Just bought logic, CPU and power supply for a G4 Xserve (from the spare parts kit.) I figure I don't need much more to boot this thing. It might even netboot as it is. Has anyone spent any time messing with Xserves? Should it boot with lots of bits missing?
If the case proves too expesive from Apple, lookout for a case mod in the not-too-distant.....
Posted by: oojacoboo
Re:Xserve G4 - 06/14/05 12:46 PM
sweet! I don't know much about xserves. However, I don't believe that booting the system without any of the other components would be too detirmental. I would love to see a sick case mod :P
I'm hoping to pick up a Drive Interconnect Board soon, and the ATA controller (and most of the rest of the internals) aren't too pricey. Haven't checked the price of a drive module yet, but if I use a custom case, I may not need any. I have some blank drive modules from an HP server. The Apple modules are essentially just adaptors. A straight pin mapping from ATA (serial ATA in the Xserve G5) to SCSI SCA80 hot-swap connectors. And some pins for power too of course. But again, a straight mapping as far as I can tell.
Does anyone know where to get used parts for an Xserve? Not many Mac reseller websites seem to list them.
I got the interconnect board. One of the sockets on it for driving a fan is defective, so a custom case is almost a necessity, in order to accomodate extra fans. The price of the enclosure is well over £300, and I suspect thats little more than the bare metal. It probably doesn't include any internal plastic case parts or the front bezel or anything.
It turns out that the front panel board (where the power button is) connects to the interconnect board, which connects to the logic board via a small ATA controller board (the knee bones connected to the .... thigh bone....!). So in short, I can't boot it without the ATA board, and unless I can find the pinouts for the front panel board cable, I'll need to buy the front panel board and its cable in order to boot. This thing had better work!
Now,what to use as a case.......?
A custom case is now on the cards, but the hardware doesn't leave much scope for anything drastically different from the stock case.
I just found out that each of the four drive connections on the Xserve are dual channel. This means if I make the modules myself, I can run eight drives on this sucker!!!!!!!
Posted by: griffer
Re:Xserve G4 - 07/21/05 07:14 AM
Sounds really cool, even though 8 drives are gonna build up some heat :), not to mention eat some power.
Be sure to keep us updated on this project, don't think anybody else have done it before?
No. Don't suppose anyone has done it before. Hadn't really thought too much about power consumption. My Xserve is a single processor though, and the PSU is designed to handle two. Hopefully a few extra drives will not use more power than a CPU, four extra may be pushing it. I guess I could use laptop drives though.....