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

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Special thank-you to all of the moderators, trustworthy, and Patreon supporters who provide valuable feedback and put up with me on a daily basis.


Objective & Overview

Create the end-all guide for LGA2011. Update the Anniversary NSFW build to include many more options and avenues, including but not limited to: vendor direct deals, pre-built systems, add-in cards, storage, and sample builds.

Following in the wake of the very popular NAS Killer 4.0 build guide, utilize a similar format to flesh out viable LGA2011 options.

Every section will have many recommendations. It’s up to you to choose what’s right for you!


[Table of Contents - clickable links]

  1. Objective/Overview
    1. Overview Video
    2. Before you get started…
    3. Suggested Research & Planning Order
  2. Case/Chassis Options
    1. Tower Cases
    2. Rackmount Chassis
  3. Motherboard Options
    1. Dual CPU Motherboards
    2. Single CPU Motherboards
    3. X79 Motherboards
  4. CPU Options
    1. Single CPU
    2. Dual CPU
  5. CPU Cooling Options
    1. Narrow ILM
    2. Square ILM
    3. Liquid Cooling
  6. RAM Options
    1. DDR3 ECC RDIMM
    2. DDR3 ECC/non-ECC UDIMM
  7. Power Supply Options
  8. Add-in Cards
  9. Other Parts
  10. SSD Options
  11. HDD Options
    1. Shuckable Drives
    2. SATA Drives
    3. SAS Drives
  12. Prebuilt Options
  13. Supplemental Guides and Resources
  14. Vendor Deals
  15. Sample Builds

[Overview Video]

Coming soon…


[Before you get started…]

  1. Verify component compatibility via the documentation provided by the manufacturer. Do not use ebay listing descriptions, Amazon reviews, or otherwise!
    When in doubt, ask here on the forum or on the discord!
  1. Plan out your build thoroughly - Google Sheets helps a lot with this.
    PC Parts Picker will not help you with a server build.
  1. Always purchase from ebay sellers with > 98% positive feedback in the last 6 months.
  1. Always use the “best offer” feature when available. Auctions rarely produce good deals, but best offers on buy it now items can be crazy low! Aim for 15-20% off of the list price.
  1. Check the #marketplace:vendor-direct-deals and #marketplace:pawn-shop-wts sections of the forum! Vendors and users like you are offering up their wares, no harm in seeing if they have what you need!
  1. Actually read the guide! :elon1: I’ve done my best to be thorough. If there’s something I didn’t address or something that needs to be fixed, please comment on this thread.

[Suggested Research & Planning Order]

8 Likes

[Case / Chassis Options]

Tower Cases

Below are some of my picks. Even farther below is a table with all of the recommendations.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro - This is the standard dual-Xeon case. It fits the huge EE-ATX motherboards, has a decent amount of room for storage, is well built, and affordable. It’s not perfect at any one thing, but it’s good at everything.
AC

Phanteks Eclipse P600S - It supports up to 10x3.5" HDD and 3x2.5" SSD (you may have to buy additional HDD cages). You can also buy a Mini-ITX mounting bracket to fit an entire system in the top of the case… It would be a cool place to fit a #builds:mini-pfsense.

Anidees AI Crystal XL V3 - You’d have to be a little crazy if you buy this. It’s expensive and flashy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable. Forget any premise of subtlety - ostentatious is the only way to describe it.

Silverstone FT-04 - It’s an expensive, but well designed German tank. The exact opposite of the AI Crystal XL V3.
AC

Brand Model (link) Style Form Factor Support 3.5" (Native + Non-native) Max Fan Config Price per drive bay Expected Price
Anidees AI Crystal XL V3 Full Tower All 15 13x120mm $18.00 $270.00
Antec P101 Silent Mid Tower <=ATX 8 + 1 4x140mm/120mm $14.44 $130.00
Cooler Master N400 Mid Tower <= ATX 8 + 2 8x120mm $6.50 $65.00
Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower <= ATX 6 + 4 6x120mm or 4x120mm + 1x200mm $7.00 $70.00
Cooler Master Elite 350 (with PSU) Mid Tower <= ATX 6 + 4 2x120mm, 1x80mm $8.50 $85.00
Cooler Master Cosmos II RC-1200-KKN2 Full Tower <= SSI-EEB 11 + 2 13x120mm $14.62 $190.00
Fractal Design XL R2 Full Tower <= SSI-EEB 8 + 4 6x140mm/120mm $11.25 $135.00
Fractal Design R6 Mid Tower <= ATX 6 + 5 9x140mm/120mm $11.45 $126.00
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower <= SSI-EEB+* 6 + 3 10x120mm $11.11 $100.00
Phanteks Enthoo Pro TG Full Tower <=SSI-EEB+* 6 + 3 10x120mm $12.22 $110.00
Phanteks Enthoo Pro M RGB TG Mid Tower <= ATX 2 + 6 7x120mm $12.50 $100.00
Phanteks Eclipse P400S Mid Tower <= ATX 2 + 4 6x120mm $13.33 $80.00
Phanteks Enthoo Pro RGB TG Full Tower <=SSI-EEB+* 6 + 3 10x120mm $14.44 $130.00
Phanteks P600S Full Tower <=ATX 4 + 6 7x120mm or 6x140mm $15.00 $150.00
Phanteks Enthoo Luxe TG Full Tower <=SSI-EEB+* 6 + 3 10x120mm $20.00 $180.00
Rosewill Rise Glow Full Tower <= SSI-EEB 5 + 2 6x140mm/120mm $15.71 $110.00
Silverstone KL04B Mid Tower <=ATX 10 + 3 6x120mm $8.31 $108.00
Silverstone SST-CS380B Mid Tower <= ATX 8 hotswap + 2 3x120mm $17.00 $170.00
Silverstone GD07B HTPC <= SSI-EEB 5 + 4 3x120mm, 2x80mm $21.11 $190.00
Silverstone FT-04 Full Tower <= SSI-EEB 7 + 2 2x180mm, 1x120mm $25.56 $230.00

Rackmount Chassis

When in doubt, buy the Rosewill RSV-L4500.

Brand Model (link) Style Form Factor Support 3.5" (Native + Non-native) Max Fan Config SAS Version Notes Price per drive bay Expected Price
Rosewill RSV-L4500 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB 15 6x120mm, 2x80mm $9.00 $135.00
Rosewill RSV-R4000 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB 8 + 3 2x120mm, 2x80mm $9.09 $100.00
Rosewill RSV-R4100 4U Rackmount (short depth) <= ATX 6 + 2 1x120mm, 2x80mm $9.38 $75.00
Rosewill RSV-L4000 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB 8 + 3 5x120mm, 2x80mm $10.64 $117.00
Rosewill RSV-L4412 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB 12 hotswap 3x120mm, 2x80mm $20.83 $250.00
Supermicro CSE-826A 2U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 12 hotswap 3x80mm Passthrough SAS Direct 8087 $20.83 $250.00
Supermicro CSE-825TQ 2U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 12 hotswap 3x80mm Passthrough SAS Direct Breakout $12.50 $150.00
Supermicro CSE-SAS2-826EL1 2U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 12 hotswap 3x80mm SAS2 SAS 8087 $25.00 $300.00
Supermicro CSE-836A 3U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 16 hotswap 5x80mm Passthrough SAS Direct 8087 ??? ???
Supermicro CSE-836TQ 3U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 16 hotswap 5x80mm Passthrough SAS Direct Breakout $15.63 $250.00
Supermicro CSE-SAS2-836EL1 3U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 16 hotswap 5x80mm SAS2 SAS 8087 $12.50 $200.00
Supermicro CSE-846A 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 24 hotswap 5x80mm Passthrough SAS Direct 8087 ??? ???
Supermicro CSE-846TQ 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 24 hotswap 5x80mm Passthrough SAS Direct Breakout ??? ???
Supermicro CSE-SAS2-846EL1 4U Rackmount <= SSI-EEB+ 24 hotswap 5x80mm SAS2 SAS 8087 $12.50 $300.00
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[Motherboard options] (click for full spreadsheet)

Credit to @Riggi for doing 99% of the legwork with the motherboard research!

This is the area where you will have to do the most research. The foundations for a long lasting build starts with a good motherboard. This is the best way to future-proof.

Important - Not all hardware revisions support v2 CPUs.

The hardware revision is independent of the BIOS version. BOTH must be the correct version to allow for V2 CPU compatibility. If the hardware revision allows for it, it might be a good idea to purchase a cheap ($5) V1 CPU just in case you need to flash the BIOS.

Verify with the vendor that the motherboard supports V2 CPUs before purchasing. Generally, this applies only to server motherboards. X79 motherboards are not affected unless specified by the seller.

Dual CPU Motherboards

I’m not going to give a specific recommendation here, as a lot of the models are very close in specs and pricing. However, I do have a few notes.

  1. Given the choice of onboard LSI SAS or 10Gb networking, I’d choose 10Gb every time. It’s much cheaper to add LSI SAS than it is to add 10Gb.
  2. Personally, I’d probably avoid the SSI-EEB+/EE-ATX motherboards. You don’t gain any PCI-E expansion, typically you only gain more DIMM slots for RAM. You also severely limit your case/chassis options. 32GB and 64GB sticks of RAM have come down in price a lot, so it won’t be expensive to have a lot of RAM.
Brand (specs) Model (link) Form Factor Socket Mounting DIMM Slots PCI-E NIC SAS Onboard Notes Expected Price
Supermicro X9DRD-7LN4F SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 6 4 LSI 2308 ----- $200.00
Supermicro X9DRD-7LN4F-JBOD SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 6 4 LSI 2308 Preflashed IT $185.00
Supermicro X9DRD-EF SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 6 2 ----- ----- $185.00
Supermicro X9DRD-iF SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 6 2 ----- ----- $200.00
Supermicro X9DRi-F SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 6 2 ----- ----- $185.00
Supermicro X9DRH-iTF SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 7 2 x 10Gb ----- ----- $200.00
Supermicro X9DRH-7F SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 7 2 LSI 2208 ----- $175.00
Supermicro X9DRH-iF SSI-EEB / E-ATX Narrow 16 7 2 ----- ----- $140.00
Supermicro X9DRD-LF SSI-EEB / E-ATX (short) Narrow 8 1 2 ----- Short compute mobo $72.00
Supermicro X9DR3-LN4F+ SSI-EEB+ / EE-ATX Square 24 6 4 C606 Need R 1.20 for V2 processor $200.00
Supermicro X9DRi-LN4F+ SSI-EEB+ / EE-ATX Square 24 6 4 ----- Need R 1.20 for V2 processor $200.00
Supermicro X9DRE-TF+ SSI-EEB+ / EE-ATX Square 24 6 2 x 10Gb ----- ----- $240.00
Supermicro X9DRL-iF SSI-CEB / ATX Square 8 5 2 ----- ----- $200.00
Supermicro X9DRL-7F SSI-CEB / ATX Square 8 5 2 LSI 2208 ----- $300.00

Single CPU Motherboards

Generally speaking, single socket builds are not as cost effective as their dual-socket counterparts. I find them harder and harder to recommend as the prices of dual-socket motherboards continue to drop. That said, occasionally you can find a good deal.
If I were to recommend a board, I’d go for the Supermicro X9SRA.

Brand (specs) Model (link) Form Factor Socket Mounting DIMM Slots PCI-E NIC SAS Onboard Notes Expected Price
Supermicro X9SRA SSI-CEB / ATX Square 8 4 2 ----- Audio, USB 3.0 $130.00
Supermicro X9SRi-F SSI-CEB / ATX Square 8 3 2 ----- ----- $160.00
Supermicro X9SRH-7F SSI-CEB / ATX Square 8 3 2 LSI 2308 ----- $190.00
Supermicro X9SRL-F SSI-CEB / ATX Narrow 8 6 2 ----- ----- $250.00

X79 Motherboards

X79 motherboards generally support E5-1600 V1/V2 and E5-2600 V1/V2 processors, as well as consumer i7 processors. Overclocking is supported with E5-1600 V1/V2 and i7 CPUs.
DDR3 ECC REG is not supported. Non-ECC UDIMM is required.
As always, please refer to manufacturer specifications for complete information.

Brand (specs) Model (link) Form Factor Socket Mounting DIMM Slots PCI-E NIC SAS Onboard Notes Expected Price
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme E-ATX Square 8 5 1 ----- ----- $240.00
ASUS Rampage IV Formula ATX Square 4 6 1 ----- ----- $200.00
ASUS P9X79 WS/IPMI E-ATX Square 8 6 2 ----- IPMI $250.00
ASUS P9X79 LE E-ATX Square 8 5 1 ----- ----- $170.00
ASUS P9X79 PRO ATX Square 8 6 1 ----- ----- $190.00
ASUS Sabertooth X79 ATX Square 8 5 1 ----- ----- $180.00
Intel DX79SI E-ATX Square 8 6 2 ----- ----- $200.00
Intel DX79SR E-ATX Square 8 6 2 ----- ----- $220.00
Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 E-ATX Square 4 5 1 ----- ----- $160.00
HP OEM IPIWB-PB Micro-ATX Square 4 4 1 ----- ----- $100.00
1 Like

[CPU Options] (click for full spreadsheet)

Due to a much more extensive list of CPU options than other builds, recommendations will be made - but ultimately it’s up to you to choose what’s right for your build. Take a look at the CPU sheet above as well as the advice below.

Single CPU

Typically, you can use both E5-1600 and E5-2600 v1/v2 processors with single socket motherboards. With Intel X79 chipsets, you can overclock the CPU if you use E5-1600 v1/v2 which have an unlocked multiplier. Personally, I’ve been able to get a stable 4.6GHz overclock on all 6 cores of an E5-1650 v2. This is especially handy for gaming and single threaded game servers and applications. Keep in mind that X79 chipset motherboards are generally more expensive, less available, and require more expensive and lower capacity DDR3 non-ECC UDIMM.

Other single socket motherboard options generally are not very cost effective, but sometimes you can snag a deal. For the most part, single socket 2011 is only affordable through prebuilt systems.

Value recommendation: E5-1620 v2 - $30.00
The E5-1620 v2 is only $5 more than the E5-1620 v1, but it has higher clock speed and slightly better power efficiency. It’s equivalent to an i7 with 4C/8T, and can be had for only $30. Stock, it has just under 10k passmark, overclocked you’re looking at least at 4.5GHz with around 14k passmark. (overclocking requires an X79 motherboard)

Overclocking recommendation: E5-1650 v2 - $85.00
The E5-1650 v2 is a great all around processor. 6C/12T is a lot with 3.9GHz turbo speed, reaching around 13k passmark on stock clocks. I’ve personally overclocked one of these to 4.6GHz with just air cooling. I’m sure it’s capable of more with a better motherboard and better cooling. It’s well under $100 and provides great single threaded performance with 50% more cores/threads than your average i7.

Jack of all trades… but master of none: E5-2680 or E5-2650 v2 - $55.00
Both are 8C/16T, around 12.5k passmark, and have similar base/turbo clock speeds. These are a great mix of core count and single core performance, but don’t top out in either category. Personally I’d buy whichever is cheapest, perhaps favoring the E5-2650 v2 slightly for increased IPC.

Multi-threaded recommendation: E5-2695 v2 - $170.00
12C/24T with 16k passmark in a single processor. Maximum clock speed isn’t particularly high, but the sheer amount of cores makes up for it somewhat. If you plan on running a lot of VMs/dockers, this is the way to go.

Dual CPU

Dual socket 2011 doesn’t allow for overclocking and requires the use of E5-2600 v1/v2 processors (if you’re using two). Some dual socket boards allow for the use of a single E5-1600 v1/v2 processor, but… why would you do that? Unless you have one already, there’s no reason to purchase such a configuration. It’s likely you’d move to dual CPU in the future anyway, so you might as well get an appropriate CPU.

Extreme budget recommendation: 2 x E5-2620 v2 - $16.00/pair
I’d really only recommend these if you are trying to shave off as much money as possible from your build. That said, sometimes you can get a pair of these for $12 after OBO…

Value recommendation: 2 x E5-2640 - $26.00/pair or 2 x E5-2630 v2 - $40.00/pair
A pair of these CPUs probably costs less than the RAM that you’re using, while offering 14.7k-16k
passmark and a combined 12C/24T. They’re great.
Most people should start one of these options and upgrade from here.

Mid range recommendation: 2 x E5-2667 - $78.00/pair or 2 x E5-2665 - $78.00/pair
Go for E5-2667 if you favor clock speed and fewer cores, go for E5-2665 for more cores and slower clock speeds. Both have around 17k passmark and are outstanding processors. You can’t go wrong with either one!

Top of the line (reasonable) recommendation: 2 x E5-2650 v2 - $120.00/pair
These have a good combination of cores (8C/16T each) and clock speed (2.6Ghz Base /3.4GHz Turbo). If you’re looking to upgrade past these, you’ll be spending quite a bit more, but there are options out there.

To the moon…
Other options for more cores (up to 12C/24T) or higher clock speeds (up to 4.0GHz) are available, but they come at a cost. Just evaluate your options and needs carefully before you start to consider moving past E5-2650 v2.

3 Likes

[CPU Cooling Options]

Narrow ILM

Most of the recommended boards have Narrow ILM. This is an unfortunate consequence of the Square ILM boards being in high demand and carrying a higher price tag.

You can use one (or two) of these air coolers, but they go from [cheap + loud] to [expensive + quiet], with no real [cheap + quiet] option.

Brand Model (link) Rated noise (dBa) Rated TDP Fan Size Expected Price
Dynatron R24 2U 47.5 160W ??? $35.00
Supermicro SNK-P0050AP4 38 160W 92mm $39.00
Supermicro SNK-P0050AP4 + F9 PWM Replacement Fan 18 160W 92mm $45.00
Noctua NH-D9DX i4 3U 22.8 175W 92mm $55.00
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Arcitc F9 PWM PST 92mm replacement fan 18 ----- 92mm $6.00

Out of the Narrow ILM options listed above, I would personally go for the Supermicros and replace the fan at a later time if you find it to be too loud.

Square ILM

Note: 4U rackmount chassis have restricted CPU cooler height, shorter than most tower chassis.
Rosewill L4500 max height = 158mm
Supermicro 4U max height = ???mm

Brand Model (link) Rated Noise (dBa) Rated TDP Height Fan size Expected Price
Deepcool Gammax 400 30 130W 154.5mm 120mm $20.00
Arctic Freezer 12 23.5 130W 130mm 92mm $24.00
Arctic Freezer 12 CO 24.5 130W 130mm 92mm $30.00
Arctic Freezer 33 23.5 150W 150mm 120mm $30.00
Arctic Freezer 34 23.5 150W 157mm 120mm $32.00
Arctic Freezer 34 CO 23.5 150W 157mm 120mm $32.00
Arctic Freezer 34 eSports DUO 27 210W 157mm 120mm $40.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo 36 150W 159mm 120mm $35.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 LED 31 150W 160mm 120mm $33.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black 26 150W 159mm 120mm $37.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black LED 26 150W 159mm 120mm $39.00
Noctua NH-D9DX i4 3U 22.8 175W 110mm 92mm $55.00
Noctua NH-L9x65 23.6 140W 65mm 92mm $50.00
Noctua NH-U12DX i4 22.4 200W 159mm 120mm $65.00
Intel BXSTS200C 2U 40+ 130W 65mm 60mm $35.00
Raijintek Aidos 29 110W 136mm 92mm $20.00
Raijintek Themis 24 140W 158mm 120mm $25.00

Liquid Cooling

Below… there’s another option. Dual 120mm all-in-one water coolers. There’s quite a few models that you can use, and they aren’t all covered here. You can pick whatever cooler you want, so long as it uses standard Asetek mounting. (all of the ones listed are Asetek) You must also buy an Asetek Narrow ILM mounting bracket for each of the AIOs.

Dual 120mm AIOs can be mounted in the Rosewill L4500, Phanteks Enthoo Pro, Phanteks P600, Cooler Master N400, and more. Make sure the case has enough clearance to mount two. If you’re not sure, ask below before buying.

It doesn’t matter what CPU bracket the AIO comes with, we will be replacing them with a Narrow ILM bracket below. If you need a Square ILM bracket, that is also listed at the bottom of the table. (Most come with a Square ILM bracket, just double check)

Some of the AIO coolers have shorter tubing than others. Keep in mind where you plan to mount the CPU coolers and where the CPU socket locations are in relation to the mounting.

Brand Model (link) Fan Size Rad Size Notes Expected Price
Asetek 550 120mm Thin $23.00
Asetek 570LC OEM Gen4 120mm Thick $40.00
Asetek 550LC 120mm Thin $50.00
Asetek 570LC 120mm Thick $50.00
Alienware/Dell Aurora R4 120mm Thin Short tubing $28.00
Alienware/Dell Area 51 R1/R2 120mm Thick Short tubing $32.00
HP 855712-001 120mm Thin Red $70.00
Antec Kuhler H20 620 120mm Thin $30.00
Antec Kuhler H20 920 120mm Thick $50.00
Corsair H50 120mm Thin $50.00
Corsair H55 120mm Thin $50.00
Corsair H80i V2 120mm Thick $70.00
EVGA CL11-V1 120mm Thin Square ILM only $54.00
Zalman LQ-320 120mm Extra Thick $50.00
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer 120mm Thin $66.00
Intel BXTS13X 120mm Thin $83.00
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Asetek 2011 Narrow ILM Bracket ----- ----- $8.00
Generic 2011 Square ILM Bracket ----- ----- $11.00

[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
1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.