Budget Server Build (Minecraft) - Looking for suggestions


I've built a gaming desktop before, but I've never built a server so I really don't know what I'm getting myself into. Me and my wife are Minecraft addicts but have succumb to the constant world resets and raging pre-adolescents that dominant most public servers. That being said, we're interested in building our own server for our house that will be strictly dedicated to running a Minecraft server.

My initial thoughts are pretty sparing because as I said I'm more familiar with the desktop approach to things. Here are a few initial questions I have:
  • Is it possible to fit server architecture in a small package? Since this is only going to be for Minecraft, I was looking for a small physical footprint because I intend on sticking it in a corner and forgetting about it.
  • In terms of hard drive, is there a significant performance gain when it comes to hard disks vs SSD? I know that Minecraft frequently writes to the world files and undergoes loading chunks while exploring the world, so my instinct says read/write speeds would impact overall game performance, but I'm not entirely sure.
  • This last question is really specific, and I only expect people who have experienced Minecraft to know the answer: Does Minecraft take advantage of multi-core systems?

Also, here's my goals for the system:
  • Small physical footprint
  • Quiet
  • Budget friendly (It'd be awesome to get <$500)
  • Optimized solely to run Minecraft

Again, I'm completely new to the server side of things so any help and/or tips would be greatly appreciated! Cheers.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about budget server build minecraft suggestions
  1. Well for starters go to and post your results
    Like this is mine and would be good for a Minecraft server
  3. Best answer
    Assuming this is just for your family in your house, your external internet speeds shouldn't make much of a difference (excepting the times you connect when you are out of your house).

    Again, assuming this is just for your family (small numbers of players connected at a single time), you don't really need a powerhouse. I run a small server for my family which is based off an old Athlon X2, 4 Gigs of DDR2, and an IDE drive. This works fine for a small number of players. The cheapest solution would be to reuse a machine that you have. At that point, you could look into a more powerful machine if you decide you want to.

    To answer your questions more specifically:
    Yes, it is very possible to fit a small Minecraft server into a very small package. Conceivably, you could use something like or .

    If your building your own mini-sized computer, a small SSD would make sense, as a single world (even when very large) does not use much space. Furthermore, if you go with a headless (no monitor, keyboard, or mouse) setup running something like Ubuntu Server, you hardly need any storage space anyway. Chunk loading should be better with an SSD vs a traditional HDD.

    Minecraft can to a degree take advantage of multiple cores, but it is still more dependent on individual core speed (overall speed, not just clock rate). With a server, the requirements are lessened because the client's workload is not present.
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