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Small home server

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November 1, 2010 6:32:29 PM

Hello, I was planning on buying a new nas but I wanted a bit more DIY and come back to the linux world. I'm probably gonna run ubuntu, fedora (maybe xen) as base, with a few services (vent/ts, apache, mysql, twonky, samba, occasionally gameserver) and Wmserver/virtualbox with some test environments, possibly freenas or zentyal if im too lazy to configue some of these services manually.

I was running an AMD duron 700mhz for many years without any probs but then moved onto a qnap 109, then a 119... now i need a x86 machine again. While an atom solution seemed cute I think I want to spend a few euros extra so I can run all this simulatenously. Was configuring something around the price of a qnap259 .. looking at aprox 500 euros. Pieces I found in swiss online shops.

Case
Im Favouring the supermicro cse-731i-300B mATX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
other option I like would be a chenbro es34069 mITX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cpu
Amd phenon II x4 955 possibly part no. HDX955WFK4DGM running at the 95w model...
Anyone wanna talk me off Amd and to intel for what I am intending to run or onto another model? With AMD prices im even looking at the hexacore model, though i'm doubting the software will even be using the 4 cores to any extent.

Mobo
Was looking into a micro atx MSI 890GXM-G65 running a AMD 890GX/AMD SB850 chipset but it does come with an integrated Radeon HD 4290 GPU. These mATX desktop boards are simply cheap. Would this be reliable enough or got any none overpriced mobo suggestion? Industrial one worth it?

Ram
8gb in 2x4gb corsairs. 1333 or 1600?. Im assuming this is where getting the better one would really profit (or simply the more the better?). Any point in filling all 4 slots with 4 x 2gbs?

Hdds
2-4 random ~1TB ones running some fakeraid 10 or 5 (whatever there is laying about)

To make you laugh a bit I may want to mention im intending to remote administrate it though remote desktop! gnome (vinagre?) one or any safe one. It will make my file sorting, and router/nas administration easier from outside the lan, so I can close off all extra ports to ouside.

I'd be very happy about any feedback or comments about anything, missing my tech savy friends lately as im living abroad atm!

Thank you.

More about : small home server

Anonymous
November 1, 2010 9:00:14 PM

simon2600 said:
Hello, I was planning on buying a new nas but I wanted a bit more DIY and come back to the linux world. I'm probably gonna run ubuntu, fedora (maybe xen) as base, with a few services (vent/ts, apache, mysql, twonky, samba, occasionally gameserver) and Wmserver/virtualbox with some test environments, possibly freenas or zentyal if im too lazy to configue some of these services manually.

I was running an AMD duron 700mhz for many years without any probs but then moved onto a qnap 109, then a 119... now i need a x86 machine again. While an atom solution seemed cute I think I want to spend a few euros extra so I can run all this simulatenously. Was configuring something around the price of a qnap259 .. looking at aprox 500 euros. Pieces I found in swiss online shops.

Case
Im Favouring the supermicro cse-731i-300B mATX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
other option I like would be a chenbro es34069 mITX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cpu
Amd phenon II x4 955 possibly part no. HDX955WFK4DGM running at the 95w model...
Anyone wanna talk me off Amd and to intel for what I am intending to run or onto another model? With AMD prices im even looking at the hexacore model, though i'm doubting the software will even be using the 4 cores to any extent.

Mobo
Was looking into a micro atx MSI 890GXM-G65 running a AMD 890GX/AMD SB850 chipset but it does come with an integrated Radeon HD 4290 GPU. These mATX desktop boards are simply cheap. Would this be reliable enough or got any none overpriced mobo suggestion? Industrial one worth it?

Ram
8gb in 2x4gb corsairs. 1333 or 1600?. Im assuming this is where getting the better one would really profit (or simply the more the better?). Any point in filling all 4 slots with 4 x 2gbs?

Hdds
2-4 random ~1TB ones running some fakeraid 10 or 5 (whatever there is laying about)

To make you laugh a bit I may want to mention im intending to remote administrate it though remote desktop! gnome (vinagre?) one or any safe one. It will make my file sorting, and router/nas administration easier from outside the lan, so I can close off all extra ports to ouside.

I'd be very happy about any feedback or comments about anything, missing my tech savy friends lately as im living abroad atm!

Thank you.

Hmm, the word "overkill" would normally pop into my head when seeing Phenom II X4 and Home Server next to each other, but it will help out with the virtualization and so on. Same again with the RAM really. I would say it's probably worth the extra dosh for the 1600MHz stuff, but try and get something that is CL8 or lower, preferably CL7. CL6 is just stupidly expensive.

As for the motherboard and case, they're your preference really, but my motherboard of choice at the moment would probably be an Asus M4A88T-M/USB3.
November 1, 2010 11:15:52 PM

2*4GB RAM will actually be (negligibly) faster than 4*2, while using less energy, saving upgrade space, simplifying troubleshooting etc. etc.
Related resources
Anonymous
November 1, 2010 11:19:51 PM

But mostly more expensive.
November 2, 2010 6:30:59 AM

Anonymous said:
Hmm, the word "overkill" would normally pop into my head when seeing Phenom II X4 and Home Server next to each other, but it will help out with the virtualization and so on. Same again with the RAM really. I would say it's probably worth the extra dosh for the 1600MHz stuff, but try and get something that is CL8 or lower, preferably CL7. CL6 is just stupidly expensive.

As for the motherboard and case, they're your preference really, but my motherboard of choice at the moment would probably be an Asus M4A88T-M/USB3.


Hey Dangerman, thanks for the feedback!
Overkill- totally but buying some lower items to save a few euros not worth it at this point.

The ram is what I was looking at... where its 2x 4gb sets they only seem to have cl9 4gb bricks in set or single... all the cl7 or 6's are in max 2gb ram slabs. I was hoping to only use 2 of the slots for possible future upgrade to an even more overkill 16gb ram (just incase). I mean aren't cl9 1600 fine if im not overclocking? Reading through some stuff about it but not making too much sense of it yet. The cpu specs says it supports max ddr3-1333 and while im surely not overclocking is there any point going higher mhz and lower cls? isn't this regulated proportionally with the voltage of the cpu?

Convincing me of an Asus motherboard wont be hard! I come from a MB time 10 years back when I kinda only bought Asus boards, where gigabyte etc annoyed the heck out of me. The M4A88T looks good.. even with usb3.. fancy.
Anonymous
November 2, 2010 4:04:51 PM

Yes, it has USB3 and SATA 6GB/s so you won't be left without these in the future :) 

To be honest with the RAM I don't know 100%, but people I have heard tend to say that AMD CPUs/motherboards usually prefer lower latency and Intels usually prefer higher speed.

You'll have to take a look and see what the difference in price is between 4x2GB and 2x4GB. Like etk said, the difference in speed will be negligible, so I would get whichever is quicker.

I've never "ran out" of RAM so to say; I have 4GB and it's fine even when playing about with virtual machines and so on. Based on that, I'd say there won't be a point where you will want to be upgrading to 16GB before you're looking to replace the whole system. For instance, my motherboard only supports up to 4GB of RAM but there won't be a point where I will need more RAM before I will want a new system. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I wouldn't worry about filling up all 4 slots on the motherboard.

Yes, CL9 1600MHz will be fine if you're not overclocking. I would, however, try to go for CL8 or lower unless you're looking at RAM speeds in excess of 1600MHz (1800MHz+)

There are a lot of CPUs which say they only support 1333MHz RAM but everyone seems to use more than that with no problems so I'm not sure why they say that. Could someone else confirm this?
November 2, 2010 7:16:47 PM

Been reading the rams forum a bit and some other articles. It seems things have stayed like always.. the ram is running at the FSB (outdated terminology?) of the cpu. So unless you overclock theres no point getting higher mhz rams only a point in getting lower cls. The higher mhz ram is just labelled as higher mhz one as it wont roast as fast at higher voltages/mhz when overclocking unlike some other ones?

Some guy wrote this;
CL7 cycles @ 1066 megacycles/second = 7/1066= .0066 *10^-6 seconds or 6.6 nanoseconds

CL9 cycles @ 1333 megacycles/second = 9/1333= .00675 *10^-6seconds or 6.75 nanoseconds

2000Mhz CL9 = 1800Mhz CL8 = 1600Mhz CL7 = 1333Mhz CL6 = 1033 CL5.

Some other guy claims CPU bus and the memory bus are completely independent of each other in AM3's (wtf?) >.<

Yea im still unsure.. and the discussions about ze rams are continuing. Meh just trying to find out if i'd ever even notice the cl difference in RL.
Anonymous
November 2, 2010 8:02:54 PM

Oh man, that's confusing stuff. The RAM doesn't run at the FSB. My FSB is 1066MHz with the RAM running at 800MHz.
November 2, 2010 11:33:41 PM

simon2600 said:


Some guy wrote this;
CL7 cycles @ 1066 megacycles/second = 7/1066= .0066 *10^-6 seconds or 6.6 nanoseconds

CL9 cycles @ 1333 megacycles/second = 9/1333= .00675 *10^-6seconds or 6.75 nanoseconds

2000Mhz CL9 = 1800Mhz CL8 = 1600Mhz CL7 = 1333Mhz CL6 = 1033 CL5.



This may have been true in the 70's (though I think RAM was asynchronous and faster than clock cycles back then, so it prob wouldn't have mattered) but modern processors have "pipelining" to link RAM fetches together, as well as branch prediction accurate well over 90%. Real world, CAS latency (CL) means very little, and as processors improve, will mean even less in the future. Although in theory, for individual RAM fetches with no branch prediction, the above would be correct.

Bottom line, don't worry about CAS timings. The actual difference of going from 9 to 6 would be 1-2%
November 3, 2010 7:04:17 PM

The other reason why CAS timings typically don't affect performance very much is that most memory references are handled by memory caches.

If my math is right. a memory access to an open page of CL 9 1333 Mhz DDR3 memory takes 13 memory cycles (including 4 cycles to transfer the data), or 9.75 nanoseconds, which comes out to about 33 clock cycles on a 3.4 Ghz processor. Switching to CL 7 memory would reduce this to 28 clock cycles, which is about a 15% improvement. The thing is that even 28 clock cycles is a long time for a processor which will normally execute two or more instructions per clock cycle, so if a processor blocks waiting for main memory on a regular basis, your program is going to run slowly, period. For a program that will run efficiently on your processor you shouldn't expect to see anything close to a 15% speedup.
November 4, 2010 7:31:26 PM

Thanks for the reply. While im no expert in the mechanics of ram I did have to read up on how it works in more detail, while it all works I had no great need! I study the human computer (med) so pressed on time anyway >.<

While ive been enlightened on the cl timings/cycles; my one main question remains.. is there any point in getting anything higher than 1333Mhz ddr3 dual channel mem for a phenom II that Im Definately NOT overclocking?

The processor does state; maximal DDR3-1333 und DDR2-1066 Dual Channel Support
The MB states; 1866(OC)/1333/1066 (where OC supposingly refers to overclocking purpose?)

Happily accepting any more feedback/bashing about anything in the config im buying in a few weeks. Thanks!
November 5, 2010 9:01:35 AM

You see it on figures 1866 (over clocked) - anyway DDR3 1333 is fast enough and also do choose dual channel.
November 5, 2010 11:27:09 AM

dEAne said:
You see it on figures 1866 (over clocked) - anyway DDR3 1333 is fast enough and also do choose dual channel.


Thanks for the reply.. yes indeed I would take dual channel.. as triple channel is for intel with the appropriate triple channel memory controller. My question is not answered though, did you want to add a YES in the reply?. I do not overclock systems since ~10 years and im abroad running a few crappy laptops so I cant play around on the pc's back home.

I'm bickering around at this bus of ram vs bus of cpu because since back 10years ago was last time I overclocked a pc for gaming and by upping the voltage i was increasing the cpu mhz and the ram mhz prop.

I'm getting this quote from Crashman of Tom's Hardware team as I cant find a more modern quote being as specific as him (googled)
From http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/45333-12-matters
=============================================================
OK, Let Me Explain Something To You. Your List Must Be Taken In Context. For Expamle, If You Had An AMD "266" Bus CPU, PC2100 Cas2 Would Be Faster Than PC2700 Cas3. The Reason? The Extra Bandwidth Of The Faster Memory Does Nothing For The CPU, While The Lower Latency Of The Slower Memory Does.

But In Your Situation, Things Are Different. This Is Because The Slower "400MHz" P4 Bus Has The Same Bandwidth As 1 Channel Of PC3200! And Nobody Makes "PC4200" Needed To Match The Bandwidth Of Their "533MHz" Bus. So No Matter What Memory You Use On The P4PE, Your CPU Bus Is Faster. In This Situation, Memory Speed Is More Important Than Cas Latency, Because All Speeds Are Too Slow.
=============================================================

Has this changed and I can get infinitely more performance going at higher mhz ram now? I somehow cant believe that >.<

Thanks!
November 22, 2010 11:03:13 PM

Asus MB's also support ECC flavors of RAM too so... another option of ram to look at too ;) 
November 23, 2010 12:04:50 AM

FreeBSD + ZFS = ftw ZFS loves memory.
!