160 Mac Mini in one server rack

    Probably, if an engineer sees a small computer, then he immediately has the idea to take a hundred or two of these babies - and combine them into a cluster. This impression is created when you see projects like a cluster of 64 Raspberry Pi computers . But this is nonsense compared to the home-made design of the 160 Mac Mini , which is already installed and running in one of the data centers.

    A year ago, Apple turned production of Xserve servers to 1U, but there’s no holy place, and Apple tech enthusiasts began making home-made designs with maximum processor density in the rack. It turns out that in a standard server cabinet with skillful hands you can put one hundred and sixty Mac Mini Server - small quiet desktops with four core i7 processors, designed actually for home use.

    It turns out that the Mac Mini works great together if you build plastic stands for them to be compactly placed in a cabinet and add enhanced cooling to the door. With this cooling, the CPU temperature is around 30 ° C. For comparison, without fans, they heat up to 99 ° C, the difference is significant.

    160 Mac Mini is a quite budget cluster with 640 processor cores with relatively low power consumption <30A (together with fans). Each Mac Mini has 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD.

    The author of the project in his blog describes the stages of work and the problems that had to be solved. In addition to cooling and unit size, this is also cable management. Each unit has a power and Ethernet cable. We managed to solve the problem with power cables using 4-in-1 cables, see the last photo.


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