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Rosewill 4U Server Chassis Modification Guide (Up to 8 GPU's)



  • Preface: This guide is not for everyone. Open-Air miners will not want or need this. Putting your rig into a case for rack-mounting requires proper rack mount cooling practices to be in place. My setup has proper cooling in place and I monitor my temps at all times. Also, if your hardware supports it, you could probably get another two (2) GPU's (installed onto the motherboard), bringing your total to ten (10), but whatever. That's for you to figure out. In the image below, I'm pushing nine (9) GPU's by having one (1) installed into the motherboard. I tried for a tenth card, but this motherboard couldn't support it. Anyway, on to the guide.

    Partially Completed
    0_1526003603458_IMG_20180509_210743.jpg

    Intro: I decided to make this guide for anyone wanting to be able to rack-mount their rigs. Looking online, I found some 19" cases designed to hold GPUs, but with a $200-$400 price tag, I decided to find a cheaper way.

    In my pile of computer junk, I had an old Rosewill 4U server case just collecting dust, so I pulled it out and dusted it off. I opened her up and found that everything I needed was already there... except that some of the pieces were in the "wrong" place. So after many hours playing around with it, I came up with the below process. No additional hardware is needed, but depending on your environment, you may need/want to upgrade the fans (I didn't need to, but I did anyway.)

    Since the first mod, I've purchased two additional cases and have repeated the exact same steps. These cases are currently $110 on Amazon, but shop around - you might be able to find them cheaper.

    Also, there is plenty of room for variation, so there is no need to feel locked into this guide - build yours to your own liking/needs.

    This mod takes me about 20 minutes from start to finish and an additional 20 minutes to install the computer components, but then again, I've done it three times now, so your miles may vary.

    Parts/Tools List:

    • Rosewill 4U Server Chassis - Amazon Link
    • Philips Screwdriver
    • Drill
    • 5/32" Bit
    • Vacuum (for cleanup)

    New Case
    0_1526004282193_IMG_20180510_193947.jpg
    Front Lid Opened
    0_1526004294939_IMG_20180510_194001.jpg
    Inside View
    0_1526004326608_IMG_20180510_194127.jpg

    Step 1: Remove Center Support Bar & Center Fan Unit
    Both of these items are fastened by four (4) screws (8 total) and can be found on the left and right sides of the case. Remove these eight (8) screws and remove the center support bar and center fan unit.

    Center Support Bar & Center Fan Unit
    0_1526004602260_IMG_20180510_194151.jpg
    Center Support Bar & Center Fan Unit Removed
    0_1526004615466_IMG_20180510_194348.jpg

    Step 2: Remove Front Drive Trays/Fan Units
    Each drive tray is fixed in place by two (2) screws (6 total) in the upper drive tray mount. Remove all six (6) screws.
    Also, each drive tray is temporarily held in place by two (2) push-catches. Press both catches and slide the drive tray forward and out the front of the case. Remove all three (3) drive trays/fan units.

    Upper Drive Tray Mount - Six (6) Screws & Six (6) Push-catches
    0_1526005134825_IMG_20180510_194404.jpg
    Drive Tray Sliding Out
    0_1526005197859_IMG_20180510_194504.jpg

    Step 3: (optional for better air flow) Remove Front Door Filter/Screen
    Four (4) screws on the front door hold this filter/screen in place. Remove the four (4) screws and pull the filter/screen off the front door.

    Filter/Screen
    0_1526005574253_IMG_20180510_194658.jpg
    Filter/Screen Screws
    0_1526005616074_IMG_20180510_194711.jpg
    Filter/Screen Removed
    0_1526005651724_IMG_20180510_194836.jpg

    Step 4: Remove Rack Mount Wings & Front Door
    Each rack mount wing (left and right) is fastened to the case by four (4) screws (8 total). Remove all eight (8) screws and remove both rack mount wings.
    Each handle (left and right) is fastened by one (1) screw (2 total) to the left and right side of the case. Remove the two (2) screws and remove the handles and front door.

    Note: The front door is attached to both handles and will come off the case with the handles. Care should be taken so as not to break the "hinge".

    Rack Mount Wings
    0_1526007369404_IMG_20180510_195102.jpg
    Handles & Front Lid/Door
    0_1526007413642_IMG_20180510_195343.jpg
    Step 4 Completed
    0_1526007451726_IMG_20180510_195547.jpg

    ===Important Decision Time===
    At this point, you need to make a decision on the direction you want your GPU's to be mounted (forward or aft). This will determine the proper air flow of the case and will allow you to mount your cooling fans in the correct direction. This is also a good time to dry-fit a card or two to check your card's length inside the case.

    • GPU's Facing Forward - Case air flow is back-to-front.
    • GPU's Facing Aft - Case air flow is front-to-back. (standard rack mount cooling)

    Forward Example: (Display ports directed to the front of the case)
    0_1526008804842_IMG_20180510_204411.jpg
    Aft Example: (Display ports directed to the back of the case)
    0_1526008886520_IMG_20180510_205339.jpg

    Whichever direction you pick, you will need to make sure your case fans are all in the same direction. Check, double-check, and check them again - fans in mixed direction can cause hot air pockets inside the case and improper cooling of hardware (including the GPU's). Anyway, fans have air flow indicators on them so just be sure they are all facing the correct direction.

    Note: In my system, I am using a reversed air flow (cool air in the back, hot air out the front) so some of my images in this guide may not look exactly like yours.

    Step 5: Drive Tray Fan Units
    Each drive tray has a black fan unit mounted to it. These fan units are fastened by four (4) screws (12 total). Remove the twelve (12) screws and separate the black fan units from the three (3) drive trays.

    Note: I am not using the fans from these in my system, so the second picture below shows the fan removed. If you are planning on using the original system fans, you can leave this installed in the black fan mount.

    Note: The drive trays are no longer needed and can be thrown away/recycled... or you can throw them into your pile of computer parts and let them collect dust - your call.

    Drive Tray w/ Fan Unit
    0_1526010403730_IMG_20180510_200357.jpg
    Fan Unit Separated from Fan Mount and Drive Tray
    0_1526010485249_IMG_20180510_200550.jpg

    Step 6a: Center Fan Unit Bracket Relocation
    The center fan unit bracket must be relocated to the front of the case for structural support.
    The three (3) tabs on this bracket should be pointed forward (front) of the case.
    The edge notches on this bracket should be upwards (see images for proper placement).

    1. Snake the front panel cables out the front opening of the case to get them out of the way.
    2. Position and lower the bracket down onto the lower drive tray mount and push it all the way forward until the left side contacts the inside front panel controls mount.
    3. Ensure the corner of the bracket is completely seated into the corner of the case (see image below).
    4. Push the right side of the bracket down hard until its corner has seated into the corner of the case - on top of the lower drive tray. This may require a bit of force, but it will fit.
    5. Push the right side of the bracket forward until it lines up across the front - eyeball it to about the same distance from the front as the left side is.

    Center Fan Unit Bracket w/o Fans
    0_1526011217674_IMG_20180510_195818.jpg
    Proper Bracket (Left) Placement Against Front Panel Control Mount
    0_1526012478214_IMG_20180510_200325.jpg
    Proper Bracket (Right) Placement
    0_1526012607318_IMG_20180510_200342.jpg

    Step 6b: Center Fan Unit Bracket Mounting
    Before we can mark the holes for mounting, we need to get the proper spacing for the bracket so that the black fan mounts (from Step 5) will properly fit on the front of the case.

    1. Proper spacing for the left side of the bracket (front panel mount side) is achieved simply by pushing the bracket forward against the front panel mount. (see image below)
    2. In order to get the proper spacing for the right side of the bracket, we will need to use one of the black fan mounts (from Step 5).
    3. Place a single black fan mount into the front of the case opening. Push it inwards until it becomes flush with the front of the case. (see image below)
    4. Holding the fan mount in place, push the center fan unit bracket forward until it meets the black fan mount. (see image below)
    5. When you are happy with the spacing, using a pencil or marker, mark the case through the four (4) screw holes on this bracket.
    6. Remove the bracket and, using the 5/32" drill bit, drill the four (4) marked holes.
    7. Remove any metal shavings from the outside of the case around the newly drilled holes.
    8. Fit the center fan unit bracket back into place and fasten it with four (4) small black case screws. (see image below)

    Step 6b #1 - Center Fan Unit Bracket Pushed Against Front Panel Mount
    0_1526014162897_IMG_20180510_201052.jpg
    Step 6b #1 - Center Fan Unit Bracket Pushed Against Front Panel Mount
    0_1526044355397_IMG_20180510_201632.jpg
    Step 6b #3 - Black Fan Mount Flush With Case Front
    0_1526014024696_IMG_20180510_201015.jpg
    Step 6b #4 - Center Fan Unit Bracket Pushed Against Black Fan Mount
    0_1526014053630_IMG_20180510_201032.jpg
    Step 6b #7 - Metal Shavings Around Holes
    0_1526044296353_IMG_20180510_202149.jpg

    Step 7: Upper Drive Tray Mount Relocation
    This step may be considered optional. It is only used so as to create a "lip" for the GPU's to anchor into and to give a more level case bottom. Check out this step and decide if you want this.

    *Note: Without this step, your GPU's will only have one secure point (Center Support Bar - Installed in the next step)

    1. Orient the upper drive tray mount as shown. Notice the two posts pointing up (see picture #1 below).
    2. Flip the upper drive tray mount as shown so that the two posts are now pointing down, but be sure not to rotate the piece (see picture #2 below).
    3. Lower the upper drive tray mount into the case as shown. The aft part of this piece will sit on top of the motherboard tray. Be sure to remove any of the motherboard stand-offs that might still be installed into the motherboard tray. (see picture #3 below)
    4. The gap between the lower drive tray mount and the upper drive tray mount can be used as a GPU catch for Forward facing GPU's. (see picture #4 below)
    5. The aft lip of the upper drive tray mount can be used as a GPU catch for Aft facing GPU's. (see picture #5 below)
    6. Once you are happy with the location, mark at least two (2) holes on each side (4 total), remove the upper drive tray mount, drill marked holes, reinstall upper drive tray mount, and secure with four (4) small black case screws - just like we did for the center fan unit bracket in Step 6 above.

    Step 7 #1 - Upper Drive Tray Mount (Posts up)
    0_1526044766263_IMG_20180510_201240.jpg
    Step 7 #2 - Upper Drive Tray Mount (Posts down)
    0_1526044895402_IMG_20180510_201252.jpg
    Step 7 #3 - Upper Drive Tray Mount Lowered Into Position
    0_1526045091076_IMG_20180510_201322.jpg
    Step 7 #4 - Forward Facing GPU in the Gap
    0_1526045338700_IMG_20180510_204411.jpg
    Step 7 #5 - Aft Facing GPU on the Lip
    0_1526045403017_IMG_20180510_205339.jpg

    Step 8: Center Support Bar Relocation
    The center support bar will be used as the upper mount for the GPU's (as seen in previous pictures).

    Note: In order to get this support bar into the proper place and height, you will need to use one or two GPU's to assist in the positioning.

    1. With a riser attached, position one or two GPU's into the case in whichever direction you are going to mount them. Position the GPU's at each end of the center support bar.
    2. Move the center support bar so that it is in front of the GPU's and just under the GPU's mounting bracket. Ensure that the GPU remains in the gap or on the lip of the lower drive tray mount.
    3. When you are good with the position, mark the two (2) holes on each side (4 total), remove the center support bar (and remove all GPU's from the case), drill the four (4) holes, reinstall the center support bar, and fasten with four (4) small black case screws.

    Step 8 - Forward Facing GPU in the Gap
    0_1526045338700_IMG_20180510_204411.jpg
    Step 8 - Aft Facing GPU on the Lip
    0_1526045403017_IMG_20180510_205339.jpg

    Step 9: Front Lid/Handles/Wings Reinstall & Black Fan Mounts & Clean-up
    At this point, you should reinstall the front lid/handles and rack mount wings.

    1. Install lid/handles with the two (2) center screws.
    2. Install rack mount wings with the eight (8) mounting screws.

    The black fan mounts (from Step 5) can be installed back into the front of the case. In this step you have different options for mounting so be creative or just mark, drill, and fasten them to the center fan unit bracket.

    Because drilling was involved, you've probably noticed the case now has a bunch of metal shavings. These are bad for electronics, so we need to remove them.

    1. Using a vacuum, clean up all metal bits from inside the case.
    2. As a final measure, turn the case over and give it a couple good shakes to make sure all bits are out of the case.

    Case Modification Complete
    0_1526046825063_IMG_20180510_212007.jpg
    Case Cleanup
    0_1526046872552_IMG_20180510_202946.jpg

    Computer Installed with GPU's
    0_1526003603458_IMG_20180509_210743.jpg

    END


 



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