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Thread: Spec me new dev server

  1. #1
    TiG
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    Spec me new dev server

    For a project i'm going to be doing shortly i'm going to require a lot of disk space for a sql server2k system.

    Cost to be kept under £1k if possible.

    Requirements 4*120GB HD, to be run in raid 1 (mirrored) or equivilant to give me 240GB of raid 1 storage.
    No amd processors.
    1gb of ram.
    no requirements for flashy graphics so nothing extensive required (may use ati rage pro which i've got about 6 of spare)
    No monitor or software, system will run on the work msdn licences.

    Suggestions please?.

    Thanks
    TiG

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    By-Tor with sticks spikegifted's Avatar
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    It really depend on how heavily dependent your SQL server on disk access, CPU time and data-set in RAM space. If you intend to run all the database off disks, you can probably get away with 512MB of RAM. But if you intend to keep your datasets in RAM, you'd probably need something juice - 2GB will be a good start (depending on the size of the dataset and how complex your tables are). Either case, you'd need a good fast processor to chew through your data.

    When you say less then £1k, you mean the whole setup or everything apart from the disk sub-system? If you it's all inclusive, that leave you with only £600-700 to play with, which may not be enough if you need lots of RAM...

    In terms of CPU, I don't see why you can't just pick a P4 3GHz (800MHz FSB) and a nice i865PE board and enable HT to get the most out of the processor...
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    Not allowing AMD chips is really cutting it fine for a server budget.

    Basically means your going to have to run a P4 C with HT instead of two 'real' CPU's.

    But hey your budget.

    as a quick price up u can get :

    Intel Pentium 4 3.0ghz 800FSB SKT478 512kb Cache Retail Box - £275

    4 x Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 120Gb 7200rpm UDMA133 Hard Drive - OEM - £253

    2 x Corsair 512MB DDR XMS3200 64mx64 Non-ecc 184 DIMM Unbuffered CAS2 DRAM silver Heat Spreader - £130

    Intel BOXD865GLCL S478 800 / 533 / 400FSB SATA RAID SOUND DDR400 / 333 8XAGP LAN UATX - £82

    TOTAL INC VAT = £875.50

    Leaves u £125 to get case, CD-ROM, PSU, floppy, any other bits bobs u want.
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    Re: Spec me new dev server

    Originally posted by TiG

    Requirements 4*120GB HD, to be run in raid 1 (mirrored) or equivilant to give me 240GB of raid 1 storage.

    Suggestions please?.
    TiG
    Product Type | Description | Supplier Used | Quantity | Line Price | Price inc VAT

    Processor Intel Pentium 4 'Northwood' 2.8CGHz (800FSB) with HT Technology - Retail Overclockers 1 £194.90 £229.01
    RAM Corsair 512MB DDR XMS3200 Platinum CAS2 Overclockers 2 £159.00 £186.83
    Motherboard Asus P4P800 Deluxe "Springdale" (Socket 478) Motherboard Overclockers 1 £92.50 £108.69
    Hard Drive Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 (SATA) 120GB 8MB Cache - OEM Overclockers 4 £326.00 £383.05
    Case Antec Plus 1080AMG Metallic Gray File Server - 430W TruePower PSU (CA-001-AT) Overclockers 1 £96.25 £113.09

    Apologies for lack for formatting - that's all from overclockers and would weigh in at just over £1,000 inc VAT - that's with 4 x 120GB SATA drives that you would configure as RAID 0 + 1 (striping for speed, with mirroring for redundancy/backup).

  6. #6
    TiG
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    Originally posted by Stoo
    You could always buy a poweredge....

    /me runs and hides
    Thanks for all the comments, i already discounted this as the server i spec'd on dell was £1200+ with only a 2.4 p4.

    I know i could build a better spec machine for the money. It did suprise me that none of you considured using ecc ram for a server based machine.

    I'm interested in the comments i got back and do appreciate the thought, I'll let you know what i end up getting.

    TiG

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    Originally posted by TiG
    Thanks for all the comments, i already discounted this as the server i spec'd on dell was £1200+ with only a 2.4 p4.

    I know i could build a better spec machine for the money. It did suprise me that none of you considured using ecc ram for a server based machine.

    I'm interested in the comments i got back and do appreciate the thought, I'll let you know what i end up getting.

    TiG
    Because ECC RAM is largely unnecessary (with high quality RAM such as Corsair) and is more expensive and is difficult to get hold of at DDR speeds needed to support 800 FSB P4C's (which is preferable for a SQL Server configuration)

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    dgr
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    TiG@ - as blacksheep said, ECC is incredibly expsensive, esp if you want a gig!
    dothan 745 @ 2.4ghz | 2gb Corsair XMS (2-3-3-6) | dual raptors (raid0) | ATI 9700pro | CM201 | dual lg 1810

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    TiG
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    what £160 expensive for a gig of 3200 ECC?

    Don't think so. Its a server and considuring its a work based machine i don't care for corsair memory, it won't be overclocked it will be designed to be stable, so i'm sure it will be ecc memory that gets stuck on it.

    TiG

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    Paranoid??? Who Me???
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    gotta agree with you there TiG...

    i'd go for ECC with a server... aim for stability over speed anyday...

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by TiG
    Thanks for all the comments, i already discounted this as the server i spec'd on dell was £1200+ with only a 2.4 p4.

    I know i could build a better spec machine for the money. It did suprise me that none of you considured using ecc ram for a server based machine.

    I'm interested in the comments i got back and do appreciate the thought, I'll let you know what i end up getting.

    TiG
    but surely your paying for the support there from Dell which i'm guessing would be handy as if you build your own you have no one to fall back on demanding a new server is delivered to u very quickly.

    If i were u id buy a server from a reputable server retailer offering the necessary support and guarantee package deals.

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    Originally posted by TiG
    what £160 expensive for a gig of 3200 ECC?

    Don't think so. Its a server and considuring its a work based machine i don't care for corsair memory, it won't be overclocked it will be designed to be stable, so i'm sure it will be ecc memory that gets stuck on it.

    TiG
    The fact that corsair memory can be overclocked so well is testimony to its exceptional quality - but if you think 1GB of Generic ECC will be more stable knock yerself out

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    Paranoid??? Who Me???
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    personally i'd be soooo much more inclined to go with Xeon chips and a dual board.. little more exensive, but you pays for what you get...

    bear in mind these prices are all from scan, so its not the cheapest on the net, but its all I cba to check


    Supermicro X5DALG Dual Xeon x8 AGP £338.40
    2 X 2.2GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 Xeon™ CPU 512K £247.27
    2 X 512Mb PC2100 (PC266) DDR - ECC Registered Micron Major £173.90
    4 x 120Gb Maxtor Plus 9 ATA-133 (7200rpm, 2MB Cache) £300.80
    TOTAL £1,077.99

    thats excluding a case, but bang on a cheapish £100 server case, and your under the £1200 mark...

    and that machine will handle any dev work you wanna throw at it without breaking a sweat

    wish we could get similar spec servers at work, but there all lame quad 400/500 Xeons...

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    Originally posted by BlackSheep
    The fact that corsair memory can be overclocked so well is testimony to its exceptional quality - but if you think 1GB of Generic ECC will be more stable knock yerself out
    if your not clocking it, which you'd be silly to do with a dev server, runnin 24/7 i'd say that any generic ECC ram will be AS stable as any stick of non ECC branded... whether Corsair/Crucial whatever!

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    Originally posted by Basher
    but surely your paying for the support there from Dell which i'm guessing would be handy as if you build your own you have no one to fall back on demanding a new server is delivered to u very quickly.

    If i were u id buy a server from a reputable server retailer offering the necessary support and guarantee package deals.
    but the problem with big named servers and their back up service is that if the server dies, you ring a helpdesk phone number.. they then assign you a service call number, and your number takes its place in a queue.. then some time later when the tech support bloke gets off his lunch break, he'll ring you back and ask what the problem is.. you tell him e.g the network card has died.. please bring us another one and fit it, as its against the user agreement to open the case... h'ok he says.. and 2 days later he turns up fits your new NIC and your back off and running

    where as if you've built the server yourself, and its not a mission critical server (remember title "Spec me new dev server") then if it goes t!ts up, you can rip it apart and buy a new NIC, bang it in and 10 minutes later your off and running again..

  16. #16
    TiG
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    Originally posted by Basher
    but surely your paying for the support there from Dell which i'm guessing would be handy as if you build your own you have no one to fall back on demanding a new server is delivered to u very quickly.

    If i were u id buy a server from a reputable server retailer offering the necessary support and guarantee package deals.
    Bashar - i would if it was a live server, however its not, its a development box, I can't justify spending stupid money on a dell box when quite frankly my views on dells are crap, they're support service is useless, and i'm fed up with how crap my current account manager is. This is the 4th one i've had this year.

    I quite like kallium's idea of a dual xeon box, and think with my discounts at suppliers could get that sort of spec for just under a grand with case and power supply etc.

    Plus all the hardware would all come with 1yr minimum guarentee and considuring you'd spend about £600 on a service guarentee with dell its simply not worth the money for a dev machine.

    Thanks
    TiG

    Edit: as Kallium said tho he just beat me too it

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