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Linux Server - Homebuild or a Refurb

Last response: in Systems
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August 20, 2009 7:41:37 AM

Not quite sure if this is the proper forum to ask in, and if not, I apologize. I'm looking to build/buy a server that will be used for a husband/wife small business. Will be running a webserver, mailserver, one or 2 VMs and a forum with an average of a 100-200 users online.

My budget is a bit limited and while I could go with some type of VPS/Dedicated at a hosting company, I can install my own server for free at work without the monthly costs, with just as much reliability (generator, etc).

So, back to the limited budget. I'm stuck around $900-$1000 bucks. I see 2 options at this point. I have a 4u rackmount case, but really can't afford server components, so I can build my own with desktop components or buy a refurb:

Option 1: (Build a server with desktop components)

Phenom II X4 955
ASUS M4A78-EM Motherboard
8 gigs of ECC unbuffered Ram
2 WD Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (Software Raid 1)
650 Watt Corsair Power Supply


Option 2: (Buy a refurbished 1u):

Something like: Dell PowerEdge 1850


I'm just not quite sure which way to go with the budget I have. Any advice would be appreciated.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 20, 2009 2:59:48 PM

If you were buying it from a source (such as Dell itself) that was committed to rapid turnaround to fix problems, the choice would be more difficult, but in this case, I think you might want to build it yourself. The refurb being on eBay does not inspire confidence that it will be free of problems or performance issues, and that it will be properly supported.
You say you can install this at work...I would suggest ironing out any potential conflict-of-interest issues in advance.
Since this system will not be overclocked or tweaked, I would suggest buying "corporate stable" versions, even if they offer fewer BIOS options.
You won't need a 650W PSU for this system. I'd probably use similar criteria as for a quality desktop PSU: Active PFC and at least 80+ certification; 300W-400W would be plenty for this machine.
August 20, 2009 3:16:41 PM

Thanks for the advice.

On the power supply, since it's a rackmount 4u, will this take a standard desktop power supply or does it need a server PSU?

On the motherboard, not quite sure I follow on the corporate stable version. This is the one I was looking at, since it's one of the few that will handle ECC memory: ASUS M4A78-EM Motherboard And everything I've read said ECC memory for a server is pretty much a must have.
!