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Hardware advice for new server installation RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi,

    I won WHS at Technet the other day so now I want to get some hardware. My main priority is quality and power consumption. The server must be used for file server and streaming flac to Squeezebox. I have selected 2 WD Caviar green and for power supply a Seasonic 350W.

    What should I go for in motherboard and CPU? Do I choose some AMD/M2 or go with Intel? Which is best in quality and power consumption? I plan to have this server running <80W.

    All suggestions are more than welcome.

    --
    • Changed type kariya21Moderator Sunday, August 16, 2009 2:21 PM not a technical question
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:22 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I won WHS at Technet the other day so now I want to get some hardware. My main priority is quality and power consumption. The server must be used for file server and streaming flac to Squeezebox.

    FYI, FLAC is not streamable from WHS (at least not OOTB anyway).  You would have to install some other streaming software on your server (which is unsupported).

    I have selected 2 WD Caviar green and for power supply a Seasonic 350W.

    What should I go for in motherboard and CPU? Do I choose some AMD/M2 or go with Intel? Which is best in quality and power consumption? I plan to have this server running <80W.

    All suggestions are more than welcome.

    --

    Sunday, August 16, 2009 2:28 PM
    Moderator
  • There are plenty solutions for WHS and flac, no problem with that - but I admit I thought it was OOTB with all those commercial solutions for streaming flac with WHS...
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:24 PM
  • Hi Werner,
    I am an advocate of first selecting a high-quality server motherboard and building around it.  You'll see many posts here where folks are replacing a failed motherboard and trying to keep their OS and data intact.  Look for onboard graphics, dual high-quality gigabit LAN, at least 4 SATA ports, at least one 4x PCIe slot for SATA expansion down-the-road and a reputation for long-life stability.  HDD's come and go and cpu's can be upgraded, but the MB is for life.  For the cpu go multi-core to assist with streaming; I like the Core2 series especially the 45nm versions, but that's overkill for now, save it for an upgrade when you want to encode/stream video.  The Celeron E1500/1600 (basically 65nm Core2's) are sufficient and they have 64-bit capability for the next WHS release.  I just built a system with this board: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SBC-Q-O LGA 775 Intel Q35.  I have a Tyan board in my first build in 2007 and it's still trucking along, even survived a lightening strike (although I lost one of the onboards NIC's).  ECC RAM doesn't get a lot of support in these forums, and I am not using any, but server pro's gotta have it.  Happy hunting and keep us posted..........Fred
    Monday, August 17, 2009 2:36 PM
  • Hi Werner,
    I am an advocate of first selecting a high-quality server motherboard and building around it.  You'll see many posts here where folks are replacing a failed motherboard and trying to keep their OS and data intact.  Look for onboard graphics, dual high-quality gigabit LAN, at least 4 SATA ports, at least one 4x PCIe slot for SATA expansion down-the-road and a reputation for long-life stability.  HDD's come and go and cpu's can be upgraded, but the MB is for life.  For the cpu go multi-core to assist with streaming; I like the Core2 series especially the 45nm versions, but that's overkill for now, save it for an upgrade when you want to encode/stream video.  The Celeron E1500/1600 (basically 65nm Core2's) are sufficient and they have 64-bit capability for the next WHS release.  I just built a system with this board: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SBC-Q-O LGA 775 Intel Q35.  I have a Tyan board in my first build in 2007 and it's still trucking along, even survived a lightening strike (although I lost one of the onboards NIC's).  ECC RAM doesn't get a lot of support in these forums, and I am not using any, but server pro's gotta have it.  Happy hunting and keep us posted..........Fred

    Thanks for your answer.

    Well I will in near future have the need to stream video - would that be too much for a Atom or Celeron? Currently I stream video from a small Dlink NAS and it works ok and the processor in that is way slower I would say...?

    I'm a bit reluctant going for such MB simply because of power consumption. I have absolutely no second thought about getting good quality but I would hate to see power > 100W. Do you have any measurement of the power consumption of that kind of WHS system with that Supermicro MB? And what other components are in there?

    --
    Werner

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:56 PM
  • If you are just streaming video and not recoding then streaming, the Celeron is fine.  If you want to remain in "supported mode", WHS can only stream a short list of basics like MP3 & wmv anyway. Hopefully that will change in the next release and you can upgrade processor at that time if the Celeron can't pull its weight.  If the server is going to be mission-critical, stay in "supported mode" and wait out the next release.  But if you want to have some fun with the thing, who needs MS support anyway. 

    IMHO, Atom is a non-starter due to the platforms on which it is currently available.   The cpu is efficient but the platform is not relative to a Celeron on a good MB that supports undervolting (or AMD equivalent).  Hopefuly that will change in the next gen.  You'll find many threads over at silentpc.com (low-power-platform center-of-universe).  Here's a fun thread at HardOCP: http://hera.hardocp.com/showthread.php?t=1439300 .

    I built the Supermicro system for a friend in South Africa, so I can't put a kill-a-watt on it.  I estimate the system to run between 80-90 watts under WHS duty.  Other components are Intel E1400, 2 x WD 1TB Green Power, 2 x 1 GB DDR2 800, Nexus Value 430 psu.  In the BIOS I turned off all unused ports & components.  Don't focus on the cpu TDP values, they're maximum design figures.  These new cpu's automatically spend 99% of the time in under-clocked and under-volted modes.  Don't think that server boards just suck power.  Since most of the cost of server farms is from heat dissipation and power draw, Supermicro wouldn't be in business for long if they made inefficent boards.  They do quite a bit of bragging about efficency, green is the name of the game nowadays.   They also have some smaller flex ATX boards (and atom systems) that will have less expandability and draw even less power.

    My Tyan system is MoDt so it draws only 65 watts at the wall, it was expensive and not worth it from a power perspective, but it does the job without a hiccup.  These new systems with all the power-down capability are half the price and only draw a few watts more at idle, but have MUCH more power when you need it.

    Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:12 PM
  • Thanks fwki.
    Friday, August 21, 2009 6:23 AM