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Low-Power, Low-Cost Server

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January 25, 2013 7:49:51 PM

Hey Folks! For my newest build, I need to make a server. No, not a silly Minecraft, Teamspeak, or torrent server; a legitimate system to handle a virtualized Windows Server 2012 environment. I want to learn more about servers, so I need a dedicated computer for learning and running my home network. It will also eventually host my company's helpdesk software. It needs almost no graphical power, since 99% of the time the screen will be off. The lower its energy footprint, the better (can you build a computer with 100-150w?). If we can find a cheap sata raid controller that would be nice but not necessary, since the bulk of my file storage is on a NAS. If you guys have any advice on things I'm not thinking of yet that a server should probably have, feel free to contribute.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $200-$500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Virtualized (VMWare Server) Windows 2012 Server Standard

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts I Have:
- An old ATX case
- A 750gb sata drive.
- Four sticks of 2GB PC3-10600 RAM (That should still be decent, right?)

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Amazon

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Dayton, OH

Parts Preferences: Preferably Intel, not too important

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Any. Graphics are the abolute lowest priority. Integrated graphics are perfect.

Additional Comments: Very low energy footprint is ideal.
January 25, 2013 8:22:47 PM

I don't know what the requirements are for getting Windows 2012 Server Standard to run under VMWare Server, but given that low energy usage is the priority rather than performance, perhaps this build would suit your needs:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron G465 1.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($41.58 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $131.56
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-25 17:18 EST-0500)

That should require less than 122 W from the power supply at load. The psu I chose should be more reliable than some of the smaller power supplies that would technically meet the needs of the system.
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January 26, 2013 1:16:39 AM

Hmmm... very nice. After reading your post, I also learned (for the first time) that a higher rated power supply doesn't use 100% of the power it's rated for if the hardware doesn't need it. In which case; I have a 450w PSU already, so a new one isn't needed.

That said; will that processor really be powerful enough even for a simple server?
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January 26, 2013 1:22:05 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dSJK
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dSJK/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dSJK/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A8-3870K 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus F1A55-M LX PLUS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $162.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-25 22:22 EST-0500)

all u need :) 

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