Damn! Those modifications worked perfectly… installing the 47ohm resistors across the 4 CPU/Drive chasis fans, and on the 2 fans in both the active and redundant PSU’s (6 fans in all) has dropped the noise level to that of a normal desktop PC! I can actually be in the same room as the machine when it’s on 🙂
I had some issues where the fan speeds would ‘bounce’ — the resistors brought the spin speeds down so low that the firmware would read them as being below the threshold, and spin them back up — but I followed the instructions on the other blog (using an Ubuntu Live boot CD) and modified the latest DELL firmware with much lower speed thresholds, and flashed it. Now, it just purrs along like a little kitten 🙂
I took the opportunity to strip out the DELL Perc SATA controller (I wasn’t using it) and added the new IBM M1015 SATA controller. I used a CD-bootable DOS 6.22 image to boot into DOS, and flashed the M1015 controller with the latest LSI firmware into IT mode. I plan on installing some variant of ZFS on this machine, but ZFS is a completely software driven RAID solution — hardware RAID just gets in the way; IT mode just removes all of the RAID functionality from the M1015 controller, so that the system just see’s a JBOD disk array.
With the DELL Perc controller removed, there was enough space to install a couple of old 80Gb SSD’s sitting atop the drive cage, and hook them into the unused integrated motherboard SATA ports A/B. I’ll use these as a boot drive probably.
So, that’s the hardware side of things finished — time to move on to the software side 🙂