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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Background: Back in 2011 i won the December 2011 guru3d rig of the month award which i know many have done but i was super excited about it and have been thinking about trying to do another build to make another run at winning but i really dont game that much these days (I have a laptop with an i7 7700hq/GTX 1070) but what i do use a lot is my home server. I run unraid on it as a base and Plex runs in a VM on it. So that got me thinking, it might be cool to do a high end watercooled server as I enjoy watercooling, would like to make a silent (as possible) server and build something fun and would go to something i use a lot.


Current hardware:
Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
2x Xeon E5-2670 (v1s)
32GB (8x 4GB DDR 3 1333 ECC)
5x WD RED 8TB
1x Toshiba X300 5TB (scratch drive outside of the unraid array)
2x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB (for the VM's)

Hardware to buy:
2x Xeon E5-2680V2 (Fastest reasonably priced cpus i can put in this board, once i build it, i want to run it till it dies)
Replace the 32GB with 64GB (and maybe bump up to 1600)
Leaning towards Caselabs for the case, Maybe the Mercury S8 or something bigger. Ideally want to be able to fit ~8 3.5" drives (and a couple 2.5")
All the watercooling gear (what i get will largely depend on the case i get)
A couple SAS cards (non-raid) - Want to get some so i can run SAS to SATA breakout cables, and the onboard Intel SATA ports no longer work on my Asus board

Misc thoughts:
As with all my previous builds i will have to come up with a theme of some sort
Not sure if there are any better deals in terms of raw cpu power than the E5-2680V2's ?
Plex server will need to be beefy enough for 5-10 1080p streams at the same time, also H265 content abuses cpus. Also will be running a minecraft server on it, an exchange server and a few other small lab VM's
Are there any cases big enough to run 2 builds? IE this on 1 side and a second machine on the otherside? like if i did decide to add a gaming machine down the road

Thoughts?
 

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I think you've got a good start on hardware. Parts are solid and they will all work fine, I don't really have any suggestions only alternatives really.

For cases, you cant beat caselabs unless you're concerned about price. A Caselabs case should be the last case you ever really need in theory, unless you want to go smaller. If you just need a big case to fit a bunch of hardware, drives, and watercooling kit take a look at thermaltake's W series. They're fairly cheap compared to the other offerings from caselabs, mountainmods, etc., are pretty nice quality (though obviously not as nice) and still fit a lot of stuff. If I remember right, both the W100 and W200 can support 2 builds as well, and there's definitely enough room for watercooling for 2 systems. You'll have to check that though.

For SAS cards I would look into used IBM serveraid M1015s. Can pick them up used on ebay for 50-80 bucks and they're able to support up to 8 SATA off of the breakout cables, can be flashed to IT mode to run in JBOD to pass the drives to unraid. I think you can even flash LSI firmware on them, not sure though that might be another controller. I know those are a favorite for freenas, so I'd imagine they'll work well for unraid too, there's plenty of documentation on the freenas forums if you're interested.

I don't see any problem with switching the CPUs, should be a cheap upgrade if you sell the old ones. Makes a lot of sense if you want to work the hardware until it dies. Same for the memory, there's plenty of cheap ECC floating around on ebay, shouldnt be much to upgrade.

The only other thoughts I have is in regard to the plex streams, the rule of thumb that I've always used and heard thrown around is 2000 passmark for each 1080p stream. According to that rule, 2 2680v2 would be able to handle 11 streams (score of around 22000 from passmark's database). So having the 10 streams running as well as some other stuff like servers and VMs should be no issue.

Everything looks pretty good man! Should be a solid system for a number of years, and by the time that stuff dies you'll be able to get a much more meaningful upgrade for a reasonable price than right now, especially with ddr4 prices and all that. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you've got a good start on hardware. Parts are solid and they will all work fine, I don't really have any suggestions only alternatives really.

For cases, you cant beat caselabs unless you're concerned about price. A Caselabs case should be the last case you ever really need in theory, unless you want to go smaller. If you just need a big case to fit a bunch of hardware, drives, and watercooling kit take a look at thermaltake's W series. They're fairly cheap compared to the other offerings from caselabs, mountainmods, etc., are pretty nice quality (though obviously not as nice) and still fit a lot of stuff. If I remember right, both the W100 and W200 can support 2 builds as well, and there's definitely enough room for watercooling for 2 systems. You'll have to check that though.

For SAS cards I would look into used IBM serveraid M1015s. Can pick them up used on ebay for 50-80 bucks and they're able to support up to 8 SATA off of the breakout cables, can be flashed to IT mode to run in JBOD to pass the drives to unraid. I think you can even flash LSI firmware on them, not sure though that might be another controller. I know those are a favorite for freenas, so I'd imagine they'll work well for unraid too, there's plenty of documentation on the freenas forums if you're interested.

I don't see any problem with switching the CPUs, should be a cheap upgrade if you sell the old ones. Makes a lot of sense if you want to work the hardware until it dies. Same for the memory, there's plenty of cheap ECC floating around on ebay, shouldnt be much to upgrade.

The only other thoughts I have is in regard to the plex streams, the rule of thumb that I've always used and heard thrown around is 2000 passmark for each 1080p stream. According to that rule, 2 2680v2 would be able to handle 11 streams (score of around 22000 from passmark's database). So having the 10 streams running as well as some other stuff like servers and VMs should be no issue.

Everything looks pretty good man! Should be a solid system for a number of years, and by the time that stuff dies you'll be able to get a much more meaningful upgrade for a reasonable price than right now, especially with ddr4 prices and all that. Good Luck!

Thanks for the reply/comments.

I have actually been thinking about this for the past few weeks and i think i am going to change the hardware up a bit. I am now looking at a 7820X based build. It has a passmark score of 18649 by itself but what i really like is that it has a single thread score of 2429 which means it should be able to handle a 1080p 10mbps encode in a single thread. I have only seen a peak of 4 concurrent streams so even if that grows a bit i should be ok. The only other item of any substance on there will be a minecraft server. The other VM's will be small.

Going to the Single cpu setup means i can get a much more reasonable case and socket 2066 will give me a few upgrade options down the road.
 
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