My Own Server Part 1: DIY 1U Rack Servers

The System: MSI P1-102A2M Rack-mount Server With 1U

On the left is a vent with two 40 mm fans placed directly behind it. In the middle are the connectors for the mainboard contained in it (ATX), on the right the PCI X slot served by the raiser card.

For this test we received a rack-mount server from MSI (P1-102A2M), which differs from the popular models because of the chipset used: instead of the 845PE from Intel, most frequently used until now, the dual-channel capable E7210 is used.

On the Website the manufacturer promises that it also supports Intel's latest progeny, the Pentium 4 Prescott. Because of its high thermal power-just under 100 watts at 3.2 GHz - we cannot recommend using these CPUs in systems that are short on space. Particularly because the presumed performance edge over the Pentium 4 Northwood is still not in evidence.

For the motherboard, we used a model that cannot be obtained by itself from MSI (MS-9149). In addition to the E7210, the PCI-X-Bridge 6300ESB comes into play rather than a conventional Southbridge (ICH5). For space reasons, however, only a single PCI-X-Slot (66 MHz) is used - nothing more would fit into the 1U case.

However, the chip is good for two reasons - it allows a secondary network controller for Gigabit Ethernet (i82541) to be connected via PCI-X. For the primary interface the CSA version (i82547) is used.

Two network interfaces have been part of the basic server setup for many years, because that is the only way that the computer can be active on two different networks or sub networks and route between them.

It lends itself to use as a gateway between the local network and the Internet, but on the other hand also for secure connection of a wireless LAN access point, for which all WLAN users will have to set up a VPN channel to the server.

Used as a graphics chip is the ATI Rage XL, the leader on the server market, with 8 MB memory. As graphics applications are not for rack-mount servers, this chip is more than enough.

The interfaces look familiar: For cost reasons, a familiar ATX board is used that was souped up for use in the 1U case.

  • jameshk
    if i buy this 1U server, can i use it for video edit and play games at home??the speed good then normal desktop?