I realize $600 sounds very steep. But consider this. I already an ATX case, memory and disk drives, and a reasonably efficient power supply.
So longevity (I'd like to get 4 years out of this rig) and efficiency are my primary concerns, as electricity costs over 4 years really add up (hundreds per year for Xeon servers, at 18 cents per kilowatt hour).
Hope I'm making a bit more sense now.
So, I've only begun to do a bit of research/shopping, my first time looking at building from the ground up in years, frankly.
The new Z68 based motherboards that begin to ship this May seem to be a possibly good choice for WHS 2011, replacing the short-lived H67 LGA1156 socket based Sandybridge motherboards from Jan 2011.
I'm looking for the following attributes, especially given it's an always-on device:
1) efficiency (with built in graphics)
2) ATX form factor, with many choices (many memory types can be used, many PCI slots)
3) decent SATA and USB3 flexibility (not a fan of adding eSATA cards or RAID cards, want to use USB3 to backup to external USB3 enclosure I have for off-site backup)
4) UEFI (should I wish to boot from 3TB someday)
5) a little more future proof, with newer LGA1155 socket (that replaces LGA1156 socket), not that it's likely I'll ever replace the CPU. Read more here:
For a review of an upcoming ASUS motherboard, read:
"Intel’s Z68 Approaches – ASUS P8Z68-V PRO Preview"
so it would seem that the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO, which has the LGA1155 socket, and a non-NEC USB 3.0 controller, may be a good way to go (I've had issues with NEC).
Of course I'm fishing for alternative opinions on this as well, that's why I post here, of course. Particularly a motherboard with low watt burn when idle, yet has all the attributes I require.
According to Integrated Graphics Efficiency Results (admittedly a dated Jan 2011 review):
it's clear to me Intel beats AMD for watt burn, especially when idle:
So now for the CPU, the only LGA1155 Core i5/i7 I spot with reasonable watt burn is the Core i5-2390T at 35 watts, or the Core i7-2xxxS series at 65 watts, according to this Core i3/i5/i7 overview site:
Core i5-2390T at about $195 and 35 watts max:
Part # CM8062301002115
$195 according to this Intel site:
But it has only 2 actual cores and only 3.0MB of cache, and I may do some fairly heavy crunching with my WHS2011 someday and would like a bit more headroom.
So digging into the i7 series, there's only one i7 model at the low watt-burn end, it's the quad-core:
Core i7-2600S at about $300 and 65 watts max:
Part # CM8062300835604
$300 retail according to this Intel site:
but doesn't really appear to be shipping from anywhere quite yet, and here it shows $359 for example:
So it would seem I have some weeks to mull this all over.
Edited by tinkererguy, 29 April 2011 - 10:34 AM.