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New i3 home server build

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May 6, 2011 5:09:22 AM

Hello,
I want to build a new server for home to be used as:
Domain Controller
File Server
Source Control
SQL Server (home development use)
as well as streaming stored movies to a tv using HDMI connector.

I was trying to put it togehter for around $500. I first tried to use AMD processor, however, based on some of the feedback I found on this site, decided to spend a bit more and go with i3.

Here are the parts I am planning to use so far:

Intel Core i3 2100 LGA 1155 3.1GHz Boxed Processor 1 $99.99
ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM-R3 LGA 1155 H67 mATX 1 $119.99
Patriot Extreme Performance Sector 5 G Series 8GB 1 $84.99
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0 1 $64.99
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0 1 $119.99
LG GH22NS50 22X Internal SATA Super Multi DVD Drive 1 $18.99
Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower Case 1 $44.99
OCZ Technology ModXStream Pro 500 Watt ATX EPS12V 1 $74.99

Can someone please check if these components are adequate for what I am trying to get out of this sytem? Also, does i3 need a better heatsink/fan then the one that it ships with? Do I need a dedicated graphic card or can I get away with an onboard option?

Thank you

More about : home server build

May 7, 2011 5:11:38 PM

domain controller? at home? how many pc's do you have? eh anyway that's besides the point.

for an sql server if you are going to be doing a lot of heavy queries a quad core might help but it wont be necessary immediately... once you get some queries taking hours some more horsepower might help.

your mobo is dual channel so you might want to get 2x4gb sticks instead of 1x8gb stick just to use the extra speed the dual channel will give you.

You wont need a dedicated graphics card for what you are going to use it for no.

Other than that you look ok just not sure about your cpu having enough horsepower to do everything youre looking for at the same time. It should be fine but if you find it lagging that would be the first thing Id look at upping later.

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Best solution

May 7, 2011 7:12:05 PM

When deciding to build a server, the first thing you need to determine is what server OS you intend to use. The second thing you need to determine is whether your selected components (in particular, the motherboard) are supported with drivers for your selected server OS. Finally, does the server OS support all the different functions you wish to utilize.

Looking at your build and taking shinObi272's comments into account:

A) The dual-core 3.1GHz processor should be more than enough for your purposes. As a database guy, I've written plenty of monster queries and haven't come across any that took more than a few minutes to run on a P4 SQL Server.

B) The ASUS web site is returning errors when checking for available downloads for your motherboard, so I can't say what OS drivers are available.

C) I agree with shinObi272 in that you should go with 2x4GB RAM rather than 1x8GB. Even if running multiple virtual machines, you shouldn't need more that a total of 16GB (unless you're also running a Microsoft Exchange Server).

D) Dual Hard drives. I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) that the 1TB drive is for the OS and the 2TB drive is for the file server. Personally, I'd add a single 320-500GB drive solely for the OS and server software. The 1TB drive, I'd use solely for SQL Server databases and the 2TB drive, solely for the file storage/sharing. I would also seriously look into adding drives for fault tolerance. Trust me. The last thing you want is to lose 2TB of data without some sort of backup.

E) Media Streaming. I don't know that media streaming is even available on any server OS. I might recommend creating a virtual client system, but I don't know that the integrated graphics capabilities of the CoreI3 processor are available in a virtual system environment. My experience is based on the system in my signature (below). In a virtual XP environment, my 8800GTS-640 would not translate over.

Again, this all depends on what Server OS you intend to use, but I'd probably recommend dropping the Media Player capabilities from this system's usage. Build a smaller media player that can access the media stored on the file server and display to your TV.

Just my thoughts.

-Wolf sends
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May 7, 2011 7:31:17 PM


i see that you have many of the same parts here that i have in my own build, i can sell you it for $300 shipped

Core i3 2100
AsRock H61M U3S3 (Has SATA 3 & USB 3)
Antec 430 W Earthwatts PowerSupply
HP DVD Burner w/Lightscribe
Cooler Master Elite 341 (Space for 2 5.25 drive, and 2 3.5 drive) w/ 5.25 to 3.5 adapter

you save $59 which is a decent chunk of change

please pm me if you are interested
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May 8, 2011 9:34:22 PM

Best answer selected by stevchik.
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May 8, 2011 10:01:02 PM

First of all, thank you for your information.

I would like to explain my reasoning for some of the choices I made:

1) I do a lot of development at home, so I need domain controller to be able to replicate my client's environment. I can not figure out a better way to do an integrated security without an active directory.

2) Patriot Extreme Performance Sector 5 G Series 8GB - include 2 4gb sticks.

3) I was planing to RAID 1 my 2 x 2 TB hard rives. 1TB drive was for system and I did not think I needed to add it to a RAID. Since this is for home, I can always rebuild the system and active directory. My plan was to install SQL server on the system drive and keep database data and log files on the 2x2 TB data drive. Since this is home, I can either work on database or stream a movie to TV. So, i did not think I was going to run into issues with keeping data and movies on the same drive. Why do you think a separate drive for SQL is beneficial in my set up?

4) For media streaming, I was planning to get some sort of Media Center Extender to stream data. I have no idea if this can be done with Server 2008 R2. I am very interested in possible solutions.

You are absolutely correct!!! The motherboard I selected does not support Server 2008 R2. I had to learn it the hard way.... I was getting blue screen of death every time I tried to install it. Good thing I have a good relationship with my local computer store. No restocking fee!!!

So, after more research I found another motherboard that does support 2008:
ASUS P8B WS LGA 1155 Intel C206 ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server/Workstation Motherboard

Before I go ahead an buy it, I do have another question about memory. Since this is a server motherboard, it supports ECC memory. Should I spend extra and buy ECC memory?

Also, do you have any suggestions how best to set up a RAID on this board so that only 2x2 TB drives are in RAID (I do not plan to RAID system drive).


Thanks

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May 8, 2011 10:47:06 PM

Your original components list only shows a single 1TB drive and a single 2TB drive. If you're getting two 2TB drives (as well as a single 1TB drive), then your plan should work out just fine. Just as a personal preference, I like to keep work data separate from entertainment data. That's why I suggested separate drives for the two (and a third drive for the OS/Server software).

As far as media streaming, after some further research it looks like it's possible, but you'll need to install some additional services to your server. You may also need to install a third party app like XBMC for PCs.

Memory on the ASUS P8B: If this were a production server, then I would say, yes, go with the ECC memory. However, since this is just your home development server, then I probably wouldn't bother.

Since the new motherboard supports both SATA 6.0 (grey) and SATA 3.0 (blue), I'd go ahead and connect the 1TB OS drive to a grey SATA port and the two 2TB drives to two of the Blue SATA ports and just build the RAID1 array once the OS is installed/updated. Looking at the specs for the board, it doesn't look like the SATA 6.0 ports support RAID; only the SATA 3.0 ports do.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8B_...

-Wolf sends

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