I was wondering if someone could help me choose a motherboard. I am looking for a core2quad ddr2 motherboard to set up a low cost high performance home server in a 1U or 2U rack mount case. Obviously I could care less about graphics and sound but raid.
6 or more drive SATA II Raid
1 Gigagbit LAN
Nice to have:
WIFI Acess point
By the way, who makes nice 1U or 2U rack mount cases?
To mount a motherboard in a 1U case, you need one that's specifically designed for it. A special CPU cooler also is required and you need several high-speed and noisy little fans to cool it properly. Unless you have a computer room, you probably want to stay away from a 1U case. Only one or two hard disks can be installed.
2U is easier as long as you carefully select the controllers (full height won't fit), but it will be nearly impossible to find one to install 6 or more hard disks. It's a lot easier to use a 3U case and lots of good cases are available, e.g., http://www.gtweb.net/j3125.html.
A good P45 motherboard like the Asus P5Q Pro, the Asus P5Q Deluxe or the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P should meet your requirements. Since they have two Gigabit Ethernet ports, you can configure them as a router. If you need more ports, then you can look at the P5Q Premium or the GA-EP45-DQ6. You'll have to install a WIFI adapter or buy a motherboard that requires DDR3 like the Asus ASUS P5Q3 DELUXE/WIFI-AP.
Thank you for your help. I have been looking at cases and have pretty much decided on a 2U, 6 hot swap bay case but am befuddled by the amount of manufacturers and models. Are there any leading rack mount case manufacturers you would recommend?
There are several nice 3U cases, but I don't know any 1U or 2U case manufacturers. Have you found any 2U, 6 hot swap drive bay cases? They usually come with a motherboard, etc. They also are very noisy because of the high speed fans that are required to cool them. I presume that you want a 1U or 2U case because your rack is almost full.
There are several nice 3U cases, e.g., Chenbro, SuperMicro, etc.