Graphic Card Woes

As recently mentioned ASRock was smart enough to not implement IGP passthrough on the E3C226D2I. Bummer 😦

So I had to find a super slim graphic card which shall fit to my setup. The NVidia NVS 295 was the one I choose in the end. But also then I had to do quite some tweaking. If you look at the picture below you will see that there is not a whole lot of space between the motherboard (bottom of the picture) and the PSU (top of the picture), and exactly between this space the NVidia NVS 295 was planned to sit.


The first thing I actually had to do is to cut a hole into the backplane of my chassis, as the chassis itself was not supposed to support any PCI extension card 😐 .

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Then I had to cut the metal bracket of the PCI card itself for fitting:

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And the whole setup together:

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My 2nd build

For my latest machine, I had one of those QNAP or Synology NAS systems in mind when planning the whole thing. Of course I want to run OS X on it, while being more powerful, energy efficient and with as little noise as possible (it will sit next to my TV in the living room – in a cupboard though) and with ECC RAMs to ensure data integrity (I just want them !! 🙂 ).

This whole requirements however turned out to be much more difficult to fulfill then I thought it would. For ECC you need – besides the RAM modules of course – a Xeon CPU and (thank you Intel…… NOT !) a board with the correct chipset (c224, c226 in the haswell world) – none of those “gaming” chipsets (H, P, Q, Z, X…) support ECC – still I think this function is rather blocked.

Well then on the other hand, there are not a lot of server boards out there which feature a mini-ITX form factor. Turns out exactly 2!!! as of writing, one of which I ordered, the other one is the ASRock E3C224D2I. Now ASRock on their side also didn’t made my life too easy as they blocked / didn’t implement IGP passthrough even though its part of the chipset c226 (interesting post here, which I unfortunately only found after I ordered it…) while the Xeon 1268L comes with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 😦 . Consequently I had to find a graphic card, which I wanted to passive-cooled to reduce noise (Problem No. 1 nowadays) and is of low-profile (Problem No. 2 nowdays). Nowadays only giga-texel-8GB super-graphic cards are made by AMD/ATI or NVidia.

Now I use the following components (Prices in US$ from Newegg or Amazon):

Overall price: $977.90 – not too bad 🙂

And some pictures:

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