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post #1 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So, over the last year, or so, I've been ripping my DVD collection onto my iMac and external hard drive (1TB). As I run out of room, I am finally able to warrant building a server for myself, as this was always the plan, but I just wanted to fill up the space I had.

Anyway, I'm not a novice to building/fixing computers, however, it has been a long time. So, I'm looking to the AVS community to help me decide on the right parts for my server.



The desired server that I have in mind isn't a HUGE server by any means, but just good enough to get me through the next couple of years; I'm looking to run Ubuntu Server Edition, as I'm a little familiar with it and setting up a VNC so that I can control the server headless via my iMac. No more than 6 SATA ports are really needed at this time, as I only plan to have an OS drive, Movie drive and music/picture drive, for the time being. I'd like to potentially use the motherboard in the future again (HTPC), when/if I decide to upgrade. Anyway, if you guys need any more information, feel free to ask.

These are the parts I've chosen (still undecided on a PSU and case):

2TB HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148834 (I have the OS and music/picture drive already)
4GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145343
Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128555
CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116405

If I can get some opinions on this, I'd really appreciate it, as well as suggestions for a quiet PSU and a case that would be hold up well. I'm trying to budget myself to around $400 (including HDD)... but would love to go lower, at this point in time.

Also, would it be best to use crashplan for my back-up or to get a designated back-up drive?


Thanks, in advance and am looking to become an integral part of the community.
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post #2 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 01:24 PM
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Good choice for Motherboard. Gigabyte doesn't know how to make bad stuff. I think if it were a server, I'd go for a quad core, but what you have should work fine. Stepping up the memory might not be too expensive. 8 Gb should only run you around $20 more.

I use a corsair power supply in my server shown here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028. It's served me well so far.
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post #3 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

I think if it were a server, I'd go for a quad core, but what you have should work fine.

Why? Very little reason to do this for a HTPC server and thus largely as waste of money, imo
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post #4 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 01:56 PM
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Why? Planning for the future, of course.
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post #5 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Why? Planning for the future, of course.

For a HTPC server? Even an i3 is plenty (which is what I have btw).
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post #6 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 03:51 PM
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Not many people get the luxury of building one purpose computers. A server lends itself to many simultaneous functions, and you may find yourself at a point sooner rather than later having to upgrade.

We've had this discussion before, Assassin... buying "just good enough" will come back to haunt you in this hobby.
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post #7 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Not many people get the luxury of building one purpose computers. A server lends itself to many simultaneous functions, and you may find yourself at a point sooner rather than later having to upgrade.

We've had this discussion before, Assassin... buying "just good enough" will come back to haunt you in this hobby.

Quite the contrary. I actually listen and think about what peoples' needs are...
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Originally Posted by joepannone View Post

but just good enough to get me through the next couple of years;

Furthermore, none of his requests scream that he needs a "quad core". I am all about building more than "just good enough" (and have stated so on numerous occasions) but in this instance a quad core is likely just a waste of his money.

Finally, his budget is $400.

Edit: My server previously used a G530. Worked incredibly well. The only reason I upgraded to an i3 2100 is because I got one new for $80. Its a myth that you need a powerful CPU for a HTPC server. Most of us have high powered desktops that can do the heavy lifting anyway and then move the files over to the server. If you want to build an all-in-one then by all means do so. But, again, that's not at all what the OP requested.
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post #8 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If you want to build an all-in-one then by all means do so. But, again, that's not at all what the OP requested.

(sarcasm)Has anyone ever told you that you can be downright hostile? :P (/sarcasm)

Anyway... there are plenty of uses in a "HTPC server" that can use better that "just good enough" hardware without going to the fringe cases like a virtualization platform.

To the OP... if you want just a storage device, then I suggest a NAS. Otherwise, if you are building a server to do more than just host storage, then I suggest going at least one notch above what you think you need. Otherwise you may be trapped in a perpetual upgrade cycle.
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post #9 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

(sarcasm)Has anyone ever told you that you can be downright hostile? :P (/sarcasm)

I'll second that. Without sarcasm. The OP requested thoughts and opinions, and I offered mine. You are not the only person on this board with valuable insight to offer, Assassin, and you reflect poorly upon yourself by carrying on as if you are.
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post #10 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

I'll second that. Without sarcasm. The OP requested thoughts and opinions, and I offered mine. You are not the only person on this board with valuable insight to offer, Assassin, and you reflect poorly upon yourself by carrying on as if you are.

So a guy with a $400 budget (including hard drive) asks for advice and you recommend a $200 cpu.

Got it. I must be completely off my rocker and should be taken immediately to the wood shed for one thousand lashes.
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post #11 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

So a guy with a $400 budget (including hard drive) asks for advice and you recommend a $200 cpu.

Got it. I must be completely off my rocker and should be taken immediately to the wood shed for one thousand lashes.

Oh for pete's sake Assassin... you and I will never agree on this subject.

The guy is asking for advice, I gave him my opinion... you gave him yours. It's his decision.... let it go man. This isn't a "I am king of all HTPC advice" pissing match.
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post #12 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:15 PM
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I agree with buying a step ahead. That's always solid advice. No one ever regrets buying better. But more often than not people regret buying too little.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #13 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Oh for pete's sake Assassin... you and I will never agree on this subject.

The guy is asking for advice, I gave him my opinion... you gave him yours. It's his decision.... let it go man. This isn't a "I am king of all HTPC advice" pissing match.

Did I reply to you?

No, I did not. I replied to someone else. Why can't we all offer an opinion?
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post #14 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:43 PM
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I agree with buying a step ahead. That's always solid advice. No one ever regrets buying better. But more often than not people regret buying too little.

Of course --- we all want to buy a step or two ahead but not everyone has that in their budget. I challenge you to build him a server for $400 including an Intel quad core CPU and storage.

That's all I was saying. Apparently this is very controversial all of a sudden.
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post #15 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Did I reply to you?

No, I did not. I replied to someone else. Why can't we all offer an opinion?

You asked a rhetorical "why"... I offered my opinion. Then you jump down both our throats for daring to offer anything different than the almighty Assassin.

Just because you assemble a few off-the-shelf parts and sell some pictures and walk-through for software that is mostly freely available, and is mostly "click-click-click"... doesn't mean you are the last word.


I consider you a valuable member here Assassin, but your rhetoric is too negative if someone disagrees with you.


To the OP again... let me restate an opinion. I understand you have a budget, and there are always trade-offs to be made within that budget. The equipment you have selected will serve a basic purpose very well. But, if you think you will want to do more than just serve up content, then be prepared to follow an upgrade schedule, otherwise sit down and think a bit about what you think you might want to achieve and what equipment will get you there. You may find that you just don't have the budget to do what you want initially, and you will live with what you can afford. Or you may find that you are willing to make compromises to get you going, or to augment something better in your build. For instance, hard drives... if you start accumulating content, then hard drive space becomes a priority. So you will want to think about if the motherboard you are selecting and will serve your needs with the on-board SATA or if you are willing to buy an add-in card in the future. Then your case can become a priority. Do you have enough room to store the hard drives you think you will need? What about protecting that content? Would you want to use pooling software, hardware RAID, software RAID, snapshot RAID, or ZFS?

A lot of us have been down this road before, all of us have vastly different needs and experiences, but ultimately... it's up to you. The best we can do is offer advice. Sorry for derailing your thread joepannone.
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post #16 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

You asked a rhetorical "why"... I offered my opinion. Then you jump down both our throats for daring to offer anything different than the almighty Assassin.

Just because you assemble a few off-the-shelf parts and sell some pictures and walk-through for software that is mostly freely available, and is mostly "click-click-click"... doesn't mean you are the last word.

I consider you a valuable member here Assassin, but your rhetoric is too negative if someone disagrees with you.

This place is really incredible sometimes. Kindly point me to where I "jumped down both your throats" by merely offering a different opinion or take from yours.

Seriously, I would like to see it.
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post #17 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 06:13 PM
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Of course --- we all want to buy a step or two ahead but not everyone has that in their budget. I challenge you to build him a server for $400 including an Intel quad core CPU and storage.

That's all I was saying. Apparently this is very controversial all of a sudden.

You load your "challenge" with the requirement that it be "Intel quad core CPU?" When does a home "HTPC server" only require Intel? I could probably put together an AMD based system for $400. Do you want me to?

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Quite the contrary. I actually listen and think about what peoples' needs are...

and...
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Got it. I must be completely off my rocker and should be taken immediately to the wood shed for one thousand lashes.
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post #18 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

You load your "challenge" with the requirement that it be "Intel quad core CPU?" When does a home "HTPC server" only require Intel? I could probably put together an AMD based system for $400. Do you want me to?
and...

All "quad cores" are not created equal (the A10 is more in line with the i3 and in my opinion not a true quad core based on architecture).

Again, please point me to where I "jumped down your throat". I am still waiting for that part.

I love people who through the anonymity of the internet insult other people personally on public forums. Very classy.
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post #19 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 06:28 PM
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I gave you two quotes at the end of my last post.

And what does that mean "all quad cores are not created equal"... in the context of a "HTPC server?" Of course they are all different, otherwise Intel and AMD would only offer a handful of SKUs.
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post #20 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 06:58 PM
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I would not characterize what you said as "jumping down my throat". That's a bit of an overreaction. My point is simply that advice offered on this forum whether from you, Assassin, or from me or from anyone else is valuable in itself. Much of that advice comes from our own experiences, frustrations and disasters. I feel that I am on solid ground suggesting that one build more computer than you need rather than less or even "just enough".

Few things make me happier than re-tasking an old computer for new purposes. If you build with that possibility in mind, you'll find yourself having to spend less down the road to meet your newer and more demanding requirements. We have all been in the position of having built a somewhat lesser machine and wishing we'd opted for the better model. It's a fine thing to learn from one's mistakes. But, it's better to learn from someone else's.

We have a tendency on this board to wander off topic and bicker amongst ourselves about things that aren't really relevant. That's fine. I, for one, learn a lot from those discussions. We are not of much help to people (particularly the new folks) when we simply dismiss one another out of hand. It's that hashing out of ideas that people need and learn from. Let's not short change people out of that.

The issue is hereby dead and buried. I do, however, reserve the right to whip you behind the shed whenever I feel the need.

Carry on.. smile.gif
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post #21 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

I gave you two quotes at the end of my last post.

And what does that mean "all quad cores are not created equal"... in the context of a "HTPC server?" Of course they are all different, otherwise Intel and AMD would only offer a handful of SKUs.

Well, if that is "jumping down your throat" then you must live a pretty delicate and sheltered life. I merely was offering a different viewpoint based on my experience. I also didn't personally attack you as you often do to others.

For everyone else reading this thread and wanting to actually hear a different viewpoint...

From a performance and benchmarking standpoint AMD's A10 "quad core" (which some consider actually a dual core as it uses 2 piledriver cpu cores sharing a FP unit) is weaker or roughly equal to Intel's i3 as tested by numerous reviewers.

So my point is if you are going to recommend a true "quad core" then the only choice currently is the i5 or i7 which run around $200 for the i5. So add in a $100 hard drive and you have $100 left for the RAM, PSU, Case, Motherboard, OS Drive (if applicable depending on software), DVD/Bluray drive (since others mentioned this as being an all-in-one machine), Intel NIC card (which I recommend), OS if applicable (not in his case), etc.

I stand by my opinion which last I checked I am still allowed to have. I think a "quad core" CPU for someone with the needs he has listed and a budget of $400 for everything is not a good choice as it will not equate to a complete server given his budget. Furthermore, the CPU he listed is more than adequate of performing the duties he wants to perform and in some ways (power usage, temperature) actually makes a better choice than a A10.

Others can feel free to have their own opinions. That's what this forum is all about. The OP can gather the information and use it to make an educated (or in some cases uneducated) decision.
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post #22 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

I would not characterize what you said as "jumping down my throat". That's a bit of an overreaction. My point is simply that advice offered on this forum whether from you, Assassin, or from me or from anyone else is valuable in itself. Much of that advice comes from our own experiences, frustrations and disasters. I feel that I am on solid ground suggesting that one build more computer than you need rather than less or even "just enough".

Few things make me happier than re-tasking an old computer for new purposes. If you build with that possibility in mind, you'll find yourself having to spend less down the road to meet your newer and more demanding requirements. We have all been in the position of having built a somewhat lesser machine and wishing we'd opted for the better model. It's a fine thing to learn from one's mistakes. But, it's better to learn from someone else's.

We have a tendency on this board to wander off topic and bicker amongst ourselves about things that aren't really relevant. That's fine. I, for one, learn a lot from those discussions. We are not of much help to people (particularly the new folks) when we simply dismiss one another out of hand. It's that hashing out of ideas that people need and learn from. Let's not short change people out of that.

The issue is hereby dead and buried. I do, however, reserve the right to whip you behind the shed whenever I feel the need.

Carry on.. smile.gif

Fair enough. I respect that.
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post #23 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I challenge you to build him a server for $400 including an Intel quad core CPU and storage..

Challenge accepted:


CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116782
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128539
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811353007
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817822005
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148910

$421.94 with a decent i5, mobo, RAM, and HD... not so great case and PSU

If you are holding me to the strict $400, then substitute this mobo and I can make up $22 to meet $400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186214

Or you can keep the OP's original mobo choice for $5 more to get the HDMI connector for a future HTPC repurpose.

If you'd allow me AMD hardware I can easily get better quality parts with the money saved by not using the "Intel quad core."
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post #24 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Challenge accepted:


CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116782
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128539
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811353007
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817822005
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148910

$421.94 with a decent i5, mobo, RAM, and HD... not so great case and PSU

If you are holding me to the strict $400, then substitute this mobo and I can make up $22 to meet $400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186214

Or you can keep the OP's original mobo choice for $5 more to get the HDMI connector for a future HTPC repurpose.

If you'd allow me AMD hardware I can easily get better quality parts with the money saved by not using the "Intel quad core."

No integrated graphics on that CPU so better add a GPU so he can set it up (more $). Otherwise he will curse your name on these forums.

Some very questionable parts. But I will give you an "A" for effort. Still not at $400 though.

As an aside I don't know why you would choose an AMD "quad core". The i3 is the same cost (sometimes cheaper as I pointed above when I was able to buy an i3 2100 for $80), same or better CPU performance, less heat, less wattage, etc which are potentially all very important when building a 24-7 server. If you wanted it for HTPC or gaming then I understand.
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post #25 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Well, if that is "jumping down your throat" then you must live a pretty delicate and sheltered life. I merely was offering a different viewpoint based on my experience. I also didn't personally attack you as you often do to others.

I'm sorry, but where I'm from when someone says something like: "I actually listen and think about what peoples' needs are"... that's a back-handed attack, if not a challenge. As for personal attacks on "others"... where?


Anyway, I met your challenge with a $400 Intel Quad core CPU. If you'd allow me AMD (and it doesn't even have to be an A10, but it's nicer than an A6 "quad core"), I could do even better allowing for better future growth.
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post #26 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

I'm sorry, but where I'm from when someone says something like: "I actually listen and think about what peoples' needs are"... that's a back-handed attack, if not a challenge. As for personal attacks on "others"... where?


Anyway, I met your challenge with a $400 Intel Quad core CPU. If you'd allow me AMD (and it doesn't even have to be an A10, but it's nicer than an A6 "quad core"), I could do even better allowing for better future growth.

That comment came directly after your "Assassin... buying "just good enough" will come back to haunt you in this hobby" implying that I didn't know what in the ____ I was talking about.

In any event you didn't meet the challenge and also forgot to give him a way to actually see his new server to set it up. I gave you an "A" for effort though. And the AMD isn't a true quad core by benchmark scores or architecture. If you want to compare apples to apples then choose an i3 or A10 which is quite easy to hit that $400 mark.
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post #27 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No integrated graphics on that CPU so better add a GPU so he can set it up (more $). Otherwise he will curse your name on these forums.

Some very questionable parts. But I will give you an "A" for effort. Still not at $400 though.

Doh! You got me. Even with the cheaper mobo, the cost of a cheap video card would push the total back up to $425 or so. Eh... I don't condone this sort of equipment, but it was fun.

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As an aside I don't know why you would choose an AMD "quad core". The i3 is the same cost (sometimes cheaper as I pointed above when I was able to buy an i3 2100 for $80), same or better CPU performance, less heat, less wattage, etc which are potentially all very important when building a 24-7 server. If you wanted it for HTPC or gaming then I understand.

AMD vs Intel single core performance aside (we all know the story on this)... AMD offers more bang for the buck in my opinion, especially in the home-server space. There are some really nice features on some of the mobos out there.
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post #28 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Doh! You got me. Even with the cheaper mobo, the cost of a cheap video card would push the total back up to $425 or so. Eh... I don't condone this sort of equipment, but it was fun.

I was pretty shocked with your selections since you hit me with the "just good enough" barb at the beginning of this thread. smile.gif

We will just have to agree to disagree on which CPU makes more sense for a server overall (its Intel btw).
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post #29 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Challenge accepted:


CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116782
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128539
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811353007
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817822005
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148910

$421.94 with a decent i5, mobo, RAM, and HD... not so great case and PSU

If you are holding me to the strict $400, then substitute this mobo and I can make up $22 to meet $400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186214

Or you can keep the OP's original mobo choice for $5 more to get the HDMI connector for a future HTPC repurpose.

If you'd allow me AMD hardware I can easily get better quality parts with the money saved by not using the "Intel quad core."

Oh wait...

CPU: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=603233&CatId=6988
Mobo: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1610192&CatId=7162
RAM: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1412139&CatId=4534
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811353007
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817822005
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148910

$394.05

Boom! Questionable parts aside... challenge met. biggrin.gif

I still love you Assassin!
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post #30 of 45 Old 01-27-2013, 07:42 PM
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I'd much rather have a few less lattes, than gimp on a CPU.....smile.gif

Damn...lattes are expensive...
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