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simple server spec

By icelemon ·
i did a little crawl on several sites for a simple starter server spec's running 24/7
yet i am confused with some techical and termnology problems

[ purpose ]
we are going to run
1) company website,
2) public discussion forum,
3) file storage for collegues.

for (3) storage for collegues:
5GB for 55 people. (simple file storage solution)
each will have its own ftp external access.

[ spec wish list ]
in most circumstance which motherboard does one use for servers?
i am looking at iWill for dual CPU performance MB's (
hopefully can find a PCI-express supported motherboard for SCSI hard-drives (Intel SRCU42E)
is iWill recommended or is it much preferrable to use MB's from Asus?
what is the difference between PCI-X and PCI-express?

we are planning to use P4 or xeon (dual proccessor),
even AMD64 sounds great.
since the site will not have
so price vs quality, is AMD64 better than Xeon?

50GB for forum, 10GB for company site, 275GB (5*55) for storage. total 335GB required
so we are planning to have ..
2 "Seagate 160GB 7200RPM Sata150/8MB" for storage solution (windows 2003 is installing here)
2 "Seagate 37GB 10000RPM Ultra320" SCSI drives for company site + forum usage

thus i like to ask....
1) is it possible for this combination?
2) will we need 2 SCSI PCI-express cards or just one Intel SRCU42E? (

the priority job for server in the beginning is focusing on storage solution
overall its a price vs quality comparison (price as low as possible)
its a one server to do our multi-task job
it would be kind if i can hear any suggestions over my research, even just part of it
we could hire some technicians but i feel its more fun to do this myself, thanks!

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by icelemon In reply to simple server spec

sorry ive got cut off for the CPU part

we are planning to use P4 or xeon (dual proccessor),
even AMD64 sounds great.
since the site will not have that of a great amount of traffic from the beginning
so price vs quality, is AMD64 better than Xeon?

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by ippirate In reply to simple server spec

Part I

First, are you planning on building the server yourself and if so, why? If at all possible I would look into purchasing from a reseller such as HP or Dell so that your service bases are covered.

On the hardware questions themselves-

Motherboard. I prefer ASUS, admittedly more from habit and personal bias than anything else. When it comes to manufacturers, this is generally the case. If a manufacturer sucks two things usually happen. One, everyone talks about it and two, they generally die or move to obscurity.

CPU. Both Chips are going to start around $200-$250USD and can elevate from there depending on the associated speeds. The primary benefits to going to a 64-bit architecture is 1. Max usable memory increase and 2. Process more data faster. The catch is that for the type application you are suggesting I would judge the AMD to be overkill unless you are planning on having your website being beaten to death with hits, in which case I would ask why you are hosting all or your needs on the one box and not segregating it. I'd stick with the dual Xeons, otherwise you are just going to have a lot of dead processes on the machine, waste.

Hard Disk. Three things here. First, you have to choose either SCSI or SATA, you can't run them companioned. I'd choose SCSI since you are running a forum. Second, I would increase the storage side to at least 3 disks running RAID5, maybe even four depending on how realistic 5 gigs of storage is to your organization, check local usage to determine this. Third, I would setup my site/forum partition in a RAID1 Config, adjusting disk size to meet space needs.

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by ippirate In reply to

Part II

On the question of PCI-X(tended) and PCI-Express, I found an article that will give you a better idea of the differences but it all comes down to speeds, given what you have related I would stay with the PCI-X for any I/O comms.

Again, overall, I think I'd still go to a reseller if possible. Given the fact that your machine is pretty stock in usage and therefore not much need special considerations, they could most likely provide you with the lowest risk, lowest price, best fit solution for your needs.


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by icelemon In reply to

thank you so much for your nutrious information, i couldn't really ask for more. and thanks for waiting

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by icelemon In reply to simple server spec

hey thanks for taking your time answering me
but i saw it somewhere someone says its possible to have scsi hdd's with sata/IDE
where you slide scsi hdd's -> scsi cards
then on the same motherboard you put sata/IDE hdd's -> sata/IDE slots

i will take your advice purchasing a server from Dell or HP
so correct me if im seeing wrong with the scsi vs sata theory

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by pierrejamme In reply to simple server spec

I agree with iPirate. You probably cannot build a server near as good for twice the price of a new Dell Poweredge. And 3 SCSI hard drives in a RAID5 config is minimum.
If money is an option I vote for RAM over CPUs. I haven't ever heard of anyone saying the second CPU was worth the money. Xeons are not cheap.
Mark One Computers is my choice for custom built at:

Price check:
Intel XEON 2.66GHz 604-pin 533FSB RETAIL BOX

Intel XEON 2.66GHz 604-pin cpu w/512K L2 cache, 533MHz bus, with fan and 3 year warranty
Intel XEON 3.4 1MB 604-pin 800FSB RETAIL BOX

Intel XEON 3.4GHz 604-pin cpu w/1MB L2 cache, 90nm, 800MHz bus, with Active heatsink 3 year warranty.
Note the cost difference for the FSB at 800

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by icelemon In reply to

thanks for your recommendation
probably its the best for beginners to start with
i'll look into it, single xeon that is

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by icelemon In reply to simple server spec

thanks, i thought i saw some post saying its possible to have sata/ide as primary and scsi hdd's on scsi cards (pci-x/express). thanks for clearing up the pci question, i once thought they were the same

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by icelemon In reply to simple server spec

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