Rich Chomiczewski “Spotswood” Chassis Designs


Rich Chomiczewski or “Spotswood” is a community member known for making some cool PC enclosures. Rich is best known for his work on custom metal and wood enclosures. As I was in the throws of quad socket G34 reviews last year, I purchased three of his stackable 4P trays. Due to the lab’s focus on single socket systems in mid-2011 and a variety of other factors, the three units were neglected. They sat in a box for a year before they were finally put to use. One of the best things about the Spotswood design is that it is a solid open air test platform. As one can imagine, the test servers spend a good amount of time doing benchmarks. Prior to running benchmarks, oftentimes BIOS updates OS installations and etc. need to run in parallel queuing up the next set. In the last six months, Rich’s designs have been an invaluable asset.

Rich Chomiczewski has a few great designs on his site. The versions that ServeTheHome uses are his SWATX designs. Here is what one looks like fully assembled.

As you can see, Rich Chomiczewski’s chassis is meant to handle multiple GPUs and a very large motherboard. Currently I do not have the GPU standoffs installed, but they are easy to assemble if one needs them.

The three 4P motherboard chassis that I purchased have staged everything from SWATX motherboards to tiny ITX motherboards over the past few months. When I decided to write this piece, I simply disconnected network and power cables, save the 40gbps Infiniband connection, and picked it up to take a picture. The three systems in rackmount chassis would probably have weighed in excess of 100lbs. These trays are made out of Aluminum and are therefore very light.

STH Staging Rig by Spotswood
STH Staging Rig by Spotswood

For those wondering, there is one mATX LGA1155 system on top. A few miscellaneous drives including about 4TB of SSDs are also atop the chassis. The middle level was the staging area for the new SSD test bed and housed the dual Intel Xeon E5-2690‘s with Supermicro 4U heatsinks. The Supermicro X9DR7-LN4F was also fitted with 8 DIMMs and a 40gbps Mellanox Infiniband card. That system is connected to the ASUS KGPE-D16 test bed as it was being setup for review. Things happen in parallel and Rich Chomiczewski’s are a major enabler.

Having three quick to access trays helps move systems around quickly. That is a major help since the rack is often full of systems working. When it comes time to do add-on compatibility testing that each motherboard goes through, having an open chassis saves a lot of time. I do want to note that Rich Chomiczewski’s designs are not meant to look as disheveled as can be seen above and even has sub-frames meant to organize accessories as can be seen below.

In fact, Rich Chomiczewski was recently commissioned by AMD to build PC’s in a drum set. Very cool!

My personal favorite aside from the 4P trays, and one he may get an order for soon, is his wood/ metal combo SFF chassis.

Wouldn’t that make a cool home server. Take a look at Rich’s site for some other ideas. We are trying to get more involved in some of the community efforts such as these. If you have another effort you would like to see highlighted, feel free to get in contact with us through the forums.

GPU support beam



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