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Repurposing Dual Quad-Core Server?

Last response: in Business Computing
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August 10, 2011 8:40:49 PM

Hi guys.

Sorry for cross-posting. Nobody seems interested in this I guess.

I've been building comps and workstations for almost 20 years, but have never had the opportunity to work with enterprise-class hardware. I'm hoping to get some much needed advice.

My nephew is a college student studying film & tv production. He's gotten really excited about editing. But his laptop is severely underpowered for the job. He also likes to game but isn't anywhere near hard-core.

My roommate pulled and is tossing 15 rack-mount servers, 13 1u & 2 2U. The most interesting seems to be a 2U Silicon Mechanics Rackform NServe A266 (sata vers). It currently has dual quad-core Opteron Socket F procs. and 8 GB ECC DDR2-667 per proc.

We've pieced out all the servers. I have an additional 60+ GB of compatible RAM and 15 WD1500ADFD (3rd Gen Raptors), 1 Super Talent 256 GB SSD, plus misc parts, like raid controllers, etc.

Does it make ANY sense to try to re-purpose this hardware into a workstation?

Would definitely need:

$100 E-ATX (12x13) compatible mid-tower.
$100 Power supply
$100 2 Socket F coolers.
$150-200 GPU.

My biggest concern is having only two (2) PCI-E x8 (Phys & Elec) slots.

Having to replace the motherboard would probably be cost prohibitive.

Wouldn't a slightly overclocked 2500k or 2600k system be faster, cheaper and more versatile in the long run?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks,

Alden
August 11, 2011 3:08:33 PM

If you're going to use it for gaming it may work. I've never tried gaming on an opteron processor. :)  It may or may not work.

For TV and Film is may be beneficial depending on what is being done. Most likely, no.

The server is really there for processing power, multiple handles, and supporting a lot of things at once.

Aside from that your electric bill will go up. You may want to try your luck at selling it and using that money to build a nice desktop for about $700. Considering you're already looking at investing $450, you're nearly to a good quality desktop for gaming and graphics.
August 27, 2011 5:09:23 AM

I agree with Riser on this one. Server processors are gonna want a lot of things to work on, not one big thing. Sell the equipment take the money and build a system with a purpose in mind. It will work out best in the long run.
!