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Mr_Smartepants

Can you build your own Gen8 equivalent Microserver?

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Mr_Smartepants

Unfortunately, the Q25 case is quite a bit larger than the G8MS, and you have to give up the convenience of a drive cage.

Well, not really.  The Q25 case holds a lot more drives than the G8MS, which is a selling point in my opinion.  Also the Q25 is the only mini-itx case I could find that has a SATA backplane so adding/removing drives is simple.  Not completely tool-less, but no cables to mess with.

 

Another challenge is finding a suitable motherboard with an E-SATA port that can be configured for port-multiplying for use with an external drive case like MediaSonic or Sans Digital cases.  

I'm going to miss that feature of my EX490.

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ikon

I grant that the Q25 will hold more drives, but it is larger. What it gains is configuration versatility it loses in server placement versatility. That's not an argument a lot of bitheads are going to agree with, but I want the box to be as small as possible. Heck, if I could get a viable server in wrist watch size I'd jump over the moon :)

 

I'm not worried about eSATA any more: USB3 is my external drive link of choice these days.

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schoondoggy

Thanks for doing this. It's an interesting exercise.

 

I understand using the AMD CPU for cost reasons, but the only truly fair comparison is to use the same CPU that the G8 is using. It really needs to be as apples-to-apples as possible. Like I posted earlier, I just don't think we can build the kind of value we can get ready-made in the G8. We can build more powerful servers for sure, but not at the same value.

Apples to Apples is not important, you will never match feature for feature. It is all about value. What do I get for my money. A MS G8 will cost $xxx, for that money I get features and functions and form factor and a warranty and certifications(VMware). If I take the exact same amount of money, what do I get from a BYOB solution? or Fujitsu? or Dell? 

Small form factor seems to be important to you, that may be way down the list for another entry level server purchaser. 

Creativity is a very good thing! 

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ikon

Absolutely agree: each person is going to have their own pet features list. Fortunately, there is (mostly) hardware available to meet just about any of those feature lists :)

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Mr_Smartepants

Guess I need to update the build list now that the Gen8 is available.

For motherboard, I'm switching to an Intel 1155 socket so I'd have an upgrade path from my desktop i7-3770S.

The Intel G1610 is $50 and the G2020 is $65 at Newegg but they're not the 'T' model CPUs.  Anyone have links for 1610T or 2020T CPUs?

http://ark.intel.com/compare/71069,71070

 

Motherboard: Asus P8H77-I ($110)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131841

(2 SATA-III, 4 SATA-II ports, USB-3)

 

CPU: Intel Pentium G2020 Dual-core 2.9 GHz 55W TDP ($65)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116886

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jmwills

That board is missing a NIC, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and an on board SD Card slot.  Kind of hard to compare.

 

Edit:  Only 2 x 3.0 USB on the Gen8 but a total of 5 x 2.0 USB

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ikon

I guess the bottom line is that these boxes are indeed good value for money.

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Mr_Smartepants

I guess the bottom line is that these boxes are indeed good value for money.

Yes, that was the original intent of my 'first' post.  Though now it's kinda morphed into "This is what I would buy instead of a Gen8".

The main problem is a lack of mini-itx boards with lots of features/ports.  There's just no room and the market is very shallow.

Oh, and about that MicroSD slot onboard.  That is a feature I have NEVER seen on a motherboard before.  I've seen SD card slots but never MicroSD (only on phones).

 

HP just packs so much goodness into a small space!  It's a tough act to follow. ;)

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ikon

HP just packs so much goodness into a small space!  It's a tough act to follow. ;)

 

Indeed. They seem to have hit a sweet spot with the MicroServers.

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Mr_Smartepants
 

Here's the updated "what-if" box I came up with using both AMD/Intel scenarios.

 

Case: Lian Li PC-Q25 ($120)


(5 hot-swap bays on a SATA-III backplane, can hold up to 7x 3.5" drives --or-- 6x 3.5" drives plus 2x 2.5" drives total)

 

RAM: Corsair Vengance 8GB (2x4GB) ($68)


 

PSU: SeaSonic SSR-360GP ($60)


(I know there are cheaper ones, but I'm a SeaSonic fan!)

 

Heatsink: CoolerMaster GeminII S524 ($40)


(with fan removed, this will mesh with the PSU fan.

 

OS: Windows Home Server 2011 ($50)


(It works!)

 

Subtotal of above: $338

 

AMD setup

Motherboard: ASRock FM2A85X-ITX ($100)


(7 SATA-III ports with USB-3/eSATA ports)

 

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz 65W TDP ($55)


 

Intel setup

Motherboard: Asus P8H77-I ($110)


(2 SATA-III ports, 4 SATA-II ports (6 total) & USB-3.  NO eSATA port)

 

CPU: Intel Pentium G2020 2.9GHz 65W TDP ($65)


 

AMD system cost: $493

Intel system cost: $513

 

Notes:

The AMD FM2 board I picked has 7 SATA3 (6Gb/s) ports and 1 eSATA3 (6Gb/s) port (8 total) and a RAID controller supporting 0/1/5/10.

The Intel 1155 board I picked only has 2 SATA3 (6Gb/s) ports, 4 SATA2 (3Gb/s) ports, and NO eSATA port (6 total) and a RAID controller supporting 0/1/5/10.

The costs have gone up so I adjusted the prices.  The case price jumped $40 alone.

 

I don't need two NIC ports and I need more than 4 drive bays which negates the use of the Gen8 microserver.

It's really hard to find a reason NOT to use the AMD parts since they offer more features for less money.  The only reason for me to buy the Intel parts is for an upgrade path from my primary desktop machine (Z77, Core i7 3770S).

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