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QUIET Server for Small Office

Posted on 2016-07-19
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
I am trying to buy a server for a very small office. Problem is the fans on all the servers are very loud, They currently have a PowerEdge T310 and now that they need a new one they want one that isn't as noisy as that one. I have already tested a R330 and a T330 and both of those were louder than the one they have now. I communicated with Dell explained my issue and they recommended these -- I have had to return them and now don't know what to do next. I have just had major spine surgery so building one myself is out out of the question. Anyone have any suggestions for servers that are quiet, that can be placed close to office workers (just a few feet away), and which are also reasonably priced? Thank you.
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Question by:Lionel MM
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 125 total points
ID: 41720054
I would never trust a rackmount server to be quiet, especially a 1U server (R330), and the T330 is not advertised as quiet. The T430 is:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-t430/pd

I don't have first-hand experience with this yet, but I will be ordering one based on that criteria probably next month.
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by:Dan Lutey
Dan Lutey earned 125 total points
ID: 41720055
Look at getting the tower server. Instead of a racked server. They have always been more quite.

http://www.dell.com/ca/business/p/poweredge-tower-servers
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Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 125 total points
ID: 41720078
Find one that's as quiet as posslble, then replace the stock fans with low-noise fans.  Swapping out OEM fans for low-noise fans can reduce fan noise as much as 12 dB.

Per Dan's comment above, a standalone tower is usually quieter than a rack unit.  (The fans can be larger diameter.)

Note that this will void the warranty if the manufacturer catches you at it, so don't damage or cut anything while removing the stock fans.  If there's a failure under warranty you'll need to swap the original fans back in.

Normally I'd also recommend cutting away the sheet metal fan grilles in the case shell and replacing them with wire grilles, but it's kind of difficult to explain that away if there's a warranty issue.
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 125 total points
ID: 41720082
HP's Microserver is specifically designed for the kind of use case. It isn't a massive work horse, but any server that is generates so much heat that it'd make an office uncomfortably warm even if you could make it quiet.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 41720150
How about getting a high end laptop to use as a server?  They're generally much quieter than any desktop.  Levono, Dell and HP sell laptops with support for 32 GB RAM and multiple disks.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 41720911
Ditto the MicroServer if 16GB RAM is enough. Alternatively you can get an acoustic rack but that costs about 10 times as much.
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Lionel MM earned 0 total points
ID: 41725199
I found a company xidax.com that made a custom system for me, with just the parts I wanted and added noise dampening and ball bearing fans and at an even lower cost that I was goign to pay for a Dell or HP server. Also come with a lifetime warranty -- support is in Utah and they were very helpful.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 41730940
None of the suggestions were a good solution but did let me know that I had to search for an alternative and that got me to a company that could help me with a custom server.
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