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(Corsair Air240) Dual m-ITX System build

Death the Kid

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Hello.

So doing the usual google searches for dual system builds a rather interesting case pops up, the Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL DS:


a case designed to accept either a single uATX board or 1x m-ITX board and 1x m-ATX board. The bit that caught my attention was this device:



The Phanteks Power splitter, used to split the cpu and motherboard power from 1 PSU to 2 motherboards. So with that in mind we set forth on journey of discovery. FYI ordering the case and shipping to S.A at the time of searching would work out to roughly 6k so... that wasn't gonna happen. So I grabbed the next best thing

a Corsair Air240



And of course the most crucial bit



Which luckily Phanteks does sell seperately :D

So the rest of the items which will be featuring in this build, most of which were part of my original storage rig and some which I had laying about.

1st Machine:

Intel i5-3470
Intel h77df
AMD 7770
Samsung 750 EVO 250GB SSD
Adata 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3

2nd Machine:

Intel i7-2600
Biostar H61MG v3
Sandisk 256GB SS
Kingston 4gb DDR3

Storage drives:
4x2TB
2x4TB

all powered by an Antec NEO ECO 550M 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Semi Modular Desktop Power Supply. The choice of Power supply might seem weird but I needed a PSU with a length no longer than 140cm, since space is at such a premium in the air240. This list was a reaally helpful guide http://www.overclock.net/t/1537311/short-psu-list-atx-psus-that-are-160mm-and-shorter-including-non-atx-small-case-friendly-rev-2-june-2015

Specs for this rig are definitely not the latest and greatest however they should do just fine for running some light games and storing what little pR0n I have :p

just a little heads up, a few steps in this log might be glossed over for now as I failed to take photos of quite a bit of things, however I will definitely be posting more as I update and make some changes :)
 

Death the Kid

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So after ordering the Splitter which I received after 3months (thanks SAPO) I ordered the PSU and did a test fitting on the back side of the case which would usually be used for the psu, drives and hiding cables.



The process was, create a mounting tray for the board, mount the splitter and figure out a convenient easily accessible orientation for the board.

so skip a few steps I found a peice of perspex and a person better suited to cutting it, enter my buddy #%$^ , this is his hand:






Fitting with the network cable being passed through to the back



layout with the network cable connector block at the back.



Meanwhile on the otherside. I had gotten hold of some nice hard drive racks which fit pretty nicely.



I plasti-dipped this


 
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Toi

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Wow what an interesting project. Really keen to see how this turns out.
 

Death the Kid

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So with work on the back side pc proceeding smoothly it was time to strip my storage rig and prep it for fitting.



I orginally planned to use the Thermaltake AXP 140 cooler but due to size contraints this was impossible so I opted for the Cooler Master GeminII M4



removing the included slim fan and instead using a black and white NZXT case fan and a fan grill for the aesthetics :p also in this pic you can see how tightly the Hard Drive caddies will be placed to the motherboard, we later ended up lopping off the clips so that the drives could fit into the caddies facing sata port side to the rear without any interference.



a tiny snag that we ran into was that even the GeminII M4 had 2 heatpipes that would run over the PCIx16 slot. So with some light persuasian, some plastidip and 2 spare skull candy earbuds we got it to sit quite nicely.

 
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Death the Kid

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with all the fitting done and a rough idea of how things should sit we started running cables. Please do note that I took measurements for the cable lengths we kinda needed way before we finalized the layout and with that in mind...



something I only realized while building this was that cable routing is gonna be a [email protected]$H.

Since getting the PSU splitter a few months ago and steadily putting this all together the one thing I completely forgot to do was test the damn thing.



First time powering on via the PSU Splitter



I've never been this happy to see a BIOS screen :D



We got both machines to run at the same time which was just amazing even though all they displayed was the bios screen :D

 
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Death the Kid

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Just remembered this thread I posted in a while ago. Gonna tag you guys in.
[MENTION=29209]iamgigglz[/MENTION] [MENTION=8442]Off-The-Chart[/MENTION] [MENTION=18619]JollyJamma[/MENTION] [MENTION=28537]animehero[/MENTION] [MENTION=90]Dutchdog[/MENTION] @Neko
 

Neko

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I still don't get the WHY part, but as with some of the stuff I do "Because I can" is a good enough answer.

So to be as supportive as i could be; If you are planning to have two screens connected to it and would like to use one mouse and keyboard I would highly recommend Synergy. The new version two beta is a bit buggy, but it is cheap: https://symless.com/synergy/early-access
[MENTION=12007]Death the Kid[/MENTION] your photo host is not playing along. I cant see pictures.
 

Death the Kid

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I still don't get the WHY part, but as with some of the stuff I do "Because I can" is a good enough answer.

So to be as supportive as i could be; If you are planning to have two screens connected to it and would like to use one mouse and keyboard I would highly recommend Synergy. The new version two beta is a bit buggy, but it is cheap: https://symless.com/synergy/early-access

[MENTION=12007]Death the Kid[/MENTION] your photo host is not playing along. I cant see pictures.
.:Fixed:.

The plan was always to use 1 screen and remote the storage machine. I dont have the desk real estate to have more screens :/
 

Off-The-Chart

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yep, it is never a WHY, but rather, WHY NOT

and yes, I would do the same as it was also 1 of my own plans to have a full system combined with a mITX system that will be my own storage setup and will just network link the 2

for some reason though, I still find myself preferring to have 2 dedicated PSUs, instead of the whole splitting (yes yes, real estate would matter)

but it is looking promising so will be keeping an eye on this one
 

Dutchdog

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yep, it is never a WHY, but rather, WHY NOT

and yes, I would do the same as it was also 1 of my own plans to have a full system combined with a mITX system that will be my own storage setup and will just network link the 2

for some reason though, I still find myself preferring to have 2 dedicated PSUs, instead of the whole splitting (yes yes, real estate would matter)

but it is looking promising so will be keeping an eye on this one
Don't get me wrong, I understand why one would want such a thing for numerous reasons. But if its just network storage, or NAS purpose, a Pi would suffice (less space)? I just don't get the actual benefit of this build besides fun building it using his choice of components.

If I was to build a two or more board system, it would be same boards and stack them. Something like this

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=stacked+motherboards&client=firefox-b&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiDh4aFpobYAhUOqaQKHQsICKAQ_AUICygC&biw=1088&bih=538


After this I looked into modular and parallel computing. Best solutions I found where Portwell and Trenton systems, single board computers:


https://www.trentonsystems.com/processor-boards

http://portwell.com/products/sbc.php


These are for rendering farms mostly, least amount of space, modular computing.

This is his wants/concept, just professionally thought out for industrial use. Perhaps this is of interest for educational purposes.
 
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Off-The-Chart

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no indeed. that "WHY NOT" is also accompanied of course with a touch of "IF YOU HAVE THE PARTS"...

I would also not go and do it if 1) I didn't have the parts or 2) didn't have the funds/space...

lots of ways the same could be achieved as you say, so definitely just his choice of doing it this way...

one could even do the second system off of 1 of those Tiny Lenovo systems, so yeah, options...
 

Dutchdog

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One can just build something because they have the parts and create a frankenstein or really think things out to function and find the best solution for their needs, cost wise and parts wise. I am all for creating something yet I would not spend time and money if I know there where already better solutions out there for my particular needs. The only reason here I can see is a "I can do it why not its fun factor." which obviously is good enough, go ahead and have fun.
 

Death the Kid

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Yep, like you said mainly for the fun factor, most of the parts were already on hand. For my needs this could all be replaced by a HP gen8 microserver with a xeon cpu and a gpu. So If you have the parts why not ? :D
 

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