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This old server for home use & maybe games?

Last response: in Components
May 12, 2010 4:50:30 PM

Hi there,

We've just replaced our server at work and I now have this old server from around 2005/2006. As I know nothing about server components, I would like to know whether these specs are any good for todays home use, and what CPU's the Xeon would be similar to today? I'd then like to get a compatible graphics card to play some games.

Intel SE752DBD2 server motherboard
2 x Xeon dual core 2.80GHz CPU (4 cores in total)
4 x 1GB Kingston 266MHz DDR PC2100 RAM

Also, the OS currently installed is Windows Server 2003. I heard I may have problems installing XP or Vista on it due to the system it is being installed on. Is this true?


More about : server home games

May 12, 2010 7:26:33 PM

Specs don't tell me enough about the CPU. Run CPU-Z to find out the model. This will give more information as to which CPU model they are. But I'm going to guess that they are this CPU:

Which is based on the old netburst architecture. Total crap. But you still effectively have a quad core. Albeit, each core performs more like a 1GHz phenom.
If I am right about the xeon model you have, each core would perform like a 2.8GHz pentium 4. Which would perform somewhere around a 1.5GHz phenom core or less. That's my guess anyhow.
In the following test, you can see a P4 at 3.6GHz performing about the same as an Athlon 64 at 2.7GHz.

For graphics card compatibility, I put the number you gave me for the motherboard in a google search but this thread was literally the only result.

I would say if you can, get a radeon 4650 or 4670, don't waste money on a graphics card that is any better, and you should enjoy decent performance. With 4 cores of an Athlon II at 1GHz and my radeon 3870, I could still enjoy modern warefare 2 at high without AA at 1920x1080 with 70FPS average. So basically, for non-CPU intensive games at higher resolutions, you could still enjoy fair gameplay.

For regular home use the system is still good even for windows 7.

As for problems installing vista or XP on server hardware, I can't imagine a reason why that would not work.
May 14, 2010 5:59:46 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply. I actually got the server motherboard wrong. It is actually SE752DB02. I ran CPU ID and it said that it was an Xeon 2.8GHz with the code name Nocona, not the Paxville one you thought it was. I don't think Nocona uses this netburst architecture. Could someone let me know whether this CPU is OK?

Many Thanks.
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May 14, 2010 7:17:24 PM

It's OK for a old server, but it;s not gonna play Crysis.

It should be OK for home use if you don't mind the Power usage of a GTX 480 and the heat production of a nuclear blast.
May 15, 2010 12:51:43 PM

Ok thanks for your responses. I've installed Windows 7 and it works well. Now I have a question about upgrading the RAM on this SE7520BD2 motherboard.

It has 6 slots for DDR ram, currently installed is 4 x:

Now this RAM is quite expensive and would cost £140 to add 2 extra sticks of 1GB, which is out of the question for this old system.

-Would anybody be able to tell me if this cheaper RAM below would work.

1GB sticks:

Many Thanks.
May 15, 2010 12:58:12 PM

You should be fine with 4gb of ram, especially on that computer. Your not doing large cad work, or intense video editing I assume. Sinking a lot of money in old tech is never a good idea. You can build a completely new system, that is faster than the one you have for under 500.00 dollars. That's the case, power supply, mobo, ram, you get the idea.
May 15, 2010 1:43:58 PM

^He's completely right. Today 4GB is more than enough for most people.
May 15, 2010 2:37:40 PM

Ok thanks, so what about playing games? Would games not use up more than 4GB of memory? As my friend said for some games you should have more than 4GB of RAM.

And would that RAM fit?
May 15, 2010 2:49:15 PM

well it's a mixture of video ram and system ram, as well as a bunch of other things.

I have 4gb ddr3 and a GTX 285, that just destroys anything I throw at it. Your problem isn't the amount of ram you have, rather the speed at which it runs at. A decent video card will be your best bet, maybe a 4850 for around 100 beans. And you can always carry it over to the next build or sell it. Adding more old ram will most likely yield zero performance gains in games, and normal every day apps.
May 15, 2010 3:28:11 PM

^ Have you tried throwing Crysis at it?
May 15, 2010 3:37:55 PM

Lol it tears through it on dx9 I don't have dx 10 but...
May 15, 2010 3:45:06 PM

^ At what res?

Crysis brings a 5870 nevermidn a GTX 285 to its knees on 19x12 with aa and af and DX 10.
May 15, 2010 3:59:54 PM

1650x1050 8xaa an af everything on high, never skips a beat. I'm sure DX10 would make it more difficult, but I have no problem on DX9.
May 15, 2010 4:01:47 PM

The gtx 285 is a pretty fast card, I'm getting 16,000 3dmark06 not overclocked, and a q6600 at 3.0ghz
May 15, 2010 4:35:22 PM

Oh, Well at 16x10 my 4870 1gb was OK.
May 16, 2010 2:22:40 AM

sportsfanboy said:
1650x1050 8xaa an af everything on high, never skips a beat. I'm sure DX10 would make it more difficult, but I have no problem on DX9.

I can play crysis warhead on enthusiast at 1920x1080 without AA. Albeit at 10-15FPS with my radeon 3870. But if I enable 16xAA, the game lags majorly (like <1FPS) and chops, then windows complains about running out of memory and the game sometimes crashes.