[Guide] "Lego" 8-bay, dual Xeon, ultra-quiet build (2019 updated)

This is not a replacement for the Anniversary build. This is an option in between the NK 1.0 and Anniversary build, more like the NK 2.0 and NK 3.0.

Build a sub-$300 ATX dual-CPU server with lots of room for expansion, and provide options for a variety of different build paths. Outline options for upgrades and expansion.

Main Components

Type Item Price Shipping
Motherboard Supermicro X8DTL-IF ATX Dual LGA1366 $95 $0
CPU Cooler 2 x Arctic Freezer 12 92mm PWM $44 $0
CPU Cooler Mounting Accessory 18-8 Stainless Steel Flat Washer, M4 Hole $4 $0
PSU EVGA 400N1 $35 $0
EPS Splitter 8 Pin to Dual 8 Pin EPS Splitter $5 $4
Case Cooler Master N400 $65 $0
Subtotal $248 $4
Total $252

CPU Options

Type Item Passmark Price Passmark / Dollar
CPU 2 x Intel E5620 4C/8T 8104 $6 1,447
CPU 2 x Intel L5630 4C/8T 7006 $8 878
CPU 2 x Intel L5638 6C/12T 8952 $17 533
CPU 2 x Intel L5640 6C/12T 9737 $30 325
CPU 2 x Intel X5667 4C/8T 10420 $20 522
CPU 2 x Intel X5670 6C/12T 12357 $34 365

RAM Options

Type Item Price Shipping
RAM 2 x 16GB DDR3 ECC REG $40 $0.00
RAM 4 x 16GB DDR3 ECC REG $80 $0.00
RAM 6 x 16GB DDR3 ECC REG $120 $0.00

Other parts to consider

Type Item Price OBO? 15% OBO price Shipping
SAS HBA LSI-9201-8i SAS2 (Add 8 SATA3/SAS2 ports) $22 YES seller accepts $20.00 $0.00
Cable 2-pack SAS breakout cable $12 $0.00
Fans Arctic 120mm PWM PST low-noise fan 5-pack, P12 $28 $0.00
Add-on card 2 port SATA 3 card for boot/cache SSD, max performance + TRIM support $14 $0.00
Cable 6 Pack SATA cable $8 $0.00
Cable 2 Pack Cable Matters Sata to 4x SATA Power Splitter $12 $0.00

Sample configurations

Type Item Price
“Base” config 2 x E5620, 2 x 16GB RAM $298
“Plus” config 2 x L5640, 2 x 16GB RAM $322
“Extra” config 2 x X5667, 4 x 16GB RAM $352
“Ultimate” config 2 x X5670, 6 x 16GB RAM $506



Thanks for the guide. Been a lurker for a while. I think this is the build that best serves my needs. I’m wondering if there is a smaller, flatter case like the Rosewells that would work with this build. I’d like to avoid a full tower if possible to just save space and look different from my main gaming PC. Thanks again!

Looking for a good cheap video card for this build. I read on Reddit that it is suggested to use RDP however I would like to also use this as a low-use PC (I plan on putting Win10 on it). Looking for suggestions for a video card (with HDMI) …thanks!

Any video card will work! It has a full size X16 PCI-E.

Something like an 8400GS can be picked up for around $15 on ebay.

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Got frustrated with craigslist and the lack of local used options - so picked up an X8DTL-iF instead! LEGO build, here I come

I’m working on gathering all the odds and ends, and have a question about the onboard SAS/SATA controller - will on the 6x SATA ports work with unRAID out of the box (ie JBOD compatible?) Or should I be picking up an LSI SATA card right away? I’m starting from scratch here, so my initial drive count is only going to be 3 or 4 max. That’ll grow quickly enough, but I’m looking for the shortest path to a live server; upgrades can come later.


Yep, the onboard will work just fine.

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Would I need a video card to encode with this machine? I’m slightly confused over if I’d need one or not.

Nope, it’s got VGA onboard for plugging in a monitor. You’d use the CPUs (which are pretty powerful, especially if you go for the dual 6 core) for transcoding (decode+encode).

Why do you think you need a GPU?

I don’t necessarily. Just one of those things I want to make sure of before I go further. This stuff is really over my head really. I’ve only built my one PC so far and of course this is next level enterprise stuff plus learning unRAID, docker, etc. Just want to make sure I know what I’m getting into.

On that note, where is the best place to post my planned build for someone much smarter than me to take a look at it? I think I have my idea pretty well set to review at this point almost.

That’s OK! We are all happy to help, even if you think you’re asking stupid questions. We’ve all been there before, even me.

You can post your in progress build into #technology:buy-curious!

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So THAT’S where I’ve been needing to go. Thanks!

Posted my potential build in the buy-curious forum, if anyone wants to take a look.

Starting to make this build and I’m curious what the washers are for. Mounting the CPU cooler?

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Yes. There will be a little gap that needs to be filled in with the washers.

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Just started to gather my parts for this build. Really like the ATX size of this. Looks like we need to find a case like the N400 for how great is was. I know I should have bought a few when it was on amazon. I hope it comes back.

Also if you want a IO shield

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Just wanted to let people know that these boards are starting to get sold out. The 95 dollor is now gone. Unless that seller has more the next best price shipped is 109.

Will those CPU fans come with thermal paste? If not, is there a paste you would recommend?


Yes, each CPU cooler comes with a mini tube of thermal paste.

can i expand this to 16 drives?

Put it in a Rosewill L4500, and it can do 15 drives. You can always add a DAS later.