I come to you today with a question concerning building a home server with virtualization.
I'd like to add a server to host some servers for my home and for my gaming community. These could include: Domain controller, web server, mail server, mumble/murmur server, dedicated gaming servers. All virtualized for modularity.
My initial plan was to buy a cheap multi-cored processor with great reviews and to use that to run several virtual dedicated gaming servers using level-1 virtualization with EXSi or some similar program. Of course, once I started doing my research for a good product, things started to get confusing and complicated.
During my search I came across the AMD FX-8320 which looked well suited for the task with 8 cores and 4.0GHz. It has bad energy efficiency for a server at around 125W TDP. However, I read a lot of forum posts saying that it was good at virtualization but many were recommending the i5 and i7 series instead for some reason.
While looking into these suggestions, I ended up considering Xeon chips as options too. The 3.3GHz Xeon e3-1230v2 looked like a well-suited chip but only had 4 cores (8 threads?). It has better energy efficiency at 65W TDP (which is nice for a dedicated server!). It is also actually a server chip. From my understanding these Xeons are the same as the i5/i7's but without integrated graphics and some other unnecessary bells and whistles.
Factors being considered: energy efficiency, maximum number of virtual servers (can 8 cores have more VM's than 4 cores?), hardware cost (preferably close/under $600 for CPU, MB, RAM, Case, and PSU). How much heat will the Xeon put out? I would just like to put the processor in a non-server-rack case. I dont have IT infrastructe like air conditioning to support an enterprise setup. I just would like a hobbyist home performance server for random machines like gaming and basic internet services. Am I overkilling this?
Thank you for your time and responses!
More about :home server cpu question intel xeon amd 83xx
Both are probably up to the task. The E3 xeons are nice. The FX-8320 would be nice for virtualisation i guess but it has less single thread performance. as i assume this server will be running 24/7 i would go for an Intel build as it will use less power. Also i would go for a haswell E3 v3 due to the better platform power efficiency unless you can get a good deal on a E3 v2. This is all dependent on getting a server mobo too.
All in all unless you need features like ECC & IPMI i doubt you need a xeon really. A haswell i7 with a non-server motherboard would get the same job done. Plus you get an IGP.
In terms of heat, it'll be dependent on the CPU's TDP, usage, PSU efficiency, hard drives & ram.
If you plan on getting more heavily into this i'd suggest going server hardware. Another option is to buy a cheap pedestal server from HP, but DIY seems to be similar and you get more performance. The other concern about enterprise hardware is that it can be loud.
Newegg has a E3 1240 v3 for $265, a 1150 server mobo is $130-180, ECC DDR3 (non-rdimm) is $69 for 8gb (i assume you're maxing the RAM for virtualisation), but for 16gb you'd end up having $67 for a case + PSU. i would recommend spending more on a better PSU as running a server 24/7 you can get a short payback time. However $67 doesn't get you a platinum PSU & a case, so you'd run over budget. The cheapest platinum PSU on pcpartpicker.com is ~95, and then you could put that into an ATX/mATX case. that comes to $700.
Going haswell i7, maxing RAM, motherboard that takes your expansion requirements + platinum PSU will be fine as a server as long as you don't need unattended access to IPMI features and ECC, however i just checked pricing and it's actually quite similar to non-server except you can't overclock. An i5 overclocked could exceed the performance of a xeon, but you pay in electricity.