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Quick and specific question for Home Server Build

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Fellow OCN's,

Just a quick question for the other server smart community, which CPU to go with for a new home server build, host OS will be Win7 Ultimate.

Things im considering;
Heat, Noise, Application Specific Performance (WinRAR/AVG/VMWare Workstation/BackUp Software such as Acronis).

Roles of the server;
File Server / Back Up Server / Media Steaming Server (Local LAN only) / BT VM Host / and depending on CPU Test VM Host.

The Server will be firmware hosting a Raid 5 setup (Intel Z77 Chipset) with 4 drives, along with 1 drive for OS and 1 for VM's (VM host drive prob on host card to prevent any potential disk IO bottleneck).

1) Core i3-3220T (2C/4T @ 2.8 Ghz)
or
2) Core i5-3570K (4C/4T @ 3.4 Ghz - 3.8 Ghz Turbo) (Or a similar processor, essentially 4 core SB/IB)

So I guess part of the question would be can a Core i3-3220T handle this much CPU load?, I think it can, all but maybe the Test VM's (not the single BT VM).

,Thedarklord:cool:
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post #2 of 16
Number 1 issue I see here is Windows 7. It's not a server OS, drop that for a true server OS.

Number 2; your RAID "Controller". It's going to be slow and it's going to depend on your CPU for processing. I highly suggest you either check here or eBay for a used cheap high performance RAID Controller. Either SATA or SAS. You will not regret it.

Now if you take the route of an actual RAID controller you can probably go do down to the i3 which still has VT-x.
    
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

Number 1 issue I see here is Windows 7. It's not a server OS, drop that for a true server OS.
Number 2; your RAID "Controller". It's going to be slow and it's going to depend on your CPU for processing. I highly suggest you either check here or eBay for a used cheap high performance RAID Controller. Either SATA or SAS. You will not regret it.
Now if you take the route of an actual RAID controller you can probably go do down to the i3 which still has VT-x.

1) I know Windows 7 is not a server OS, but I want to stay with windows for this, and part of it is dealing with licenseing (AVG) in particular will see the server OS and not allow me to install my seats on it.

2) The firmware RAID these days is not bad, relatively speaking, keeping in mind the loads this 4 disk RAID 5 setup will not be very disk intensive (file server, media server, back up server). Not a production inviroment. My issue with RAID cards is I would want a good one, so... $500+ which is not really worth it for home use, and im not a fan of cheap cards since most are firmware anyway, plus I am thinking disaster recovery, so if the RAID controller dies, my data remains intact and recoverable. Also i7/i5/i3 all have VT-x only the K series lack VT-D (IO), except for the lga2011 platform since those are pure server variants.
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post #4 of 16
Clearly you already know what you want.
    
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post #5 of 16
@OP

I'd be very careful using RAID 5 on a firmware controller; they do not react well to bad sectors on hard drives, to the point where (ironically) it is safer to use enterprise drives on "fakeRAID" controllers, than it is to use consumer drives.
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

Clearly you already know what you want.

Well, decideing on CPU power again, trying to see if anyone is using has used a 35W Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge CPU and can speak to its server power?
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP
I'd be very careful using RAID 5 on a firmware controller; they do not react well to bad sectors on hard drives, to the point where (ironically) it is safer to use enterprise drives on "fakeRAID" controllers, than it is to use consumer drives.

What about a firmware RAID 5 on a Asus Z77 (Intel Rapid Storage / Intel Matrix) with 4 drives, I was thinking WD Red drives?, since they have the "TLER", basically just WD Greens with "TLER" enabled.
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post #7 of 16
I would go with the i5 (non-K / S - do not overclock servers unless you WANT downtime) if you choose to to stay with Intel Matrix RAID (firmware) as the RAID5 will be stealing CPU cycles in order to calculate the parity. Without knowing the IO throughput required of the host/vm's it is safer to grab as many cycles as you can. Alternatively you could pick up a Dell perc 6i + battery + bracket + cables for around $60-$75 shipped off ebay ... then the i3 looks like a viable choice to me.

As for the drives ... I have never used WD reds myself as I use WD RE4 Enterprise drives in my raid but so long as they have TLER set lower than the limit of the controller they should be fine.

My 2c.
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post #8 of 16
I agree with Parityboy above...if you are using any firmware raid, regardless of the motherboard...I would not recommend using a parity style raid (5, 6, 50, 60) as error control is not the greatest. Just because the drives may have TLER, doesn't mean the firmware controller will use it properly. I have run 4 2TB drives in a firmware raid 5 in the past, and over that year I had that array drop more than 3 times. Just not worth it in my opinion.

If you want a Raid 5, either use software...or hardware. Get a PERC 6i with BBU...they are cheap these days.

Also, if you aren't set on drives, check out Toshiba DT01ACA300's.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok, if I were to drop the firmware RAID, then what kind of prices.models would a good RAID 5 controller be (SATA with at least 4 ports), the ones ive seen are "Adaptec" or the like, and those are about 300-500.

Also, software RAID?, isnt that really only an option for RAID 1/0?, with Windows? (which I def need to stay with for this build), so no FreeNAS (ZRaid) for this box, lol.

Also ive seen alot of ppl talking about these "Dell Perc 6i" controllers?, in this forum catagory, is it like a rebranded high end controller or something? I just see ppl talking about it, but not really talking abot what it is lol (beyond being a RAID controller that is).

Edit: to my CPU point, yeah I wouldnt go with a K series, bad mojo to OC a server tongue.gif , the S series i5's maybe, less power, just would need to stay away from P series cause I need the built in GPU for low power RDP / console smile.gif
Edited by Thedarklord - 11/25/12 at 8:05pm
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post #10 of 16
@OP

I'm gonna side with tycoonbob on this one. If you want decent (and reliable) parity RAID performance, go with a proper RAID controller, either software (Linux, FreeNAS or Solaris) or hardware (Dell, LSI, Areca etc). FakeRAID systems really aren't worth the hassle. They may behave better with TLER-enabled drives, but the RAID implementation itself can be poor.
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