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New (Server or Gaming?) Build


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Hello All,


I am currently in the planning phase of a new build and am torn as to how I should proceed.  I figured I would come to the friendly forums and get your opinion on how to approach this problem with a setup that would be most effective.  


Currently have a very budget home server built, that I had pieced together a few years back.  Besides that I have a couple of basic laptops in the house that the wife & kids use for basic tasks such as web browsing.  I also have an HTPC in my main TV Room, which is backed up to the server.  Lastly I have a iMac which again is mainly for kids surfing and basic gaming.  I currently like the server because it basically just "works" and is pretty low power which I like because it is on 24x7.  That being said the MoBo on the setup is limiting me, so in any case I want to get an upgraded motherboard that has more expansion options, sata ports, and can better fill out the case I (recently) invested in.  


The server is mostly used for the following capabilities:


1) Agents that run to download "stuff" from the interweb

2) Centralize all my media storage (Movies, TV, Pictures, Music) to stream to HTPC running XBMC

3) Synchronize / Backup all critical data to external drive & CrashPlan


*** Desired New capabilities ***

4) "Server Capability" - Run a Plex Server that will support transcoding all media to stream to additional clients (tablets mostly)

5) Ability to run VMs for specific tasks such as a VM that could be spun up / down that has a torrent client 

5) "Desktop Capabilities" 

- Casual gaming that should support some of the current populate FPS games

- Nice GPU that would be able to run multiple monitors

- basic photo & video editing (my wifes hobby)

- Casual "programming" excercises to keep my development skills current (want to "spin up" a server to test stuff out or stuff like that)


So to try to be concise what I am struggling with is do I :


Proposal #1 - Build one beefy box that could support all these capabilities (Server & Desktop).  I was thinking the "primary" function would be as my desktop, and have a desktop OS (Win 7 or 8.1) be the host, and then run a VM that houses the "Server Capabilities".  Then I could just use the box as my day to day PC.  The existing home server hardware would be repurposed as an additional HTPC after throwing in a new GPU.


Proposal #2 - Build one beefy box that I use as my day to day PC to satisfy all my "Desktop" requirements PLUS host a VM to run as a PlexServer.  All other (existing) Server Capabilities would be satisfied as they are today, and I would keep the existing home server as is.


Proposal #3 - This is similiar to the Proposal #2.  Build one beefy box that I use as my day to day PC to satisfy all my "Desktop" requirements PLUS host a VM to run as a PlexServer.  Use the existing home server hardware as a "Dual Purpose" HTPC / Home Server and have that satisfy all existing Server Capabilities as well as serve as an would be satisfied as they are today.


So before I even start specing out the new build I want to answer the follow high level approach.  Let me know what you guys think.  If I am am all over the place, and making no sense please let me know that as well.  


Current Home Server Specs:

OS Drive (Server 2012 Essentials): 

OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 120GB SSD


AMD Athlon II X2 250 Dual-Core 3.0GHz

Cooler Master Standard AMD CPU Cooler


G.SKILL Value Series 4GB DDR3 (F3-10600CL9S-4GBNT)

BIOSTAR A880GZ AM3+ AMD 880G + SB850 

Diablotek DA Series 500 Watt ATX Power Supply


Fractal XL R2 Full Tower ATX - Black Pearl


Data Drives:    


4x 4TB Seagate STBD4000400

1x 2TB Seagate ST2000DM001

1x 3TB Seagate Backup Plus (External)



Syba SATA II 4 x PCI RAID Host Controller Card SY-PCI40010 (No Raid, just additional SATA Ports)

Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual Port Server Adapter - network adapter - 2 ports (EXPI9402PTBLK)





SnapRaid --> One of the 4TB drives is a dedicated "Parity" drive


Sabnzb and others....

Edited by pofo14
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Thanks for the feeback ikon.  You mean an Intel CPU for the "new box"?  I assumed that would be the recommendation for the new server, I see that Intel is definitely the CPU of choice.

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