New Server Hardware Recommendations?

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Thu Feb 19 02:16:12 MST 2009


Kimball Larsen wrote:
> I spec'd out a few things on Newegg - would love any feedback anyone can 
> offer:
> 
> Case:
> ASUS V3-M2NC61P AMD Socket AM2+ / AM2 NVIDIA MCP61P 2-Tone Barebone
> 
> CPU:
> AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor 
> Model ADO5000DOBOX
> 
> Hard Drives: (2x)
> Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard 
> Drive
> 
> Memory:
> CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual 
> Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5
> 
> Total Cost:
> $373.96 (aka el-cheapo)

I started out with a home server like that, but minor hardware errors 
occurred every week or so and sometimes it froze up.  I decided I needed 
a new server with ECC RAM, but I also needed to keep the power 
consumption low so the server wouldn't be noisy.

At first I planned to build an Intel system since Intel CPUs supposedly 
consume less power, but then I learned that FBDIMMs (which I would need 
for an Intel server) draw way too much power.  So I built an AMD server box.

So here is approximately what I built.

Case:
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5
- Has a nice filter that reduces dust intake.

Power supply:
ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT 500W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 
PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC
- Produces very clean power and has enough 12V connectors for a server 
motherboard.

Motherboard:
TYAN S2912G2NR Dual 1207(F) NVIDIA nForce Professional 3600 Extended ATX 
Server Motherboard
- Plenty of slots for expansion.

CPU:
AMD Opteron 2212 Santa Rosa 2.0GHz Socket F 95W Dual-Core Server Processor
- I actually got a 1210 HE, which is cheaper and consumes less power, 
but it's no longer available.

RAM:
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) ECC 
Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit Server Memory Model CT2KIT25672AA667
- I actually got 8 GB so I could run lots of virtual servers using 
linux-vserver.

Hard drives (2):
Western Digital Caviar Green WD6400AACS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard 
Drive (bare drive) - OEM
- These "green" drives consume less power than similar drives, which 
means less heat, so they should last longer.

Total with shipping: $620.57

Mine consumes 80 watts (measured at the outlet) under normal load, which 
is good enough.  My target was 50 watts, but that's hard to achieve with 
a server CPU.

Note that the motherboard is surprisingly inexpensive at $60.  The power 
supply and CPU are the biggest differences from Kimball's list.  I stand 
by the Enermax: its output has very little noise.  I couldn't find any 
less expensive socket F processor.

I should also mention that when I bought the new server, the old server 
became a fine desktop machine for my sister, so nothing went to waste. 
I think desktop software seems to cope better with hardware bugs than 
server software does.

Shane



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