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A server

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June 2, 2009 8:02:33 AM

Hi!
I'm building a server right now, but I came up with some things that I quite don't know.
The first thing is that I found that most motherboards for servers are with dual proccessor slots, plus 2x 4-Slot RAMs.
Two proccessors cost a lot, so is there a way to make a server without two proccessors or does the server work if I put only one proccessor or maybe there is a single proccessor motherboard?
I would like to put this CPU http://products.amd.com/en-us/OpteronCPUDetail.aspx?id=... but maybe there is a better one for the money? Or maybe should move to Intel?
What else should I need for a server?

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June 2, 2009 8:40:41 AM

Slow down, what is the server you're building going to be used for?
Just about any computer can be used as a dedicated server. They very in cost from off-shelve desktop parts to very expensive ones depending on the level of reliability and/or workload/usage you need. The 'modern' simple definition of a server is a computer that is dedicated to a few specific tasks to serve clients connected to it and is locked away for minimal disturbance.
Is that what you're looking for?
June 2, 2009 8:50:32 AM

I'm looking for a box that would serve 40 people at the same time.
Of course I could use a simple PC, but I'm more looking for reliable box, that won't burn down after a year or so.
I guess now it's better to make a normal PC, because most server motherboard that I saw costs more then 400$.
So mostly I'm looking for reliability.
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June 2, 2009 9:01:55 AM

what actual things do you want it to serve? is it running as a print server? file server? network storage? firewall? databse server?

all of these things make a difference in how you spec it up and can save you a lot of money if you know what your doing....

for example if you just want a place for those 40 people to store their data and occasionally print things, a relatively simple windows or linux box can do that at minimal cost....

...if however you need those 40 people to simultaneously access and modify a live database with a lot of high volume traffic and disk requests you are going to need some significantly more expensive equipment.....
June 2, 2009 9:11:14 AM

The server will have medium traffic, because not all 40 will be sending files at the same time and not all 40 will be using the database at the same time.
What could be the best for 1000$?
I see that there is no need for a expensive server box, but could do with a reliable PC box, so could you recommend reliable components? I can't decide if to buy a server box because they seem reliable, but since I know how it is to use a normal PC as a server I don't want to use a low-end CPU.
June 2, 2009 9:38:14 AM

None of my past heavily overclocked rig I used daily were reliable, while my relatively simple NAS/HTPC build which runs 24/7 has been running strong (on Server 2008 x64) for the past 3months without rebooting. Both are built from plain off-shelve components, just a stark comparison of mine. In my experience as long as the computer runs everything stock (just like how a server runs) with zero fancy parts and is operated under well cooled, dust-free environment then the chance of it crashing randomly is slim if softwares/drivers are not at fault.

List of most venerable parts in a computer:
1. HDD (use redundancy and scheduled backup)
2. RAM (server uses motherboards that supports RAM with ECC)
3. PSU (redundant PSUs in server)
4. Fans (auto shutdown)
(That's about all I can think of for now, the first two are the most prone/important for server)
June 2, 2009 10:28:28 AM

I spent a while to find a good RAM, this is the best I found for the price: KINGSTON 512MB 667MHZ DDR2 ECC REGISTERED CL5 DIM
Is this good or should I find something better, 4 of theese for 20$ should be OK anyway?
As for the HDD, I should find two 7200 RPM HDDs and put one in RAID 1 mode?
I didn't find a motherboard that supports ECC, but will check later, or simply ECC is in all server motherboards? As I read then ECC is not a hardware question but more like software question from BIOS side.
Also didn't find a fan with auto shutdown feature, or is it called different?
As for the CPU and PSU - high-end should do, right?

Oh and should I really use SCSI HDD or SATA HDD?


Finally found something:
http://processorfinder.intel.com/Details.aspx?sSpec=SLA...
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=g5nhu0VVWopHw7vj&...
http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator_new/partsi...

Is this ok?
a c 236 V Motherboard
June 2, 2009 1:00:49 PM

If this server is just for fun, then build it yourself. If it will be used by 40 people who rely on it to do their job, then buying a real server makes an awful lot of sense.

If you build it yourself (and it isn't just a test/home server), you want SATA hard disks that are designed for RAID use and you should use RAID 1 (2 hard disks required). You didn't mention how you will perform your backups, but you will need an external hard disk and backup software.
!