I am trying to spec a rack mountable server to power 5 large screens, each of which will use HDMI to connect to the server.

The screens will be used in an IT Operations room and will be displaying browser based dashboards via grafana, nagios etc, so the IT technicians can monitor the environment.

The resolution needs to be good enough to read small text, charts and graphs. There is no strict requirement for 4k , although if possible within the budget, 4k would be great.

My budget is between £1000 to £1400 GBP ($1200 to $1650 USD.)

The server needs to be mounted within a comm's cabinet, if required the form factor can be a tower type and placed on a rack tray.

The dimensions can be no greater than;

  • 18cm High (7 inches)
  • 45cm Deep (17.7 inches)
  • 50cm Wide (19.6 Inches)

Ideally the server would be a Windows server, although *nix will be acceptable if it is right for the task. Additionally although I do enjoy the build it yourself approach, this is for an enterprise environment so ideally it would be as 'out the box as possible', although I do not mind if graphics cards need to be swapped out or display adapters need to be used.

For reference I had looked at Dell Precision 3930, with dual NVIDIA Quadro P400 and HDMI display adapters, but it is to large for the comm's rack.

  • Good question, but you haven't specified an important point: is noise an issue? If yes, you'll have to think additionally about the way you'll cool the two GPUs. Luckily, 18 cm factor means 4U, so you can use large fans, but the front panel should let the air in as freely as possible. Aug 14 '19 at 19:10
  • @arseni mourzenko no noise isn't an issue. It will be in a sound proof comm's cabinet. Aug 15 '19 at 5:06

So after looking extensively for a single host that would meet these requirements, it does appear as the size restrictions cannot not be met without breaking the budget.

However, I did find an ideal solution; x3 micro-form-factor Dell OptiPlex 3060's. Each supports 2 monitors/4k screens via HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. I used DP/HDMI adapters to support up to 6 screens total. (although I only need 5.)

They also fit on a 1U shelf perfectly (2 will sit side by side on a shelf.) As for the budget they came in well under £900 meaning they where over £300 under budget.

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