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Building a Gaming Dedicated Server...

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Last response: in Systems
January 26, 2008 12:31:44 AM

Right now I am renting a dedicated box with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Proccessor, 2GB Ram, 250gb HD, etc. I have been looking at comments from everyone on here, and it seems the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 is the Processor of all Processors for its price range.

A year ago I built a new computer, and Newegg happened to send me double of everything I ordered. Most of the extras have just been sitting in my closet, so I figured I would like to build a server for LAN parties. (Would like to use it for online game servers, but I don't think most people collocate 1 box)

Here are the parts I already have (Some Relevant to Performance, some not so much)

1) Apevia Cruiser Case

2) Intel Pentium D 940 Presler 3.2GHz 2 x 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Dual-Core Processor

3) ASUS P5B-E LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

4) Thermaltake W0093RU ATX 12V 2.0 Version 500W Power Supply

5) CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

Basically this is what I have right now lying around. I really want a serious server so I am going to pick up the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor for it and I guess sell the P4 on ebay that I have now to cover some of the cost. I guess what I want to know is...

1) Are the motherboard, RAM (probably get 3 more sticks to make 4gb), powersupply, and case good for what I want to do?

2) Is overclocking left more for gaming machines, or is overclocking a windows 2003 Server box that will be used for SRCDS fine?

3) Is there anything else I should look into before proceeding?

4) Lastly, I have never used Windows 2003 Server for much aside from in class. Is there any reason I should use WIndows 2003 Server instead of Windows XP Professional?

More about : building gaming dedicated server

January 26, 2008 11:16:07 AM

1) Yup.

2) Some swear by overclocking servers & workstations. Personally, if I were to build a server, stability over performance for me.

3) If the 5 parts listed are the only parts you have for the new build, it will need a keyb/mouse, monitor, hard disk, an optical drive & maybe a floppy drive for flashing bios to support Q6600. That board is quite old.

4) If it's a server, use server edition. There are differences. Server editions support more cores, cpus, ram, etc. Go to ms site for details.

5) If it were me, I would've sold everything ages ago & start over.
January 26, 2008 1:19:34 PM

So all of that stuff is pretty much crap for a server and I should sell it and just but new stuff?

Also, I found a good place to colocate 1U so I am going that route when I get this built. Can you maybe suggest a PSU/Mobo(775)/etc for this setup?

Lastly, is it worth it to go SCSI?
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January 26, 2008 1:56:08 PM

sata / sas is better then scsi.

also that board has 1 x16 slot and a few x1 slots so you can put a raid card in the x16 slot and get a x1 / pci low end video card.
January 26, 2008 2:14:27 PM

Well like I said before I am going to colocate so no reason for me to put a low end video card except to get things configured before I send it off.

That is actually the mobo/processor/PSU i have in my computer right now. I was told that server motherboards are different. Also, why is sata/sas better? I thought SCSI was twice as fast, so I am assuming sata/sas is just more reliable then?
January 27, 2008 12:31:52 AM

spring for a xeon processor, they are built for servers
get a lot of RAM (make sure its compatible with the xeon!!)
server specific OS
also go for a better, server type mobo

basically...sell that stuff on ebay and start over...

but good luck whatever you do!
January 27, 2008 1:27:48 AM

Usually a server doesn't have to be high end. I would check the requirements of the software you plan to run on it. Properly done server software for games don't have to render videos or put out sound and their requirements are usually quite low. RAM and a solid network card will probably be more important than a GPU or an expensive mainboard.

Then again, if you plan to host for multiple games with dozens of players each and all at the same time, you might need something faster - might.
January 27, 2008 8:11:00 AM

What is wrong with the Q6600 processor? From the server rental companies I have talked to, its the best processor for hosting game servers in its price range. (Most boxes can get 40-60 player slots, and this can get around 180)

Anyways, thanks guys. Also, I am just curious how much difference my mobo really makes? I mean I didn't think a server mobo would make much difference, and ram/cpu/etc would be the big kickers.
January 27, 2008 12:48:26 PM

Nothing wrong with that. You can build a 386 server, but your clients won't be very pleased.

halflife knows what he's talking about. Generally, socket 771 is a server platform. Sure there are some IT people who use 771 for home. Or at least pick up a socket 775 Xeon which can be a drop-in with most s775 mobos, perhaps after a bios flash. The parts are designed for servers. They work best in that environment. As for mobos, go with a s771/775 server board. Pick out a reliable brand like Intel.

There has been a few posts re: a server build in this forum. Search.
January 27, 2008 4:01:56 PM

CrimsonGT said:


A year ago I built a new computer, and Newegg happened to send me double of everything I ordered.


Damn thats awsome! If your going to be on the receiving end of a screw up, thats the ideal one to receive.
January 28, 2008 6:20:27 AM

Yeah, I lucked out :-P
January 28, 2008 7:51:21 AM

Slobogob said:
Usually a server doesn't have to be high end. I would check the requirements of the software you plan to run on it. Properly done server software for games don't have to render videos or put out sound and their requirements are usually quite low. RAM and a solid network card will probably be more important than a GPU or an expensive mainboard.

Then again, if you plan to host for multiple games with dozens of players each and all at the same time, you might need something faster - might.


This is good advice. Unless you are hosting games every night, you server will sit idle a lot and true server components use a lot of energy 24/7. No sense running a box that is sucking down a lot of electricity if you aren't utilizing it.

Find the 'recommended' requirements for what you plan on serving and go a little higher to give yourself some breathing room. Depending on your software's requirements, you may even be able to get by with the Pentium D you already have. I wouldn't buy a "server" mobo or Xeon proc unless you are going to serve a lot of people. What makes something a "server" grade mobo has a lot to do with hot swap capabilitites, multiple physical procs and enhanced Bus technologies (Multiple bus paths instead of a shared system bus, etc) that are meant to improve I/O for hundreds or thousands of users/hour. If this is something for you and your buddies, it's doubtfull you'll be maxing out the bandwidth of the bus on what you listed as already having so a stable desktop board with SATA drives will work just fine. Gb ethernet and a ton of Ram are going to be your most important components. You could splurge on a SATA RAID controller that provides RAID 5 to give you a speed boost and data protection at the same time. IMHO though, most of what you need you already have.

-MikeM
January 28, 2008 9:51:18 AM

CrimsonGT said:
5) CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
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1) Are the motherboard, RAM (probably get 3 more sticks to make 4gb), powersupply, and case good for what I want to do?

Your maths is wrong - 2x512MB + 3x1GB sticks does give you 4GB, but that results in 5 sticks of ram for a mobo that can only hold 4!!!!
You can either get 2 more 1GB for 3GB, or get 2 2GB (5GB total) and run a 64 bit OS