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[Parts Check] Home Server

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I'm looking into building a server for the house that won't break the bank, nor will drink a lot of juice. I'm looking into doing the following with the server:

1. RAID 1 (Soft) Storage Server.
2. Virtual Machines (Low CPU Usage)

The OS will either be:
VMWare ESXi 5.1
Windows Server 2012 Data Center Edition with Hyper-V

I most likely will install a PCI NIC and SATA Card. The reason for the NIC is I would also like to use this as a firewall, so most likely will have pfSense running in a VM, so one NIC will be for WAN and the other for LAN. This will replace the current P4 system I am using as a pfSense firewall.

I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible. I thought about dropping the RAM to 8 GB to save a little cash but would only save around $20ish.



I think majority of the people around here who ask about home servers have a drastically different concept of what a "server" is compared to what I have in mind.

Running more than 1 VM with a dual core processor? I don't think that will be possible or viable from a performance standpoint.

Would your configuration work for a home server? Most likely yes but would I use it as a home server? No, definitely not.

Reading, PA
reply to MineCoast
I'd recommend at least a quad-core at a minimum..

I just put together a new server myself, however all I needed was motherboard, cpu and ram so I went with the new FX-6300, a slightly more expensive mobo topped off with 16GB ram.. With rebates it comes to just over $255..

Anyway.. it looks like the motherboard you picked will take the Athlon, Phenom X3,4,6 up to and including the new Vishera FX series.

I know the FX has been slagged pretty good, while I just slapped it together and quick threw on a test opensolaris install to make sure all is good, the machine does feel quite snappy.. I'll have to throw Windows on it I suppose to run some benchmarks, although that's likely moot because I will be running the server on OpenIndiana (Solaris).

If you don't want an FX then maybe an Athlon X4 640 or Phenom X4 955 but then you are getting near the $100 mark which puts you relatively close to the lower end FX quads.. so...

Under Siege
Mcdonough, GA
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to MineCoast
said by MineCoast:

I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible. I thought about dropping the RAM to 8 GB to save a little cash but would only save around $20ish.


Overall, I think the configuration is fine. I'd recommend keeping the 16GB for VM purposes and you even out if you reduce your shipping costs (@20.00) and take the standard shipping v. 3-Day option.
That's "MISTER" Kafir to you.

reply to MineCoast
I've been thinking... Intel Xeon L5420's are Quad Core's and use low power (50 W Max) and are dirt cheap on eBay... We are talking $15-$20 for a CPU. I'm finding Socket 771 motherboards for $39 with support dual CPU's and I actually have some ECC Ram from an old L5420 server I used to have.

The only problem is... the motherboard's for these are EATX vs. ATX, so they require special cases. I haven't been able to find a dual socket 771 motherboard in standard atx format.


Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to MineCoast
You are getting an am3+ motherboard, I'd recommend at least a quad core. Preferably a 6 or even 8 if you can swing the money. Similar for ram, the more the better for VMs.

I know you are trying to do it cheap, but if you are going to be doing VMs more cores will be nice. \

Just my two cents.

Crash Gordon
Drive It Like You Stole It

Smyrna, GA
reply to MineCoast
As a few others posted, for VM's to run smooth MORE Cores and MORE Ram, the more you allocate to them the happier they are.