:
Very loud with no easy option to manage the noise
Only RAID 0 or 1; no RAID 10
Very slow loading through BIOS
Full Depth Server
Manufactured by a 3rd party; little to no support from Dell

Additional Resources:
PSU Model: FS6011

Feel free to ask questions or request additional information.

  • Jeff

    Hi, I just purchased this unit and I wanted to upgrade the memory. Unfortunately, I find it difficult to open the chasis. There is a metal button that should be press in the body, but still could not lift the chasi door up. I don’t want to break it as I I am looking for a manual that can properly guide me. Any thoughts?

    • While you’re pressing the release, slide the panel towards the back of the case, then you should be able to release it. It takes a little force to get it to unlock.

      • I just got one of these for a client, and I’m supposed to add drives and memory to it. Damn thing does not want to open. Is there a trick to it?

        • You have to use a good deal of force on the release while pushing the whole cover towards the back of the unit.

          • Okay, I got it opened. Mine had a row of screws holding the lid shut. When I removed them, it came right open. Who builds servers like this? Thanks for your help on this.

  • Jeff

    I tried that but did not put much force as I did not want to break it. But if this is the right way, I will try again with more force. I just thought that there is a lock somewhere that I missed. Anyway, thanks for your post. Much appreciated.

    • Hey Jeff, did you ever gets yours open? I’m having the same problem with it.

  • django63@hotmail.com

    Hi does anyone know how to reset the password for BMC on this server?
    I tried the default password “admin”, “admin” and can’t get through.
    I am trying to log in to “Embedded Server management” from the BMC.

    Thanks!

  • Warren.

    did you manage to get ESXi up and running? I understand there are issues with the RAID, but did both the NIC’s come up etc.
    for the price I can live with a little noise (will not be in the room anyhow), but as long as its stable with vmware tats all that worries me.

    • ESXi 5.1 seems to run fine in the short time I tested it. The only issues I saw were that it didn’t see the RAID controller and that it wasn’t reading all the sensors correctly. The sensor issue could likely be solved by getting hold of a official dell ESXi image or integrating the drivers yourself.

      If you aren’t concerned with 100% compatibility then there should be no problem if the other issues don’t bother you.

      • ishmayeck

        When you say it doesn’t see the RAID controller, do you mean it can’t access the drives at all or just no RAID functionality? I’m debating getting one of these to run ESXi on. There are comparable HP ProLiant boxes out there, but for this price only with 8gb RAM. Might be better off with one of those though.
        Thanks.

        • muehterc

          be careful because Dell doesn’t off any support for these. They also, from the one i am working on, doesn’t support an internal PERC to raid the drives.

    • Thanks so much for the review and information. I just bought one of these and loaded up ESXi 5 and it works great. This unit is actually quieter than the Intel Modular Server I have it sitting on top of, so it’s not so bad in terms of noise produced for a rack-mount system that is going to sit in a server cabinet in my home mini-data center (I have 3 APC netshelters in a separate room in my basement). Rather than mess with RAID, I will probably go for complete redundancy and just pick up another server and have copies of any VMs on the other server’s datastore.

  • Hello,
    The IPMI of this server allow remote control via KVM?

    • I should. It uses the same BMC software you’d find in a PowerEdge 1900 series.

  • SlowYo

    Any idea if the PCI-E x8 slot is v2.0 or not?

  • Kevin

    Do you know if SAS 6.0 is supported, or only 3.0 gb/s?

    • SATA II (3Gbps) if I remember correctly.

      • That’s correct.
        Also, be advised: installing windows on one of these things is actually pretty challenging.

        • JimJim

          What do you run into that is the issue with Windows?

          • myitzhaksamuel

            Tried everything from setting up a TFTP server, to messing around with the sata channels. Nothing worked. Could not boot from an optical drive, or from the network. Also, mine wouldn’t take usb for booting either. I ended up detaching the hard drive from my desktop, which is also a 64 bit Xeon (around the same generation), and installing Windows on one of the server drives there; being careful not to allow the last step of server 2012 installation where it detects your hardware. (That’s hit me before. It’ll take an hour to auto-reconfigure if you miss that) Re-attached my regular hard drive, added the new Windows drive to the server, and Windows works like a charm. Trickiest install I’ve ever had to do on a Dell.

          • JimJim

            That’s a little odd, well a lot odd. I have run into issues like that before so it concerns me to hear that. Hate wasting time doing something that shoud be easy peazy. Thanks for sharing your experience regardless.

            Did you also feel it had noisy fans or average? I’m running DELL PE860’s and wonder how it is compared to those.

          • myitzhaksamuel

            Hey Jim. Yeah, it’s no problem. I’m really glad he posted this page. It was a real help. I didn’t think it was all that loud for a rack server. Rack servers, in my experience almost always sound something like this. It’s a little louder than usual on the startup. Certainly louder than a desktop. Makes this odd sort of “screaming” sound when you turn it on. It does sound weird. Takes about two minutes to get to the startup screen, and that is among the longest warmup times I’ve ever seen on one of these.

            It’s got a higher pitched hum once it’s up and running, but I wouldn’t say it’s any louder than any other rack box I’ve ever put up. It should be about the same or quieter than the 860’s. Just sounds different.

            So many oddities with this particular machine:

            The VGA port is two milometers smaller than average (but it still works). Just jiggles a little with standard plugs. Three network ports in the back, instead of two or four. All integrated. The fact that it’s screwed shut when you get it. It’s a little long for a rack mount, but it fits in my cabinet just fine.

            Runs surprisingly cool for a machine with these specs. I actually like that a lot. Maybe it has something to do with the fans, the high pitched moan it makes, or the interesting way the board is constructed.

            I’m actually reasonably content with it.

  • JimJim

    The VGA port may just be cheap junk connectors, also have seen that on a few systems but not on a server. The 3 rear network ports are the two main NIC’s and one baseboard management controller (BMC) for remote management. The IBM server I have also has the BMC port, just never used it. The IBM also outright “screams” on boot while the fans crank full throttle, so I am pretty sure I know what you mean.

    I’m really looking for a small rendering farm setup for my animations. I mostly just need cheap horespower, CPU’s mainly as it can take as many as you want to throw at it. Also looking into blade servers, used ones are getting pretty cheap. In truth any configuration of dual quads will do but I don’t want the lights to dim or wiring to fry either. I may be adding some new fuses to the box before all is said and done. Pretty sure that buying 4 of the CS24-SC’s would do the trick and provide me with a 32 core render farm. Added to my current server setup this would net me roughly 50 cores. Hope to put a large dent in my wait times during big projects (as well as my electric bill).

    • If you need something for a rendering farm you might be better off looking at IBM iDataPlex or Rackable Systems multinode server. In you’re looking to spend ~$1-2k (the rough price of 4 CS-24’s) you could probably build a decent Llanos-based pc witch will give you 2×12 or 2×16 cores. You could add some GPU’s as well depending on what your software supports.

      ebay – ibm idataplex

    • Matt B.

      Probably a bit late but the Dell C6100’s look like a good option for render farm coming in at $699 on ebay. I bought 4 Supermicro 1/2 depth servers with the dual quads to do the same thing it sounds like you’re doing… pushing Revit into 3DS Max so I could farm with Backburner. I keep hearing everyone complain about how loud their CS24-SC’s are but mine is barely a whisper compared to the Supermicro’s.

  • JimJim

    Ill look into that. But the budget is much lower as is the cost on those DELL’s, they are more like $600 for 4 of them used.

    • You just can’t beat the price on these. Once you factor in the cost of memory, the rest of the box is basically free.

  • JimJim

    Exactly, was thinking the same thing,

    Would love to see a benchmark utility of some sort though. One that can be booted and run from CD or USB that I could run on mine 860 as well to compare.

    • Mitsurugi Knight

      Sorry to Necropost, but these have recently come up in bulk on EBay.

      After purchasing, and configuring one I’d like to help any future viewer of this thread.

      The drivers for the controller. (http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/LSISAS1064E.aspx)

      For whatever reason my HDD wasn’t recognized in the bios or controller configuration on the first couple of boots and I wound up clearing the config to fact default.

      Successfully installed and have ran a Radeon 7750 with a x16 riser (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058UVVX2/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

      Successfully installed and configured Windows Server 2008 R2.

      Also, despite information to the contrary, the 1 pcie x16 bus is operating at pcie v1.1 x16 speed clocking communication between my GPU and CPU @ 3.5GB/s.

      If anyone sees this and happens to have a list of the mobo led codes (there are 8 leds in a row next to the button battery on the mb) please post them.

      • Mitsurugi Knight

        Also with 1 pcie port and a chipset that doesn’t support bifurcation thereby preventing the usage of any non-active pcie risers, you have 0 room for expansion outside that 1 port. At 75 watts to the x16 and no additional psu legs, you’d be hard up for powering an active riser card(splitter) even if it were in the budget (400-2000$).

      • Frank

        Did you get it to boot to a USB thumbdrive? I bought one and don’t know how tod o it. it doens’t come up in the bios.

  • vb543

    Hey, I just got myself one of these but I can’t figure out the login for the BMC. I’ve tried the default (root, calvin, admin, etc) with no luck. Is there a way I can reset this password somewhere?

  • Jared

    So what’s the overall consensus with these servers?
    Is it worth $200? There’s some on ebay right now for $180 + shipping. I’m thinking about using Linux and installing Smedge to make a small render farm for Autodesk Maya (Mental Ray).
    Is this a good or bad idea?

    • It’s going to depend on your usage heavily. For a render farm it should be fine and there’s still some room for a single slot GPU to assist with that as well. Just be aware of some of the issues listed and you should be fine. I would generally recommend the IBM iDataPlex systems though if you’re just looking for computing density.

  • Nicoloks

    Great post! Just looking at the specs of a few units on offer on Ebay that specifies they are using an Intel ICH10R chipset. Just wondering how many SATA headers this includes? Also, anyone know if it is possible to run a mix of 2.5in and 3.5in bays, or does it have to be one or the other?

    • They are built with only 3.5″ drives in mind but you could probably find an adapter somewhere or simple use some spacers for 2.5″ drives. As for the SATA ports, there are only 4.

  • muehterc

    I need help installing Windows 2008 R2. I can’t seem to find the driver for the installation to recognize the drives. They are SATA drives.

    Any assistance would be appreciated!!

    • I was having a similar issue with regards to recognizing the drives. I purchased two CS24-SC’s as a cheap way to learn hands-on about cloud computing and virtualization. Each had 4 Seagate 15.5K Cheetah 146GB SAS, but would only recognize 1 out of the 4. Even if I took the two recognizeable drives and placed them in the same machine, it only showed one as recognizeable.

      Tell me, do you receive a “Warning! Foreign Metadata Detected!” error? It took me a bit of research, but basically that was the source of the problem. Foreign metadata basically means that the HDD is already configured in a RAID… However the garbage-can fauxraid in the CS-24SC will only notify you of this fact; I was unable to find any way to format these HDDs, not for lack of trying.

      The solution for me was to use another machine that was actually capable of recognizing them to wipe the drives. I also have a PowerEdge 2900 that just so happens to have 8 SAS slots… I shoved all 8 in, formatted them, and put them back in the CS24-SC’s to see if it worked…

      6 of the 8 showed as recognized, two still didn’t. The two that didn’t had a different firmware than the other 6, so perhaps that was why? To fix those two, I took them out again and put them back in the 2900, configured them into a RAID 0, initialized the RAID (which formats), deleted the RAID, put them back in the CS24-SC.

      All 8 recognized and functional. Great success!

      If you don’t have a 2900, you could probably just use a desktop and see if it would recognize them, assuming your mobo has the slots.

      On a separate topic… Because there is no “official support” for the CS24-SC, I’m thinking about creating a forum for those who own CS24-SC’s in order to create some sort of community that can provide support for itself… Perhaps over the weekend… Add me on Skype: roflologist if you’d want an invite when I make it.

      • Feel free to post a link if you proceed with your forum idea. I’ll add it to a planned update on this article when I get time.

  • I’m urgently looking for a Power Supply Unit for a Dell 1u CS24-SC server – SERVICE TAG: 3JJQMH1

    Please can you help me. We are in Cape Town South Africa and none of our suppliers can get this part for us.

  • Harry K

    Does anyone know where to find a converter for this to change from 4×3.5 to 10×2.5’s? I assume you need the trays and some kind of a replacement for the existing disk backplane?

    • I’m afraid that’s not going to be possible with out a significant amount of modification. First of all, the onboard SATA only has 4 ports so you’re going have to get a compatible SATA RAID controller or expander. You can try to replace the built in SATA backplane with one for another manufacturer that has 8×2.5″ 1U servers (there’s not enough space for more than 8 unless you mount the extra 2 somewhere inside the server). As for the drives you would probably need to get a 3.5″ to 2×2.5″ bay adaper like the one linked below and try to mod it in. You’d be better off looking for a different server model.

      http://www.amazon.com/SILVERSTONE-SDP08-3-5-2-5-Inch-Converter/dp/B002BH3Z8E

      • Harry K

        Thanks Smokex365! I guess I was thinking because Dell offers this up as either 4×3.5 or 10×2.5 I could do that. I was thinking someone would be selling that SATA controller with 10 on.

        I bought two of these to build my own VM Lab (working on VCAP now) and I was looking at using the Nexenta product to build some SAN’s on them. Was going to do some SSD on one box and I already have 4×1.5 TB SATA on the other..

        May have to adjust accordingly I guess..

  • Robby

    You menioned and a bios hack to allow fan speed changes. Is it possible for you to elaborate or could you go into some more detail on how to lower the noise?

    • It’s a fairly involved hack that required both modifying the built in fans with replacement ones and modifying the firmware to allow the fan speed to be controlled. It’s possible to brick you server if you mess up the firmware hack. Replacing the fans also require soldering the new fans to the old fans PWM plug (since dell choose to use custom plugs instead of standard 3 pin adapters). You should be able to get information by searching for similar hacks for the standard poweredge servers.

  • Harry K

    Well as long as I am already here…So is there a CLI/Management software package for these servers BMC? It seems like I have locked myself out of one of my boxes and I am remote right now. Hoping I can undo it on the road.

    If not – how do you reset the BMC’s back to default ? Jumpers in the box?

  • anybody know what type of rails would be required to mount to a telco rack? i just bought 6 and will pick them up and head straight to the datacenter. i’ve no clue what type of rails to buy.

  • exsfcp

    Great Post .. thanks. I got my dell system today. From a newbie standpoint I have a lot of desktop and CS support experience as a former Support Manager … this is my first hard jump into this type of server since win2000 and all flavors of unix … The goal was to use it to do ediscovery data testing with this box running some ediscovery virtual servers .. I was planning on adding 4 x 1TB ES seagate Sata drives and run win 2012 .. but seems the drivers for LSI controller are not there … any thoughts on installing 2012 or am I stuck with 2008 r2?

    Goal was to set up a test client side environment … I had also planned on adding another couple of boxes (another quad core server for SQL server and 2 desktops win7u and and xp for client testing of the eDiscovery software).

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts …

    • I didn’t try installing on Server 2008/2012 since my primary purpose was to run ESXi. Id imagine you may be able to find similar drivers for the controller off the LSI website. Alternatively you could just run ESXi or Hyper-V and virtualize Server 2012.

  • Alex

    Hi

    The company, I work for just bought two Dell CS24-SC the other day. Both servers were initially in good working condition but now, one of them will not boot. All I get is a couple of red lights at the back. Does anyone know what the problem is?

    • Mark KH

      I have been using it for like 9 months and out of sudden one morning last week, it does not boot any more and it is like what you described, a few red lights at the back and few green lights infront but it does not boot. And I hope some one could share how I could solve this issue…

  • david levy

    Hope this helps – I purchased one of these this week with 4x 750GB SATA drives and 16GB RAM:

    – use the Dell ISO for ESXi. All the devices were recognized:

    http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/DriverDetails/Product/poweredge-r620?driverId=XWYR5&osCode=XI51&fileId=3005015335

    – I got the ISO to boot using PXE. Before you say, “It sounds too complicated…” I used this tutorial to create the corresponding boot server I needed. Took less than 5 minutes, and I was able to do it on any win7 PC on the network

  • ViROID

    I’m having an issue with I/O .. I successfully installed ESXi v5.1.0 Update 1 using the Dell Customized version via USB flash, and then setup four 2TB HDD’s in a RAID1e configuration. Once I started trying to load VMs I immediately noticed writing to the R1e array was horribly slow. Using HDTune from within a Windows 2012 VM, I recorded a read of about 200MBps, and a write speed of about 7MBps.

    I tried a simple RAID0 with two drives, HDTune reported read/write speeds of about 200MBps.
    I also tried setting up two RAID0 arrays, and mirroring across two disks within Windows 2012, read speeds were still about 200MBps, write speeds were down to 50MBps ish.

    Anyone have any luck getting better i/o through this server? I’d consider installing a RAID Controller if someone could verify that they have one working.

    Has anyone tried XenServer? I might load that up and see if I get better throughput. I’d be interested in know what folks who have Windows installed directly on the hardware are benchmarking for RAID0 and RAID1 arrays on this box.

    -v

  • Chris

    I was able to get the machine to boot off a USB flash drive. It was listed under Hard Drives, which eluded me until I was poking around the BIOS looking at boot orders..

  • Rick

    I am thinking about buying a CSW-24-SC for home FreeNas build. Has anyone tried such a build with this server or attempted to install a HD larger than 2TB? Also, will common SATA HD’s work? I mean they don’t need to be Dell’s, correct?

    Thanks

    • I’ve heard of people using 4TB drives but they are not “officially” supported. It should accept any SATA drive normally though you might want to check around on some forums for specific models/firmware versions that have been tested just to be safe. To be honest, unless you’re serving 1000 users, going with a cheap i3/i5 based server would probably be much better (and cheaper, especially energy wise) than a CS-24.

      • Rick

        Thanks for the response. Yes, the server is overkill but the price can’t be beat. less than 200 dollars with shipping. Xeon with 12G of ECC ram. Yes, power consumption will be higher and more noise. I have a data rack and noise is not an issue.

        • oblytr8

          I bought two of these machines roughly a year ago. I have one set up as a VM host, running WinSever 2008 and VMWorkstation, while the other is running NAS4Free. Of all the NAS OS’s, I found NAS4Free to be the easiest to deploy, with very nice feature set. Only complaint I have with using this machine for a NAS, is the 2TB limit. The LSI controller that comes with these machines will not support >2TB drives, nor can it be reflashed to support larger drives. I installed an IBM ServeRAID M1015, and connected that to a separate drive enclosure. The M1015 is a good, economical >2TB solution.

          All in all, I am very happy with these machines. Yes, they do sound like jet engines (even drowning out the 2850 I have), but they have been very reliable. I haven’t yet installed a stand-alone AC in my “server room” (my master closet), and it is runs anywhere from 78-82F ambient temp. These machines haven’t complained about the heat a bit.

          I did notice that the 2nd NIC is disabled by default. The boot time… eh, power it on and go make a sandwich. lol

  • joeSHMO8347

    I had VMWare ESXi runnign nicely on one of these machines. But it got old not being able to fully utilize all of the servers resources. I figured that Windows 7 was not going to work without any sort of graphical support.(the CS24-SC only has 32 MB of internal VRAM). So I cheated and dropped in an ATI FirePro, and BOOM Windows 7 Pro loaded in using a USB drive. I did RAID-up all 4 146GB SAS HDD’s in raid 0, but Windows saw the array and let me do a full install. after everything was fully updated, I noticed windows found almost all of the drivers by itself. I know, I know, why did I put a desktop OS on a Rack Server? Because! Because I wanted something i was familiar with and something that is very easy to get different types of servers up and running without going through a command line constantly. Basically I am a lazy geek! I was very surprised when everythinbg just came together just so well after seeing this post and seeing so many people have problems with either the BMC or the LSI controller. Thanks for the post BTW! I found it 2 days after I bought the CS24-SC and found out it’s a tricky monster. THERE IS HOPE!

    • What was ESXI not letting you do? I’m thinking of getting one of these to run some virtual machines and a NAS for backups and media streaming – nothing too intense.

      • Joe

        ESXi was not the issue. I really just wanted to see what it would take to run a Desktop OS on a Server.

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  • Steve

    Anyone try upgrading the memory on these? What memory is compatible? Will any ECC DDR2 RAM work or is it limited to only certain brands/models?

    • Yes, it will support any DDR2 ECC RAM up to 800MHz (you may be able to use faster RAM but it will only run up to 800MHz) up to 8GB per stick.

      • Steve

        Thanks Michael – I just ordered one of these from STIKC and I will pick it up tomorrow (fortunately, I am not far from them). However, I realize that for a couple dollars more, I can get a Gen 2 1950, with 32gb of RAM and a redundant PSU, which has better support and can hold 8 sticks of RAM vs 6. It seems that 8GB sticks are somewhat rare, and, if found, expensive. Meaning, the max practical ram is 24GB.

        At any rate, the CS24 or the 1950 seem like good servers for many common tasks. Even if it doesn’t work out as a game server, I will still put it to use by offloading some of my VMs that are running off of my desktop PC, freeing some valuable ram on my primary PC for other tasks.

  • STFUSOICANGAME

    so does anyone have an in depth guide on hacking the bios, and if I do that, will I be able to make the fans adjust according to cpu temp instead of just always being at a lower setting? like I want it to still kick up if it needs to but if im just playing skyrim I don’t need it to make the neighbors think I bought a jet. By the way, if you use the only pci (I think thats what its called) port for a decent graphics card, you can make a cheap beastly gaming pc.

    • The PCIe port is a single 8x with space for single card. It also has no additional PCIe power connectors so at most you be able to get in a fairly low-power, bottom end GPU. Not suited for gaming at all. If you’re looking a dual-proc PC/server that can be made into a gaming PC then go with a tower server or workstation.

      You can hack the BIOS to control the fans but it’s a complicated process and can easily brick the server if you mess it up.

      • STFUSOICANGAME

        it works just fine for gaming, heres my graphics card: http://flash.newegg.com/Product/N82E16814127829?nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwordsNF-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwordsNF-PC-_-pla-_-Desktop+Graphics+Cards-_-N82E16814127829&gclid=CMG7jvbqzMUCFYgAaQodPU8Afw&gclsrc=aw.ds

        not as powerful as the cutting edge gaming computers, but If compared to all the other computers I have gamed on, it is an absolute beast, though hacking the bios doesn’t sound like its for me, I would definitely mess something up and end up with a brick.

        I do have another question though, if I put it in my nearby closet to dampen alot of the sound, would the dust from the closet or whatever the smaller space cause any problems for it? I was told it was noisy so when I bought it I got all my cords in the 25 ft length so I could have the server itself in a different room, also alternatively what would a dusty basement that isn’t finished because its old (finished as in like nice carpet floors, fake ceiling ext) its got no outside exposure but its not really part of the house, and some parts of the floor & walls reveal straight dirt from the ground.

        • Standard computer maintenance applies. As long as it’s not exposed to too much moisture and gets cleaned once in a while (taking the lid off and cleaning it with some canned air is fine) then you should be good. I would avoid a closet or any other enclosed space. Due to the reduced cooling they 1U servers can get pretty hot. They are designed with a data center environment in mind; cool, chilled air coming in with the exhaust being vented back into a HVAC system. The fans are more for pulling air out rather than cooling.

          • STFUSOICANGAME

            thank you for your prompt replies, is there anyway to replace the fans with actual cooling fans? also what would it take just to simply replace the bios with like a bios from like a poweredge bios, are they like hardwired into the motherboards, or just simple software that can be overwritten?

          • You can replace the fans with “quieter” ones but it requires bios hacking and modifying the PWM connectors on the fans.

  • SSKINO

    I have a couple of these servers and for the most part they work quite well. I have a question for the group here: Do you know if it is possible to upgrade the CPUs on these? Mine currently have the 2.50GHz L5420 model XEONs, but I am interested to know if they could be replaced with an X5470 @ 3.33GHz.

    The chips should be compatible, but will the CS-24 support them?

  • Kevin Mac-Ginty

    How do i Raid with this server

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