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  1. #1
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    Question Suggest Configuration for Personal Server

    Hi friends,

    I'm planning to buy a 1U rack server for my personal hosting needs and colocate it at my friend's DC in the USA. I'll be managing the server myself (CentOS 5.1 x64) and have a directadmin license ready.

    I'm stuck at choosing the correct config. I prefer custom self-built server; in this case the DC people would receive the components and build it for me.

    I don't need screaming power or high end stuff, but a decent cheap 1U box that has some room for expansion. So I ask all server and colo gurus here to help me out.

    Here's what I'm planning to get. Comments, suggestions, feedback welcome.

    1. CPU $80 : A dual-core E2200 is enough for me at the moment. Can be replaced anytime if needed.

    2. RAM $70 : 4GB DDR2800 is enough for me at the moment.

    Transcend 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

    3. Mainboard : I prefer newer generation chipsets like G33 etc.

    Should I go for supermicro/non supermicro mainboard? Do non-supermicro boards fit well in the case? What I have to look for? Do I need to chop off any back panel header? Suggest some mainboards that fit well in this case.

    4. 1U Case $100 : I need to have provision for atleast 2 HDDs.

    SUPERMICRO CSE-512L-260B Black 14" Mini 1U Server Case Thermal control 260W AC power supply with PFC - this looks good though I read one needs to use some additional gear (front panel cables) for non-supermicro boards.

    5. HDD $65 : Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive.

    6. CPU Cooling $25 : Dynatron P35G 70mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler for 1U servers.
    Last edited by agnivo007; 04-27-2008 at 03:55 AM.

  2. if you want DC tech to build it, opt for supermicro board for sure. retrofitting non-supermicro desktop board in supermicro chassis is a tall task and it can have "complications", therefore cost you more outrageous labor usually charged by DC.

    the 1333fsb Intel 3200 chipset based supermicro X7SBL-LN1 (1x Gb NIC) or LN2 (2x GB) is good choice for SC512 chassis. you can start with E2200 (800fsb) CPU on it, but it's capable of latest 1333fsb based C2D or C2Q CPU. for SM socket 775 board, do not use Dyantron active cooler or passive heatsink because some under-board surface-mount capacitors are preventing proper heatsink installation. instead, use SM SNK-P0016 passive heatsink on SM board.

    if you opt for any 1333fsb Intel chipset based board (including 32x0, G33...etc) which comes with the new Intel ICH9R south bridge, make sure you choose "AHCI" mode in BIOS for on-board SATA controller. for CentOS, the in-kernel AHCI sata driver runs miles faster than the old "pxii" SATA driver.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    if you opt for any 1333fsb Intel chipset based board (including 32x0, G33...etc) which comes with the new Intel ICH9R south bridge, make sure you choose "AHCI" mode in BIOS for on-board SATA controller. for CentOS, the in-kernel AHCI sata driver runs miles faster than the old "pxii" SATA driver.
    This is a very good tip. We wasted a bit of time tracking that one down ...
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    This is a very good tip. We wasted a bit of time tracking that one down ...
    Tell me about it, the centos install kept saying it cannot find the HDD while it was a new drive and the motherboard *clearly* recognizes the HDD. We changed everything from the data cable to the power to even the motherboard itself....
    Email: info ///at/// honelive.com

  5. #5
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    OK, so let's opt for SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SBL-LN2 LGA 775 Intel 3200 Micro ATX Server Motherboard - $210

    I was planning a budget system but seems I can't avoid pricier products...

    @[email protected] : You're the one who has the real understanding and experience in building servers. I expected you the drop in and you did so. Many thanks for the valuable insights and suggestions. Do you do custom configs too? I don't see that option on your site. What's the shipping charges to PA in case I order the system from you?

    As for the mainboard, cooler and bios setting, thanks! I knew about the AHCI on newer boards, even my friend had trouble figuring that out while installing windows.


  6. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by agnivo007 View Post
    Do you do custom configs too? I don't see that option on your site.
    Chong does custom configuration. Drop him an email with your requirements, he will give you the best advice

  7. #8
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    So finally, this seems to be the configuration:

    1. CPU $80 : Intel Pentium Dual Core E2200.

    2. RAM $70 : Transcend 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit.

    3. Mainboard $170 : Supermicro X7SBL-LN1. I couldn't find this at newegg

    4. 1U Case $100 : SUPERMICRO CSE-512L-260B Black 14" Mini 1U Server Case Thermal control 260W AC power supply with PFC.

    5. HDD $65 : Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive.

    6. CPU Cooling $25 : SM SNK-P0016 passive heatsink. I couldn't find this at newegg

    Estimated Cost : $510 + shipping.

    Suggest any changes for price-to-performance ratio? Should I go for more powerful CPU (eg Q6600) at start or upgrade later if needed?
    Last edited by agnivo007; 04-28-2008 at 12:53 PM. Reason: thanks to chong

  8. #9
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    chong (apaqdigital), please comment.

  9. Provantage has both X7SBL-LN1 / SNK-P0016 available.

    keep in mind that DC usually charges you a labor rate like $60/15-min! thus, you may want to put a better CPU in there now to prevent the ultra expensive labor to do CPU upgrade later! any of the 1333fsb based C2D chips, such as e6550/e6750/e6850 are good choice for the SM server board.

  10. #11
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    Many thanks, Chong!

    However, I'm stuck at selecting the right one.

    E6550 $160
    E7650 $180
    E6850 $185
    Also getting Q6600 1066FSB for $220.

    Can the SM passive cooler handle all of these ? They seem to have same TDP of 65W.
    Last edited by agnivo007; 04-30-2008 at 07:43 AM.


  11. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by agnivo007 View Post
    chong (apaqdigital), please comment.
    If you want the service you should pay him
    ReflexNetworks means Happy Clients!

  12. #14
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    Many thanks! I'll mail you soon for a custom quote based on this config.

    As for the CPU, It'll be a directadmin install with http, mail, db etc.
    Last edited by agnivo007; 04-30-2008 at 11:13 AM.

  13. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by andren View Post
    If you want the service you should pay him
    Well, you can consider this sort of pre-sales...while I think if you know something, it's good to share!

  14. #16
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    Well if price isn't a deal breaker he deserves the business for all the help hes provided.
    André Allen | E: aallen(a)linovus.ca
    Linovus Holdings Inc
    Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers & Public Cloud | USA, Canada & UK - 24x7x365 Support


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