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Low Cost Server Build

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#1 MikroMan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 14:40

As stated in my intro post, I am currently choosing components for a new server build. The thing should be reasonably low cost and energy efficient. I'll need it for file sharing for 1-2 PCs, 2 laptops, FTP access, backups, 24/7 downloads and possibly later some other uses.

My currently build:

CPU:
Pentium G630/G630T
http://www.hoh.de/ha...ghz-so-1155-box
http://www.hoh.de/ha...ghz-so-1155-box

I know T version is more energy efficient, but how would those two CPUs perform at running Windows Server 2012? Overpowered, underpowered?

Motherboard:
ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
http://www.hoh.de/ha...l-1155-atx-ddr3

The main sell point for this is 4 SATA II + 4 SATA III ports.

RAM:
2x2, 3x2 or 4x2 GB
http://www.hoh.de/ha...glerank?c=33585

Something like that, 2-4 sticks of it.

I already have the PSU and case, so there is no problem.

I'll be using an old SATA II 160 GB disk for boot. I also have WD 1,5 TB Green drive (EARS), that will be used for extra backups (single, independent drive) for some more important files (work, documents, pictures), so the capacity should be enough.

I'd add two 1 TB or 1,5 TB drives (RAID) for starters and buy more when I get some cash.

http://www.hoh.de/ha...d15earx?c=32618
http://www.hoh.de/ha...4mb-3-5?c=32618

How would those perform? I've been reading about some complaints about WD Green drives that are unusable in servers?

The noise of the server and disks is not a problem as the server will be put into the attic, away from living space.
The motherboard + CPU + 2 stticks of RAM should cost together no more than 180 EUR. The drives together should cost about 170 EUR max.
I'd like you to review my build, critique it and share some thoughts about my ideas :)


#2 Mindovermaster

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 14:58

Why not get an ITX board with a dual Atom processor? If you want ultimate low power, there is your answer. The latest one with DDR3, think its still socket 1155.

#3 OP MikroMan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 15:11

I'm not sure I understood you correctly... If it has dual core Atom, it can't have 1155 socket at the same time. So there is no point in going ITX and putting in standard 1155 because I'd still have same power consumption but less SATA ports, I guess. However, would you recommend any specific ITX board?

#4 threetonesun

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 15:19

I think a full PC and Windows Server for this:

file sharing for 1-2 PCs, 2 laptops, FTP access, backups, 24/7 downloads


Is a bit overkill. A NAS or pogoplug type setup would work fine.

#5 OP MikroMan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 16:23

Should I take some mini ITX moterboard and later on add a SATA controller? What would be the best OS to handle my requirements?

#6 threetonesun

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 16:42

Should I take some mini ITX moterboard and later on add a SATA controller? What would be the best OS to handle my requirements?


Well, you said "possibly later some other uses". What those other uses are might better define what you should use here. As I said, for a home file server, I'd rather just have a NAS box these days.

#7 OP MikroMan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 17:28

I've just realized that mechanical HDD won't actually saturate SATA2, let alone SATA3, so I'll probably try to find an ITX board with 4 or 6 ports and dual core E350. Should be enough.

#8 Tony.

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 18:49

If you can find this in your country with a cash back offer is a steal: http://www.ebuyer.co...back-658553-421

#9 OP MikroMan

MikroMan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 19:19

Yeah, I've been looking at those as well, but unfortunately it isn't available in my country and the postage costs would almost nullify the 100 pounds cashback deal. I live in Europe, country is part of European Union, and they still make us look like we're some third world country with dial-up internet :D

#10 Crisp

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 19:24

I'm currently building an Athlon II x4 610e server.

#11 Mindovermaster

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:34

I'm not sure I understood you correctly... If it has dual core Atom, it can't have 1155 socket at the same time. So there is no point in going ITX and putting in standard 1155 because I'd still have same power consumption but less SATA ports, I guess. However, would you recommend any specific ITX board?


1155? God, what was I thinking. Belay that.

If you can find something like this where you are: http://www.newegg.co..._-pla-_-NA-_-NA

#12 OP MikroMan

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 13:24

Hehe, no problem. Well, the best I could come up with is http://www.asus.com/...oard/AT5NM10TI/ for 77 EUR. Should be good enough, I think.

#13 Mindovermaster

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 13:43

Well, that does have a dual core Atom. I love ASUS, so go ahead. ;)

#14 Aergan

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 20:06

I picked up an old Acer AMD Phenom 2.2Ghz quad core PC for free, gutted it, threw 8GB of DDR2 at it and 10TB of storage over 6 HDD's in a Silverstone Grandia desktop case. Board and CPU are over 4 years old, cobbled together with odd old bits like an extra gigabit LAN card and a PCIe SATA controller.
I can get away with:
  • 24/7 downloads via uTorrent to dedicated HDD.
  • Media streaming to Xbox 360's/PC's via WMC/WMP/MPC at 1080p (Up to 5 devices simultaneously depending on disk load)
  • XBMC to TV via HDMI (Counts as a device above ^)
  • Transcode mkv to .m2ts
  • Convert DTS to AC3
  • Remote Desktop / Log Me In
  • Backups
  • SkyDrive
  • Up to 4 live Virtual Machines on Hyper-V via Dynamic Memory Management
  • Run a virtual Windows Domain on Hyper-V for lab/test
If I need extra lab/VM resources, I switch the boot selector between Windows 8 Enterprise x64 (on a VHDX) and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (also on a VHDX), then run the Windows 8 Enterprise OS as a virtual. When doing very little, it's using 85-90watts of power but probably less now that I've installed only Samsung and WD Green HDD's. HDD's spin up on demand and cores are throttled down to around 600-700Mhz.

Other than the HDD's and the case (only real expenses), it's surprising what you can get away with on something that was originally going for scrap. For what you need, you might consider recycling what may already be available for a lot less money ;)

#15 OP MikroMan

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 21:05

Other than the HDD's and the case (only real expenses), it's surprising what you can get away with on something that was originally going for scrap. For what you need, you might consider recycling what may already be available for a lot less money ;)


Will check at home tomorrow what do I have. I know there should be an old Athlon 3000+ and some other unidentified CPU+motherboard that might be dual core... Also got an offer for a sempron 3400+ and a mobo for free. I just might take the guy up on the offer... Well, I'll surely get back at you when I know some more :)