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Motherboard for WS2012E build


PCL
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I will shortly be moving my home network from SBS 2011 to Windows Server 2012 essentials and plan to build a new box for WS2012E. I am looking for motherboard suggestions. Generally I use ASUS motherboards and have been quite happy with them for my desktops. I am considering using an Asus P8Z77-V PRO board (yes, I know this is not designed for servers and is probably overkill for WS2012E, but I have found this board stable in my desktop builds) and wonder if anyone has had experience with this board and WS2012E? Will the 64 bit Windows 8 drivers work with WS2012E?

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If you've found a mobo that has performed reliably for you then I can't see any reason to change it.

 

All Windows 8 drivers should work with any version of Windows Server 2012. I recall a press event where someone from MS stated that all the latest versions of Windows share a common core.

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ASUS is fine, and the board you're looking at is fine.

 

If you don't need a large box though, I'd go with an mATX or mini-ITX board, and save space. If I was building rather than having bought a server, I'd have probably gone with the ASUS P8H77-I Mini-ITX, and paired it with a Bitfenix Prodigy case, which saves space but has a ton of drive space considering the size.

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Almost all my systems are micro-ATX. I've looked at mini-ITX multiple times, but I've found they don't have quite enough PCIe and SATA ports.

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Almost all my systems are micro-ATX. I've looked at mini-ITX multiple times, but I've found they don't have quite enough PCIe and SATA ports.

The one I mentioned has six SATA ports. I agree, many mini-ITX boards don't. For a home server, that board has the right video outs to go off an SB/IB processor, so no graphics card needed, and the board has an Intel NIC, and Intel USB 3.0. One x16 expansion slot should probably be enough for most in that case.

 

What are you hoping WSE2012 will do better/differently than SBS2011?

 

The two benefits I can think of are Storage Spaces (pooling drives and doing folder duplication if needed for redundancy) and support for larger backups. On the other hand, SBS2011 has the advantage of built-in Exchange Server if needed, and is a decent solution. Storage Spaces isn't nearly as necessary if you use a hardware RAID card either (in which case, a mainboard shouldn't need as many SATA ports anyway).

Edited by LoneWolf
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Am not sold on small, cramped home server cases. But, then again, I suppose it varies based on need. For example, my entry into WHS was an HP MediaSmart EX485 with (4) HDD bays. Outgrew that in a year or so. From there, I upgraded to a Core i5 SB, 16 GB RAM, WS2012e in a Fractal Define full server case with 10 HDD bays +/-. Have the chasis completely maxxed out and it runs cool as ice w/ a 19 TB RAID5 array of 8 x 3 TB WD Red drives.

 

As for the motherboard: Giga-byte GA-Z77X-UD5H.

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I've had a 6TB array in my main desktop for over a year and it shows no signs of getting full any time soon. Clearly, my data needs are much more modest than yours ;)

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