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Newest Dell 690 Motherboard?

Last response: in Motherboards
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March 16, 2011 4:07:29 PM

Hello,
Dell has told me that their new MB part number for the 690 is XU361. I have not yet seen a pic of it. Sells for $250 @ ServerSupply.com.Current MY171 MB is fried.Lights 2,3,4 are on. Pwr led is amber.

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a c 100 V Motherboard
March 17, 2011 1:00:49 AM

First determine what caused the existing motherboard to get fried. Or else, the new replacement motherboard may share the same fate.
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March 19, 2011 1:07:02 PM

Ubrales said:
First determine what caused the existing motherboard to get fried. Or else, the new replacement motherboard may share the same fate.

I assume crucial connection were broken when the very heavy Dell 690 cracked the end of the table and crashed to the floor. The front panel LED's indicate a "Unable to read Bios" condition. CPU 1 and the Northbridge chip are hot to the touch.
The southbridge is way too hot to touch. No sound or video. I re-seated the CPU's per Dells instructions. The UCLK IC between the Northbidge and CPU 1 is too hot to touch. Suspect one of the numerous Vreg's may have put 12 volts on the many isolated 3.3 volts feeds. I have ordered a replacement board, but having been a tech for 30 years, I would like to pinpoint the true nature of the problem. You are correct in that just dropping in a new board may damage it as well.

I was going to install Intel 5355 quad CPU's to begin with, but that idea will have to wait. I have 3 of these 690's, a 750GB WD Caviar in each bay, Windows 7 64bit on my Adobe DreamWeaver machine, and Windows 7 and Ubuntu desktop and Ubuntu Server in a tri-boot machine (Yes, the MBR has to be modified). This 690 that fell only had Ubuntu Server loaded and is to be my main server.

I love these 690's, just don't use any SAS or software RAID and they work fine. The last 2 drives are for backup and a FAT32 common file share partition. I bought these 3 from Ebay for $600 each and until the end of the bench gave out, things were working just fine. Ubuntu runs screaming fast on these machines, though you do have to install a DOS MBR in the C:// drive and download the AMD64 drivers. I may buy more of these 690's this year.
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a c 100 V Motherboard
March 19, 2011 3:11:57 PM

Hope it works out well for you.

I have a Dell WS 490 that I got for $300, am happy with. Just don't like the high cost of the SAS drives. Instead, I modified the front 5 1/2" bay and installed a 500 GB SATA HDD there.
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March 26, 2011 7:48:18 PM

Dave256 said:
Hello,
Dell has told me that their new MB part number for the 690 is XU361. I have not yet seen a pic of it. Sells for $250 @ ServerSupply.com.Current MY171 MB is fried.Lights 2,3,4 are on. Pwr led is amber.

dave just curious i have a dell 690 also , and dell told me i need a xu361 motherboard for my dell 690,
they are out of stock and cost would be $634.99 I have found a new motherboard my171 for $ 200.00
looks to be the same thing but not sure..if contapatible..
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March 28, 2011 3:57:59 PM

boss3021970 said:
dave just curious i have a dell 690 also , and dell told me i need a xu361 motherboard for my dell 690,
they are out of stock and cost would be $634.99 I have found a new motherboard my171 for $ 200.00
looks to be the same thing but not sure..if contapatible..

Yes Boss, they are the same. My replacement MB was a MY171 Rev: A00. It came mounted on it's steel baseplate. I also ordered a F9394 MB, which is the version in my second of 4 of these 690's. On the backside, they both have raw board part# F9395.
Either way, I would order the MY171. Do NOT use the HDD0 - HDD3 connectors, as they are hardwired for SCSI harddrives, and will cause problems with Sata hard drives. Plus SCSI is very slow compared to the latest Sata drives. I use the 3 Sata connectors with 3 750GB WD Caviar Green drives and it screams with Windows 7 64bit or Ubuntu 64bit. First thing to do is go online to Dell, type in "690 BIOS A08" for a search term, and it will offer the Windows and Linux downloads to upgrade the bios. The Windows version works best. This A08 upgrade allows for SCSI RAID 0 and 1, and allows you to install Intel 5355 Quad CPU's (2.66GHZ) if you don't mind the $500 each that they cost. In your BIOS settings, after you upgrade BIOS, set your boot sequence to CD-ROM/DVD, then the Sata drives. In your Drives option menu, turn the SAS OFF. your Floppy drive OFF, Sata0 - Stat2 ON, and make sure ATA mode is on. Software RAID 1 using your first 2 drives is easy to setup in Windows 7 or Ubuntu. On the Sata connectors, you will notice that the "SmartDisk" feature built into the WD drives works properly. I believe there is a 2 TB size limit on the Sata connectors, and a 500GB limit on each of the HDD connectors.
I have 4 of these Dell 690's, 2 as Ubuntu servers and 2 as Windows 7 workstations. These are AMD64 motherboards. Only Linux and Windows 7 (64bit) will install the proper drivers. Thanks to the SAS snafu, I am limited to 3 large fast drives, on a very fast machine. Make sure you have at least 8GB of ddram as Windows 7 uses 1.5GB alone, and Adobe Dreamweaver uses another 2GB. These are dual-boot PC's, with W7 in drive 0, Ubuntu Desktop in drive 1, and drive 2 is a FAT32 backup for both OS's.
NOTE: Install windows first, even if you are going to overwrite it, as BIOS expects a Dos type MBR at the start of drive 0.
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April 4, 2011 2:44:05 PM

Best answer selected by Dave256.
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April 4, 2011 3:36:17 PM

I do have some more details about the MY171 A08 motherboard used in the Dell 690 series.
The HDD0 - HDD3 connectors are hardwired for SCSI hard drives, with an inductor on the board to limit the data rate to 1.5gbps. SCSI drives also have a higher output level to tolerate noisy backplanes, and use a protocol that will not let the Sata TLE and SmartDisk protocols to pass through.
Not only are SCSI drives expensive, but buying the hi-speed versions would not get you any speed benefits due to the inductive filter. HDD0 - HDD3 are only active if the SAS controller is switched ON and they are limited to 500GB standard SCSI drives or 300GB hi-performance SCSI drives. The sum of all HDD drives cannot exceed 2.0TB. So much for hardware RAID.
The 3 Sata connectors are what I use (Sata0, 1 and 2 must be turned on in BIOS, and ATA mode is ON). They run at 3gbps, making for a much faster boot time and file access. They have a total capacity of 2.5TB, so you can install a 750GB Sata drive in each connector with no problems, as this only totals 2.25TB.
Windows 7 offers the option of RAID 1, but it runs slow and it takes 11 hours to sync large hard drives.
Ubuntu 10.10 offers RAID 0, 1 and 5 (You must download "mdadm" to have RAID), so I use the RAID 5 option with 3 750GB WD Caviar Green drives. This gives me almost 1.5TB of storage with instant backup. Ubuntu uses the first 30GB of each drive for it's own programs. This is the best I have been able to do with these Dell 690's, and I use 2 of them for backup.
If you must have RAID 5 in hardware, buy a Dell "T" series with the Perc controller built in and 3 1TB SCSI drives running at 10K rpm. These make for good mini-servers for home use.
My 2 other Dell 690's use the same 3 hard drives to run Windows 7 64bit, but no RAID is implemented, just the usual backup routines.
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a c 100 V Motherboard
April 4, 2011 4:16:17 PM

Thank you!
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!