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Old 04-30-2013, 07:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a Server

Hey,

I am building a server for home, it needs to run 3 virtual machines and will have 3 separate people logging in all doing work on the machine at the same time.

I am going to run Windows Server 2012 and will probably install the latest Windows Professional on the 3 virtual machines. I will not be at the location for 4-5 week time periods so need to make sure that the machine is stable.

Here is a list I was recommended to get and was wondering if any of you had any opinions if anything should be changed and if so, to what?


- Core™ i5-3570K Processor comes with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Motherboard
or
- FX-8320 Processor 3.5GHz w/ 16MB Cache comes with Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 Motherboard

- HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 16GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 8GB) - $120
- CX500M CX Series Modular Power Supply, 500W - $65
- WD 1TB Red SATA III w/ 64MB Cache - $80
- Arctic Cooling Silentium T11 Mid Tower Case, Black - $40
- EAH6450 Silent Radeon HD 6450 1GB DDR3 PCI-E w/ DVI, HDMI - $50
- BenQ GL2450HM 24in Widescreen LED LCD w/ HDMI, Speakers - $170
- APC Back-UPS ES 550VA w/ 8 Outlet - $80
- GigaExpress 10/100/1000Mbps PCI Gigabit Ethernet Adapter - $20


Appreciate the input!
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

I would get the 8350, some regular Samsung 1600MHz RAM (yes I'm serious), a Seasonic Gold series PSU, and consider something a bit faster than a single HDD.

Also, why the Gigabit card? Any modern motherboard comes with a gigabit port unless you plan to run dual ISPs.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

Thanks for the fast reply!

Yes I plan to run dual ISP's that is why I am getting the Gigabit card.

The work load is going to be quite high, that is why I am wanting to go for the Ram.

Is the machine I mentioned an overkill or what is your reasoning for the regular Ram etc?

Also what makes you choose the 8350 over the i5?

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesBond View Post
Thanks for the fast reply!

Yes I plan to run dual ISP's that is why I am getting the Gigabit card.

The work load is going to be quite high, that is why I am wanting to go for the Ram.

Is the machine I mentioned an overkill or what is your reasoning for the regular Ram etc?

Also what makes you choose the 8350 over the i5?

Thanks!
Gotcha, no big there. Makes perfect sense.

The RAM because Samsung sticks are EXTREMELY reliable. Gaming RAM not so much. They are also not branded as such, and are usually cheaper because they come with no heatspreaders and are not flashy at all. I'm not questioning the amount, just the reliability since you will be gone long periods of time.

The 8350 has more threads. 8 threads vs 4 in this case.

I can't suggest any more a better PSU though. You want something good, regardless of having a UPS. Corsair make good PSUs but if this is an important setup you want to back that up by quality backed up by UPS. If you wish to stick with Corsair then the HX or AX line would suffice. Doesn't have to be huge, just quality. I think the Seasonic X Gold 550w is 89 bucks. I would recommend their Platinum line but they are seriously overpriced IMO.

Edit: Also, to iterate further on the HDD thing. Do two or three things at once on a single HDD. It bogs down incredibly due to access times. 3 people accessing the same HDD on 3 different machines is going to be a serious speed issue.
Edit2: Also their Red line of drives are meant for long file transfers in a RAID setup with the load being split up. Not constant I/O by simultaneous connections.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

How about

- Corsair Professional Series HX650 Modular Power Supply - $110

Also how important is HDD speed? I probably need each virtual machine to have around 250GB, what setup would you suggest for that?

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

The Seasonic is cheaper, but the HX is good too.

It's not exactly the speed, but IOPS. A HDD is rather slow for an individual who is used to an SSD, but HDDs bog down BAD when you try to do two things at once on it. Having 3 different individuals accessing 3 different things at the same time (or whatever) will be a horrible experience.

I suggest using 3 or 4 different drives actually. 1 for each individual user and one for the host. This way, nobody is sharing HDD bandwidth with anybody else for a smoother experience. If there is a bit more of a budget, I suggest SSDs, but to have around 250GB that's gonna be real pricey. So if you can, a 60GB SSD (even a cheap Corsair Nova, or cheaper Intel or Crucial. SATA2 would be fine here too) for the host, and 2 or 3 different 250GB drives or 2 500GB drives in RAID 0.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

I would like to keep the total for the server around $1000

How essential is changing the PSU & HDD's in terms of stability?
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

It's not a stability issue at all.

For the PSU, if you mean the CX500, a big deal. For anything important like an actual server, or high end gaming rig a quality PSU is high on the list. The highest. You want to make absolutely certain that the unit feeding electricity to all your parts is the best you can get in your budget and 100% reliable under heavy usage scenarios.

As for the HDDs, that's just a simple case of me being a bit weary on the performance a single drive will give to your 3 clients/users. It's going to be a bottleneck nightmare.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

ok I understand. Very helpful.

So I have the below list:

- FX-8320 Processor 3.5GHz w/ 16MB Cache comes with Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 Motherboard - $260
- HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 16GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 8GB) - $120
- Corsair Professional Series HX650 Modular Power Supply - $110
- WD 1TB Red SATA III w/ 64MB Cache - $80
- Arctic Cooling Silentium T11 Mid Tower Case, Black - $40
- EAH6450 Silent Radeon HD 6450 1GB DDR3 PCI-E w/ DVI, HDMI - $50
- BenQ GL2450HM 24in Widescreen LED LCD w/ HDMI, Speakers - $170
- APC Back-UPS ES 550VA w/ 8 Outlet - $80
- GigaExpress 10/100/1000Mbps PCI Gigabit Ethernet Adapter - $20
- Neutron Series GTX SATA III Solid State Drive, 120GB - $140
- Neutron Series GTX SATA III Solid State Drive, 120GB - $140

Total: $1210 + Tax


Anything else you would change?
The place I am buying all the parts from doesn't have Seasonic, so if the Corsair HX is as good then I will go for that.

I added 2x 120GB SSD HDD too.

Any other thoughts?

Appreciate it!
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a Server

Excellent choice in parts, and SSDs. (What I had)

Probably an obvious question, but is the 24" BenQ necessary for a "server"? If you don't really need it then not getting a monitor for it would shave off most of that overage and be closer to your budget goal.
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