Thursday, 19 January 2012

XW 8400 some observations

XW 8400 some observations

XW 8400 - Overview

The XW 8400 is a heavey piece of kit, its PSu is rated at 800 watts with gives you an idea of the kind of load it was disined for, in side the case you will find heat sinks on just about every chip on the mother board. It means business.

Update: 19/11/2012

Although rated at 800 watts the power supply draws around 200W when idle, and about 250W under load, this is based a a 2 x dual core set up with one SSD and a 1TB HDD.

With room for two processors at 1333 FSB the XW8400 can go up to 8 cores, which is a lot, although I suspect for most 2 or 4 will be plenty. I am running the 2.33 GHZ 1333 FSB dual cores, and even before I installed the second processor the machine was quick.

Update: 19/11/2012

I have since upgraded to 2 x 3.0 dual core, which are not noticbly any quicker than the 2.33s. A second XW8400 I have purchased is running a quad core 2.0 GHZ processor.

XW 8400 - Fan Noise

However, all that power comes at a price the XW8400 is pretty noisey it has fans every where you would expect, and an extra one for the memory. This is the first PC i have had with a memory fan and it does add to the noise (80mm high rpm), but can be easily swapped out for a quieter model, I would suggest a fractal cooling silenet 80mm.

However, perhaps the worst source of noise is the PSU fan which is a very clumsy 3 bladed effort (the mind boggles) that sounds like a lawn mower. I tried to swap this fan out for a PWM fan, but it would n't work, I can tell you why. In the end I went for a fractal design fan capped at 1200 rpm, with no PWM. For PSU colours wiring see here, for instruction sof PSU fan replacement see here.

The large case fan at the rear was swapped out for an arctic cooling F12, the processor fans are fine, not very noisey at all.

XW8400 - Expandability / Futureproof

One of the great things abot the XW8400 is it expandability, it has room for 5 or 6 SATA drives which can be RAIDed via inbuilt hard ware, it has 3 x  5.5 inch bays at the front.

A huge power supply ensure you will always have enough juice.

The fatsest processors are as follows:

Dual Core

Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5365/ 3.00 GHz,1333 MHz FSB

Quad Core

Quad -Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5365/ 3.00 GHz,1333 MHz FSB

Note: The larger quad core processors may require a heat sink upgrade.

Clock speeds top out at 3.0GHZ, but bearing in mind you can have 8 x 3.0 GHZ that seems plentyfull, as with high numbers of cores in general it very much depends on whether the software you are using can utilize all of the available threads.

 Update: 22/11/2013

With regards to future proofness of this machine I have finally run in to a stumbling block. That is the requirement of Windows 8 / Server 2012 to have a NX capable processor! Well done microsoft! First of all for assuming everybody needs this feature in the computer, and secondly for creating another deluge of waste as 100,000s of PCs are made redundant. Do they not realise?

More details of XW8400 here.
Environmental Permit Applications

Desktop Study

Sustainability Consultants

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