Need to upgrade my current server, as it's running an old AMD 4 core processor, and only 8GB memory. Since it's virtualized with Hyper-v Core it's just at it max right now. I do love Intel, just can't get over the prices. So I've priced out the following for a new build. Any suggestions and comments are welcome. As far as ordering, I work for a municipality, so everything is tax free. New server may be ESXi 5, may continue with hyper-v core.
Do the parts have to come from CDW? Newegg has that CPU for $80 less. Speaking of that, if you can, go for the FX-8320 or 8350. You can also get ECC memory there for cheaper than the non-ECC at CDW (although they're 4 GB sticks).
If you do have to get the stuff from CDW, here's the changes I'd do:
The board I listed has onboard video, so unless you are planning on putting a video card in the new one, you'll have to factor in that as well. AMD basically rebranded their north and southbridges between the 800 and 900-series, so it'll have nearly the same connectivity (it seems to be mainly lacking eSATA). Unfortunately, none of the 900-series chipsets include onboard video.
The main thing with the 900-series chipsets is that they should be FX CPU-capable out of the box, as that was apparently AMD's main intention on the rebrand. If you have an AM3/AM3+ CPU laying around to do a BIOS update with if needed, that's not an issue.
500w should be fine. The main thing is quality over quantity. I'd much rather take the 500w Antec over a 600w Coolmax.
Now that it's apparent that you're not necessarily restricted to CDW, the Seasonic PSU that was listed by Crash Gordon would be an even better choice. I have two Seasonic PSUs myself, and they're fantastic.
Here's the ECC memory I mentioned earlier. That's one of the most appealing things to me about AMD builds: you can use ECC memory without having to pay a lot more for a Xeon build. Even the super-cheap Semprons support ECC. -- KI6RIT
I think it comes up a little under $580 not including shipping.
This PSU is 80 PLUS GOLD Certified. In the future if you are thinking about making this a high end video gaming system. Should be enough power to support a GTX 680.
The mainboard has PCI-E 3.0(maybe some day graphics card will fully use the speed on it.) Couple of SATA III ports, couple of USB 3.0 ports, Still have room for future upgrade. As in if you want a faster cpu later on, like a i7-xxxx. Also total 32GB ram support.
Appreciate all the info, it's fantastic! Only thing I want to point out, is that I would really like to make this an AMD build, as everything I have is Intel and I do love Intel, I just would love to do a build with the new AMD chipsets as they seem promising. Here is what I've come up with, though.
Although I'm sure I could get even the latest FX-8350, this machine doesn't require a huge amount of CPU, mostly memory for VM's. The quad-core AMD that everything runs on now does fine, I just want to expand it, add more virtual machines, etc.
EDIT: Is there a board I can get that won't need the BIOS to be touched? Rather not have to deal with that, just put it into a case and be done with it.
Changed the CPU to the FX-8350 and the total now comes to $507.61. All of which I'm fine with, just curious on the motherboard still. Would not have to deal with put a different chip in to flash the board before doing the install. Is there a board I wouldn't have to worry about this with?
Both versions 1.0 and 2.0 of the board should be compatible. I would update the BIOS to the current version anyway. But to update all you have to do is go to the ASUS web site and download the current BIOS version and unzip (this can be done with a USB flash drive from another computer also). Plug in the drive, with the BIOS open all you have to do is go to the ASUS EZ-flash utility in the BIOS and select the new BIOS file from the drive and it will update. The board has a dual BIOS so if the BIOS flash gets screwed up, you can revert back to the original BIOS version and try again. A nice fail-safe feature.
That's basically two separate things. On newer motherboards, BIOS updates can be done by placing the file on a USB drive and booting into a special BIOS update mode (usually a different key during POST), rather than having to create a bootable floppy or CD. Heck, my old Asus P6T Deluxe could browse for the BIOS update on whatever hard drives were connected to the motherboard, even on my RAID 5 setup on my 3ware PCIe RAID controller.
However, all of that is moot if the motherboard doesn't support the CPU you're using with the BIOS that's currently on it. If the board won't POST at all, you can't update the BIOS.
AMD's intentions with all 900-series motherboards was that they would be FX-ready out of the box. With 800-series and older, you usually have to update the BIOS first. That's where an older CPU is needed. Once the BIOS is updated to a version known to work with the newer CPUs, then you can swap them out and it'll work. -- KI6RIT
I have a few crappy video cards I can throw in, not a big deal. Just need one to get the host installed, then it's all remote anyways. Any final comments, shoot them off! Thanks everyone for the help, I appreciate it!
All arrays will be doing hardware based, through the board.
If you decide to go with ESXi please post your results back and the board you go with if you are able to use the RAID from the motherboard. All the boards I've tried so far with RAID built in are considered software RAID by ESXi unless you're using a board with SAS RAID.
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Well gents, assembled everything and went to fire it up, and I can't get any video whatsoever. I've tried numerous PCIe cards with no luck. I've tried some cheap dell's, to Zotac gtx 360's to 8800GTX with no luck. Figured a standard card would work but I can't get any video to save my life! I've tried all 3 PCIe slots on the board with no luck on any card. Any help greatly appreciated.