Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Home server upgrade: AMD or Intel (low end)

Last response: in Systems
July 11, 2012 10:55:16 AM

I've had a home server that's been running remarkably well, considering the loads I put on it. But I think it's time to upgrade, as software updates seem to have made it a little slow, there are limitations such as the number of SATA ports and external connectivity - and there is the nagging worry that the components are near the end of their lifetime(s).

Conditions for the upgrade:
  • Must come to a grand total of less than £120
  • Motherboard must be micro-ATX (or less I suppose)
  • Motherboard must be either eSATA or USB3 (preferably eSATA) compatible, as I would probably, in the future, want to get an external backup drive.

    Useful considerations:
  • The server runs 24/7, running Apache with a few PHP/MySQL websites, samba file server, public Minecraft server
  • Power consumption is a major concern. If at all possible, I would not like to raise this. Electric prices can only go up in the long run, and I've measured it to use 50-60W on average as it is now.
  • Graphics is, as you would imagine, not of interest. I do of course need basic integrated graphics in order to run a console for maintenance (server's headless when operational).
  • Gigabit Ethernet would be very nice for a future in which I have a gigabit capable router.

    The current components, with those to be upgraded in bold, are:

    CPU: AMD Athlon 1600-LE (single core, 2.2GHz) [surprised it doesn't grind to a halt at times]
    Mobo: Gbyte M61PME-S2 [I think anyway] (nForce 430, 2x SATAII, AM2)
    RAM: 4GB DDR2 800MHz
    PSU: Corsair CX400 (400W rated, possibly slightly lower due to capacitor fatigue, about a year of 24/7 usage so far, hasn't skipped a beat though)
    HDDs: 2x 1TB SATAII Western Digital Greens
    CDRW drive
    MicroATX case (v. cheap one, but not going to upgrade. Has an 80mm fan at the back)

    Here are some Intel components that I'm considering:

  • Asus P8H61-M LE/USB3, H61 sandy bridge chipset (£47.97)
  • Intel Pentium G620 dual core 2.6GHz socket LGA1155 (£44.45)

    Total: £92.42 plus memory.


    And here are some AMD ones:

  • Gbyte GA-M68MT-S2-FX-3.1 socket AM3+ (£32.94) (!)
  • PCI bracket from SATA to eSATA (£4)
  • AMD Athlon II X2 250 3GHz socket AM3 (£57.61)

    Total: £94.55 plus memory.

    Any option would also include either 4 or 8GB of DDR3 1066/1333 memory. I've seen Corsair dual module kits for £20.09 and £35.99 respectively. What do you reckon about the reliability of those, considering the price? (I could probably spend a little more than £120 if absolutely necessary).


    The operating system is Debian 6 Linux, so as a separate question, if you know anything about this issue, what would be the chances of simply swapping out the old mobo/CPU/RAM and putting the new stuff in, and have everything "just work" (well, I don't mind reconfiguring network devices and the fstab, but after that, I mean). I really don't want to have to shift all the data off the huge hard drive and put it all back piecemeal.

    Thank you all very much for your time.
    July 11, 2012 5:29:18 PM

    If you can find the G530 it'll be even cheaper and work very well for a server. The G530 will consume less power and throw less heat than the AMD setup.
    July 11, 2012 5:40:54 PM

    Dougie Fresh said:
    If you can find the G530 it'll be even cheaper and work very well for a server. The G530 will consume less power and throw less heat than the AMD setup.

    Ah, and it's only £34.90 from Amazon. Actually, looking through all the different CPUs, it seem a surprise that AMD isn't bankrupt.

    This means I can afford 8GB of corsair RAM and still be under the £120 limit. Thanks for the suggestion!