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  Time for a new fileserver 
 
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Beavis Khan Dec 10, 2007, 10:42pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 11, 2007, 09:44am EST

Replies: 22 - Views: 3457
Since I may finally get some vacation over the holidays, and my current fileserver is getting a little long in the tooth (Socket A), I figure it's time for a new one.

ECC memory and room for future storage expansion (via PCIe bus) are must-haves. Quiet and relatively efficient operation are also high on my list. Processing power is not really a priority at all - this will be mostly a fileserver, also running some light duty SQL Server 2005 development databases. I may run some virtual machines, so I'll probably go with 4GB memory as well as 2003 server x64. Throughput requirements will be pretty low, so I'll run a boot disk plus a large software RAID1 array.

Parts I have spare and/or will re-use:

Seasonic S12 650W PSU
Lian Li PC-G70B case
OS disk, external backup disks
DVD, floppy, some crummy PCIe video card for installation purposes

Parts I'm looking at buying:

TYAN S2925G2NR AM2 NVIDIA nForce Professional 3400 ATX Server Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813151063

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz Socket AM2 65W Processor Model ADO4000DDBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819103774

ZALMAN CNPS 9500 AM2 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16835118004

(2 x) Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) ECC Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit Server Memory Model KVR667D2E5K2/2G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820134337

(2 x) Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16822136131

I could certainly get a more powerful Intel processor, but I like the lower price of the AMD. I'm after reliable first and low cost (but not cheap) second. Any thoughts? :)


____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
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Beavis Khan Dec 11, 2007, 09:45am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
bump...c'mon, you know you want to give me some good advice here :P

(also replaced the motherboard with what is apparently the exact same motherboard, except with onboard video, and without onboard audio/firewire)

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Mark Dec 11, 2007, 09:55am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Looks good to me, dang, you spend more on a server than I do my entire PC!! :/

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- Asus 8800GT 512MB w/Glaciator Fansink
- Antec True 650w
Bungle Dec 11, 2007, 11:58am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Don't you think you'd be better off running two 2GB sticks of RAM instead of four 1GB Sticks?

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2x EVGA GTX 780 SLI | 256GB OCZ Vector SSD | 4TB Hitachi 7K4000
Corsair AX1200 PSU | Corsair 650D | Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Beavis Khan Dec 11, 2007, 12:09pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 11, 2007, 12:11pm EST

 
>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Jim H said:
Don't you think you'd be better off running two 2GB sticks of RAM instead of four 1GB Sticks?


Well normally I'd say absolutely yes, but here's my reasoning:

1) The price of 2 x 2GB ECC seems to be roughly double the 4 x 1GB price

2) It's really unlikely that I'd ever upgrade the memory in this machine...even 4GB will probably be overkill

3) I don't *think* the 4 sticks will negatively affect bandwidth or timings on AM2 as it could on earlier S939 processors...true?? I'm certainly not going to overclock this box, so that part of it doesn't really factor into the decision.

Mark Curtis said:
Looks good to me, dang, you spend more on a server than I do my entire PC!! :/


It's all relative...this "server" needs to keep my data safe (emails, documents, music, movies, etc) as well as help me do my job from time to time. The cost of losing this stuff would be a lot higher than the cost of reliable components for this build in my opinion.

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Meats_Of_Evil Dec 11, 2007, 12:50pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver

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Dr. Peaceful Dec 11, 2007, 02:37pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Just wonder. Any reason for using software RAID mirror instead of hardware. Hardware usually free up more CPU than software. BTW, how do you do soft RAID in Windows? I know Linux can do it natively.

Beavis Khan Dec 11, 2007, 02:49pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Dr. Peaceful said:
Just wonder. Any reason for using software RAID mirror instead of hardware. Hardware usually free up more CPU than software. BTW, how do you do soft RAID in Windows? I know Linux can do it natively.


It's a good question! I did consider a dedicated RAID card for this build, but decided for RAID1 (which is all I really need right now) it was not worth the ~$3-400 for a nice one. If I need to expand in the future, I'll definitely get one to drop in one of the PCIe slots.

As far as the BIOS-based pseudo-hardware RAID found on the motherboard - the opinion I've heard most often lately is that it is less reliable and less portable (if motherboard dies and can't be replaced by the same model down the road, for example), in general, than simply using the software RAID built in to Windows. As far as I know, it's only available in the Server versions of Windows though. Pretty easy to use, built right in to the Disk Management MMC snapin.

I've used software RAID in Linux in the past, but this will be my first serious attempt using Windows. I'll let you know how it goes - don't worry, I'll be taking lots of backups :)

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Beavis Khan Dec 11, 2007, 02:50pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Meats of Evil said:
Cheap ass video cards:


Thanks Meats....I actually switched the mobo to one with onboard video for configuration purposes. It'll be running headless once set up anyhow.

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
BoT Dec 11, 2007, 03:30pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
i would go with this
mobo:
ASUS P5K WS LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $214.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131185

cpu:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail - $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

or

Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail - $174.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115030


You can either be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
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Gerritt Dec 11, 2007, 11:44pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
On a file server, or for that fact most servers, you don't need any major GPU implementatoins.
So, on a server, an imbedded GPU is good, as long as you have enough ram to give up to 256M to the GPU.
This should allow 1024x768 at the highest color implementatoins.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
FingerMeElmo87 Dec 12, 2007, 12:25am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
bot said:
i would go with this
mobo:
ASUS P5K WS LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $214.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131185

cpu:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail - $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

or

Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail - $174.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115030


i think this would be a little over the top for a file server

Phenom II 720 BE @ 3.41Ghz w/ Zerotherm Nirvana NV120
G.Skill 2 x 2GB DDR2 1066 @ 5-5-5-15
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4
VisionTek HD 4850 512MB GDDR3
500GB Seagate 7200.12 - Windows 7 RC1
Hiper Type-R 580 WATT PSU
A_Pickle Dec 12, 2007, 01:53am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Question: Why the server motherboard? I mean, I'd think a standard consumer-end motherboard would do just fine for file serving... no?

And... since I'm thinking of building a cheap file/DHCP/dedicated game server myself, Cat 6 is the stuff that can do 1.0 Gbps, right?

BoT Dec 12, 2007, 03:36am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 12, 2007, 03:46am EST

 
>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
cat 5e (350mhz) can do 1 gig as well but cat 6 (500mhz) is shielded better and is less prone to interference.

yap my setup is a little over the top but has a lot of expanding options and is penryn
upgradeable. also offers different options for dedicated raid cards, if he ever decides to go
that route. i have 2 silimage raid5 pci-x cards and i am much happier with them then with the intel matrix storage raid. in any raid setup 0,1,5. stability and speed

also it's only 100-150 bucks price difference from his original purposal if he would go with
the e6550. same price with an allandale.

edit: also you can use a pci-x nic to get more net performance and thepci-e for dedicated raid

You can either be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
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Reviews - http://www.codisha.com/reviews/reviews.htm
Beavis Khan Dec 12, 2007, 07:56am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Thanks for the replies all. I placed the order yesterday afternoon well after 12:00 PST, didn't pay the rush processing charge, but still had a tracking # from Newegg in my mailbox this morning. I <3 Newegg!

A_Pickle said:
Question: Why the server motherboard? I mean, I'd think a standard consumer-end motherboard would do just fine for file serving... no?


Sure, in fact my current fileserver is an Asus A7N8X based machine. One reason for the server board was to get ECC memory support. The memory itself is so cheap these days it seemed like it was worth spending a little extra on the mobo, especially with 4GB. The other reason is to (hopefully) increase general reliability. The twin of my current fileserver (aka my wife's machine) is starting to die on me...seems like it may have some bulging cap issues. Hoping to minimize the chances of such things down the road by going with the Tyan.

FWIW, the main difference between cat 5e and cat 6 is typically at what length they'll do gigE. If you're just running cables within the same room, cat 5e should be plenty. If you want to get the full ~100m run at gigE, you'd better have cat 6.

bot said:
yap my setup is a little over the top but has a lot of expanding options and is penryn upgradeable. also offers different options for dedicated raid cards, if he ever decides to go that route. i have 2 silimage raid5 pci-x cards and i am much happier with them then with the intel matrix storage raid. in any raid setup 0,1,5. stability and speed


Thanks for the reply bot. The quad and even the Conroe are definitely overkill for my purposes, though. With this board I get ECC as mentioned, but also expandability to drop in a PCIe raid card down the road if I need. Seems like PCI-X is more or less on the decline these days, and I don't have an existing PCI-X cards that I need to keep around anyway - so lack of PCI-X doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Parts should be here on Friday, but probably won't get around to the actual build until after christmas...i'll let you all know how it goes! :)

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
SiB Dec 12, 2007, 08:05pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Is this all necessary, I'm still running a 666Mhz fileserver with 64mb ram. It hosts a website, vent (similar to teamspeak which it also hosted on par) and acts as a fileserver im sure if I reconfigured it, it would be perfect for multiple site hosting, all it needs is abit of ram.

So maybe it would be better off upgrading your current server?

"Look up for inspiration, down for concentration but donít look side to side for information"
Rory Witham Dec 12, 2007, 08:36pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
It think youve gone all gamer on the server.

Way more than what you need. basically if your file serving your need a good NB a fair processor and around 2Gig of RAM.

To save your self some cash, I would have gone for windows XP 64 Bit that is built on the 2003 platform or Vista which is also fine. and then put a virtual server on that, trust me you can load on extras from a 2003 RC disc..

You could have gone for a AMD3700, 2G RAM, a 4MB graphics card, 2 2port RAID cards

I would have gone for 500 gig HDD's they're cheaper and you could have had more storage, I would have gone hot swap disc on the front and software back up/mirroring to them.

I would run the Xampp package on each server as it has everything you need.


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G. G. Dec 12, 2007, 08:58pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Hey Beavis......

I got a spare PII-450 system that will do fine as a file server if you want a challenge.... Bonus is that it still works... ;) :P lol..

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Beavis Khan Dec 13, 2007, 08:06am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
Rory Witham said:
To save your self some cash, I would have gone for windows XP 64


I already have the 2003 Server license. So no big deal there.


You could have gone for a AMD3700, 2G RAM, a 4MB graphics card, 2 2port RAID cards


Cost to upgrade to a dual core and 4GB RAM = ~$57 - well worth it in my opinion. The motherboard has onboard video, and onboard RAID should I want to use it.

I would have gone for 500 gig HDD's they're cheaper and you could have had more storage, I would have gone hot swap disc on the front and software back up/mirroring to them.


500GB disk ~= $105
750GB disk ~= $149

Cheaper, yes; better deal, no.

G. G. said:
Hey Beavis......

I got a spare PII-450 system that will do fine as a file server if you want a challenge.... Bonus is that it still works... ;) :P lol..


Thanks GG...you're far too kind...I've got one sitting in my parts bin too - you want mine, you could make a "supercomputing" cluster out of old P-2s :P

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Dublin_Gunner Dec 13, 2007, 10:13am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
I've an AMD 486 DX4-100 (it will do 120!!! via jumpers..) and a Socket 7 mobo at home if you want it

;)

Lancool PC K62
Phenom II x3 @ 3.5Ghz
4GB DDR2-800
ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II
Beavis Khan Dec 13, 2007, 10:37am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Time for a new fileserver
DublinGunner said:
I've an AMD 486 DX4-100 (it will do 120!!! via jumpers..) and a Socket 7 mobo at home if you want it


Only if it has a turbo mode! :P

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken

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