[Guide] Anniversary 2.0 "SNAFU" - Server Needs a Friggin' Upgrade


[RAM Options]

General advice: Density is the most important thing in servers, whether it’s hard drives, solid states, or RAM. Personally, I’d advise picking up the most dense RAM you can afford. You’ll thank yourself later when it’s time to upgrade.
Even if you only need 64GB, I’d probably still recommend 2x32GB sticks (which you can get for $80 OBO). Having multi-channel and higher speeds is nice, but it’s not important unless you are doing very specific workloads. Capacity and density, generally speaking are the most important factors.

Make sure your motherboard can support the speed, capacity, ranking, type, and voltage of the RAM you’ve selected.

  1. In most cases, you will be using DDR3 ECC RDIMM.
  2. Not that some DDR3 ECC RDIMM is labled “L”. This is typically reserved for higher capacity modules. Verify motherboard compatibility before selecting these modules.
  3. Some pre-builts require UDIMM (may be ECC or non-ECC).
  4. All X79 motherboards require non-ECC UDIMM.

DDR3 ECC RDIMM (REG)

Brand Model (link) Capacity (GB) Rank Speed (MHz) PC3 Type ECC Voltage Price/GB Expected Price
Samsung M393B2K70CM0-CF8Q5 16 4Rx4 1066 PC3-8500R REG ECC Normal $1.06 $17.00
Samsung M393B2K70DM0-YF8 16 4Rx4 1066 PC3L-8500R REG ECC Low $1.38 $22.00
Micron MT72KSZS4G72PZ 32 4Rx4 1333 PC3L-10600R REG ECC Low $1.34 $43.00
Hynix HMT84GL7AMR4A-PB 32 4Rx4 1600 PC3L-12800L REG LOAD RED. ECC Low $1.56 $50.00
Hynix HMT84GL7MMR4A-H9 32 4Rx4 1333 PC3L-10600L REG LOAD RED. ECC Low $1.56 $50.00
Samsung M386B4G70BM0-YH90Q 32 4Rx4 1333 PC3L-10600L REG LOAD RED. ECC Normal $1.56 $50.00
Samsung M386B4G70DM0-CMA4 32 4Rx4 1866 PC3-14900L REG LOAD RED. ECC Normal $1.56 $50.00
Samsung M386B8G70DE0-YH93 64 8Rx4 1333 PC3L-10600L REG LOAD RED. ECC Low $1.88 $120.00

DDR3 ECC/non-ECC UDIMM

Type Model (link) Speed Capacity Price/GB Expected Price
NON-ECC PC3-10600U 1333MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $2.38/GB $19.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $2.13/GB $17.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 2x8GB = 16GB $2.50/GB $40.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 4x4GB = 16GB $2.13/GB $34.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 4x8GB = 32GB $3.28/GB $105.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $4.00/GB $32.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $3.50/GB $28.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 2x8GB = 16GB $4.88/GB $78.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 2x8GB = 16GB $4.38/GB $70.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 4x4GB = 16GB $4.06/GB $65.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 4x4GB = 16GB $3.06/GB $49.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 4x8GB = 32GB $5.00/GB $160.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 4x8GB = 32GB $4.38/GB $140.00

[Power Supply Options]

Below are a list of affordable power supplies readily available on Amazon. I would highly recommend looking at power supplies on EVGA’s B-Stock Wednesday sale first. (starts at midnight PST every Wednesday) For example, you can often pick up a 400 N1 for $20 shipped during the B-Stock sale.

Dual CPU builds require the use of two EPS 12V ATX power connectors. In most cases, you can use an EPS splitter, but a few users have noted that they haven’t had success with EPS spplitters with lower wattage PSUs (typically below 500W). You can buy an EPS splitter here.

A note about PSU pricing:

PSU prices love to go up and down wildly, so take these prices with a grain of salt. Just make sure to double check the prices and see if any of them are a good deal. Remember, just because a PSU provides more wattage doesn’t mean it will be more expensive. Sometimes larger PSUs of the same series are the same price or cheaper than smaller ones!

Brand Model (link) Native Dual EPS Expected Price
be quiet! U9 500W no $55.00
be quiet! U9 600W no $63.00
Cooler Master MasterWatt 550 semi-fanless no $65.00
Cooler Master MasterWatt 650 semi-fanless no $73.00
Cooler Master Elite V3 600W no $58.00
EVGA 500 W1 no $48.00
EVGA 750 N1 no $53.00
EVGA Supernova 650 G+ yes $100.00
EVGA Supernova 750 G+ yes $127.00
EVGA Supernova 850 G+ yes $135.00
EVGA Supernova 750 G5 yes $130.00
EVGA Supernova 850 G5 yes $160.00
EVGA Supernova 650 GQ yes $85.00
EVGA Supernova 750 GQ yes $115.00
EVGA Supernova 850 GQ yes $115.00
EVGA Supernova 1000 GQ yes $148.00
PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W yes $92.00
PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 600W yes $105.00
PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 750W yes $116.00
Thermaltake TR2 500W no $48.00
Thermaltake SMART 600W no $55.00
Thermaltake SMART 700W no $60.00
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 850W yes $120.00

[Add-in Cards]

Looking to use all of those PCI-E lanes? Check out the options below.

For the internal SAS HBAs and Warp Drive / Flash Accelerator cards, you may need a full height bracket. Good thing is that they are really cheap ($1), bad thing is that they may take a week or two to arrive.

[Other Parts]


Quiet fans, cables, and thermal paste can be found below.


[SSD Options]

Unraid is going to be the most common choice for OS. In that case, it makes sense to have a decent size SSD to store your appdata and to be used as a write cache. This improves file transfer speed to your server immensely. Typically these files will be moved off of the cache drive and onto the array daily (at minimum), so keep that in mind when selecting a size. Smaller SSDs can be used as “unassigned” drives, which are neither part of the array or part of the cache. Unassigned drives can be used as VM data stores, file unpacking drives, or whatever you want really.

I’d recommend picking out a decently sized but cheap SSD for caching, such as the ADATA SU635 480GB for $45.00. I like to use small 120GB SSDs for VMs (divide it in half and put 2 VMs on each drive). The same thing can be accomplished with the SUN/Oracle F-series drives, since they present as 4 separate drives.

I don’t typically recommend NVMe drives as cache drives because you’ll be limited by your Ethernet upload speed anyway, which a regular SATA SSD is more than fast enough to keep up with. However, I like to use NVMe drives for unassigned appdata, because they are extremely good at handling many small files, for example: Plex metadata.

For the internal SAS HBAs and Warp Drive / Flash Accelerator cards, you may need a full height bracket. Good thing is that they are really cheap ($1), bad thing is that they may take a week or two to arrive.

Brand Model (link) Condition Capacaity Form Factor Interface Price/TB Expected Price
Kingston A400 New 120GB 2.5" SATA $183/TB $22.00
ADATA SU635 New 240GB 2.5" SATA $108/TB $26.00
ADATA SU635 New 480GB 2.5" SATA $94/TB $45.00
ADATA SU635 New 960GB 2.5" SATA $89/TB $85.00
ADATA SU800 New 512GB 2.5" SATA $113/TB $58.00
ADATA SU800 New 2048GB 2.5" SATA $92/TB $188.00
SanDisk SSD Plus New 240GB 2.5" SATA $138/TB $33.00
SanDisk SSD Plus New 480GB 2.5" SATA $125/TB $60.00
SanDisk SSD Plus New 960GB 2.5" SATA $102/TB $98.00
Sabrent Rocket New 256GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $117/TB $30.00
Sabrent Rocket New 512GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $97/TB $50.00
Sabrent Rocket New 1024GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $107/TB $110.00
Sabrent Rocket New 2048GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $107/TB $220.00
Intel 660p New 512GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $117/TB $60.00
Intel 660p New 1024GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $93/TB $95.00
Intel 660p New 2048GB M.2 2280 M-Key NVMe $88/TB $180.00
SUN/Oracle F40 Used 400GB (4x100GB) PCI-E 2.0 x8 eMLC $88/TB $35.00
SUN/Oracle F80 Used 800GB (4x200GB) PCI-E 2.0 x8 eMLC $81/TB $65.00
SUN/Oracle U.2 NVMe Used 6.4TB U.2 PCI-E 3.0 NVMe $94/TB $600.00
SUN/Oracle - HGST Ultrastar SSD1600MR Used 1.6TB SAS3 MLC $125/TB $200.00

[HDD Options]

Remember what I said about RAM above. Density is important and valuable. In this case, HDD bays do not come cheap and have value. So while a 8TB drive may be cheaper per TB than a 10TB, the 10TB is better value because it still only occupies 1 HDD slot for 25% more capacity.

Shuckable Drives

For the WD shuckable drives, prices vary quite a bit. We’ve linked them on Amazon, but YMMV as to current sales, pricing, and availability of them. The prices listed are common sale prices for the drives.

As of November 3, 2019, the WD 8TB Elements is on sale for $124.99, plus an additional 15% cash back if you use an Amazon Store Card or an Amazon Credit Card.
Even without the 15% cash back, it’s a really good deal.

https://amzn.to/2oKkPG6

Brand Model (link) Condition Capacaity Spindle RPM Cache Interface Price/TB Expected Price
Western Digital Elements New 8TB 5400 128MB SATA $15.63/TB $130.00
Western Digital My Book New 8TB 5400 128MB SATA $15.63TB $130.00
Western Digital Easystore New 8TB 5400 128MB SATA $15.63/TB $130.00
Western Digital Elements New 10TB 5400 256MB SATA $16.00/TB $160.00
Western Digital My Book New 10TB 5400 256MB SATA $16.00/TB $160.00
Western Digital Easystore New 10TB 5400 256MB SATA $16.00/TB $160.00
Western Digital Easystore New 12TB 5400 256MB SATA $15.00/TB $180.00

SATA Drives

If for some reason, you must have an internal SATA drive (you’re not willing to shuck), here are some recommendations.

Brand Model (link) Condition Capacaity Spindle RPM Cache Interface Price/TB Expected Price
Seagate IronWolf NAS ST4000VN008 New 4TB 5900 64MB SATA $25.00/TB $100.00
Seagate IronWolf NAS ST8000VN022 New 8TB 5900 256MB SATA $23.75/TB $190.00
Seagate IronWolf NAS ST12000VN007 New 12TB 7200 256MB SATA $29.16/TB $350.00
Toshiba N300 New 4TB 7200 128MB SATA $23.75/TB $95.00
Toshiba N300 New 10TB 7200 256MB SATA $26.80/TB $268.00

SAS Drives

If you’re using SAS drives, you must connect them to a SAS controller. Around here, we like to use the LSI 2008 series cards. SATA drives can be used with the onboard SATA of your motherboard OR a SAS controller. Some motherboards in this guide feature these same SAS controllers onboard.

Examples:

These will need to be flashed to IT mode in most cases. It’s a pretty simple process, and it’s covered here.

Brand Model (link) Condition Capacaity Spindle RPM Cache Interface Price/TB Expected Price
Seagate ST32000444SS Used 2TB 7200 16MB SAS $10.00/TB $20.00 OBO
Seagate ST33000650SS Used 3TB 7200 64MB SAS $9.16/TB $27.50 OBO
HGST/Hitachi HUS723030ALS640 Used 3TB 7200 64MB SAS $9.31/TB $27.95 OBO
Western Digital WD40001FYYG Used 4TB 7200 32MB SAS $10.00/TB $40.00
HGST/Hitachi HUS724040ALS640 Used 4TB 7200 64MB SAS $10.56/TB $42.25 OBO
Seagate ST6000NM0034 Used 6TB 7200 128MB SAS $15.00/TB $90.00 OBO
HGST/Hitachi HUH728080AL5205 Helium Used 8TB 7200 128MB SAS $17.50/TB $140.00 OBO

[Prebuilt Options]

Prebuilts are a great way to get your feet wet. They are typically cost effective and well documented, but are often limited when it comes time to upgrade. Again, do your research to see if a prebuilt is right for you.

If you’re feeling limited by the potential storage capacity of the prebuilt options, don’t forget you can always add an 8-bay or 16-bay DAS for additional storage.

Brand (specs) Model (link) CPU Max RAM Form Factor 5.25" bays 3.5" bays 2.5" bays [using 3.5" bay] PCI-E NIC
Dell T3600 Single E5-1600/2600 V1 64GB ECC REG Tower 1 2 [2] 5 1
Dell T3610 Single E5-1600/2600 V1/V2 128GB ECC REG Tower 1 2 [2] 5 1
Dell T5600 Dual E5-2600 V1 128GB ECC REG Tower 1 2 [4] 5 1
Dell T5610 Dual E5-2600 V1/V2 128GB ECC REG Tower 1 2 [4] 5 1
Dell T7600 Dual E5-2600 V1 512GB ECC REG Tower 1 4 4 [4] 5 2
Dell T7610 Dual E5-2600 V1/V2 512GB ECC REG Tower 1 4 4 [4] 6 2
Lenovo S30 Single E5-1600/2600 V1/V2 256GB ECC REG Tower 2 3 [3] 4 1
Lenovo D30 Dual E5-2600 V1/V2 512GB ECC REG Tower 3 6 [6] 4 2
Lenovo C30 Dual E5-2600 V1/V2 256GB ECC REG Slim Tower 1 3 [3] 4 1
HP Z420 Single E5-1600/2600 V1/V2 64GB ECC UDIMM Tower 3 3 [3] 5 1
HP Z620 Dual E5-2600 V1/V2 96GB ECC REG Tower 2 3 [3] 5 2
HP Z820 Dual E5-2600 V1/V2 512GB ECC REG Tower 3 4 [4] 6 2

[Supplemental Guides and Resources]

Original Anniversary NSFW 1.0 build guide - https://www.serverbuilds.net/anniversary


[Vendor Deals]

Always check the vendor direct section of the forums for current group buys!

Current Vendor Direct Deals

1.6TB HGST SAS3 MLC Enterprise SSD

[Group Buy] 1.6TB HGST SAS3 MLC Enterprise SSD [round #9]

4TB HPE/Seagate Enterprise SAS2 HDD

[Group Buy] 4TB HPE/Seagate Enterprise SAS2 HDD [round #10]


[Sample Builds]

@manbearpig2012’s Entry-Level ATX Tower

Almost exactly the same cost as last years Anniversary Core-Build with newer CPUs and twice the RAM. This time, it’s ATX instead of full size 4U rackmount. We chose this form factor because we figured it would be a lot more accessible for the average person.

Type Part (link) Expected Cost
CPU 2 x E5-2620 V2 $16
CPU cooler 2 x Arctic Freezer 12 $44
Motherboard Super Micro X9DRL-if $200
Case Cooler Master N400 $63
RAM 2 x Samsung PC3-8500R 16GB $34
Power Supply EVGA 650 GQ Gold Semi Modular $85
Fans Arctic P12 5 Pack $28
Thermal Paste Gelid GC Extreme $15
Total $485

@Hey_Danny’s Mid-Range Full Tower

Danny has specced out a pretty sweet full size tower that kicks the crap out of my “Ultra-Value Workstation” from last year.

image
It has much more powerful CPUs, better CPU coolers, 4x the RAM, all in the same case. The HDDs have been omitted in this build, accounting for a large portion of the price difference.

Type Part (link) Expected Cost
CPU Dual E5-2650 V2 $120
CPU cooler 2 x Arctic Freezer 12 $44
Motherboard X9DR3-LN4F+ $160
Case Phanteks Enthoo Pro $100
RAM 4 x Samsung PC3-8500R 16GB $68
PSU EVGA 750 BQ $75
Thermal Paste Gelid GC Extreme $15
Fans Arctic P12 5 Pack $28
Storage (SAS/SATA) LSI 9201-8i SAS2 (add 8 SATA3/SAS2 ports) $20
SAS CABLES 2-pack SAS-> SATA breakout $12
Total $642

@Riggi’s Budget Gaming / Workstation

It wouldn’t be a @riggi build without a R9 Fury…

Type Part (link) Expected Cost
CPU 2x E5-2637 v2 $60
CPU cooler 2x SNK-P0050AP4 + F9 PWM Replacement Fan $90
Motherboard X9DRH-IF $130
GPU R9 Fury $90
RAM 2 x Samsung PC3-8500R 16GB $34
Power Supply EVGA 750 BQ $75
Case Deepcool Matrexx 70 $60
Total $539

@JDM_WAAAT’s Ultra-Tower [server + pfSense]

This is a dual system build that combines an ATX dual socket server and a mini-ITX pfSense/OPNsense router into one case.

Type Part (link) Expected Cost
CPU 1 2 x E5-2630L v2 $50
CPU cooler 1 2 x Arctic Freezer 12 $48
Motherboard 1 Supermicro X9DRL-iF $200
Case Phanteks Eclipse P600S $150
Case acc. Phanteks ITX upgrade kit varies
RAM 4 x Samsung PC3L-10600L 32GB $160
PSU PCP&C Silencer MK III 500W $92
------ ------ -----
CPU 2 i5-3470T $26
CPU cooler 2 Titan DC low profile $15
Motherboard 2 DQ77KB $45
RAM 2 4GB DDR3 SODIMM $6
PSU 2 80W 19V DC PSU $20
Total $812
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How does the X9DRL-7F compare to the SuperMicro X9DRI-F? The Gigabyte board from the first anniversary build is sold out, but the X9DRI-F is offered as a substitute for $180.

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X9DRI doesn’t have onboard SAS and needs narrow ILM coolers.

I don’t like the X9DRI particularly.

Remember that the parts sellers don’t write the guides, they are trying to clear out inventory and make money.

Any reason to want/prefer an X9DRL-7F if I have a GA-7PESH2 on-hand, but have not yet finished the build?

Not unless you’re trying to use a smaller case.

The Supericro doesn’t have 10GbE onboard. I’d personally stick with the GA-7PESH2.

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Nah, this is going in a rack, so it’s Rosewill or bust.

I like the Phanteks Eclipse P600S I was looking at the thermaltake tower 900 but I might switch

Are CPU coolers going to be severely limited on the X9DRL-7F? It’s hard to tell from pictures.

Nope, AFAIK you should be able to fit Freezer 12 and Hyper212 evo. They are pretty close though.

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Awesome thanks, and I apologize if this is a stupid question but the main difference between the X9DRL-7F and the X9DRL-iF is the LSI 2208. Besides the ability to use a SAS breakout cable, is there any other benefits to having the LSI 2208 on-board? Such as performance for your drives?

I like that the X9DRL-iF has more SATA3’s and an additional PCIE.

Thoughts? more pci but narrow cooler :pensive:

I like the versatility of ATX, personally… and I can’t stand narrow ILM.

Friend of mine is looking to do the anniversary build but we were both very sad to see the PESH2 out of stock. Is that board available anywhere else? There is a PESH4 on ebay but no 10gbe.

He’d probably be fine with a single socket.

Pesh4 has narrow ILM coolers that are expensive or loud

In for this build. Can’t wait to see the full guide and build me my monster.

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