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New Build/Upgrade/Build File Server

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December 21, 2009 4:41:47 PM

I know this is a strange title, but I could use a little help from the people out there.

Here's my current setup:

E8400 on a 780i motherboard with 2 - 8800GTS (g92) in SLI and have 4GB (2x2GB) RAM.

My current rig is not terrible, but I always like to build. I was figuring I could "upgrade" and repurpose the old parts into a file server/VM server.

I believe I could take the CPU, motherboard, and RAM (and have an extra GPU) and put it into a different case. I could get a RAID controller that is PCIE x8 so I can add drives.

I would keep the case, HDD, and get some new parts. I was thinking of one of the new X58 boards with USB 3.0 - probably Asus, an i7 920, and 6GB of DDR3 RAM. I think the grand total upgrade of the desktop would be about $660

$200 - i7 920 (microcenter)
$300 - motherboard (newegg)
$160 - Crucial or other DD3 RAM (newegg)

Then I figured the RAID controller - Marvel 8 port SAS/SATA controller would set me back about $100 and leave room to expand.

This would give the storage server/VM server dual NICs, 8 disks (or more), 4GB RAM, a nice dual core CPU.

The gaming system upgrade would be a shade over $660, the file server would be about $100 (without disk - that will set me back some).

What does anyone think? I know the 8800GTS in SLI are starting to show their age, but how about the whole idea?
December 22, 2009 10:54:37 AM

Ok...I was just thinking of this - do you think it would be a better option to put a Q9550 (already own) in there instead of the E8400 (for a VM/fileserver box) and more RAM? I was thinking of having it set up with some semi-production VMs (Win Server for AD, etc) and some for fun.

Ok...any help is appreciated.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2009 1:20:36 PM

The server upgrade is sound, but I gotta ask what's the new gpu cuz you're talking about the other upgrade - gaming. That'd mean a boost in fps. That'd mean a new gpu. Or else, you're not gonna see much of a difference in gaming.

I'm against the gaming upgrade unless you include a next gen gpu. But it's your money, you want to flush it down the toilet, by all means.
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December 23, 2009 2:28:27 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I was thinking of holding on to the 8800GTS in SLI for a little bit, but upgrading as the new ATI 58xx series cards are more available/drop a bit in price, or until nVidia puts up some competition in the market and drive costs down again.

I was thinking this upgrade would give me a much better main computer and a file server, which I had been wanting as well.

I agree about the GPU - I've got some things in mind, but was going to wait a little bit on it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 24, 2009 11:41:34 AM

You sound like you got a lot of money to burn. lol. Go ahead and do both upgrades. I'm in the same boat as you - waiting for GT300 to bring down the prices of HD 5800s.

The Q9550 is much faster in VM and multitasking. It got 12MB cache, unlike the majority of quads including my i5 - 8MB. Sell the E8400 which should give half the money since a lot of people are stuck with LGA 775. If you have DDR2 or can get 'em for cheap, get another 4GB kit for the server. The memory for the server the better. The main rig, on the other hand, doesn't need too much memory. 4/6 gigs will do.

The file server is for home? Get a gigabit switch. I know most Wifi-n routers do gigabit, but only half plex. Most switches do duplex. It's not 2Gpbs, but 1Gpbs BOTH ways. Managed switches would be best, but complicated. Unmanaged one is what I use. Cheap. Does the job.
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December 24, 2009 11:54:24 AM

Thanks again for the replies.

I'm not exactly sure the wife would think I've got money to burn, but I would like to think the upgrades would be good for the home (besides the obvious gaming upgrade for me). The plan for the file server is to have it house movies, music, photos, etc for the entire house (her laptop and the HTPC included), and of course VMs for work and play/experimenting.

About the GPUs - I'm hoping that nVidia gets their act together so I can figure this all out. The 8800GTS's will be OK for now - still respectable in many games, but are starting to show their age.

I agree about the Q9550 - I've seen people who like it in the home VM environment. I do have some spare DDR2 RAM for the server, so I think I'll be able to throw 8GB at it. Thankfully I picked it up awhile ago when prices were closer to $30 for 4GB instead of $90 - I hate the new prices.

I thought the same thing about the switch, so I picked one up months back - 8 ports gigabit speeds.

You think someone would buy the E8400? It's only been in use for about 2 years, but no OC, so maybe. Maybe I can put it in a build for someone else...

Thanks again. I appreciate the responses.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 25, 2009 12:16:34 PM

Some people are hypocrites. They complain about their spouse spending too much money on computers, then they buy like 20 pairs of shoes & wear a few pairs of 'em most of the time. A home server WILL be used by everyone. Also, a main rig WILL be used most of the time. Nothing is wasted, unlikes fashion.

lol. I ditched my E8400 not long ago and I got half the money back. You'd be surprised how many people are still on old tech like LGA 775 & Windows XP.

You're welcome.
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December 28, 2009 10:26:27 AM

The wife is pretty good about supporting my hobby, but I agree...the whole shoe/clothes argument baffles me too.

I think the same thing about a home server - everyone gets to benefit, plus it's fun to get all set up (less fun to put the media on it, but once done is pretty nice).
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