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Recycling Dual Quad-Core Server?

Last response: in Systems
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August 10, 2011 7:35:11 PM

Hi guys.

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

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 10, 2011 10:17:44 PM

Since the cpu's are 4 generations old I would think its ideal for converting to a home server . but will well off the pace compared to a single 2500k
August 10, 2011 11:22:13 PM

Thanks, Outlander. This is also my thinking... Making it a home server sounds like a good re-purpose. It is WAY too loud in it's current configuration, however. And I'm not sure it's cost-effective to reconfigure. I just HATE to throw perfectly working hardware away! =p
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 10, 2011 11:41:55 PM

Im a bit envious . You have the hardware so you might as well experiment !

cut a huge hole in the top of the case and mount a big cooling fan .

under clock and under volt the cpu's too . With 8 threads per board it wont matter that you are not running them hard

Might not look pretty but then you can hide it in the garage , attic or basement .... and the noise wont be a problem
August 11, 2011 9:47:48 PM

I'm playing with a BSD install as we speak. It is LOUD! Unfortunately, we're in an apartment in Manhattan and there's really no place to hide this beast. I'll play with it for a few days then probably give it away... I already have a sff server running here. So, it's not like I'm desperate for another one... Thanks again!
!