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13€ Recycled 20 cores Homemade Cluster

Why?

On January, I wrote a post with a comparation of different ways to build a cluster to play at home.

The conclusion was not clear, but Pine64 was the winner.

This summer, when I was on holidays, I realized the amount of old hardware that I have stored in the basement. So I decided to add this software to my homemade cluster.

The adventage of this old hardware respect to the Pine64 one is:

  • More memory per thread.
  • More and faster storage.

Pictures.

Specifications.

All of them with Ubuntu Server 17.04 (Zesty)

Cluster Specs

Motherboard CPU RAM Storage Ethernet
ASUS P5K SE Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz DDR2 7GiB Seagate ST1000DM003-9YN1 1TB Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet
EliteGroup G31T-M2 DDR2 4GiB SATA 3 Gb/s Western Digital 1TB RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
ASUS P5N73-AM Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600  @ 2.40GHz DDR2 4GiB SATA 3 Gb/s 600GB Software RAID 0 of: Seagate ST3320613AS 320GB -Segate ST3160215AS 160GB -Segate ST3160815AS 160GB RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
HP Pavilion dv6 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q720 @ 1.60GHz with Hyper-Threading DDR3 4GiB Hitachi HTS72505 500GB RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
16 Cores / 20 threads 19GB 2.6TB

By the way.

Also, I found an old PCI USB 2.0 HUB. It is not good for data transfer, but what about power supply?

So I added this card to one of the server and I can use it as a power supplier for the Pine64 cluster.

Expenses.

I needed to buy few things:

Shelf Shoe Storage Rack (Sales in Argos) to collocate all the hardware 2x 4.99€
PCI Express Ethernet because one of the motherboard comes with a 100Mbps port 1x 7.95€
Total 12.64€

It was not necessary, but I also bought:

D-Link GO-SW-16G - Switch 16p Gigabit so I can replace my two smalls switch 1x 43.22€
Electric air duster to clean 10 years old dust from the compenents 1x 27.98€
Total of extra unnecessary money 71.2€

To the bin.

In the process, few of the components failed or was not used:

  • The original RAID used 4 drives, but one of then had problems. It was a 250GB Seagate ST3250310AS
  • A DDR2 module of 2GiB was died, so I replaced it with a old 1GiB module. I know that mix memory types it is not for a dual channer memory architecture, but It is what I have.
  • All CPU towers. The old hardware was stored with the case tower. I removed all necessary components and discarded the tower.
  • After install a Asus M2N-MX SE Plus with an AMD Atlhlon 64 and small cooler. The combination was so noisy and the CPU only contributes with two really slow cores, that I decided remove it from the cluster.

Remain.

Few point to keep in mind the next time that I will do it (maybe in 10 years):

  • Check all HDs before to use it.
  • Check all memories modules before to use it.
  • Check the pendrive with the OS image before to start to install.
  • There are things too old to be reused. I'm sorry little noisy AMD Atlhlon 64
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