Home Server Build – Choosing Hardware and Benchmarks
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Home Server Build – Choosing Hardware and Benchmarks


Hey guys, Jarrod here and today I’m going
to show you the home server that I recently built and how I set it up. It’s got 16 CPU
cores and 128GB of RAM, so it should be able to serve all the things! The motherboard, CPUs, and RAM were all bought
second hand to cut down costs. The rest of the parts were all purchased brand new. Primarily the server would be running multiple
virtual machines at once, so a high core count was important to me. This is why I selected
two Intel Xeon E5-2670 CPUs, these go for around $150 AUD each and have 8 cores and
16 threads, so when combined with a dual socket board I’ve got a total of 16 cores and 32
threads. I’ve seen these go for as little as $70 USD each, so they’re definitely worth
a look at for a cheap server build, especially as in recent years there seems to be little
performance to gain between different Intel CPU generations. The 2670’s are based on
the Sandy Bridge architecture and came out early 2012. They are clocked at 2.6GHz, can
turbo up to 3.3GHz, and each have 20MB of cache available. Although the CPUs are cheap,
keep in mind that a dual socket board may not be, I suggest checking all pricing before
you commit to buy. To keep all these cores cool I’ve got two
Noctua U12DX i4 CPU coolers, which have support for socket 2011 and I’ve found that they
perform quite well, I’ve done a separate video on them with more details if you’re
interested. For the board I’m using an Intel S2600CP2J.
While the board came out in 2012 it’s still got the features I need, such as two 1gbit
NICs, SATA 3 support, and of course the most important factor, dual LGA2011 sockets. Sure
there’s no support for DDR4 memory, NVMe drives, or newer fancy features, but for my
server this will get the job done. The board also has 16 RAM slots so of course
I had to fill all those out with 8GB sticks for a total of 128GB of memory. I found 8GB
sticks seem to be a pretty good sweet spot for size and price, once you start looking
at 16GB sticks or higher the price goes up pretty quickly, and well 128GB of RAM should
be more than enough for me anyway. I admit that this will probably be overkill, but I
just had to do it! I was actually looking at buying all these
parts separately on Ebay, but then found that I could buy them together as a bundle for
$500 AUD cheaper so went with that, I got the bundle from natex.us, I’ll leave a link
in the description. I also got a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, as my
main PC is always low on SSD space which prevents me running virtual machines I figured I’d
just get something big with decent performance that should last me for quite a while. I’m
running the hypervisor operating system on the same disks as the virtual machines, I
did consider buying a smaller cheaper SSD to dedicate to the hypervisor but in the end
decided it wasn’t worth the extra cost for my lab environment, if I have any major IO
issues I’ll revisit that. Speaking of the hypervisor, I still haven’t
locked down what I’m going to end up using. I’ve used Xen, Hyper-V and VMware ESXi in
the past so I’ve got a bit of experience with how those all work. At the moment I’m
testing out Windows Hyper-V server 2016, as it’s free. Although the hypervisor operating
system is free, you still need to license any Windows virtual machines that you run
on top of it, but of course Windows does have a trial so you could keep rebuilding your
VMs. I’ll either stick with this or the free version of ESXi that VMware have on offer,
it’ll take me some time to evaluate them in my environment. At the moment I’ve only
setup some Linux virtual machines that i regularly use and have had no problems at all so far. After getting the server setup and configured,
basically I just power on the server then connect to it from my Windows desktop with
Hyper-V manager. From there I can create, manage, start and stop virtual machines on
the server over the network. The other hypervisors all have similar functionality, but yeah that’s
how they all generally work. For the power supply I went with a Corsair
HX850i. The only real requirement here is that the power supply needs to have 2 EPS
connectors, as there are two CPUs to power, so keep that in mind as many desktop power
supplies may only have 1. I’ve put all these parts into a Phanteks
Enthoo Luxe case with tempered glass. As the motherboard is a server board, it’s size
is SSI EEB rather than standard ATX, so I was a little limited in cases that I could
use. While it’s possible to use an ATX case and drill your own holes, I wanted something
that would just work out of the box without any case modding. I could have paid less and
got the version with the plastic window, but, well… DAT GLASS. I’ve done a full review
video of the case if you’re interested. Now let’s take a look at some benchmarks!
I’m only going to be performing CPU based benchmarks here, as I’m not using a dedicated
GPU, this is a server and I’m not going to be using it to play games or do any graphical
work. I’ll mostly be connecting to virtual machines remotely over the network from my
desktop, so CPU power was definitely the priority here. I’ll throw in a 7700K into the results
too, just for scale. In the Cinebench benchmark the Xeons got a
score of 2030, pretty nice. In the PassMark CPU benchmark I got a CPU
score of 19,622 which was in the 99th percentile for all CPU tests, not bad at all for some
old Xeons. In GeekBench 4 I got a single core score of
2,627 and a multicore score of 23,742. As expected the 7700K has a much better single
core performance, but is of course no match for 16 cores. I let the 7-Zip benchmark run for 10 passes
with a dictionary size of 32mb which resulted in a score of 58,301 MIPS. I then used Handbrake to encode a 500mb MP4
video file that I recorded from 1080p to 720p. The dual xeons completed the task averaging
75 frames per second. Testing was completed with an ambient room
temperature of 21 degrees celsius, and the 16 CPU cores during idle sat anywhere between
29 and 37 which makes me wonder if my thermal paste is equally spread out, as that’s quite
a bit of variance. During benchmarking with all 16 cores maxed out the core temperatures
ranged from 58-63 degrees celsius, not bad at all! I’m really impressed with the Noctua
coolers. Honestly I could probably throw in a graphics
card and just use this server as a desktop PC or workstation, as I’m still using the
crappy PC I built in late 2010. The Xeon CPUs outperform my Intel i7 950 CPU with it’s
12gb RAM, but I don’t know, I like the idea of having a server to keep the workloads separate.
I can do something else cooler when I replace my desktop, probably something with a higher
clocked CPU with less cores, as I should hopefully have all the cores I need on the server. Something important to note if you’re looking
to do a build with the E5-2670 CPU’s is that the SR0KX revision has proper support
for Intel VT-d which is what I have here. If you instead get SR0H8 which is the previous
revision, you won’t have VT-d support, this is why the SR0H8 ones go for a little cheaper
as they are missing this feature. Now if you don’t need VT-d then you can save some money
and get those, otherwise if you do you’ll need to pay extra and ensure you get the SR0KX
revision. Overall I’m happy with how the server build
turned out, despite being limited in case selection I think that the end result looks
pretty nice. I can run multiple virtual machines with plenty of resources assigned to each
and everything works perfectly, no complaints with regards to performance at all, especially
at this price. I spent just under $2000 AUD all up, so around $1500 USD, and about half
of that was on the second hand motherboard, memory, and dual CPU bundle. Comparing it
against much more expensive newer Intel Xeon CPUs makes me think that it was a good deal,
but maybe that will change with the Intel i9 and AMD threadripper CPU launches coming
soon. So what did you guys think about my server
build? Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and I’d be interested
in hearing if you’re running any servers at home. Leave a like on the video if you
found it useful, or I guess a dislike if you thought the server was a piece of crap made
out of mostly second hand trash, hopefully not that one, come on it’s not that bad?
Thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech videos like this
one.

100 Comments

  • Jeevanantham Gopal

    Hey Jerrod's Tech, I've built same config and the rig giving me post error 1-5-4-4 and I think it's due to improper grounding. Could you please share me the front panel connection pins how you connected on the board?

  • Not Public

    Great build! Can you use all those cores and RAM with esxi 6.5 free edition? I thought vmware limits how much RAM etc. I have a home lab but switched to BSD for my home lab , I would love to go back to esxi though

  • FirE

    Hi i build the same system but with geforce gtx 1070 and 96g ram i couldn`t use more than 56g of them or i directly get blue screen , the problem from the day one i built this system i got blue screen i tried everything when i use 56gb of ram it works fine till i load more work on it it goes blue , the error code is (STOP CODE: NMI_HARDWARE _FAILURE) IN THE END I CONTACT ASROCK SUPPORT ABOUT THIS PROBLEM THEY TOLD ME THAT THE MOTHERBOARD DONOT SUPPORT WINDOWS 10 , PLEASE IF U CAN HELP ME OR KNOW SOME ONE CAN TELL ME ,THANKS
    SORRY THE MOTHERBOARD I HAVE IS
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007HW39ZM/?coliid=I1A1S09DAQ8MU2&colid=THK3CQ2DDP80&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

  • Fockinmokybokka

    I built a server using a dual socket 1366 SuperMicro X8DTH-iF motherboard with two Xeon X5560 CPUs, 96GB RAM and a Asus GeForce GTX 980 GPU. I use it as a gaming PC so the 96GB RAM is kinda wasted but 4K gaming is awesome. I also installed a custom water cooling loop and placed it all inside a Cooler Master HAF X case.

  • Pasha Defragzor

    A bit overpriced and case usb menu is on horizontal, there is no video cards space, but its nice for vm's, good cooling

  • Lothar Scholz

    Almost bought the same today, MB+CPU you get for 350 Euro now add 640 Euro for RAM and you are fine to go with about 1000 Euro for such a machine, but i didn't because its high idle power consumptions scares me away. 150W idle for a dual socket mainboard seems to be the minimum.

  • Ahmed Douban

    Thanks Jarrod for the info it encourage me to buy the same specs as below
    I bought tyan motherboard along with Intel E5-2680v2 CPU and 32 GB of Memory. and purchased from local market a ThermalTake case core x5 to hold the motherboard as the size 12"X13" is not compatible with most
    ATX cases, i want to say that i'm very happy with the quality of NATEX service, i'm enjoying the plenty of CPU cores and memory, even they make a full refund of shipment charges as the delay from shipping company. thanks again NATEX.us for providing that quality and insurance to your services. below the component used to build my PC it may help someone.

    Motherboard: NATEX.us Tyan S7050

    CPU: NATEX.us Intel E2680-v2 (10 cores)

    MEMORY: NATEX.us 32 (8X4DIMM) GB

    CASE: ThermalTake Core X5 White Edition

    PowerSupply: EVGA Supernova 850watt G3 GOLD.

    keyboard+mouse: ASUS CERBERUS Keyboard and mouse combo

    wireless CARD: tp-link 300Mbps wireless N PCI Express Adapter

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (supports CPU LGA2011).

    Monitor: ASUS 24" GW2470

    Speakers: Bluetooth JBL

  • Derek Galbraith

    Very cool. My amateur opinion is that it's overkill (as you mention yourself) but it's better to overbuild than underbuild, right?

    I've just finished building my own home media server but since I'm very much a beginner to all of this I ain't brave enough to post a video like this one laying it bare. I'm sure I probably made a few dodgy choices when putting it together that people will rip me to shreds for. But it seems to work for my purposes anyway so that's the main thing.

  • Dial199 Travels

    hi there! could you please help me or guide me – i want to build a self made web hosting server for a heavy traffic website. what is best hardware and other resources need to, please describe me in full.

  • Norman Handy

    Thanks for taking the time to make this informative vid.

    If this home server rig were utilized for movies and music, would one have to install a viable GPU? I love the idea of using these early-generation xeons as CPUs to serve users(family) in the house, but I’m curious as to how a low-end/high-end GPU helps?

  • Weird Tech Flex

    Thank you for making this video. I am inspired to do a build like this for work. I take it your experience with natex was good?

  • ThatGuyAce

    I know it is just for a server but it would be very interesting how a 16 core computer could handle some 2020 games with no GPU, but if i do need a server in the future this seems like the best way to go!

  • origionalwinja

    alright then. good video. its hard to find anything server based on youtube. the prices are a little shocking on some parts but its nice to see that you gathered together some good stuff that will work together without being too proprietary! good work!

  • Randall Smith

    Nice server setup. I'm not nearly that advanced. I have an old AMD FX 8320 running as a home server with 24GB of RAM. I'm running Unraid with 5 drives (total of 9GB space with two parity). It serves media to my kids tablets and backs up the network. It meets my needs, but I would enjoy playing with something like what you have!

  • Uday Reddy

    Get a board with some sort if out-of-band management.
    Definitely worth it for a home server – can do pretty much anything via the online web interface on my HP DL380 G10's including upgrading ESXi remotely.

  • Airidas Videikis

    i need web server
    at home
    1.easy control(only me)

    2.security(easy and fast share websites file but protected from attacks and stealing information)

    3.first have one domain then go ups to 20domains

    4.less as possible sound

    i thought about

    Dell PowerEdge R610 Server

    OR DELL PowerEdge SVP R200

    OR Lenovo M92p Sff 90$,

    OR Stacionarus HP dx2300 40$,

    OR something else

  • Dude yolo

    hey jarrod sweet vid man! btw can those dual sandy bridge xeons edit 4k vid in premiere? Im really intrested In buying dual xeon 2670 workstation from Hp with 96GB of ram seems like a good deal…My i7 3770k too old for 4k video editing

  • evolved monkey

    I have just a question, and don't get me wrong… why? we have at work servers with 128 gb to 256 gb ram with multiple xeons but for vm hosting and SQL server and oracle databases with multiple instances, is that the reason why you have such a powerful machine? cause.. if it's just for some sql instance, web, ftp services is like using an AK47 to shoot little birds, I know you can afford, you have it, but isn't that setup a bit… overkill? Don't get me wrong please, if i could, i would like to have that sweet hardware, but still, i couldn't give it an entire use, besides the electrical bill….man even with 20 sql server databases the server i usually work with 128 gb has like 30 gb free ram, with caching enable already to speed up the database queries.

  • Anselminos

    for minecraft servers single core performance is much more important than multicore performance cause minecraft server utilizes only 1 core

  • MONK ReXx

    Hey Jarrod. I am planning dual x5680 with 24gb ram with Asus server mother board. Planning to put it with gtx 1060 6gb. Please recommend me psu. And can you tell this build can compete with which today's gen configuration. Please help me out. And any additional information. I am buying from aliexpress. And do tell me about bottlenecking. Thanks in advance

  • Futurist 2046_

    So, why do you use Windows as a server software, instead of a form of Linux? Isn't Linux the de facto standard for mainframes and servers in our decade? And by the way, 128 GB of RAM is more RAM compared to a mainframe of the mid 2000s, or the world's fastest supercomputer from the late 1990s. I think any RAM above 32 GB is overkill, since stuff higher than 32 GB should be used for scientific computing projects such as fluid dynamics, or protein simulations such as [email protected] Also, how many GigaFLOPs can your server do (I know it can do over 58,000 MIPS, but the GigaFLOP is a unit of measurement for a billion calculations per second)? By the way, I love your accent, and that super cool rainbow LED server case of yours.

  • isaac bejjani

    Cannot stress the importance of triple checking compatibility before buying anything. I bought all but the RAM for my server before realizing how expensive the un-buffered, ecc stuff that my board requires is. Great video, I based my first gaming PC off a used e5-2670 in an Intel Extreme motherboard, and I only gained about 15% points in GeekBench by upgrading to the new i5-9600K (do not recommend).

  • Shadowarez

    Nice video I actually got lucky and snagged a simular setup except mine is a duel Amd CPU with super micro board 256gb of ecc ram I'm moving it to a Rosewil 4u chassis this weekend. Loving these videos.

  • samljer

    what the hell do you "serve" at home that needs that much power.
    my home server is 4GB and an old AMD Phenom2x4 920…. lol serves everything at full speed.

  • Albert U.

    what a nice server build! did you consider unRAID as an operating system? seems to me like a perfect fit for the kind of stuff you're doing on that machine…

  • Ivan Chumachenko

    Hello.

    Please advise me.

    I want to build a home server to raise a small windows linux infrastructure (10-15 VM) for testing and training. I plan to use the Hyper-v hypervisor. I would also like to be able to run games on this server. How correctly I chose components. I apologize for my English 🙂

    Motherboard ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS

    RAM 4 strips of 8 GB each (in total 32 Gb) 8DDR4 8Gb 2133MHz Crucial (CT8G4RFS4213) ECC RTL Reg 1.2V in the future I plan to purchase 4 strips by 8 to make 64GB in total

    CPU Intel® Xeon® E5-2620v4 (2.1GHz / 8-core / 20MB / 85W) in the future I plan to buy a second

    Power Supply Corsair HX750i

    2 SSD in 0 raid SSD SATA SSD-drive Kingston UV500 480GB, 2.5, SUV500 / 480G for hypervisor

    2 pieces in 0 raid SSD Team Group T2535T120G0C101 120GB for workstation OS

    Cooler DEEPCOOL GammaXX 400

    Video card ASUS GTX 1070Ti

  • Ewen Chan

    This is an older video, but I'm current running four dual socket nodes, each socket is an Intel E5-2690 (8-core, 2.9 GHz, 3.3 GHz full load turbo, 3.6 GHz max turbo, HyperThreading disabled) with 8x 16 GB DDR3-1866 2Rx4 ECC Registered memory (running at DDR3-1600 speeds) for a total of 16 cores and 128 GB per node, 64 cores and 512 GB total across all four nodes in a 2U rackmount case.

  • Cassius Westen

    Yo I like your videos, I need a server for development/programming backend/databases with vms and backup for my laptops etc.

    https://www.servermonkey.com/refurbished-dell-poweredge-r910-e7-16-port-configure-to-order.html and
    https://www.amazon.com/Dell-PowerEdge-R710-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B074BJ8BRN/ref=mp_s_a_1_11?qid=1551966060&s=gateway&sr=8-11&srs=14175845011 and
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01GW5S3I2/ref=psdcmw_11036071_t3_B01KU2UQME

    Do you think this are good servers for that or maybe something else?

  • William Baldwin

    I would love to see the next threadripper / Ryzen 3000 series build now to compare. What are you using all the VM's for?

  • Mostly Drew

    I needed a lab environment at home cuz I'm getting into information security blue team stuff, was gonna run VMs on my gaming rig but I thought to myself maybe I should just build a server. Lol typed a little search in youtube and found this video. Legit gave me everything I need to know. Even use kali linux as one of the exmple VMs in the video lol.

  • Grant Man

    working on a new server build now and glad to find your research shared. Your info is concise and easy to consume. Thank you. Though I am concerned with cost of power as running gaming server so going Rysen.

  • IceCraftNetwork

    Hey man.
    I want a home server to run a minecraft server on it.
    I think you know more about servers than me and do you know what sorts of parts i need? I have a budget on 200 euro. There gonna play 20 people on it. I dont know if 200 is enough

  • Airbag888

    I have the same requirements in terms of core count and memory but power idle I'm looking for sub 30w and load 60w
    So epyc 3000 series I think

  • whoami

    Run Hyper-V server or Server Core as you hypervisor and use Windows Admin Center to manage them…running HP DL380 G7…no rack on the floor in the TV room 🙂

  • Turlx

    ive seen this video at least three times now, are you using the vms just as a different os and their tools like kali, or is it something else?

  • rdsii64

    I decided to go down this road. I got a dual socket motherboard from Ali express for $90.00 and my E5-2680's for $65.00 each. So far my biggest expense is my ram. I got 128 gigs for $207.00. I only have 4 ram slots per cpu so I got 16 gig sticks. My next batch of parts should be arriving soon. If all goes well, every fan in my system will be either noctua or beQuite. my cpu coolers will be the NH-U12DX i4.
    Beyond video encoding and video editing, I'm not sure what else I will do with this rig. The mother board doesn't support pcie pass through with VM's without hacking the bios and that is way beyond my skill range.

  • Cool Moo5e

    I know I am late but do you use this to render so your main system isn't held up and I am working on a server going with an L5520 system not bad for a $110 total spent all its being used for is a file server so f windows craps out on me or my Linux systems died I lost nothing of value.

  • TW350Z

    As always,great videos Jarrod. I just started a home server for movies using Plex. I ignored this for a long time but now its time to make home made digital copies for older DVD's I own. The parts came from electronic recycle waste from the buildings i work around. The Building Maintenance guys threw away a Supermicro Superworkstation 5035G-T computer 2 years ago. I asked them for it . I retrieved a SonicWall E-Class Universal Management Appliance EM5000 . That thing was heavy. It had four 750GB drives in it. I got the bug to run a Plex server recently so out of all the junked stuff I collected over the years , SuperMicro and SonicWall devices were picked. SuperMicro had two 160GB drives, I removed 1 and placed 3 drives out of the Sonicwall device in it. Started up MakeMKV and it was on!! also doing the same with my HDDVD discs. So happy I can finally copy those to digital .

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