Hardware stuff (in General)

AdminJonathan May 11 2009 6:14 PM EDT

My main problem is that I am a software guy and although I can use google it is difficult to find reviews on low-end server-quality stuff. Consumer stuff, check. Really expensive stuff, check. A single 1U to run a web game, not so much.

So what I am looking for is a quad core 1U with 8GB of ram and more than four 2.5" SAS disk bays. (4 and 8 seem to be the common numbers).

Second choice would be a 2U with 6 or 8 3.5" SATA bays.

I'm looking to spend under $2k and from my sampling so far to hit that price I will probably have to build it myself. Figuring out server cases, power supplies, and especially motherboards is what I am hoping to avoid here. :)

I prefer the 1U/SAS disks because (a) they are faster and (b) if I can fit CB into a 1U there's a lot more colocation options in my price range. At 2U I'm pretty much stuck with the kinda budget ColoPronto where we are now. (As far as I can see, most of our recent downtime is hardware related, but colopronto also averages about 40 minutes of downtime a month from power and network issues which doesn't help.)

Note on component pricing: a 2.5" 15000 rpm SAS disk costs $250 at the cheapest reputable place PriceGrabber knows about. A 3.5" 10000 rpm SATA disk costs $160. 8 GB of ram is about $100. So get anywhere near my target price I'm going to need to find a case + mb + cpu for < $1000. (Easy for consumer hardware, not so much in the 1U/2U ff. At least from what I have found.)

kevlar May 11 2009 6:57 PM EDT

I don't know, for big tech I turn to Tom's Hardware, and a real quick search found this, but it isn't quad core.. I'm sure if ya have more time you could find out something from this site.


AdminTal Destra May 11 2009 6:58 PM EDT

I don't know if this is what your looking for or not but its an ok site for server hardware...

Click Here!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] May 11 2009 8:13 PM EDT

Dell Outlet might be the place for you. If you want help after nailing down an exact system spec and price (do you need it to include OS?, what kind of warranty?) I'd be glad to do the hunting...


* SC1435 Rack Server: Quad Core AMD Opteron 2376; 2.3 GHz,6M Cache,1Ghz Hyper Transport
* No Operating System

System Price : $1,019.00

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] May 11 2009 8:19 PM EDT

Tell us how much money you will need if you go with higher spec equipment instead of the bare minimum Jon. If I have to I'll start some kind of contest and help build up some monies for you. This should include the entire community anyway, we are the ones affected the most by this we should then pitch in.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] May 11 2009 8:24 PM EDT


There is a $2099 build on here that looks close to what you're looking for.

AdminJonathan May 11 2009 10:27 PM EDT

Thanks for the Dell link, Novice.

I ordered a refurbished 2950 with 6x15000 disks for $1900. I'll have to add ram (it comes with 4GB) but that is easy. It's also light on CPU (only a dual core) but it should be roughly equal to the current server's CPU capacity (which doesn't get much over 30% load) so it should be OK at least for the rest of 09.

What sold me is that the previous owner splurged for the hdd controller with 250MB battery-backed cache (I checked, that's a $300 option) which will make disk writes EVEN MORE FASTER HAHAHAHAHA.

Demigod May 11 2009 10:40 PM EDT

FYI, some players may have "friends and family" discounts to Dell for working at companies with Dell contracts. I know I had one for a while, and I still have one for Verizon. You usually just type in a code.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] May 12 2009 12:37 AM EDT

It's typically a 7% discount, I don't think you can apply it to Outlet purchases...

Glad I could help Jon.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] May 12 2009 4:33 AM EDT

you mean a raid controller? Yeah those are expensive if you want a good one.

Froy May 12 2009 1:09 PM EDT

Good to hear, Jon!

QBOddBird May 12 2009 1:10 PM EDT

awesome. :D

AdminShade May 12 2009 1:20 PM EDT

great to hear!

AdminQBVerifex May 12 2009 1:26 PM EDT

I don't know about PriceGrabber.com, but Pricewatch.com is where I get most of my computer stuff, not sure though, since you're looking for a complete case without any picking and choosing of hardware inside. I honestly don't know how many HD's can fit into a 1U, but if you've got a refurbished one, hopefully it works out. I take it the HD is the biggest fail-point, or are you sure what is failing?

Neo Japan May 12 2009 2:11 PM EDT

I'm surprised no one said new egg. are these other sites cheaper than new egg? I'm not a big shopper on hardware either. I go to my friends who paid money to go to college and learn that stuff.

AdminJonathan May 12 2009 2:42 PM EDT

Verifex: I can't picture a scenario where a failing hdd would make a server completely inoperable requiring a reboot. HDD failures also tend to be "noisy" in that the kernel will know i/o is failing and log it (to the console if nothing else). I've had disks die both on CB and on much bigger clusters for work and this doesn't fit that profile at all.

Most likely to least likely suspects are probably motherboard, cpu, power supply.
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