Zalman TNN 500 AF based workstation (X9SRA/E5-2620/NVS300)

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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:24 am
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Zalman TNN 500 AF based workstation (X9SRA/E5-2620/NVS300)

Post by kcg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:29 pm


I know, Zalman TNN 500 AF is already out of business for some time, but yet I could not resist to post about my third rebuild of this case to my workstation. About my last 2 builds you can read on this forum and spec find in my signature. Now, I do have TNN 500 AF for some time and although I've built 2 "silence" computers for my wife and children since that time the technology in TNN 500 AF is still unique so it's still way the most silence computer in house and that's why even after all those years of heavy service I still prefer this case over all those fractal designs/antecs builds. -- just my preference, nothing to offence anybody here!
So here is a list of components:
  • Supermicro X9SRA: I'm building real Unix workstation, not PC, it's for Solaris 11 based development... :-)
    Intel Xeon E5-2620: the most powerful I can buy with calm heart
    Kingston 32GB: KVR1333D3D4R9SK2/16G, of course in Unix workstation, ECC RAM with SECDED at least is a must have feature.
    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB: that will hold Solaris's root (i.e. ZFS's rpool)
    2x 500GB Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 drives: moved from previous setup (holding ZFS's data pool)
    ZM-OC2011: Zalman's adapter for their's waterblocks to fit on LGA 2011 equipped boards
    SilverStone NightJar ST40NF: from previous setup
    Zalman TNN 500 AF: of course from previous setup too, that's why I'm doing all this...
As you can see on the pictures here: ... 8/Silence2 -- I've basically crippled 4 channel RAM board into 2 channel only to fit it into TNN 500 AF without a fan. Also OC2011 requires some filling down in order to have CPU block to fit well in between two parts of OC2011. Last "issue" was adding some pads as OC2011 is a little bit taller (or put higher on top of CPU) than Zalman's original kit for LGA 775 boards distributed with TNN 500 AF. That's for CPU block. GPU cooling part also does not fit perfectly on NVS 300, it's few degrees turned outside from the case so heatpipes needs to be a little bit bent in order to fit, but it's working very well. Also it's fitted only with 2 screws, but this is perfectly enough for this anyway. In fact I've run stock NVS 300 in this setup with its stock GPU cooler and while stressed it goes up to 85C. When I moved to Zalman's GPU block and cooling done by heatpipes and case I'm not able to get over 45C with the same benchmarks (just few glxgears running for some time).
Everything is documented on the pictures above. As I've had some issues to fit Scytche drive silencers in last setup (you can see it here: ... 18/Silence) I've purchased SilverStone CFP53B drive box this time.

So well, the build is kind of clean, but can't compete with artistic builds of builders here using recent cases with sophisticated cable management. TNN 500 AF completely lacks such feature. On the other hand I still feel it provides something unique and I'm still glad I've purchased it all those years ago for its horrible price. :-)

I've thought someone might be interested how to fit some modern board into this beast so I post my knowledge here, although in the lights of latest builds this might look like from the middle age. :-)

PS: just will need to change my signature now...
Now: Zalman TNN 500 AF + Asus P5K64 WS Professional + Intel Q6600 SLACR + 6GB ECC RAM (Kingston KVR533D2E4K2) + 2x Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 500GB in 2x Scythe Quite Drive 2.5" enclosure
Previous: Zalman TNN 500 AF + Asus A8V Deluxe + Winchester 1.8 GHz + 1GB Mushkin Black Level II Version 2 + Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 80GB + 1x 5V 5W light-bulb to keep PSU running!

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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:28 am

Re: Zalman TNN 500 AF based workstation (X9SRA/E5-2620/NVS30

Post by Moogles » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Cool build! Bought a used TNN500af a couple months ago and struggling to find a use for it. The original power supply gave out immediately after I bought it. Your build gave me some ideas. :)

Did you get the lamp to work?

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