I have a little home-server that is now around 8 years old (I calculated the age wrong at first ...). It always did a great job and never let me down. But now it is time to eather upgrade the hardware, or buy a complete new one because over the time my claims and usage ot the server changed. At the beginning it was a little data and webserver for developing purposes. Now I want to use it for developing, compiling and as a game server. So more power would be great^^
The problem is that my strength lies neither in the English language, nor in hardware understanding. So I really hope you guys can help me with the decicion:
A complete new server, or upgrading this one?
I guess a new one is the better option because of the hardware age. But then I have no idea, what hardware to buy for a good and solid server. It does not need a DC/DVD-Drive and one SSHD or HDD is enouph (I have an NAS in the network, so for data storage there is enouph space).

Currently it has this components:

Motherboard Name: Asus AT5NM10-I ATOM D510 be quiet Pure Power
Motherboard Chipset: ?
CPU: Mobile Intel Celeron M-A, 1682 MHz (2.5 x 673)
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB no idea what DDR type ... maybe 2?)
Graphics card:  Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 (128 MB)
Power supply: ?
case: ?

I am really sorry, that the report is so bad. But I used two hardware report programs that could not detect all of the hardware components. It seems, that most of them are really old ...

Can someone maybe help me by finding new parts for a new server? what are good components?

My imagination:

  • dual 2.5GHz or better a quad with at least 2GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB SSHD, a small case, a quiet power supply, no CD-/DVD-Drive, USB 3.0, one LAN (i think two would be overkill).
  • The server should last five to ten years
  • I am willing to pay the price such a server will cost^^ (maybe arount 1k max, is this realistic?)
  • no downtimes would be great, but unnecessary. The old one had once a hard disc crash, so it was offline, and otherwise when I reebooted it. So there is no need to have a 100% save server. 24/7 with 99% uptime would be nice :)
  • A raid to avoid data loss is necessary in the future (raid 1 would be enough)
  • for the case: Currently the old server has a tower similar to this with the dimentions 19x21x29[cm] and is standing in an open cabinet. I am open to a new shape or form for the new server. But in the end he takes the place of the old one. So I guess a rack-mounted one would be pointless.

greetings and thank you in advance,

PS.: Sorry for my bad english.

  • 1
    How long should a new server last? 15 years again? How much do you intend to write? How much money are you willing to spend? How much redundancy / fail-safeness do you need (e.g. is it ok if the server is down until you physically replaced something / ordered a replacement or does it have to be available 24/7 if possible with no downtimes)? What form-factor do you want (rack-mounted or tower and if tower which size)? Do you intend to run multiple intense applications at the same time (e.g. game server and compiler)?
    – SEJPM
    Jul 16 '16 at 12:11
  • thanks for your time so far. I updated my question in order to provide more information for future reader of the post. Two question of yours I did not answer yet: "How much do you intend to write?" -> I am sorry, but I do not understand this question ... and ... "Do you intend to run multiple intense applications at the same time" -> Yes, I do :) greetings Jul 16 '16 at 15:09
  • The question about storage was to find out whether you intend to write multiple GB per day to disk. The amount would make a difference for HDD / SSD recommendations. And may I recommend you to split your question up? Because it is really difficult to properly compose a complete system and to objectively judge proposals against each other. So maybe start with a question about the CPU, then go to the mother board and then the storage, the PSU, ... and always list what you need from that component. Finally you can either build yourself or use some configurator with the recommendations :)
    – SEJPM
    Jul 16 '16 at 18:54
  • at first, thanks for the time you spend with this thread :) ... The reason why I posted it in one thread, is, that I really have no idea what components are working good together and are "modern". I hope that someone can more or less create a compilation with components that I can use as a foundation in order to read some reviews of it, maybe change the list a little bit and then buy and build it together. Jul 16 '16 at 22:22

I'll take a crack at this - please keep in mind I pushed for very high spec within the cost restriction, so if you're more interested in bang for your buck over the short term this might not be the best build. It certainly is designed to give you good performance now and good longevity on all the important bits.

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/YF4V6X
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/YF4V6X/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2620 V3 2.4GHz 6-Core OEM/Tray Processor  ($389.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
CPU Cooler: Intel BXRTS2011AC CPU Cooler  ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Motherboard: ASRock X99M Extreme4 Micro ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard  ($183.98 @ Newegg) 
Memory: GeIL EVO POTENZA 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory  ($51.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: MyDigitalSSD Super Boot Drive 16GB M.2-2242 Solid State Drive  ($24.99 @ Amazon) 
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($44.75 @ Amazon) 
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($44.75 @ Amazon) 
Video Card: Asus GeForce GT 710 1GB Video Card  ($30.98 @ Newegg) 
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case  ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series Fanless 460W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular Fanless ATX Power Supply  ($109.99 @ B&H) 
Case Fan: Kingwin CF-012LBR 40.0 CFM  120mm Fan  ($3.98 @ OutletPC) 
Total: $943.38
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-07-17 02:35 EDT-0400

This is many, many times more powerful than the server you had. It also uses a lot more power and will generate a lot more heat, although by many standards it is a highly efficient design. The GPU included is fit only to provide a monitor hookup; don't plan on doing any GPU-heavy compute with it. However, the PSU is strong enough to support a midrange GPU addition if needed. Many game servers run headless, so perhaps that is not a big deal.

I am going to quickly run down my part choices in very short summary format; feel free to ask for more information about any of this:

CPU - modern with a good combination of single core performance, efficiency, and multithreaded capability, which is important for compiling and running multiple applications simultaneously.

Motherboard - this motherboard was small and fits in most of the features a modern server might benefit from - fast PCI-E SSD storage, PCI-E 16x connections, 2x gigabit ethernet, and the like.

RAM - 16gb dual channel is a sort of de regeur standard for modern multitasking workstations and low-end servers; you can replace with larger sticks if needed.

CPU Cooler - a robust, cheap solution.

SSD - small SSD for caching or a unix-based boot drive.

HDDs - a RAID1 configuration as requested, cheap and a good brand.

GPU - fanless, low power, modern.

Case: unobtrusive, small, good for keeping things clean inside without holes all over it.

PSU - this is a highly efficient, high quality PSU with no moving parts; this should provide extra longevity and excellent power savings, particularly at idle. Its ability to run without a fan is the primary reason I chose this.

  • wow, thanks a lot, that is exactly what I was hoping to get. a very solid list I can work with :) These components are far more powerful then my old ones. One question:You said that you had to watch out very carefuly not to breake the 1k cost limit. If it is a few hundreds above, it would be no problem. I whant something solid that can hold a few years and maybe can get a easy upgrade.So is there something in your list, that could get extremly better only by getting a little more expensive?And is this hardware construction something that can be upgraded in the future?or is it too specifically? Jul 17 '16 at 8:01
  • 1
    Every single part of this build uses standard modular desktop parts, and none of them are at the absolute top of their class except perhaps the PSU, so all could be upgraded. However, the single most performative upgrades to improve your system's performance would be to add a larger m.2 ssd drive and to get a Xeon or two steps above this one.
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 17 '16 at 14:19
  • ok, thanks a lot for everything so far. I now read some articles and test cases of the components you postet. They really seems to be great. but I have two last questions: does the little SSD really has such a good impact for the system? it only holds the debian/arch linux os when I understand you correct. is the performance boost noticeable? and second: I am from germany and a world wide shipping is a littlebit hindrance, so I looked the components up on german amazon. could you please take a look at the parts I found? are they the aquivalent to your list? link list Jul 17 '16 at 21:58
  • I don't have time to crosscheck your list for equivalence; I suggest using pcpartpicker.com with German pricing to help you with local pricing and compatibility issues. The SSD IS very small, but sometimes that is all you need/want. Instead of using it as a boot drive, you could cache your larger RAID to the SSD quite easily in Linux. Do some reading on tiered storage for Linux.
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 17 '16 at 22:08

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