Build Advice Wanted for LGA2011-v3

Upgrade Me…

I think it’s time for a little upgrade (just scroll down if you want to get to the details of the new build). I started out with a cheap desktop machine from ebay and swiftly moved to something a bit better. I’m currently working with a build from the NAS Killer 4.0.

Current Setup

  • Motherboard: Tyan S5512
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3
  • CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230v2

I seem to just acquire drives from various places so I’m running unraid with 3 drives for storage, 2 parity drives, a cache drive, and 2 unassigned drives. I’m certainly pushing the limits of my ram. I have a VM I use as my daily driver. I’d like to be able to have another VM up and running also and I simply can’t do this with the amount of RAM I currently have. I can handle an extra 16GB but that would max out the mobo. I am beginning to get into some machine learning, however, and would really appreciate some more horsepower. Especially since my security cameras are fed through this machine, the CPU runs higher than I want it to when idling (~30%).


Motherboard: Supermicro X10DAL-i ATX - $350
CPU: Xeon E5-2630v3 (x2) - $30
RAM: 32GB ECC DDR2 LRDIMM 2133 Mhz - $75
SAS Controller: LSI SAS 9201 - $43
SAS Cables - $14
Case: Cooler Master N400 - $0 (I am currently using this)
Fans: mobo comes with two, we’ll see how they do - $0

Total Cost is about $500. It feels like I’ve got room to grow everywhere so this one may last me a while. If I really want a GPU for my machine learning projects (or gaming…?) I could add it in. I kind of like my N400 so I’d like to keep that unless there is a compelling reason I’m unaware of. Other feedback is appreciated. Cheers!

I realized I didn’t ask a specific question so here goes - Is this silly? My alternative is to buy a GPU (or two?) and try and offload some of my CPU load to that. I’d need additional RAM for that as well but once I buy 2 graphics cards and $100 worth of ram, I feel like I’d be spending about the same amount. Maybe a little less. What would you do?


  • Plex
  • Security cameras (Blue Iris on a VM or Shinobi in Docker)
  • Machine Learning (JupyterLab)
  • Daily Driver VMs (Ubuntu and Windows10)
  • Home Assistant
  • Various other low power services running in Docker

Have you considered expanding laterally instead of just upgrading the server you have? There’s nothing wrong with your current setup as just a NAS.
Plex can get moved to a dedicated QS box, and you can build another server to fit the rest of your needs.

As in add more machines instead of one to rule them all?

I’ve considered this but feel like once I build a machine that has some compute power and enough ram for multiple VMs, it’s beefy enough for everything else too… Maybe there’s a happy medium I’m not seeing.

Hey, I have that exact same motherboard because I found it for super cheap locally.

So, it is ATX form factor, but it’s really cramped. And it only has 8 dimm slots when most dual motherboards would have more. And while it has a lot of PCIe slots, it kind of skimps on the lanes assigned to each slot. Also there is no IPMI.

On the other hand, you could operate with a single CPU, and only lose out on half of the RAM and a single quote.

It also has 10 sata ports

It seems like in your case there might be some more cost-effective options.

I have the Supermicro X9SCL which works just fine but I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a motherboard/ram/cpu deal for a 2011-v3 or better setup.

My other thought was to take my 11th gen desktop pc, upgrade to i5 and make it the new unraid server. I’m guessing the power consumption of the 11th gen vs a 2011-v3 setup would be considerably better though it wouldn’t have ecc ram but I don’t know that it’s a big deal breaker for me.

I’m just ready for more cores and threads than a 4c 8t can provide. I’ll feel a bit better about life with a 6c 12t