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Building Host Computer -Need Advice

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August 31, 2008 5:05:24 PM

I want to build a fast Host Computer for work. We keep QuickBooks Pro/Premier on it and our other three computers access it and store information on it. I want it to be Fast and was wondering would it be better to go quadcore or dual core. I was planning on spending about $320 on the processor with about 4 gigs of ram, something over 800 I would think. I don't need much video, onboard would work, just to power screen for updates and trouble shooting. Don't need sound. I want to use Intel processor and want it to be stable fast and energy efficient. Any suggestions on motherboard and other ideas. This computer will stay on all the time so I will be getting a case with good air flow and fans. Can't decide on mobo that would be good. Please help.
Thanks. Aranon

More about : building host computer advice

August 31, 2008 5:26:52 PM

Q9550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No, all you need is 800Mhz RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No onboard video, but get a P5Q-E... energy efficient, comes with drive expert, good because you want a simple RAID.... it also has TWO ethernet ports to speed up access times.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 case, buy two extra 120mm fans
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(get the combo deal with the neo power 430W PSU)

Get two:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for RAID and faster access times.

Passively cooled, inexpensive EVGA video:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

August 31, 2008 6:28:12 PM

.
Quote:
. it also has TWO ethernet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet ports to speed up access times.


How would I go about hooking this up to a switch or router with two Ethernet ports. Wouldn't the router have to have dual Ethernet in ports to take advantage of it. If it does who makes a gigabit dual Ethernet Router. I have asked several people about teaming or duplexing and they all heard about it but don't know how. EVGA/Navida have a gernetic diagram but really does not get into details. I would like to use the fastest wired gigabit router or switch for the three other computers to talk to it. Some say a switch is faster that a router, some say a router is better than a switch. I know the DSL modem will hook up to it, but I really don't care how fast the throughtput is from it. I do want the fastest I can get from the host to the other computers and from computer to computer though. Any thoughts or ways to utilize the two ethernet ports. I have dual gigbit ports on my other computers which are EVGA 132-YW-E178-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboards with Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processors. I just don't know how to utilize the dual Ethernet ports to their fullest extent and what router or switch to use. Any suggestions or help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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August 31, 2008 11:21:22 PM

Any suggestions?
September 1, 2008 5:39:39 AM

You don't need a router for local connections, just a hub. Each controller would have it's own internal IP... you might need to configure your clients to access via one or the other IP. There are other ways to "team" separate NICs, but they involve more expensive hardware and software.

"uplink" ports are not for servers. They connect the local traffic on the switch to the wider LAN, or in the case of a router to the internet.

You could use a single router to handle both your local traffic and your internet connection, or you could use a switch between the 4 clients and the host, with an uplink to the router connected to the internet. It would not make much difference and would just depend on the location of the various machines.
September 2, 2008 3:27:39 AM

Any other mobo or is this probably the best for a host computer. Since ddr3 has come down would it be better or any benefit to go with ddr3 in a host computer?
September 3, 2008 11:54:15 PM

Should I use DDR3 for my host computer or is it just wasting money?
September 4, 2008 12:13:02 AM

"Best for a host computer" is really hard to pin down. I was under the impression that you had a budget ;) 

I think DDR3 isn't going to do much for you... If you wanted to go that route then it would be best to scrap the whole thing and get a server board and a Xeon or two.

September 4, 2008 1:33:48 AM

Would a server board with Xeon be what I need for a host computer that only has 3 other computers reading and writing Quickbooks to it? I thought a server was for web-hosting for the internet. This is just a wired LAN network in a small office of three people. I just want it fast so when we are looking up invoices or financials off the host, it's almost immediate. Right now it lags and takes some time to load when you pull it up. It's all hard wired. Would a Xeon processor be that much more beneficial than a 2.8 quad-core for the price?

Xeon X3360 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $336

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $ 324

There is only $12 difference

Which server board would you suggest. I would like 4 gigs of Ram

As for the price I was thinking about $1200 or so.

I was going to go with three WesternDigital 500 SE3's SATA II with Raid 0=1


September 4, 2008 2:01:15 AM

Aranon said:
... I just want it fast so when we are looking up invoices or financials off the host, it's almost immediate. Right now it lags and takes some time to load when you pull it up. It's all hard wired....



Ah there we go. Yep you probably do not need quite so much. Your bottleneck is likely the CPU and memory, not so much the network.

This should work:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This will give you a raid option, support a quad and be fast enough.
I doubt you even need a Q9550, but it's a good deal.

Do you need so much storage?
WD 320s would be faster.
You could also use an eSATA external drive for back ups.... it would be fairly fast and could be secured away someplace protected when not in use.

Don't worry about the extra Ethernet port. I doubt that will be an issue. What kind of NICs do the clients have? Do you have a good hub?
September 7, 2008 9:52:25 PM

All the other computers have dual gigabit ethernet ports. Right now they are just wired up to a 10/100 sonicware router. I am going to do away with the sonic ware and I am thinking about using a D-Link Gigabit wireless N Dualband router with 4 lan ports on it so I can hook up wireless printers to it but keep the computers themselves wired (for speed) I am confused on how to hook up the three computers to the router for the best speed. Should I hook them up to the 4 gigabit ethernet ports or should I buy a switch and hook them up to a switch because I have heard a switch is faster than a router.
September 10, 2008 11:02:00 AM

What do you think?
September 10, 2008 6:41:28 PM

I can see an argument for a switch over router. That's the way I do it, but it's not so much because of speed as it is practicality. A switch can be hidden away somewhere and largely forgotten about. A router needs to be more accessible.

It's a question best asked over on the networking forum though ;) 
September 16, 2008 5:19:22 AM

I need help with a mother board selection.
I want DDR3 Ram 4gb and a
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
I will be running Raid 5 using three (3) Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD1601ABYS 160GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives.

With a Areca ARC-1110 controller. ( I thought about Velociraptors but they are $180 each and everyone says really overkill, especially in a Raid 5 for what I am doing.)

What mother board would be the best for this setup. I want stable and reliable because it's going to be a host computer for work and always be on, forever.

I will put some cheap video card in it unless what you suggest has onboard video. I only need to see screen to update and boot it up.

Any suggestions please? I am looking for fast and dependable.
Thanks.
September 17, 2008 3:03:31 AM

But I am not building a Server. I am only building a host computer. A host computer is just a dedicated desktop computer that stores a program on that the other computers share. In my case I would store Quickbooks on the Host Desktop computer and our other 3 computers would be connected to it.


I don't need a server just a fast decdicated host desktop computer. We also store all our data like our Word docs. and Excel files on them for safe keeping because we back up the data on the host every night.

I would like the Host to be pretty fast. I would like to use a fast quad dual core with DDR3 ram and a raid 5 system. All I am asking is what would be the best motherboard for this applicaption. I would assume what would be good for a fast gaming system would suffice, but probably really over kill. Does anyone have any suggestions?
September 17, 2008 3:32:36 AM

I see I got ahead a bit, sorry.

- The Areca ARC-1110 controller you want is a PCI-X card.
- PCI-X is a type of slot on the motherboard. It is only available on server type motherboards.

The board I recommended on 9/4 will do everything you need. It has RAID built in. You will not see any gains from DDR3, but you will spend more money:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want a RAID card anyway:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There is a good PCI-E card from Areca. This would simplify RAID setup and probably be faster.
September 21, 2008 7:46:47 PM

I think your right. I believe now that I will use the Areca ARC-1210 PCI-Express in a Raid 1E but with 4 drives which in effect would give me Raid 10. If I use four of the WD Caviar RE2 WD1601ABYS 160GB 7200 RPM 16MB SATA 3 Hard Drives that should give me a pretty quick response plus some security (better than Raid 1E with 3 drives). Thanks for the info. Thats why I come here. You guys are the best.

I still haven't decided on a router yet. I do know I'm going to use a smart gigabit switch. I still want to use the Quad Processor and DDR3. It's really getting down to afforable and I think it would be good for the future
!