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Suggestions on building Game Server

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September 13, 2001 7:09:22 AM

i was given a bunch of spare parts and am building a game server from them. i got some pretty good stuff. heres the config so far. i would like to know if anyone has any experience and could offer suggestions....this will only be used on a small lan at home, consisting of 8 computers.
so far:
- asus P2B-DS mobo w/dual 450 P3's (is that enough?)
- 256 mb ecc pc100 ram
- 1 10Gb ide hard drive
- 2 5Gb SCSI hard drives that i plan on running the games from
- i have installed win 2k advanced server for stability. how does this sound to you guys? will it work?


...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 13, 2001 4:19:37 PM

thats more then enough, my counterstrike server is fine for up to 6 people, gets laggy after that but thats my cable conection, running halflife dedicated server 1.1 on a k6-3 450, 320 meg ram, 2 meg (maybe 4 ) vid card, windows 2k. The only limiting factor on mine is the internet connection, however- if you wish to JOIN the game from the same system, then things are obviously different.


Next time you wave - use all your fingers
September 13, 2001 6:28:59 PM

great, so it looks as though i'll be ok. let me ask you another question, since this is only for an internal lan, does everyone need their own copy of the game in order to play? i will be running things such as counterstrike, quake 2 and 3 maybe serious sam etc..... you get the picture.....

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
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September 14, 2001 12:18:04 AM

*Fuzzy Radio Noise*
*Kchkk*.Houston...We have Pirated Software.

I'm willing to bet anything that you're pirating Win2k Advanced Server, too. But that's OK, because everybody pirates software. It technically is illegal to do what you r saying in terms of licenses, but I know from experience that on an internal Lan, you'll be able to do CS from one copy. UT is also quite lenient, just get the 436 patch and it doesn't check for the CD. In terms of your server setup, it sounds fine, though you might want more RAM...Especially w/ RAM so cheap. Servers are cool! I'm waiting for the ASUS Athlon MP board to go hog wild building a kickass server (Running linux...That way the damn Federalis won't get you). Good Luck w/ your project.


"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 14, 2001 4:52:22 PM

Your server setup is ok, a bit more ram would be good however for the mapchanges and so on...
I think the half-life server (->counter-strike) doesn't take advantage of multiple CPUs, however.
September 14, 2001 11:44:29 PM

oh really?? i didnt know that..... it isnt the o.s. that handles the distribution of processing pwr to the apps? i figured i was lookin good w/ a dual P3 even though it is only 450....

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 15, 2001 1:49:08 AM

Both the OS AND the application must support multiple processors. I don't think many games do. You'll find Multiple Processor support for applications like Photoshop, Web Servers, etc. And, I know it might be a lost cause, but can I reccommend Linux? It'll support your hardware, and Half-Life (and CS), UT and Quake3 runs under it. It's also extremely fast...If you're worried about your system being so slow, it's a good alternative. Just thought I'd throw that out.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 15, 2001 8:23:15 PM

hmmm, linux sounds very interesting. i just dont know much about it? where do i get it? which version do i buy? red hat?

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 15, 2001 8:36:30 PM

I would get the standard edition of Linux Mandrake 8.0. (You can download and burn this if you have the hardware) (That's the beauty of Linux...No piracy needed).

I would get the book "Running Linux" from O'Reilly (Best 40 bucks I've ever spent).

And I would get Unreal Tournament and Quake3 from www.linuxmall.com

That's all you need to get started. You should check out the following sites:
www.linuxgames.com and
lhl.linuxgames.com

They describe how to get Half-Life working under Linux, and Counter-Strike (www.counter-strike.net) has a Linux server version, too.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 15, 2001 8:39:59 PM

excellent, thank you for the help and advise. i am definately gonna go with linux on this.

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 15, 2001 8:54:35 PM

Yes! Another Convert to the side of justice! ;) 



"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 17, 2001 1:10:05 AM

Phew, it's good that you decided against win2k adv server. I think I remember reading that 512 MB of ram is the minimum recommended for running that. Linux will do you much better, and you can do a lot of other really neat things with it. If you have cable/DSL, you can have that linux box as your game server, and as your router/firewall to share your connection. It may take a bit of patience setting it all up, but Mandrake makes that job easier than other distros.

Lyrics. Wasted time between solos.
September 17, 2001 1:14:34 AM

i am going to try linux first.... i dont know a thing about it though. will it really be that much better? will it pick up my scsi drives and dual processors?

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 17, 2001 1:28:18 AM

Yup. It supports a crapload of hardware, including Dual Processors...Pretty much the only stuff that gives it problems are:
Really cheap Ethernet cards ($10 variety)...(The drivers written by these companies can be very poorly done)
and proprietary software modems (called "WinModems"). If you don't need the modem, its a good choice. Just pick up the book "Running Linux" from O'Reilly and it answers a lot of your questions. The install of Linux Mandrake 8.0 is easier than Windows, IMO. There is also a huge amount of people willing to help you in forums and newsgroups...Not necessarily here (This is a hardware forum...), but at other sites. I wish you the best of luck.

P.S. Do you have a CD Burner? you can download Linux Mandrake (for free!!)(2 CDs) by going to www.linux-mandrake.com and clicking on the "Download" link... Also, you can check if you're hardware is supported on their site. (It should be...The only thing I would wonder about would be your SCSI controller card...But that should be supported, too). Not ready to go "all the way"? That's okay...You can dual boot between Win 2k and Linux.

Best of Luck.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 17, 2001 3:20:11 AM

thanks for the info. i do have a burner but i cant figure out what to download. there doesnt seem to be any .exe files, just txt. should i go for 8.1 beta or 8.0? my scsi is on the board, not an expansion card so i shouldnt have a problem with that.

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 17, 2001 5:49:51 AM

If it's integrated onto a P3 board, then I'm sure it'll be supported by Mandrake 8.0. Go for 8.0 over the 8.1 beta. I'm sure Beta3 is stable enough, but you never know. You don't download any .exe files. All you get is a cd image, or .iso file. Use your burning program and select create cd from cd image, or the equivalent. Make sure you get the smp kernel version.

Lyrics. Wasted time between solos.
September 17, 2001 7:25:40 PM

Word, Silver Pig!

Anyway...Make sure you have a new enough browser that it recognizes the .iso file as something its supposed to download, not open. My Friend's old computer w/ NN3 ended up displaying the Mandrake kernel code! (It wasn't funny when he ran out of hard drive space...) If you can't do it or something goes wrong, send me a private message...Ill get you the CDs.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 18, 2001 12:52:27 PM

Hi,
I recently dual booted my 2k box with redhat 7.2, installed hlds and it runs FINE, players report that its a lot better, also on windows, players used to timeout for no aparant reason (me included and I connected locally from 98 box), also it sometimes used to hang between map changes for AGES, this is all fixed. it was easy to setup (Im fairly new to linux too), I followed some instructions I found on the net, but Im at work now and cant find it, I'll post back here tonight if I remember- if I dont, plz mail me calv@fuckyou.co.uk and I'll send the link.
The only problem I have is getting punkbuster to work, It cant connect to master server for some reason- may be my firewall config tho, but if anyone has any ideas on this then I'd be glad to hear them

Next time you wave - use all your fingers
September 18, 2001 11:11:57 PM

hmmmm..... 2 votes for mandrake and one for red hat. what are the differences? im definately going with one of them...

...and i would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids...
September 19, 2001 12:39:22 AM

Mandrake is easier to install, and is a little more "graphical" and friendly than other distros. Its also fully RedHat compatible...If an app says it runs on Red Hat Linux, itll work with Mandrake, too. I'd recommend Mandrake simply because when there are no price or compatibility issues, go with the easier-to-use disrto.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
September 19, 2001 8:08:22 AM

Im new to linux, had a go a while ago with mandrake 7 but had a lot of problems, a lot of people that are more experienced with linux do say that redhat isnt the ideal beginers choice, but as I said, I dont have much bother with it, I do a lot from console rather than in kde so I suppose if you went down that road too then it wouldnt make a lot of difference what distro you use, I have heard (and only heard- not used) that suse is one of the simplest to use. Anyway, I had a few teething probs with my setup initially so if you do get stuck I may be able to help, once you get "into it", things seem to fall into place, the trick is not to think of it as windows/dos and expect it to do things in the same way. Let me know the ip when your up and runing, I'll help you "test" it, but only if you let me win :) 


Next time you wave - use all your fingers
September 19, 2001 8:04:25 PM

Yeah...Give me the IP, too. What games will you be playing?
The hardest part (for me, anyways) in the console was using Emacs. Coming from a Microsoft Word environment to emacs was an enormous culture shock. I remember one time I got myself screwed up so bad I had to press the reset button on my computer. I do use the console, but I like to use GNOME with Star Office and Gnumeric more. I recommended Mandrake cuz they've got a thing called the "Mandrake Control Center" that works a lot like the control panel in Windows.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
January 1, 2002 3:38:17 AM

Hmm.. Sounds like you have a good project going and lots of help. I have to agree with the peeps about using linux unless you aren't willing looking to dig through some books. I would say go for it if you knew anything at all about linux. If you know windows. Then I would stick to it for a quick solution. Advanced server is nice but not needed. :)  Remember this is a game server. If you are hosting only one game or session then the only caching that will be done will be during lvl or (map) changes. Under ideal situations there will be no more than 50 people connected to your server at any time. Not too demanding indeed.

My game server is:

Asus P2B-D
2x P3-500
1GB Ram
20GB IBM HD
28GB Seagate HD
Windows 2000 Professional

With what I have; I can serve Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life, and Delta Force Games simultaneously with ease. Maybe more but haven't tried. CPU usuage on a dedicated server is very low. You should be ok with what you have. I would recommend playing around with the different OS's. Hope this helps.
Anonymous
January 4, 2002 2:21:53 AM

What good is a CS server for only 8 people? ;)  As far as I can see from your server config, your only shortcoming may be in the RAM department. The HDs really don't matter much...unless you're really anal about load times ;) 

My CS team runs a dedicated Linux server with a PIII 866 off of 384 megs of RAM. We've noticed that with around 24 players the pings will shoot up to 70 , but less than that the server can maintain a nice 15ms ping.

People will rave about the stability of Linux...but from my observations as a server admin...Linux crashes often enough. It may be due to the excessive number of @sshole CS hackers out there, but we usually have a bad crash every 1 or two weeks of continuous on-time. Go with whichever OS you are more familiar with.
!