Thursday, September 27, 2007

setting up the Dell SC1430

Ah! I'm very excited! Got the new 1.6Ghz Quad-Core, dual Xeon CPU Dell SC1430 a couple of days ago!


Chipset: Intel 5000V
Compatible quad core processors: E5310 (1.6Ghz), E5320 (1.86Ghz), E5335 (2.0Ghz), E5345 (2.33Ghz)

The following limitations have caused me trouble along my path to computing bliss:
  • One PCI slot
  • Two PCI Express slots have only 4x lanes, though the connectors on each are 8x
  • Little support for high end graphics cards
  • Only one primary IDE controller (to control two IDE CD/DVD or tape backup drives only)
  • Can't boot from an IDE hard drive (See Dell community forum)
  • Only four drive bays (two 5 1/4", two 3 1/2") and a two-drive SATA housing (six total drives)
  • Spartan Dell BIOS does not allow for performance tweaks
  • pre-Win2003 Microsoft OSs are not supported

BIOS Gotchas
BIOS resets the boot sequence when you change SATA settings (like changing AUTO to OFF for a drive). So be wary of this feature when you see a black screen upon bootup!

Of course, I followed the "Getting Started" guide. ;) That and the manual are available here:
Here is a link to the manual
Note: the links to the PDFs on the destination page do not work in Firefox. I used Opera to view the PDFs

Here's a nice pic of the motherboard:

This box has dual, 1.6Ghz E5310 Cloverton CPUs from Intel. Intel Datasheets on 5300 Series processors:

Diagnostic LED codes for the SC1430:


Dell Diagnostics on SC1430 running Fedora 12, x86-64:

Broadcom 5751 NIC, BIOS default: PXE boot enabled

Wake On Lan

Update 2/24/2010
I spent about eight hours debugging why wake on lan wouldn't work on my newly built Fedora 12, x86-64 system. Went through a million threads, learned something about sleep states in Linux..finally got it by putting a line at the top of /etc/init.d/halt script (called by "shutdown -h now") to remove the kernel module (rmmod tg3) for the ethernet driver. Self-evident, right? NOT! What the F?

full story here
*** end update ***

As people add comments regarding memory that works in the SC1430, I will post updates to this section.
By the way, dmidecode and lshw can be used to determine the type of memory you have installed:

So far (Thanks John!):

manufacturer model part number
Kingston DDR2 FB-DIMM ECC Fully Buffered KVR667D2D4F5K2/4G

Be warned that this server is very picky with video cards. So before you dremel any PCI Express video cards to get them working in the 8x slot, make sure you test them with an 8x-to-16x PCIe adapter in the box first! ;) (thanks John!)

Update 2/28/2010
Video card known to work in the box (from the Comments section below)
ATI-based cards
ATI Radeon hd4630
ATI x300
ATI x1550
ATI X1900 All-In-Wonder
VisionTek X1550 Radeon Pci 256MB VGA
Sapphire x1950GT 512mb card
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850

NVidia-based cards
NVidia BFG 8800GT
NVidia BFG 8500GT
EVGA GeForce 9400GT 512MB PCI
NVidia BFG 9600GT
BFG Tech GeForce 9800GT 512MB
Nvidia Quadro NVS 290
NVidia Quadro Fx 540

Note: It would behoove one to read the full comments section for any gotchas.
*** end update ***

The first thing I wanted to do was use my ATI Tech Radeon 9200 128 MB PCI Video Adapter with it. Well, no go, as I got a blank screen. Much surfing the net later, I found that only the first two PCI-X slots (PCIX_SLOT5, PCIX_SLOT6) will allow a working video adapter. And so far, folks have only gotten the VisionTek X1550 Radeon Pci 256MB VGA Dvi-i Tv Out) to work on this box.

I have not tried the PCI Express slots as yet. Original pain listed here, but an interesting story with somewhat satisfactory conclusion:

Last week, I bought the VisionTek; however, the ATI drivers have MANY issues on this box. Much more pain listed here:

Update 10/23/2007:
I was successful in getting the BFG Geforce 8500 GT PCI Express 256MB to work in the box, with the caveat that a PCI Express 8x to 16x adapter (which raises the video card) must be used:

Update 8/6/2008
Good Tom's article on the performance impact of using reduced number of PCI Express lanes with a 16x card:,1915-4.html

Update 11/10/2007
In the opposite vein, a couple of us have had success taking a dremel to the 8x PCIe slot to make room for 16x graphics adapters. MarioM had success getting the Sapphire x1950GT 512mb card to work with his newly dremeled slot! Bolstered by Mario's success, I also dremeled SLOT3_PCIE with success (video coming). But for God's sake, BE CAREFUL if you attempt this! You can easily damage and/or otherwise FRY your motherboard if you slip up. Click on the comments below for the success stories. Finally, the video below shows a successful dremel job on the SC1430.

Update 12/17/2007
Free2go had success using the PCI NVIDIA Quadio NVS vidso card in one of the PCI-X slots using driver.

Update 1/19/2008
BFG 8800GT confirmed as working in an SC1430 modded to accept 16x PCI Express adapter cards. Or just use a PCI Express 8x to 16x adapter that raises the video card in the slot:

Update 2/13/2008
Pics of the BFG 8500GT in the box

Update 7/9/2008
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 confirmed as working in the box. Thanks Subbu!

Update 2/9/2010
Ati hd4630 confirmed as working in the box. Thanks Daniele!

Linux on the Dell SC1430
Update 10/12/2007:
Fedora Core 6, x86_64 installed like a champ and is working well with the onboard video. Cinelerra is installed and running without issue. Love to see all eight cores busy through mpstat..yeah!

Here's a link to compiling Cinelerra on FC6 X86_64:

Fedora 7 also works in the box, but has the dreaded, Fedora 7 broken firewire stack. A workaround is listed at the bottom of the page here through the EZPlanetOne kernel patch:

This patch does work, as I've been running on Fedora 7 with the patch for about two months now.

The fans are somewhat loud on boot, but mellow to a comfortable, if not quiet, level after the system boots. Note that the fans will run high speed (ie, LOUD) if the case is open.

A little overclocker heaven:

Update 1/21/2008
Finally tried the above FSB overclock. Suh-WHEET!

Program to view temp/fan speed and to control at the bottom of this page:

Update 10/13/2007
As part of a longer tutorial on the layout of the SC1430 that I will release in the coming weeks, this is the goofy commercial that I made with Cinelerra about the SC1430:

Update 11/11/2007
New video describing the SC1430 with emphasis on features, video cards and shows an example of dremeling the end off a PCI Express slot:

Update 9/26/2009
Installed a 500GB SATA and Vista 64-bit Ultimate.

Update 2/17/2010
Installed a Fedora 12 64-bit on a 4.5TB RAID5 set, courtesy of 3ware 9650SE and Western Digital:



Anonymous said...

Was curious about how loud the server was compared to a regular desktop. Or is it basically a vacuum?

John said...

I just got my 1430sc and I got an old x300 ATI PCI-E from my brother in law. I cut the last 33 contacts off the card with a dremel to make it fit in the x8 slot. It fits and boots!

Now to cut up a better card!

Cacasodo said...

It starts up with a sound like a jet engine, but then mellows after the boot sequence to a volume just a little bit louder than a regular PC. Now that I've got four drives in it, it is somewhat loud. Though, I have it in the closet next to my desk, so I just close the door to avoid the noise.

I don't have a sound meter, so I can't really give you an accurate reading on the sound pressure level it outputs.

One last thing..if you take off the cover, the fans will kick on like mad and it will sound like that jet engine again.


Cacasodo said...

Awesome, man! Though, because the bracket /door that holds the PCI cards down can be opened with the case closed, I've just put my BFG 8500 GT in the first PCIe slot using the adapter I mentioned and let the box run with that little door open.

But I'm looking at my dremel and thinking about doing what you've done!

good job!

John said...

Ok. I have dremeled another card, with not so good results. I believe that the server is a little picky with cards, not just getting it to 4x.

The card I just did was a XFX 7600 GT. It posts, but it will not allow me to get into the bios. Very strange. I know the card still works because I put it in my standard desktop and its the card I'm using now. So in short, I guess it would be good to make sure the card is compatible first with one of those x8 adapters.

The good news is the card is not destroyed so I can use it in my desktop system.

Cacasodo said...

That is weird. And your trouble getting into the BIOS is not keyboard related?

glad you didn't hose your card completely!


Unknown said...

I just got a 8x to 16x adapter in the mail today. I am currently usng a X1300 PCI video card and plan to go to one of the new 8800 GT cards. It is around 100 watts lower power consumption than the GTS cards and is faster. Hopefully it will work with the SC1430.

I have some info on using Windows Server 2008 virtuaization on the SC1430 at


Cacasodo said...

Good HOWTO on Win2008 virtualization. You'll probably learn a great deal more once this guy is in production and you've got some apps heavily using those eight cores.

I'm running Fedora 7 and am currently working through a particularly natty noise issue playing sound. The noise only happens while a GLX-enabled card is installed on the box.

Hope the 8800GT works in the box. Please let us know what happens,

John said...

Ok. The card that wouldn't work in the SC1430 is still going strong in the desktop. I'm just going to say, get an adapter to be sure.

Advice number two... A guy at work just cut a card and it stopped working completely. It is a 7100GS with shared memory. Even if you don't want to buy the $30 adapter to test the card. Please put a piece of tape over the last 33 pins and stick it in a regular x16 slot to make sure it works.

Cacasodo said...

Thanks for the post, John. I'll do the tape test just to make sure. I'd rather not break the video just so that I can close that little door!

As for my Fedora audio noise problem as a result of the BFG GPU, I did an end-around by plugging in an M-Audio MobilePre USB adapter. noise! Not the best solution, but at least one that works.

John said...

I also wanted to follow up with confirmed RAM that works in the system. If you go to kingston, corsair, or crucial. Their memory finders will only show you ram that is super expensive to buy. However I have found ram with the correct specs that has worked perfectly in the system.
Kingston DDR2 FB-DIMM ECC Fully Buffered.

This works in my system, if you need less you can get the same line of ram at a smaller size. Just make sure it starts with
KVR667D2D4F or KVR667D2D8F.

The original GB of ram still works with this ram, so I have 5GB available.

Cacasodo said...

Very good! I have added this info to the original post. Thanks John!

MarioM said...

I just dremeled the actual PCIe slot on the motherboard so I dont have to dremel the actual Video Card. It worked great. I am using the Sapphire x1950GT 512mb card and it works great. I bought 2 of them since I wanted to drive 4 monitors. One problem is that these Video Cards are long and it looks like it will hit the SATA plugs that are directly behind one of the PCIe slots...... any recommendataions?


Cacasodo said...

Nice one, Mario!
I have not dremeled the actual slot, but I may after reading your post!

I see your card:

Man, that's a loooong one. No wonder you're encountering issues.

I would think the best way to avoid conflicts with the SATA plugs on the motherboard is to measure the card length and then measure the distance from the card bracket to the SATA plugs. Hopefully, the card will be a little shorter. Otherwise, you could dremel PCI Express SLOT_2. From the pic of the motherboard, it looks like the length beyond that slot back into the box doesn't have any interfering structures.

Also, it looks like the top of the card has connectors called "CrossFire Connections". Are those to connect to a second card or just power? I assume just a second card, but I'd like to know if they are power connectors, as hooking up power to a graphics card in this box is something new that I haven't done.

Cacasodo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cacasodo said...

You inspired me to try my hand at dremeling the end off of SLOT3_PCIE. So this morning (way too early, I might add), I gave myself some space on my desk and had at it with the dremel. I made as much room as possible for the procedure, by pulling back the SATA drive housing and removing both the plastic divider wall that sits between the CPUs and the PCI card slot and the memory.

My hamfisted cutting technique left quite a bit to be desired, as I noticed I crunched the last row of gold leads. Since the slot only uses the 4x lanes, I figured it might still work even though the last few leads were pretty badly chewed up.

I wasn't shocked when the box did not reboot properly. I double checked my connections, saw that I had a few missing as well as no memory in the box. I fixed the connections and replaced the memory and was almost shocked when I saw the Dell logo on bootup. Hooray!

I video'd the event, so I'll post it after some editing. Thanks for the inspiration, Mario!

And for those of you listening, as Mario and I have done it, it IS possible to dremel the end off of one of the PCIe slots in order to fit a 16x graphics adapter in the SC1430. Just BE CAREFUL!!

free2go said...

just got my SC1430. Added 4GB (2x2GB) memory (rank 2) and run memtest64+ 1.70 for several hours without any issue. The original memory modules are single rank which is slower than the dual rank ones.
CORSAIR 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 FB-DIMM ECC Fully Buffered DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Server Memory - Retail(89.99+S&H)

I am wondering where to put 3rd and 4th HDs. Are you using a 5.25" bay to put the 4th HD?

Since the HDs are running hot without good heat sink/fan. I am worried about putting 2 HDs in the 3.5" bay without any heat sink/fan.

I hope to use a PERC 5i with 5 HDs in the SC1430 doing RAID5.

The original 80GB SATA is slow.
It seems that SC1430 has 6 USB 1.1 port and 1 USB 2.0 port. Not yet figured out which one is USB 2.0 port.

Cacasodo said...

I've got four drives:
-two 250GB SATAs, courtesy of Dell with the original purchase. The SATAs are in a Fedora software RAID0 configuration.
-two 120GB IDEs with a hardware Sil RAID card (running RAID 0)

The SATAs are in the SATA drive bays and for convenience sake, I put one IDE in the 5 1/4" slot and the other in the 3.5" slot below that.

Finally, according to the product details here (Additional Specs), all the USB ports are 2.0.


free2go said...

Just for a record, the old PCI NVIDIA Quadio NVS vidso card works on a PCI-X slot to support 4 displays with driver.

After install the correct driver, I now see the USB2 Enhanced Host controller 268C.

Cacasodo said...

Good deal! Thanks for the update.
I've edited the main entry with this info.


nooberz said...

Free2go can you add a video link... like Cacasodo did...

or put the details of the card, when I searched i saw many cards with the chipset you described... i am not sure if any of those will work?

Cacasodo great video... at work we watched this over lunch =)

Cacasodo said...

Thanks Nature,
Took me a long time to do those darn transitions!

Unknown said...


Here is the info about the PCI video card I got from Sandra:

Device Information
Device Type : VGA Video Adapter
Device ID : bus 6, device 0, function 0
Windows Device Name : NVIDIA Quadro NVS
OEM Device Name : Nvidia Corp Quadro4 200/400 NVS [NV17GL.2]
OEM Hardware ID : FUN_0, VEN_10DE, DEV_017A, REV_A3
Device Name : Nvidia Corp Quadro4 200/400 NVS [NV17GL.2]
Product ID : VEN_10DE, DEV_014C
Revision : K / 4 (163)

On there is a similar card:
Item number: 330151089838

However, if you don't need 4-monitor support, you can probably get a much cheaper one that support single monitor.

Unknown said...

Finally got my SASx4 to 4xSATA cables. got PERC 5/i RAID HBA for $80 from ebay. 3-in-2 SATA bays from put 5 SATA HDs and make 2 Virtual Disks on RAID5.

My SC1430 is almost ready for VMware esx 3.5. I just hope the onboard NIC works for ESX 3.5.

Cacasodo said...

Hey Free,
Are you utilizing those four monitor outputs?


Unknown said...

I'm currently using 2 monitors. my friends use 3-4 monitors with the same card on different machines (Windows XP). It is ok to watch multimedia clip/dvd on any of the monitor it connected to. Never tried to play modern game on it.

Cacasodo said...

VasR (terracode),
Did you ever get the 8800GT and install it in the box?

Cacasodo said...

I'll answer my own question here: YES, the BFG 8800GT 512MB PCI Express works in this box if the box is modified to accept 16x PCI Express cards.

Though I don't have all 16x lanes, glxgears reports a respectable 12200FPS.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the heads up on the 8800GT. I've been holding off on the card waiting for prices to drop. I now have a reason to snag one.

Cacasodo said...

Yes, it's a nice card. Be advised: you should take off the little OC sticker that sits on the fan. It's been known to come off and jam the fan.

I removed the sticker on my 8800GT after a few hours of the card being on. That way, the glue has softened a bit and the sticker is easy to remove.


Erick Wipprecht said...

Did you ever get ESX installed on your 1430 free_2_go? I've got a 1430 too and it works great with one exception -- ESX doesn't recognize VT support so 64 bit guests won't work. Otherwise it's a rockin' box!

Unknown said...

I purchased the new nVIDIA 9600GT yesterday and installed it in my SC1430. I am using the 16x to 8x adapter. It works well so far. See the link below for pics:

Unknown said...

Hi, I stumbled upon this post - I just picked up this model - dual quad core from Dell last week. Managed to get an ATI x1550 running (x1 connector) running as my primary video card, but I'm thinking about adding a second monitor. Do you know if I can just add a second x1550 in the other PCIe slot?

Cacasodo said...

I was able to run two NVidia cards at the same time: the 8500GT and the 8800GT. So I assume you shouldn't have any issues.


MarioM said...


Glad it worked for you too. I too chewed up the last row of the slot but I knew they were not used since its an 8x slot but only the first 4x are used. I am noticed a slight choppyness in the server when doing everday tasks. Most noteably is when you move the mouse around the screen very fast I notice it is choppy. Also when scrolling in IE. Sometimes even when I typing, like I am now the typing lags. Any ideas or tweeks to do? I heard the HD write/read speeds are slow... so i thought that might be it.

On a side note I also installed a sound card and it works fine in the pcix slot.


Cacasodo said...

Hey Mario,
My main OS is now Fedora and I have not experienced the laggy mouse action you are seeing. From your post, it sounds like you're on some flavor of Windows. XP or Vista? I've heard that Aero on Vista is a real hog, but I have no real world experience with that OS to confirm that.

The type of Windows OS isn't all that important because either way, you need to do some basic performance monitoring:
1) look at what Task Manager is reporting. You should have plenty of available physical memory. Also, make sure your CPU utilization is low.
2) to investigate hard drive issues, you'd want to load up Performance Monitor and look at the Average Disk Queue Length stat under the Physical Disk object. I have written an
article about that here.

gimme a shout back if you find anything.

Unknown said...

Hi Cacasodo,

I used your little BSEL mod video tutorial to mod my 1.6ghz sc1430 quad core to 2.0ghz. It works great. Thanks for posting.

Cacasodo said...

Good deal Chris!

Unknown said...

OK, I bought two of these systems for someone at my job. The price is so ridiculous i might buy more if I can get some graphics to work. Of course I couldn't get a straight answer out of my dell rep as to weather or not I could put any aftermarket graphics card in that x8 slot. My dell rep also told me Windows XP is not supported on this system.

SO I bought two ATI Fire MV 2400 PCIE x1 quad graphics cards for this box. I've tried the cards in both pcie x8 slots and have had no luck getting any display. Maybe its because of the two gpu?

I've got a bunch of other cards lying around here; Matrox, Colorgraphic, ATI, NVIDIA. I guess I will try other models until I find one that works. I've got an x8 to x16 riser coming in the mail...

Cacasodo said...

Support for aftermarket video cards is where the benefits of this inexpensive machine falls down.

As I haven't tried them, I can't speak to the Fire cards. Minimize your pain by trying one at a time, removing other cards, etc. You can scroll through the above comments list to see what cards have worked for people. I've tried these cards successfully:
-BFG NVidia 8500GT
-BFG NVidia 8800GT
-ATI X1550

let us know what works from the cards you have,

Unknown said...

So far a I have a bunch of cards that don't work in this box. I got close with a couple of 4 head PCI cards by Matrox and Colorgraphic as in the Dell BIOS was able to see them. But with those cards IO get BSOD all day. I can't even boot into safemode without the BSOD. Those were PCI cards though.

As for PCIE the Fire MV 2400 doesn't work. Nor does the PNY NVIDIA Quadro NVS 440 PCIE x16 through the riser.

I'm using the other x8 slot as a harddrive controller which for my SAS drive. Im not running a RAID array so I suppsoe I could ditch that card. I wonder if that would help at all from a power consumption stand point?

If anyone has gotten a four head display to work on this box please let me know what cards you used!?!?

Unknown said...

For Erick Wipprecht, you need to enable VT support in BIOS. SC1430 has the CPUs and NIC supported on ESX 3.5.

Unknown said...

freee_2_go this morning I tried installing a PNY Quadro NVS 290 x1 in pcie_3. I also have the dell LSI SAS atdapter in the other pcie slot. There is some sort of interaction between these two that causes an ~5 min period of blank screen before boot or bios setup. (I only discovered this accidentally by leaving for a meeting while it was in this blank screen state.) If I remove the SAS adapter the problem goes away... of course so does my boot volume. I've fiddled with several bios and LSI adapter settings with no luck. Are you seeing this type of delay? Any ideas?

As it is this is still better than the GeForce FX 5200 (Jaton 228PCI-Twin) that I had in the PCI slot. That card wouldn't let me rotate a monitor, and it also produced random artifacts on the screen. The NVS 290 was ~$150 from Tiger Direct, much cheaper than the NVS 400 class boards which go for ~$400.

Cacasodo said...

No, I haven't noticed a delay or contention among PCI cards. However, I haven't had that many in the box. These below at various times:
-Belkin firewire card
-Sil SATA card
-ATI X1550 video card
-NVidia 8500GT/8800GT
-CreativeLabs Audigy LS

That's about it. Maybe someone else has seen the delay you're talking about.


Unknown said...

Swapping the slots for the LSI and NVS card seems to have improved things a bit.

Cacasodo said...

Thanks for the update, Mark.

Unknown said...

I get up to a 4 minute black screen delay on bootup with the SC1430 using the NVidia 9600 GT SC. I don't mind it since the computer is always on and the card is smokin' fast playing Crysis, Video and etc.

I didn't have a delay using a PCI video card (ATI X1300)

Cacasodo said...

Huh. With the BFG (NVidia) 8500GT and 8800GT, this delay doesn't occur.


Unknown said...

Mark, I do not notice such delay.
However, I use a very old PCI Quadro NVS.

Anonymous said...

Im going to receive my dell sc1430 its not exactly a computer for be using in my case as a server, my brother works in a computer store and he noticed that in dell store web there was a bug with price of dell sc1430 the configuration he made just cost 125 € yes i said 125€ mainboard 2 gb memory, 3 years warranty .... so he didnt think and blught it ... later we call dell and ask about that bug ... they told us person responsible of that bug had been fired and that we would receive the computer of course at that price 125 € ... ok good buyng now we want to know we have a pc with a nvidia gforce 8800 gt does it fit in dell sc 1430 ok? if not what options do i have? ... what tipe of adapter do i need to make it work in sc1430? is there a problem with installing drivers in that computer and make work that videocard? ... how does games run in dell sc 1430? i love gaming and im interesting in knowing if last games like crysis, age of conan, world of warcraft ... will work ok on it .... Why dont u put a video with the performance of games in that computer?

Cacasodo said...

The 8800GT will work in the SC1430. You can either:
1 - dremel one of the PCIX slots to accept the PCI Express card
2 - use a PCI Express 8x to 16x adapter that raises the video card in the slot:

With option 2, you'll need to keep the little door that holds the adapter cards open all the time. But these options are further detailed in my original post and shown in one of the videos.

I use the box more for video editing than gaming, so I don't have much data on game performance.

Good luck and have fun with the new box!

Klaudioz said...

Frre2go, do NVIDIA QUADRO NVS400 PCI QUAD HEAD need pci adapter 8x-16x ??

Cacasodo said...

From the picture on this shopping page:

it looks like the card is a full, 16x PCI Express video card and will need you to either buy the 8x-16x adapter card or dremel off the end of one of your PCIX slots.

As it is easier, I recommend the former (buying the adapter).


Klaudioz said...

Thanks Cacasoso, I bought this one:

And the adapter too. I'm looking for cheap sound card for SC1430

Cacasodo said...

Running Fedora, I had sound problems (slight crackles) with any sound card I put into the box used in conjunction with an NVidia video card. When I changed to an external USB audio interface (MAudio Mobile Pre,,
I no longer heard the crackling. Also, using the onboard ATI video did not interfere with the audio.

I hear that people using Windows don't have this problem, but be advised that it could be a possiblity if you use Linux.


Klaudioz said...

I installed a Sound maker genius value PCI, but WinXP didnt detect it

Cacasodo said...

Huh. I used both a Delta 66 card and a SB Audigy LE and both cards were detected by Fedora. However, they both exhibited that noise problem when combined with the NVidia card that I told you about in my last post.

Not sure why XP wouldn't recognize the card. Of course, if you look on Dell's site for supported OSs, XP is not one of them.
good luck!

Klaudioz said...

Yes, i want to use linux in my experiment, but this don't work and had to use Plan B (WinXP x64). Plan C is Vista x64.

cooltoad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cooltoad said...

Hi Sodo & All.
Thanks for the great tips on this blog.
I'm having some (actually a lot of) trouble installing a BFG 8800GT OC2 on this sc1430.
My config:
2-CPU sc1430
3 1TB SATA drives
1 500GB boot SATA drives
1 CD/DVD burner
5 GB RAM (2x512M, 2x2GB)
I'm using OrbitMicro's lane converter. (I'm not brave enough to dremel right now...:-))

I get the BIOS screen and after that blank screen. I don't even get to the Setup page if I press F2. I've left it for over 10 mins.
I've tried the following:
1) Both PCI-e slots.
2) Disabled 3 1 TB drives.
3) I've removed 4GB (2x2GB)
4) Tried with DVI, VGA.
5) Tried another card ASUS EN8400GS.

How are you guys connecting the PCI-e power to 8800GT. Maybe that is the key. The PCI-e power cable on sc1430 is not long enough to reach the card. How did you guys extend it?
I was connecting using 2-molex-to-PCI-e Y cable that came with 8800. I have only one molex and one SATA power connector left in my sc1430. So, I used the remaining molex to connect to one of the molexes on Y. I used a SATA-to-molex adapter to connect to the other molex on Y to connect to card. Is that a problem?
How did you guys get 2 molexes free?

Thanks for all advice...

cooltoad said...

- BFG 8800GT OC2 refuses to work in my setup. Even tried with external power the card with a separate 850W PSU. No go.
- Finally tried Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4850. This worked!!

Informa said...

Hey Guys,

Has anybody successfully configured VisionTek X1300XGE 512MB PCI Express X16 card ?

I would be happy to buy the PVIe 8X to PCIe 16x adapter, but need to know whether it will work.

Any inputs ?

nooberz said...

Hi, what is the power consumption difference between the sc1430 @ 900 Watts and regular optiplex @ 300 watts.

I see the numbers but I can translate it into money... is this sucking up a lot for home.

also a list of the working cards

Cacasodo said...

If you look at the specifications on Dell's site, the power supply is rated at 750 watts.

I haven't measured the cost of running the box. I have it running when I edit video only, so it is not on all the time.

I don't have a list of compatible cards for the box. That would depend on the OS you're running.


Steve said...

I was successful in getting a BFG Tech GeForce 9800GT 512MB working with the PCIe riser board.

After using it as my workstation (moved it from the server room) I was bothered by the sound output from the fans. I modded the 2 internal 92mm fans and the box is now SILENT! The sound output of the box was drastically reduced by changing these 2 fans. I did run into some peculiar difficulties with the installation of the fans.

I used 2 different brands of fans.
1) Arctic cooling AF 9225 PWM

2) GELID Silent 9 PWM (came with rubber fan mounts...nice)

I also had to purchase this adaptor cable.

4-Pin PWM to 5-Pin Dell Adapter Cable allows you to plug your choice standard 4-pin PWM fan to a Dell's proprietary 5-pin fan header.

So I got the fans mounted and cabled up. Booted the PC and got a BIOS error message stating the Memory Fan was alarmed. I checked the fans and they were both working when powered I decided to switch the power couplings and plug in the GELID fan into the memory fan power dongle. Rebooted and everything came up as expected. For some reason the Arctic Cooling fan was not being properly recognized by the BIOS. I would recommend the GELID PWM fans...and I'm lucky I ended up with 2 different brands..or I would have still be scratching my head.

Hope some of this was helpful...this thread has helped me a lot with my SC1430

Cacasodo said...

Good work, Steve!
The fan mod is an interesting one. Thanks for the detailed update.

Though a great deal initially, this box has cost all of us a lot of time. Well worth it though, as it is a real workhorse.


Unknown said...

Thank you for this useful post. I have the same box but I don't want to buy an adapter nor cut the card. I want to use the PCI slot for video card. Could anyone advice me if the following cards will work?

Additional info: I use the box in an office environment so low gaming performance is not an issue for me. I need to have at least 1920x1080 for one of the dual monitors I am trying to set up.

Cacasodo said...

If I were you, I would buy one of the cards listed in this thread that are known to work. Though it'll cost a few bucks more, it'll save you time and hassle in the long run.


Unknown said...

Just in case anyone is in the same situation as me. I purchased and installed EVGA GeForce 9400GT 512MB PCI. It works flawlessly on under Ubuntu. Dual monitors 1920x1080(DVI) and 1024x768(VGA). I don't think I can play any graphic intensive games with this card. Tried to play full screen HD video on YouTube got very choppy result. I am totally fine with it however since it is only used as an office PC.

Cacasodo said...

Good work, Cuong.
Thanks for posting your results!

Unknown said...

Has anyone tried to run the X5365 3.0Ghz processors in this motherboard? They came out after the mb was produced but it is the same slot and chip design. I wanted to see if anyone tried it before i buy one. Worst case i sell it back on ebay.

Cacasodo said...

That chip is a Cloverton and is the same socket type as the mobo on the SC1430:

So I would think you should be able to. Try it out and let us know. And if that's the case, I'll buy a couple myself!


dhoom said...


Thanks for the information on sc1430.

My motherboard on the sc1430 went bad. Would you know if I can use the heatsinks from the sc1430 on any other intel server motherboard.

Thanks for your help in advance

Cacasodo said...

You'd just need to verify that the form factor of heatsink clamps on the server motherboard you wish to use in the SC1430's case are the same as the original mobo.

However, I'm sure you could get away with using aftermarket heatsinks. Haven't tried them, though.

If you do setup another mobo in the SC1430's case, please post back here. I'd love to know if you get it working.


smartgrid said...

Wireless networking at 108Mbps.

I used the Abit Wifi AirPace, since its a 1x PCIE card, fits the 1xpcie slot and works fine.

For windows 7, and Vista the trick was not to use the abit driver for both x64 and x86.

Go to the select manual driver and pick the Atheros chip under network adapter in the control panel.

"this card is actually an atheros chipset card, simply uninstall any abit driver and install the driver for the card manually using Windows 7 default drivers under 'Network Adapters', pick either Atheros AR5006X or AR5006XS"

Cacasodo said...

FYI - I compiled the list of cards from the comments that are known to work in the box so far:

ATI-based cards:
ATI Radeon hd4630
ATI x300
ATI x1550
VisionTek X1550 Radeon Pci 256MB VGA
Sapphire x1950GT 512mb card
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850

NVidia-based cards:
NVidia BFG 8800GT
NVidia BFG 8500GT
EVGA GeForce 9400GT 512MB PCI
NVidia BFG 9600GT
BFG Tech GeForce 9800GT 512MB


Unknown said...

I'm using an NVIDIA Quadro NVS 290.

Cacasodo said...

OK..I just added to the main section up top..thanks Mark!

Cacasodo said...

Seems I'm having a similar problem to you guys with the install of the 3ware 9650SE RAID card. It now takes the box about four minutes to boot Fedora 12! The problem appears to be some sort of conflict with the two PCI Express cards that I have in the box: the NVidia 8800GT and the 3Ware 9650SE card. Once I removed the 8800GT video card and used the onboard video, the box booted up in about 40 seconds!

Initially, the two cards shared IRQs, so I re-ordered them to use different IRQs. No change. Then moved the IRQs around a couple more times just for kicks. Still no go.

If anybody has an idea as to how to solve this, please let me know.


Cacasodo said...

So, I've got two PCI Express slots in the box. When I swapped the RAID card and the NVidia card in the opposite slots, the box booted up in a flash. The problem with this, though, is that the bottom slot that worked accepts only 8x cards. I used an 8x-to-16x adapter in this slot to fit the 16x video card in the configuration that has the fast boot. Unfortunately, using the adapter raises the card in the slot and I can't close the hood on my box or fit the second of two DVI connectors on the back of the video card. Of course, I could dremel the end off of the second 8x connector but that's a friggin hassle.

The best solution would be to find out the mechanism that controls the PCI Express bus..or at least the ordering of PCI Express cards in the boot process. Again, unfortunately, the BIOS is stock Dell, so I am somewhat hosed.

Is it possible to reorder the PCI Express cards somehow? Of course, there is no such option in the BIOS.

Cacasodo said...

So whaddya do when you a sticky problem?

image here

I must say I did a much better job this time. Now the box boots up in 40 seconds instead of four minutes!

smartgrid said...

Another Video card, except now its a power house with a multitude of features, TV/remote included.

I bought the pci-e ATI X1900 All-In-Wonder by accident


The system booted up fine on the pice slot install. The card is fairly long, and fits only one of the PCIE slots.

My system went up to a 5.4 video graphics for W7.

Theres a firmware, but I cant find it on ATI, since its AMD now.

Cacasodo said...

Thanks OO,
I will add to the list of working cards.

smartgrid said...

I need help, please guide me on how to install the 4th drive, in the front panel (currently too wide).

2 x HD The original the 2 bay side installs were easy.

1 x HD One drive in the front panel was easy as well - this was how it came installed.

?? The other drive bays in front are too wide for 3.5" HD. So, the fourth drive install is puzzling me, I am newbie so please help. I called dell and they want me to buy some plastics for 30$!!

nooberz said...

oo - Did you pop the front plast panel.

I popped the front panel and installed the 3rd drive, however I didnt get to the 4th drive.

I ll head home and check this.

Cacasodo said...

You could utilize the 5.25 drive bay for your 3.5" drive by using adapter brackets like these

3DmichaelangeloVFX said...

Hi all from Chile... first thx for this blog was really helpful... 9800gx2 with sc1430 doesnt work , 9600gt 1gb ddr3 Zotac ,works perfect.... next week i will try with GTS250

im using orbit micro adapter...

Cacasodo said...

Good! Thanks for posting!

Brian said...

Just used one of those oscillating fein multimaster clones to cut the back of the slot out. I tried both a gf210 and gf9500gt. Both of the cards posted but never allowed getting into the bios screen or past the KMS portion of a linux kernel boot.

Just ran and grabbed an MSI 4350 and it booted up. Posting at 1680x1050. I'll bring this machine to work on monday and it'll become my primary desktop.

Cacasodo said...

Nice work, Brian.
Did you manually set the resolution of the bootup (1680x1050) with a kernel parameter? If so, what kernal param did u use?


nooberz said...

Please Comment - Video lag:

Regardless of the caliber of the card (48 pipelines/shaders 128 bit processing), I beginning to see some video lag on the system if I cross 15 windows.

Even using windows 7. Svr 2008, Vista 64.

Possibles Issues:
-I am beginning to wonder if its a software/hard compatibility issues, where the card is not supporting Directx 11? I dont think is the reason because windows has rated my video as 5.4

-Memory shortage? I dont think this is the issue, 256MB on card, 6GB on system

-8X Pcie? I am not sure

-Chipset? I am not sure

Can someone comment please if you're seeing any lag as well

smartgrid said...

I was able to post MOST, if not ALL,
ATI HD 5450,
ATI HD 5470,
ATI HD 5770 - passive cooling, monstrous card, but it should fit in the dell

Cacasodo said...

thanks, smartgrid!

BBrian said...

EVGA 512MB Geforce 8400GS PCI card did not work for me.

Cacasodo said...

thanks BBrian!

zampaz said...

Thanks to the pioneers of the sc1430.
This is still a relevant thread!
I'm using a PCIe X1 ZOTAC ION-GPU-A-E ION Graphics Processor 512MB in slot 3.
Supports DVI, VGA and HDMI.
59 bucks...8 gig memory, 152.00, SIIG PCI snd crd 39.00
Matched Quad Core Xeon upgrade
370.00 (eBay), Perc 5i 512mb raid memory 60.00, battery backup for raid card 18.00.
5x1 gig WD RE4 hdd 119.00 ea,
original sc1430 box 130.00.
Issues: 4 minute boot time with zotac card, will try changing slots...
Temporary OS vista x64.
Install Vx64 w/o Video. Then add PCIeX1 card. Used two monitors for install.

Cacasodo said...

Thanks Zampaz!

ILoveTech said...

Hi there,

I'd like to know if there's a correct way to mount the perc 5i battery in the sc1430. I can't seem to find the holder and I don't want the battery to dangle around in free form. Please let me know if you have the answer. Much thanks and great blog!!!

Cacasodo said...

Haven't had to replace the battery in my SC1430 (surprisingly). Give the manual a look (links above).

zampaz said...

I "mounted" my battery to the plastic divider/heat shield using duct tape.
If I may ask, where did you get your replacement battery?

ILoveTech said...

Hi, Not sure if I came off clear. I looked over the pdf manual it doesn't mention anything. But would it be possible to perhaps take a picture of your sc1430 inside showing where you're placing the perc 5i battery? I have the battery connected to my Perc 5i card and I used double-sided tape to stick the battery on the Perc 5i card to prevent the battery from moving around when I move the computer as there doesn't seem to be any sort of proper mounting mechanism to holder the battery in a secure manner. Much thanks!

zampaz said...

I have no idea what the dell oem solution for mounting the battery was. Your double sticky tape solves the issue of the battery flopping around.
As far as sending a picture goes, the system is in a difficult spot and is rarely taken off line. The next time I open the case I'll try to remember to snap a photo for you.

zampaz said...

Video Card Report for SC14
Well, I've tried a nVida card from zoom with the usual boot delay and then I got the following HIS card:
H545H1GD1 ATi Radeon HD 5450 1024MB DDR3 PCIe 2.1 x1 Video Card
The card can be had at newegg or here:

This card works with no issues, I don't game so I don't have frame rate stats for
It has HDMI audio output too and the cost is around $99.

zampaz said...

Where did you get your replacement battery?
I ordered a couple replacements from hong kong off of eBay but they weren't compatible, they were for the perc 6i.
The seller stated that the battery would be compatible, but the cable would not be compatible. I had the perc 5i battery cable but the batteries themselves were not compatible. I'd like to get a replacement from a source that I know will work.

ILoveTech said...

Hi Zampaz,

I've ordered my Perc 5i Battery off from It cost a little more, but it's the original and you know it'll work 100%.

here's the link:

Hope this helps!!!

zampaz said...

Hi Ilovetech;
Thank you very much.
After my experience ordering batteries off e-bay from Hong Kong, I'd suggest other users do the same.

zampaz said...

Aggh, that last post was not what I meant. I meant best to order from Dell and not Hong Kong

dalefutbol said...

this adapter


Cacasodo said...

Haven't tried that card, Edmundo. I'm not sure.

dalefutbol said...

I bought the card within a few days come and prove it, I commented how it goes with this.

Cacasodo said...

thanks Edmundo!

Javier bullanguero said...


I get the adapter and I've tested.


the adapter does not work with the server chassis, since there is no way to accommodate the card into it.


I tested the video card RADEON HD5450 SAPPHIER ( with the adapter and it worked correctly.

I made some videos where I tried several options for the video card.

1 - Testing HD5450:
2 - HDMI test:
3 - FULL VIDEO HD test:

(Excuse my English, I'm Chilean)


The video card ati radeon HD5450 works fine with an adapter, did not try any games but I will soon ... on the adapter that I published, does its job but not for this chassis, which can not fit it in any way in the chassis.

Cacasodo said...

Nice work. Thanks for the contribution.

Eric said...

I understand this is an old thread, but I am planning on picking up a SC1430 next week, I am getting it with 4gig ram and a pair of xeon quad cores for under $200... I am not a gamer so I am not concerned with playing high end games, but is the on-board video suitable for watching hulu or youtube videos? I usually watch vids now at 360p or 240p because my internet is so slow... I also use VLC to watch movies on my network and local hard drives... I am an avid Linux user, I was wondering if you could see any reason why Linux Mint 64 bit or Ubuntu 64 bit would cause me any problems. I will be using either Cinnamon desktop environment or XFCE. Also, was a solution for the funny noises when using a pci sound card ever cleared up? Would I just be better off getting a USB audio device instead? I appreciate any help you could provide, since I'm not really looking to buy a new video card I am hoping this will be suitable for my meager video tasks.

Cacasodo said...

1) though the box has a lot of cores, I don't think it will help you much with your limited bandwidth
2) each distro has it's own problems, especially with a server platform like the SC1430. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but expect the worst. (Event though, like a lost love, I still have a soft place in my heart for the box)
3) I never got to solve the weird audio problem in Fedora..not sure if other distros have that problem. I just moved to using USB audio. See how your other distro's do..if you have to go to USB, then at least you have a solution.

zampaz said...

May I suggest the following card;
HIS H545H1GD1 Radeon HD 5450 Silence 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express x1 Low Profile Video Card
Using it with great success on a media server.
Although my WS is also hooked to TV, if my WS goes down I can still watch media from my server. The HDMI output has audio, no sound card needed.
Can't speak to Linux, but hardware wise fully compatible. Find on newegg for 69.00

Cacasodo said...

Thanks for the nice addition. I might try this card myself. Tho, I'm a Linux user and have concerns about AMD/ATI's lackluster OpenGL2.0 support.

OldMcDonald said...

Im so glad I found this blog! I have an sc1430 that I want to add a graphics card to. So I bought a bfg 8800gt 512mb card.

I decided to cut a notch in the card and not on the back of the slot. My cut is good and in the right place!

After installing the card I get the dell boot screen and the second screen that gives the boot options. I can get into bios and everything seems good until I try to boot off a drive and usb stick.

I get a black screen for anywhere between 1s and 60s then it reboots.

I have tried soldering a wire on the underside of the motherboard telling the board it is a x8 card (I think I soldered a1 and b49) but I still get the usual black screen.

I have run the system barebones, with just 2gb ram, with and without the other pci-e slot filled, disconnecting the ssd and booting from a usb stick and I have also tried changing all the irqs around but I always get the black screen then a reboot.

I will try the jumper wire setting the slot to x4 and if that fails to x1 but im wondering if anyone can help shed any light on my problem. Most say the card works out of the box (almost!) so maybe I just have a duff card?


Cacasodo said...

Not sure. Probably easiest to try an el cheapo card that is on the list of good ones to verify if your card is bad.

Unknown said...

I dremeled out PCIe slot #3 on my motherboard and I have been successfully using an Nvidia GeForce 6800 with the Dell SC1430. I also added a cheap audio board and the system plays/transcodes movies and runs games (Sims 4) just fine.

However, today I took the 6800 out and tried a PNY Geforce 9800 GT. The attempt was unsuccessful. The Poweredge defaulted back to the onboard video adapter and then the system halted with this error

"PCIe training error in slot 3

System halted!"

Reinserting the Geforce 6800 restored full function to the Poweredge.

Cacasodo said...

Thanks for the note, Kevin. Good addition to the compendium.

OldMcDonald said...

I can confirm a 3dfx Voodoo 5500 PCI card works ok. I have it placed in one of the PCIX slots because I have an Audigy 2 soundcard in the PCI slot.

I haven't tested any drivers yet but the screen doesn't skip around anymore so i'm happy!

Cacasodo said...

Thanks rik!

OldMcDonald said...

I am thinking about upgrading my RAM and CPUs and want to get the fastest possible.

Dell says the fastest cpu you can install is the e5320 (1.86ghz - 1066mhz) but this blog says that the e5345 (2.33ghz - 1333mhz) works.
Has anybody tried the 2.66 or 3.0ghz cpus? Or are there any other lga771 processors that work?

And, am I right in thinking the best ram setup is 2gb pairs of pc2-5300 (ddr2-667)?

Thank you!

Unknown said...

I just obtained a PowerEdge Sc1430 and read up on these posts about upgrading the graphics card. I chatted with Dell and as you can guess they don't support upgrading graphics cards in server class machines. I found a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 420 by PNY 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express Gen 2 x16 VHDCI to Quad DVI-D SL or DisplayPort Profesional Business Graphics Board, VCQ420NVS-X16-DVI-PB graphics card and was wondering if that would work in this machine.

Unknown said...

I found this graphics card while looking online. The card is a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 420 by PNY 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express Gen 2 x16 VHDCI to Quad DVI-D SL or DisplayPort Profesional Business Graphics Board, VCQ420NVS-X16-DVI-PB. Please let me know if it will work.

Aetios said...


I bought a PNY Quadro NVS 290 PCIe 1x with 256 Mb (20$). It works out of the box.

But I need more power because I want to transform my sc1430 in an Arcade Machine.
So I bought a ZOTAC GeForce GT 730 PCIe 1x with 1G DDR5. I'm waiting for it. I'll tell you if it works or not.

See you soon

Anonymous said...

Im starting to set up my SC1430 as a home server. I am looking at using freeNAS off a flash drive. This will take up a lot of RAM. I have 8GB installed right now, but dose anyone know if there is a way of getting up to 16GB of RAM into the box ?

Anonymous said...

I wanted to use my SC1430 as a freeNAS server for home use. I want to run off a flash drive, and I know this will eat up a lot of the RAM. I have 8GB installed right now that is listed as the boxes max. Is there any way of getting more RAM into the box ?

vmforno said...

I have to report a Nvidia Quadro FX580 that is currently working out-of-the-box , after "hacking" the PCI-E slot

Cacasodo said...

Thanks VMforno!

Unknown said...

Did you got any result with GT730?

Feel free to drop me a line or ask me a question.