Looking at building a server

I'm looking at building a server for a small business where I live. They currently have one but it is really outdated. Uses DDR RAM and Pentium 4 CPU.

My main problem is deciding on whether to go with server CPU or just a consumer CPU. There is only 6 people who will be using. It will mostly be used for data storage and some shared applications. They currently have Server 2000 and I'm looking at migrating them to Server 2003.

Their budget is probably around $500-700. I know I can build a decent machine with a standard CPU and mobo with about 4-8GB of DDR RAM. I was looking at Xeon and Opteron processors and from what I've found, it would cost around $500 just for the CPU/Mobo (Quad core processor with either a Supermicro or Tyan motherboard).

I know cases are pretty cheap, but I'm looking at buying a smaller HD for their operating system and two 500GB or whatever is on sale for RAID1 for backup purposes.

Anyone have any ideas?
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More about looking building server
  1. The only advantage of the server CPUs is that they support multiple CPUs on a server motherboard. Especially for your uses, you don't need anything high end.
    I don't have much experience with what would make a server efficient but I'd recommend an Athlon IIx4 620 system with 8GB of memory. If you want to save money, there will be no issues using AM2+ with DDR2 memory as opposed to AM3 with ddr3 memory. Use the money saved on more hard drives. Maybe an SSD to store some of the applications and the OS. Or maybe spend it on a gigabit router. (125MB/s max transfer as opposed to 12.5MB/s with older ethernet).
  2. You don't need an elaborate set up for back up or file shares. If you want more help as to what to get, you will have to supply more info as to what the server is actually going to be used for.

    If it is a file server, RAM and hard drives are more important.

    If it is being used as an application server, CPU and RAM is more important.
  3. It's use for applications and for file storage.

    Here is the setup I have picked so far:
    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX - Retail
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK - Retail

    For hard drives I haven't decide yet. Probably go with RAID 1 with 640GB or 750GB. Depends on what I can find for deals. Sometimes it only costs $5 more to go from 750 to 1TB.

    If you saw their system now, you'd laugh. Using a Pentium 4 with 2GB of DDR memory. Two hard drives that don't even count up to 500GB and Server 2000.

    My next step is to research their software to make sure it will be compatable.
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