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Best CPU For Home Server

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February 11, 2013 7:58:26 PM

Hello everyone! First of all I want to thank you for checking out my post! So I am building a home server and I can't decide on the processor to use in it. I recently bought an Intel Pentium G2020, but I don't know if I should get an i3 or i5 instead.

This server will be used for streaming movies, storing files, daily backups of all my PC's, and occasionally hosting a voice comm service for personal use ( such as Mumble, Vent, or TeamSpeak) as well as a game server at the same time. Just to be clear the game servers I would be running are for messing around with buddies. Nothing serious like 64 players BF3 etc.

Right now here is the build I have planned:
CPU: Pentium G2020
Mobo:ASUS P8H77-I
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 8Gb
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W
Case: Bitfenix Prodigy (Black)
HDD: 3x 2TB WD Green
OS: Windows Home Server 2011

Feel free to comment on these parts and make suggestions!

Thank you!

More about : cpu home server

February 11, 2013 8:49:42 PM

Are you using a wired or wireless (or both) network. Honestly, the Pentium should be more than enough for your needs. I, too, have a WHS 2011 rig with a slower AMD Phenom 910e and it more than meets my needs on a mixed network.
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February 11, 2013 9:19:53 PM

what cpu you will need for streaming will be entirely dependant on wether you will need to transcode on the fly (ie - from the format saved on the server to that being used by the device such as going from 1080 to 320 resolution) and how many streams you will have active at one time.
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February 11, 2013 9:41:12 PM

I plan on having the server wired and the PC's will connect to it over Wi-Fi.

Transcoding shouldn't be an issue as the movies would already be encoded to the correct format for my PC's (1080p) if that's what you mean by transcoding. (I think that's what you mean lol.)

I would think that there wouldn't be anymore than 2-4 streams at one time. Now lets say I'm running a game server, a voice server, and streaming to 2 PC's at the same time, would that require something beefier?
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February 11, 2013 10:45:30 PM

Yes, a quad core would be better given that load, as would some more memory (at least 16GB). How many, total, PCs do you expect to connect to this WHS box (10 is the max BTW)?
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February 11, 2013 11:02:17 PM

I think it depends on what you want to use it for.

This is what my home server is if you are interested, you will see from very expensive to very cheap. I personally don't care for WHS.

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February 11, 2013 11:20:19 PM

COLGeek said:
Yes, a quad core would be better given that load, as would some more memory (at least 16GB). How many, total, PCs do you expect to connect to this WHS box (10 is the max BTW)?


There would be 4 PCs in total. 3 Desktops and 1 Laptop. 1 of the desktops wouldn't be streaming practically anything since it's user doesn't have a desire to stream much media. So on an average day at least 1 PC would be streaming media at a time. However I'm trying to future proof it to the point where I won't regret not getting some better hardware. So say it's a quiet day and the server is only hosting 1 comm & 1 game server ( no streaming) would I benefit from the 16GB and a quad core ? ( Keep in mind that the server hosting wouldn't be 24/7 or anything like that, it would just be for as long as my gaming sessions.) Or would it not benefit that much and the Pentium would suffice?
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February 11, 2013 11:21:57 PM

rshillshooter81 said:
I think it depends on what you want to use it for.

This is what my home server is if you are interested, you will see from very expensive to very cheap. I personally don't care for WHS.

http://file-sense.com/server.jpg


Damn that's pretty impressive, thanks for sharing! However those specs seem pretty far off from what I plan on doing with my server.
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February 11, 2013 11:22:55 PM

What game(s) will you be hosting on your server and how many players will it serve? If connecting folks from outside your local network (external users), what kind of ISP service do you have (DSL, cable modem, etc)?
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February 11, 2013 11:31:16 PM

COLGeek said:
What game(s) will you be hosting on your server and how many players will it serve? If connecting folks from outside your local network (external users), what kind of ISP service do you have (DSL, cable modem, etc)?


Maybe something like counter strike,minecraft, or some other FPS game but it would only serve me and 2-4 buddies. Comcast is my ISP so I have a cable modem. My speed is 25 down 3.75 megabits up. I know I can't host any big servers but I have no desire to host anything bigger than a 5 person server.
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February 11, 2013 11:35:27 PM

I would still consider a 4-core CPU and at least 16GB of memory given what you plan to do. WHS works well on 8GB providing its core services (pretty much all you mention except for the game server). Running a game server will require additional memory and will load your system more than you think, especially if someone else is streaming 1080p at the same time.
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February 11, 2013 11:42:26 PM

COLGeek said:
I would still consider a 4-core CPU and at least 16GB of memory given what you plan to do. WHS works well on 8GB providing its core services (pretty much all you mention except for the game server). Running a game server will require additional memory and will load your system more than you think, especially if someone else is streaming 1080p at the same time.


Gotcha so a quad core CPU would be the way to go. What kind of CPU would you recommend? I don't want a CPU like the Xenons as I can't fork out that kind of dough. I'm thinking an i5 3470, is this a good CPU for my server?
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February 11, 2013 11:45:01 PM

Yep, it should be fine. Also, servers are about stability and reliability. No OCing and you don't need a fancy GPU (just stick with the integrated video or low-end). Keep it running cool and you'll be good to go.
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February 11, 2013 11:49:30 PM

COLGeek said:
Yep, it should be fine. Also, servers are about stability and reliability. No OCing and you don't need a fancy GPU (just stick with the integrated video or low-end). Keep it running cool and you'll be good to go.


Roger that! Thank you so much for helping me out! I feel a lot more confident now that I've got some other opinions on this matter. Thanks again and enjoy your day :D 
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February 11, 2013 11:49:34 PM

Best answer selected by spygearsteven.
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February 11, 2013 11:50:54 PM

Good luck! Enjoy the new server!!!
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February 12, 2013 6:54:28 AM

The Stealthinator said:
Wow! What do you use that config for?

The physical size of it must be pretty huge.


It is 1U.
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August 3, 2013 3:25:07 PM

The Stealthinator said:

Wow! What do you use that config for?

The physical size of it must be pretty huge.


That link does not work... what is the actual configuration
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August 3, 2013 8:07:57 PM

It's against the rules to necropost. The link worked when I went to it months ago.
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October 11, 2013 11:32:19 AM

I have 2 WHS 2011 boxes. One is a strict movie stream server the other a traditional file server with remote access for when Im in the field and need things like instructional documents or software.

BOTH machines are Quad Core Machines, 1 Intel, 1 AMD and both running 4 gigs of ram. I saw a MAJOR difference between Quad and Dual Core. The Quad Core upgrades GREATLY increased my Server productivity and response times both internal and remotely.

RAM is a no brainer the more the merrier however I havent had any memory based issues running 4 gigs of ram. The AMD has 6 gigs come to think of it.

WHS V1 and 2011 boxes sold by companies like HP actually shipped with believe it or not Dual Core CELERON Processors!

As with anything else in the PC world I am an advocate of building my machines to meet my needs. A simple golden rule is this:

The better the processor the better the performance AND longer lifespan of your PC

The more RAM the better. RAM is what allows programs to run so in theory more ram equals more programs running before the PC slows down.

Video Card selection is huge for good clean graphics representation IE: Gaming and Video.

Plain, Simple, to the point.

For Servers Specifically the other things to think about are this:

GIGABIT Ethernet for faster connections over your Intranet and possibly the Internet depending on your ISP allowances. My Cable modem for instance supports Gigabit and therefore I utilize it, but many Modems do not support Gigabit and are 10/100.

And lastly hard drives aka storage space. I always say if you can afford it get as much storage space as possible so you dont have to add on later. At the same time, Make sure you have enough Drive space somewhere to act as a backup.

I use an external hard drive to back my data up for 2 reasons:

1- I unplug the external when it's not in use. Reason- Every hour that drive isnt spinning is an hour longer in the life expectancy of that drive because ALL HARD DRIVES WILL FAIL ONE DAY.

2- It's one less thing running and drawing electricity AND producing heat.

In the Server World you dont have to focus on your video cards unlike with other pc's though. They arent graphics intensive therefore you dont need to invest money in quality video cards, in fact MANY Servers are headless meaning no Monitors attached. My servers are attached to a single Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse via a KVM Switch to reduce space. I feel all servers should have local access to those things in the event you must service them or use them directly.

So that sums it up for me concerning a home server.
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