Looking for Gaming Server Hardware

I currently host a Minecraft server on my personal computer, and it is starting to get cumbersome. I want to take a look at buying an actual server to host it on.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Minecraft, it is very RAM- and CPU-intensive compared to other games. I would like to be able to host up to 40 players at a time (this isn't necessarily a requirement). I'm posting here because I have zero experience with server hardware.

I want to know:

1. What kind of machine, and with what kind of specs would you recommend?
2. Is this even feasible on a ~$500 budget?
3. Is there anything else I should be aware of running a server in my home?

I can provide any other information if needed.
12 answers Last reply
More about looking gaming server hardware
  1. Can you tolerate the loudness of 1u server boxes?
  2. amuffin said:
    Can you tolerate the loudness of 1u server boxes?


    I don't know. I've heard they're loud. Is it possible for a server to run this game without having the fans constantly in overdrive? Is it a difference of money?
  3. sheft said:
    I don't know. I've heard they're loud. Is it possible for a server to run this game without having the fans constantly in overdrive? Is it a difference of money?

    from the place where i can buy servers (weirdstuff.com) they are very cheap, about 100-200 for 4-8 core dual xeons. But let me tell you, they are extremely loud, especially if you want to run multiple of them. They don't come with windows or os installed, but i think you can host a minecraft server off of linux. Try looking for older servers that have xeons in them.
  4. amuffin said:
    from the place where i can buy servers (weirdstuff.com) they are very cheap, about 100-200 for 4-8 core dual xeons. But let me tell you, they are extremely loud, especially if you want to run multiple of them. They don't come with windows or os installed, but i think you can host a minecraft server off of linux. Try looking for older servers that have xeons in them.


    Hmm.. so the loudness is unavoidable? I only plan to run one server for the time being. If I spent money on better hardware would it be able to do more without generating so much heat? Thanks for the link BTW, I'll check that out.
  5. I don't think your going to need dual xeons or a huge server set up, as the hardware is only one side of the story, for minecraft you need alot of bandwith, especially for 40 players. Whats your internet like? Take a look at this thread, someone on a P4 with 5mbps can host the same as someone with a 2500k and a 0.5mbps.
  6. Lfluxx said:
    I don't think your going to need dual xeons or a huge server set up, as the hardware is only one side of the story, for minecraft you need alot of bandwith, especially for 40 players. Whats your internet like? Take a look at this thread, someone on a P4 with 5mbps can host the same as someone with a 2500k and a 0.5mbps.


    After a few tests on the CNET bandwidth meter, I'm currently hovering around 6.5Mbps
  7. Upload?
    Also why don't you just rent one? It would probably work out cheaper and give more performance then if you hosted, take into account your going to have a computer using electricity 24/7 and using extreme ammounts of bandwith, depending on where you are you might even get capped/charged more for overusing your limit.

    I dont know where you are, but i used this place http://www.plugpayplay.com/gameservers.php and it was perfect.
  8. Lfluxx said:
    Upload?


    According to bandwidth.com, my upload speed is about 3.5Mbps. Keep in mind my Minecraft server is running in the background with a few people logged in at the moment. So these speeds might actually be a little higher.
  9. Lfluxx said:
    Upload?
    Also why don't you just rent one? It would probably work out cheaper and give more performance then if you hosted, take into account your going to have a computer using electricity 24/7 and using extreme ammounts of bandwith, depending on where you are you might even get capped/charged more for overusing your limit.

    I dont know where you are, but i used this place http://www.plugpayplay.com/gameservers.php and it was perfect.


    Well the thing is, even though my main concern is to stabilize the Minecraft server right now, I'm kind of interested in toying around with a server for other things. I'm a programmer, and would like to dabble in SQL, PHP, web hosting, etc. to broaden my horizons a little.

    You might be right, though. That stuff may have to wait, because I'm not in a great environment to run a server 24/7. Unless the noise thing can be avoided.
  10. sheft said:
    After a few tests on the CNET bandwidth meter, I'm currently hovering around 6.5Mbps


    sheft said:
    Well the thing is, even though my main concern is to stabilize the Minecraft server right now, I'm kind of interested in toying around with a server for other things. I'm a programmer, and would like to dabble in SQL, PHP, web hosting, etc. to broaden my horizons a little.

    You might be right, though. That stuff may have to wait, because I'm not in a great environment to run a server 24/7. Unless the noise thing can be avoided.


    Ahhh makes sense then, i've been looking around at different threads and stuff and most people running close to 40 man servers have been running them off there gaming rigs. ( There have been people running them on Phenom ii x4 955's to i7 920's )

    So by no means is a massive server rack/dual xeon necessary.
  11. amuffin said:


    Thank you very much. I have to be honest, I didn't realize until I saw this that a server is just a stripped down computer with a different OS. I always thought servers had some kind of special hardware.

    Now seeing how simple it is, I'm much more confident buying parts and just building one.
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