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Dedicated servers for games (few questions)

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April 25, 2014 10:36:20 AM

Hello all

i am hoping to build my self a pc to host some game servers. i am hoping to run games such as Arma2 OA, Minecraft, Battlefield 3 and teamspeak.

here are some questions

-will this build be enough to run one or two games or servers simultaneously? (Minecraft and Arma 2 at the same time) :http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/erykkrol1/saved/4tT5

-do i need ssd's ? i decided to put 2 in order to raid them both together but the total price comes up to 400£ could i reduce that by buying HDD

-Do i need to have the game installed in order to run a server ? for example, if i wish to run a dedicated server for arma 2 will i need to have the actual game on the computer i am running the game server on.

- can i use the same copy of the game for running a server and one for playing. is this legal and is this safe ?

I hope some of you know the answers, if you need me to elaborate the questions feel free to ask if i didnt make myself clear.
April 25, 2014 10:42:10 AM

Server software for games are usually a separate executable from the game itself.

It's near pointless to RAID SSD's as their speed and longevity are already quite good. Look at HDDs for sure.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-raid-benchmark,...

"RAID 0 on SSDs: Great for benchmarks, not so much in real world usage"
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April 25, 2014 10:45:14 AM

s4in7 said:
Server software for games are usually a separate executable from the game itself.

It's near pointless to RAID SSD's as their speed and longevity are already quite good. Look at HDDs for sure.


I see, do you know if there will be performance difference for players who are playing the game if i use HDD?
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April 25, 2014 10:47:04 AM

No, players won't see hardly any difference whether you use SSD or HDD as they load the game, not you.
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April 25, 2014 11:09:26 AM

erykkrol said:
Hello all

i am hoping to build my self a pc to host some game servers. i am hoping to run games such as Arma2 OA, Minecraft, Battlefield 3 and teamspeak.

here are some questions

-will this build be enough to run one or two games or servers simultaneously? (Minecraft and Arma 2 at the same time) :http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/erykkrol1/saved/4tT5

-do i need ssd's ? i decided to put 2 in order to raid them both together but the total price comes up to 400£ could i reduce that by buying HDD

-Do i need to have the game installed in order to run a server ? for example, if i wish to run a dedicated server for arma 2 will i need to have the actual game on the computer i am running the game server on.

- can i use the same copy of the game for running a server and one for playing. is this legal and is this safe ?

I hope some of you know the answers, if you need me to elaborate the questions feel free to ask if i didnt make myself clear.


Okay you seem very lost on here, so let's do some basics. First, most games come with the ability to host a LAN Party based server, that means everyone is in the same place and they enable their PC as the host computer for the 'event' and the other computers need to connect to it to play the game. While you CAN participate in the game, it is NOT best practice as this often leads to lag your causing being the ADMIN playing on the machine you want to dedicate as a Server. In all cases a i3 or such systems are way too low end, as you want high processing potential, and much higher end of Memory to host things, hence normally one would have a Xeon CPU (it is like a i7), multiple HDDs (minimum 4) in RAID 3 or higher, and about 16-32 GB of RAM, as the 'host system'. Otherwise the game is limited on the size of the map, number of players, and more and more LAG occurs in the game.

That said, originally many people started to host from their homes to friends in the neighborhood over Internet, then they wanted to play against people from all over so there were many services that developed to 'connect' these together, Battle.net being the most famous among them. They had their Maps, their own mods, etc. Around when COD4MW2 - BF3 came out is roughly when things changed,as the makers of the games killed off this model with a 'inhouse' service (this case the BattleLog and the hosted servers for COD) and locked the code from being modifiable / can't even make maps. They all wanted to 'sell' (DLC) map packs they made, as well as get in on forcing people to 'rent' the software as a service for hosting on the Company Servers. This also limited where they were accessible, and thus required the use of a inhouse connection service (Battlelog, etc.) would be the ONLY way to connect to a game.

So what we are stuck with BF3 and other 'normal titles' is a locked in system that you can't host your own games, can't make your own mods to the game, and CAN NOT make your own maps, much less have your server 'listed' unless it conforms to that 'services' demands (I gave up looking into it once they made all these changes). THE NORM now is you 'rent' a server from a HOST company (many advertised) that has all the hardware, speed, licensing, etc. and will allow Internet connectivity to the game because they are licensed from the game makers to be listed on the 'server list'.

I would suggest, that you save your time, money, and effort, and if you want to host your own games, the HOST services is the easiest, most likely way for the title to 'allow' you to do it. EACH game maker is different and some may stick to the old model (Like ARMA) but EA, etc. are very STRICT and have their 'business model' on how it will work whether you like it or not.

Last consideration: UNLESS your on FIOS, your INBOUND (someone from the Internet connecting to your computer) is MUCH SLOWER then your OUTBOUND (how you connect to the systems on the Internet) speed. Case in point, Comcast 50Mbps service is 50Mbps OUT, 5Mbps IN. So the speed is 1/10 as slow for everyone 'connecting' to your home server then if you used a dedicated HOST company with OC24/48 or higher IN/OUT connections.
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April 25, 2014 2:54:03 PM

I have also done some changes to the build please give me your opinions.
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Best solution

April 25, 2014 12:12:47 PM

Minecraft servers uses your RAM for the server slots, it's officially recommended to have 10 slots per 1GB.

I would recommend 20 slots per 1GB if your RAM isn't really much but you still wish to have more slots.
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April 25, 2014 3:05:06 PM

erykkrol said:

Thank you for your input, the reason i want to build my own server so i can host multiple games, with out paying for each game.


HOOOLDDD IT. Do you mean a HOST Server to host people to PLAY the games without buying a copy of the software? If so NO that isn't what a HOST server is, that is a torrent pirating software hosting. A Host server is the main GAME server multiple players connect with their OWN individual purchased (or in minecraft free download) copies of the game so they can play 'together' in the mulitplayer scenarios. But ALL machines need a licensed copy of the software, the problem is with BF3 and other 'AAA+" games have shifted the model that you CAN NOT HOST as a Game Server UNLESS you buy into their specialty program which is hosting the games themselves / authorized 'HOSTS' companies that charge as well, whom will do the hosting 'for you'.

The method I outlined I made specific mentions because normally one wants to 'Host' the game because they have ideas for Mods to the game / maps they want to play on instead of 'what was inside the box'. Both are NOT able to do anymore, so hosting on your 'home' server also went away as I mentioned.
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April 25, 2014 3:12:19 PM

Leaving off hardware concerns, what are you actually trying to do?

In simple terms, please explain to us...
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April 25, 2014 12:16:27 PM

And for Minecraft, the server and the game itself are COMPLETELY seperated, as the Minecraft server softwares are free.

If you want to have more informations, please go to Minecraft Forum.
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April 25, 2014 4:55:01 PM

I should stop writing when i am tired gets people confused :D 

I want to host multiple server for games. hosting mission files for arma2, hosting worlds for minectaft, hosting matches for battlefield are all examples of this. I want to do it personally so i dont have to pay Companies to host each single game for me.

If i get more experience i could host it for other people if the cost isn't to high. i hope this explains everything, nope i am not trying to create any torrents what so ever.
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April 25, 2014 2:43:42 PM

Tom Tancredi said:
erykkrol said:
Hello all

i am hoping to build my self a pc to host some game servers. i am hoping to run games such as Arma2 OA, Minecraft, Battlefield 3 and teamspeak.

here are some questions

-will this build be enough to run one or two games or servers simultaneously? (Minecraft and Arma 2 at the same time) :http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/erykkrol1/saved/4tT5

-do i need ssd's ? i decided to put 2 in order to raid them both together but the total price comes up to 400£ could i reduce that by buying HDD

-Do i need to have the game installed in order to run a server ? for example, if i wish to run a dedicated server for arma 2 will i need to have the actual game on the computer i am running the game server on.

- can i use the same copy of the game for running a server and one for playing. is this legal and is this safe ?

I hope some of you know the answers, if you need me to elaborate the questions feel free to ask if i didnt make myself clear.


Okay you seem very lost on here, so let's do some basics. First, most games come with the ability to host a LAN Party based server, that means everyone is in the same place and they enable their PC as the host computer for the 'event' and the other computers need to connect to it to play the game. While you CAN participate in the game, it is NOT best practice as this often leads to lag your causing being the ADMIN playing on the machine you want to dedicate as a Server. In all cases a i3 or such systems are way too low end, as you want high processing potential, and much higher end of Memory to host things, hence normally one would have a Xeon CPU (it is like a i7), multiple HDDs (minimum 4) in RAID 3 or higher, and about 16-32 GB of RAM, as the 'host system'. Otherwise the game is limited on the size of the map, number of players, and more and more LAG occurs in the game.

That said, originally many people started to host from their homes to friends in the neighborhood over Internet, then they wanted to play against people from all over so there were many services that developed to 'connect' these together, Battle.net being the most famous among them. They had their Maps, their own mods, etc. Around when COD4MW2 - BF3 came out is roughly when things changed,as the makers of the games killed off this model with a 'inhouse' service (this case the BattleLog and the hosted servers for COD) and locked the code from being modifiable / can't even make maps. They all wanted to 'sell' (DLC) map packs they made, as well as get in on forcing people to 'rent' the software as a service for hosting on the Company Servers. This also limited where they were accessible, and thus required the use of a inhouse connection service (Battlelog, etc.) would be the ONLY way to connect to a game.

So what we are stuck with BF3 and other 'normal titles' is a locked in system that you can't host your own games, can't make your own mods to the game, and CAN NOT make your own maps, much less have your server 'listed' unless it conforms to that 'services' demands (I gave up looking into it once they made all these changes). THE NORM now is you 'rent' a server from a HOST company (many advertised) that has all the hardware, speed, licensing, etc. and will allow Internet connectivity to the game because they are licensed from the game makers to be listed on the 'server list'.

I would suggest, that you save your time, money, and effort, and if you want to host your own games, the HOST services is the easiest, most likely way for the title to 'allow' you to do it. EACH game maker is different and some may stick to the old model (Like ARMA) but EA, etc. are very STRICT and have their 'business model' on how it will work whether you like it or not.

Last consideration: UNLESS your on FIOS, your INBOUND (someone from the Internet connecting to your computer) is MUCH SLOWER then your OUTBOUND (how you connect to the systems on the Internet) speed. Case in point, Comcast 50Mbps service is 50Mbps OUT, 5Mbps IN. So the speed is 1/10 as slow for everyone 'connecting' to your home server then if you used a dedicated HOST company with OC24/48 or higher IN/OUT connections.


Thank you for your input, the reason i want to build my own server so i can host multiple games, with out paying for each game.

I initially put an i7 into the build but i decided to change to i3 to save money, i will probably add an i7 back in and change ssd's for better pricing

Thank you for a little history lesson aswell.
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April 25, 2014 7:01:23 PM

Of course it's possible. If you uses Steam you no need to buy another copy of game to host server. Just make sure you've downloaded the game files that are needed to host server (for some games only).
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