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Build suggestions for Webserver (w/ SQL) - Low power, Low noise.

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March 10, 2009 10:41:45 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Start April

BUDGET RANGE: None, but not willing to pay the stupid tax for a 10% improvement (not on this box anyhow :-) )

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Webserver (with SQL)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
It's a remote accesed box, so no need for keyboard, mouse, monitor, soundcard, speakers, etc
Got all needed software.
Re-using my Antec 1080

PREFERRED WEBSITES FOR PARTS: newegg.com, getmore.dk (but don't really care, if it can be gotten cheaper at another reputable webshop)

PARTS PREFERENCES:
CPU : Intel (Quad something)
MB : Onboard video (1600*1200 for remote monitor) (Don't want a GFX card in there)
HD : 500GB+ (low noise)
PSU : Something efficient (Gold) and not too overpowered compared to what the system needs.

OVERCLOCKING: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: No monitor (but 1600*1200 remote access)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
95% a webserver (with SQL)
Requirements are for a low power / low noise system

I've seen the new Intel Quad S-series - They seem to fit the bill for the CPU, but... As this is going to be a true server - Should I go Xeon (I have no clue/experience with these)?
I don't expect the system to ever be truly taxed but I like headroom (just in case...)

Noise is very important, so suggestions for CPU cooler (not going liquid) and new case fans (old ones are.. old) would be appriciated.

MB is probably where I need the most help tbh.
Suggestions with arguments why a particular board would be good for this build would be appriciated (so we all can learn a bit in the process)


======================

Component's sofar (but not set in stone)

CPU : Intel Q8200S
CPU Cooler : Thermalright HR-01 Plus (Comes without a fan)
CPU Cooler fan : Nexus Real Silent Case Fan SP802512L-03

PSU : Corsair HX450W

MB :
GA-EG45M-UD2H - If I can get it in a reasonable timeframe (not widely available atm).
Else the GA-EG45M-DS2H

Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H (this one could easily change yet, pending replies here)

HD : Samsung SpinPoint F1 Desktop Class HD103UJ 1TB

RAM : G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)


Almost done, just need to figure out if I can get hold of the GA-EG45M-UD2H

----

Software

Windows Server 2008 (64bit)
SQL 2008
March 11, 2009 3:27:13 AM

Hi...for ur requirements, the new Phenoms II paired wit the 790GX motherboards are the best....they provide u wit enuf power ...jus a thought...u can also read the reviews of the new P II and am sure they are gud...
And as the P IIs are newer, they provide more room for upgrade too...
March 11, 2009 4:27:05 AM

+1 for the phenom2

with a more decent am2(+) board you will be "future proofed". new cpus will be working in that mobo, and i'm sure will be cheaper then intels with not a huge difference in performace.
i'd go with asus or gigabyte mobo with 790X or 790FX chip, a p2 X4 920 (or even with an X3 720BE), 4 or 8G of ram.
cheers !
Related resources
March 11, 2009 6:04:47 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Intel is however still my preference for CPU (as listed)

Did a (real quick) google search and found the following
Quote:
So we know that the AMD Phenom II is much better than its predecessor, the bad news is, the Intel Core i7 still beats it in every benchmark test. The cheapest of the Core i7 range is the 2.66GHz 920, which costs about $600. This beats the 3GHz Phenom II 940 Black Edition which sells for $520 by at least 10 percent.
Quote source

80$ diff is not gonna sway me - I'm sticking with Intel as my preference.

Besides those prices are old : i7 920 for $289.99 on Newegg.com

(and please don't turn this into (another) Intel vs AMD battle - Each has it's pro's and con's OK)

March 14, 2009 6:05:31 PM

Been doing a bit more research

PSU : Corsair HX450W

Pretty hard to come by a decent review of this one, as it's a EU/Asia model only (I'm guessing that's why)
But I expect it to be pretty much inline with the Corsair HX520W & HX620W
Any huge difference would be surpricing



CPU Cooler : Thermalright HR-01 Plus (Comes without a fan)

CPU Cooler fan : Nexus Real Silent Case Fan SP802512L-03

CPU : Q8200S (Should be plenty of power for my needs - And picking the S-model for a bit lower TDP)


========


So pretty much only MB (of which I have no clue) and RAM left.

EDIT : And HD - Doh
March 15, 2009 5:00:43 AM

Many many hours of research later....

HD : Samsung SpinPoint F1 Desktop Class HD103UJ 1TB

Theres simply no competition here it seems.
Loew noise, Low power use, and pretty damn fast as well + tons of room (and all that and it's still decently priced)


MB : Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H

That was hell finding that one... Been reading hundreds of web pages...

I usually prefer ASUS (but have had a Gigabyte MB before), but this time it's going to be Gigabyte due to the EPA/DES issue.
Gigabyte's DES is reported as being rocksolid - Not so with ASUS's EPA

The real hurdly was finding the right chipset (as per my requierements).
I've never really been up to date on chipsets so... that took a lot of reading to figure out.

As best as I can tell none of the intel based chipsets that has onboard video (Q45/G45) supports a high enough resolution (1600x1200) - So I had to look at the nVidia chipsets - and I narrowed it down to the nvidia 730i chipset (gf9400 onboard) - Which turns out to be (relativly) low power as well.

This will be my first mATX MB as well.
I'd have prefered a ATX, but it seems nigh impossible to find one with onboard video (At least I didnt succeed)


Please! leave a comment or two about this choise - As I'm far from sure that I couldnt do better. I basically had to start from scratch catching up on chipsets etc etc, so could easily have missed something.





March 15, 2009 1:34:38 PM

TS said:
As best as I can tell none of the intel based chipsets that has onboard video (Q45/G45) supports a high enough resolution (1600x1200)
The Intel GMA 4500 series of IGP will handle up to 2048x1536 resolution display and can drive two monitors independently.
Even the Intel GMA 950 of the 965G motherboards of 2006 vintage would do 2048x1536 res.

You can get G45's in full ATX size MBs.

Q8200S and the rest of your picks are looking good. Did you choose any RAM yet?




March 15, 2009 9:51:54 PM

I would actually prefer to go for the G45 chipset
(I don't quite trust nVidia chipsets - Didn't they have some issues in the past?)

But for the life of me I simply can't dig up any (detailed) resolution specs of the various Intel GMA's.

I can with nVidea's chipsets..

The little bits I *have* been to be able to dig up on the G45, seems to indicate to me that it will have HDMI output in excess of my requirements (1600*1200), but not so for the DVI output.

And my monitors (SyncMaster 204b) don't have HDMI - Only DVI

I'd prefer not to be reliant on an adapter should it become necessary to hook up the box directly to my monitor.
But in the general case I'l be accessing the box remotely. (hmmm.. will it detect if the physical connection is DVI/HDMI and change output accordingly? Never thought of that before....)


I don't really "need" the chipset with the best IGP (G45), as this is for a server, with shader models and what not.
All I need is for it to support 1600*1200 (through DVI)

---------

mATX vs ATX
It's really a moot point which I pick (again because this is for a server), as the box is never going to be filled up with a zillion expansion cards.
In fact I'm pretty much wanting to *not* have to put any cards in there (hence why I' going for a MB with IGP)

The only reason I prefer ATX over mATX, is the I'm used to ATX's, and prefer the extra room on the card etc.
But it really (in this case anyhow) has very little to do with the technical specs.

-----

Couple of reference lists I've used

Intel chipsets for Core 2 Quad with IGP


Overview of ASUS MB chipset support (for LGA775)


Gigabyte G45 models are :

GA-EG45M-DS2H
GA-EG45M-UD2H

(Both of which are mATX - as far as I can tell all Gigabyte IGP MB's are mATX - No ATX option)

Assuming I can get verification that it supports 1600*1200 (through DVI) my preference would be the GA-EG45M-UD2H one, due to the
Quote:
Ultra Durable 3 Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature


Seems this card isnt easy to find though....
The GA-EG45M-DS2H is everywhere though, and I guess the difference is small anyhow so... *shrug*
March 15, 2009 10:11:41 PM

I forgot : No I havent picked any RAM yet.

Bit clueless there as well.

AFAIK it won't matter a great deal anyhow, as the differences are usually in the 2-3% range anyhow.
And this isnt a "performance" box, so shouldnt matter greatly.

I'll probably pick 2*2GB DDR 800 of some brand... (Kingston, Corsair, Geil.... RAM is dirt cheap so...)

But if anyone has recomendations I'm all ears.

---

Software
FWIW I'm going to put Windows Server 2008 (64bit) and SQL 2008 on the box.
March 16, 2009 12:15:38 AM

Thanks WR2 you're a champ.

I'll go with the G45 based on your asurement of 1600*1200 DVI support.

I'll see if I can pesuade any of my local MB pushers to get hold of the GA-EG45M-UD2H for me (in a reasonable timeframe), else I'll just get the GA-EG45M-DS2H.


For RAM, I'm a little worried about the height of the G.SKILL PI Black - Will it cause issues with the Thermalright HR-01 Plus...

Looking at the board layout's I'm not 100% sure that the HR-01 won't overhang the RAM slots, an dif it does, if there'll be enough clearence for the RAM heatsinks of the G.SKILL PI Black.
Any thoughts?
March 16, 2009 12:31:30 AM


"Once installed a fan can be added using the provided clips. A fan with open corners is required. Installed on our test board, there was approximately 16 mm of over overhang past the edge of the PCB, mostly due to the fan clips. The bottom-most fin layer was 47 mm above the board making it tall enough to bypass most average-sized northbridge heatsinks."
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article842-page3.html

To my eye, with that micro-ATC 945G motherboard, it looks like there should be enough room for the PI Black but I see no down side going with the HK set.
March 16, 2009 12:33:10 AM

I've decided to add a bit of "bling" as well.

The fans of my old Antec 1080 case are in need of replacement as they are noisy as h...

So noisy that I've in fact disconnected all of them atm
- The case runs hot, but it runs, with just the (stock!) CPU cooler - Which actually is quite something considering it houses an old P4 2.5GHz....

So I've decided to replace the old fans with 3 new (80mm) NEXUS REAL SILENT CASE FAN SP802512L-03 - To keep it quiet and cool.

2 in the back, and one in the front.
Not using the side one for now (I might experiment a bit, and put one of the back fans in the side - But I doubt it)


Now for the bling....

I've decided to add a fan controller - The Scythe Kaze Master Fan Controller.
This will allow me to control the 3 case fans and the CPU cooler fans.
The objective to keep it as silent as possible (and still keep it cool)
March 16, 2009 12:41:24 AM

WR2 said:

To my eye, with that micro-ATC 945G motherboard, it looks like there should be enough room for the PI Black but I see no down side going with the HK set.


Yeah it looks that way to me as well, but as I said, I'm not 100% sure (only 95% :)  ) - So I'm playing that one safe.

Nothing more annyone than being ready to build, and then find out one of the parts won't fit, and you then have to wait (gasp) for a new part before you can finish the build - So, playing it safe :D 


March 17, 2009 8:20:24 PM

Been shopping around for my components the last couple of days.

The MB : GA-EG45M-UD2H and the G.Skill is nowhere to be found :-(
(FWIW : I live in Denmark)

The Corsair HX450W isn't easy to come by either - Only found one place who has it, but at a price I definatly don't like (they even jacked up the price by almost 20% over the weekend!!!???)

The MB and PSU doesnt suprise me *too* much - The G.Skill does a bit though...


What really surprises me is that it's very hard to find anyone selling the Nexus fans and the Thermalright HR-01 as well... - Found only one place for each, which means I don't really have any other prices to compare with...


So... I might need to compromise on my parts, which really blows, considering the time I've spend researching these... :-(

If anyone in DK knows where to get those parts (I've spend hours on google and assorted pricewatch sites, so I don't have much hope), please leave a note here.




April 20, 2009 8:41:19 PM

Is this a server for a large corporation? Do you anticipate 100,000 hits per day? In other words, why the super powerful processor with kilowatt footprint?

I had to set up a web and mail server for our small consulting firm and did it for under $1,000 for hardware and software. It consumes about 20 watts. We get 5,000 to 10,00 hits a day and a couple hundred e-mail.

I have the following:
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 160 GB HDD
  • 500 GB backup HDD
  • 5 hour battery backup
  • POP3, IMAP, and webmail
  • J2EE Container
  • PHP
  • MySQL

    My starting point was an Acer $300 Netbook running XP.

    Fritz
    !