Home superserver

Hi guys,

I was wandering what would be your opinion...

I'm trying to build up a pretty strong home server, with focus on a) Strong processing power and b) smallest form factor.

I need a quad core processor support, be it C2Q, i7 or Xeon, DDR3 support too.
I don't need graphics or audio support at all, but I'd like minimum of one USB v2/3 ports and eSATA port if possible.
I need single or dual Gbit LAN, and ideally support for built in N-Wireless. Don't need BT or IR.
Single processor board is sufficient.

Form factor is not the problem, as long as it's the smallest board available, since the case would be custom made and server itself is intended to be tucked away somewhere out of sight or fit in furniture. I'd know how to deal with power supply and thermal regulation, but since it's a home server, I'd really like for it to be the smallest possible and not packed up in a rack or some standout case.

This system will serve for few particular roles, under 64bit Win2k8 OS - PDC, file server, web server, SQL server 2k8, Hyper-V server, DHCP, DNS, source control and run number of processor and memory intensive system services. It's basically a software development core box for about 3 clients, that needs to run both UAT (user acceptance test) and development environments and serve as occasional storage of data for two casual users locally (such as playing music or movies hosted there).

Now, what I came up with as a choice of number of P/Q55 uATX boards, which are packed with support of huge number of peripheral support and focused on providing an ultimate gaming motherboard - I don't need that, don't need graphics or sound support, which add to board dimensions, I only need a strong processing and throughput power to the box I'd remote-desktop to. Server boards are even larger than those uATX ones and since I don't have a rack mount at home, nor I'd want one around, that doesn't work too.

So my question would be - what motherboard would you recommend and be ideal for this purpose - smallest possible, reliable and supporting everything mentioned above?

3 answers Last reply
More about home superserver
  1. 1. Will this be a mission critical server?

    2. Budget?

    3. How many HDDs/Storage space and do you want RAID?

    4. Where do you plan to buy it from? US?Canada?

    Server boards are even larger than those uATX ones and since I don't have a rack mount at home, nor I'd want one around, that doesn't work too.

    Yes, most server boards are EATX (Extended ATX), HOWEVER, you DO NOT need a rack to mount it. Many large cases like HAF 932 from CoolerMaster can support EATX boards.
    See: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=n82e16811119160
  2. In addition to Shadow's comments, I know from experience that if you want to run all those server applications (in particular, Hyper-V), you're going to need a motherboard that accepts more than 8 Gig of RAM. The system I have listed in my signature has two virtual Windows 2K3 servers (SQL and IIS) and two virtual clients (XP and Vista). With both SQL and IIS running, I can only have one client running at a time.

    -Wolf sends
  3. ^Agreed.
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