First Build Help -- Personal Server/Workstation

Hey all,
First of all I want to thank everyone that takes the time to reply to these requests. You have no idea how helpful these forums have been in trying to put together the best machine for me. Both the more official stickies (Best Configs, Part buying advice) and looking at other people's builds and critiques have been incredibly useful.

And on to the meat of the post: I'm looking to build my first computer, a somewhat high end machine to fulfill my personal server/workstation needs. That is I'll likely use it for my own file/streaming/web server to access my media as well as using it as a programming/dev/number-crunching machine. Not so much gaming...

Will be running some distro of Linux, although I'm yet undecided between CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu. Any input on that front also welcome.

I'm looking to spend around 1500 give or take, but the build below comes out to 1700 so if you can think of good ways to cut cost without huge sacrifices, please let me know.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon, probably Monday or Tuesday.



PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS



PARTS PREFERENCES: Have gone with Intel, but am not necessarily biased by company, honestly, if it will make it a better machine, I'm open.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Needs to be within price range (cheaper obviously better).
One of the main things I like about the current build is that it is highly extensible, and in the future I can upgrade fairly easily.

VIDEO: The mobo has onboard video (Aspeed AST2050), which I'm planning on using initially. Should I plan on getting a separate graphics card in the future? If so, any suggestions?
AUDIO: Do I need a separate audio card and, if so, is the Asus MIO worth anything at all? It seems to have mixed reviews and possibly not be worthwhile, but it is incredibly cheap. Suggestions for this would be great.



COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Like: Large and well-cooled, Will fit SSI EEB MoBo.
Dislike: HAF printed on side...


2x Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem 2.26GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor BX80602E5520
Likes: Fast and (relatively) cheap, low power footprint
Dislikes: Only relatively cheap, could be faster, bad for overclocking (comes with the whole server thing, i know)


ASUS Z8PE-D12(ASMB4-IKVM) Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5520 Tylersburg SSI EEB 3.61 Dual Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series w/ Remote Management Server Motherboard
Likes: Good reviews, Lots of PCI-E expansion slots, IKVM remote management
Questions: Do I need to use a PIKE RAID card to set up SATA raid with this board? I will not be doing this immediately, but sometime in the future I want to set up a RAID array...


HITACHI Deskstar H3IK10003272SP (0S02860) 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Likes: Cheap, HITACHI doesn't make me pay extra for a SATA enabled drive (that's right WD, your RE drives are bs)


Kingston ValueRAM 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 Server Memory Model KVR1333D3D8R9SK3/6G
Likes: Right amount, fast, cheap


SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Likes: I thin 750W will be enough for this plus a few extras I will want to add in the future, GOLD rating

Additional factors I'd appreciate advice on:

Thinking about getting a smallish SSD for OS and applications, is this worthwhile and about how big of a drive do I need for this?

Alright, thats it for the build so far. I'm really looking forward to hearings all of your suggestions and comments :)
3 answers Last reply
More about first build personal server workstation
  1. I would really go with an AMD 6XXX CPU, it will give you more cores. And there are some great mobos for them... but yeah, this looks good. Dislike:

    HAF printed on side...
  2. ^ Like he siad, you can take a look at the AMD Opteron Magny-Cours CPUs...

    Mobo for those -
    Or the Tyan is cheaper

    But if you want to stick with Intel, then get the newer Xeons -

    CASE - How about this ?
    NZXT Whisper - A very good Full Tower if you will not be using powerful graphic cards

    PSU - The Corsair AX750 is cheaper and is actually based on the same platform...

    HDD - Samsung F3 ??
  3. Thanks for the good suggestions! I've moved up to the Intel E5620 Westmere CPU's and made the PSU switch you suggested. Wasn't such a huge fan of the case you suggested, but have moved from the CoolerMaster 932 HAF to the prettier Lian Li PC-A70F, which I'm pretty excited about.

    Other than that I'm about to buy, so unless anyone has any other suggestions for replacements, I'm moving ahead. Thanks again!
Ask a new question

Read More

Build Systems