Natcoso9955

Hardware Requirements for Game server & NAS

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Hi guys,

 

So, I am looking to build an unraid box in the very near future, the problem is that when it comes to building PC's not that knowledgeable around what is good hardware and what works with what, etc.

I was looking for some pointers and maybe some examples of hardware specs for the following.

 

I want to run the following things:

1) Nas/ File shares

2) Probably plex for local transcoding (although I don't know if this is needed, I already have a libreelec HTPC which can run 1080/4k from nearly any file on USB)

3) 2 maybe 3 dedicated game servers

4) handful of dockers, couchpotato, torrent, not sure what else

 

So far I have not got any hardware lined up other than an 8TB drive that I got cheap the other week: (https://www.disctech.com/Toshiba-MG05ACA800E-8TB-SATA-Hard-Drive)

What I'm not sure about is how hardware intensive all that will be, I've looked around and haven't found anyone who has specifically provided their hardware list for this kind of build.

 

So if anyone can provide insight, if they have built something similar (or more high powered), or if they can provide some advice on working out what hardware I will need would be appreciated.

 

Thanks guys.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/3/2018 at 7:09 PM, Natcoso9955 said:

I want to run the following things:

1) Nas/ File shares

2) Probably plex for local transcoding (although I don't know if this is needed, I already have a libreelec HTPC which can run 1080/4k from nearly any file on USB)

3) 2 maybe 3 dedicated game servers

4) handful of dockers, couchpotato, torrent, not sure what else

 

Well, I see no one has responded so I will share with you my thoughts.

 

Your requirements 1, 2 and 4 would require no more than a moderate build around an Intel i5, i7 or low-end Xeon CPU or an AMD Ryzen.  You can see two such examples in my signature. Both happily deal with requirements 1, 2 and 4.  Both of my builds are Mini-ITX, but, you could easily find lots of Micro-ATX/ATX equivalent hardware that would give you more flexibility and expansion options.

 

Your requirement #3 is what elevates it into a higher-end hardware build.

 

What do you mean by "2-3 dedicated game servers?"  Do you mean you wish to replace 2-3 desktop machines with dedicated gaming VMs, or, do you mean you want to run something like a virtualized SteamOS?  Are these 2-3 gaming machines going to be in use simultaneously?  You could need a higher-end hardware build with something like dual Xeon CPUs and lots of RAM and PCie slots as this would require passing through GPUs, keyboards, mice, USB ports, sound cards, etc to your gaming virtual machines.

 

It will be easier for others here to give you more specific hardware recommendations if you can further define exactly what you want to accomplish with requirement #3.

 

 

Edited by Hoopster

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1 hour ago, Hoopster said:

What do you mean by "2-3 dedicated game servers?"

 

It will be easier for others here to give you more specific hardware recommendations if you can further define exactly what you want to accomplish with requirement #3.

 

 

Thanks for giving your opinion, so what I meant by point 3 was hosting 2-3 dedicated gaming servers. So no GPU stuff, purely dedicated servers.

 

1 would be the main which would probably have between 3-8 people connected.

1 would be mod test version of main, so only 1-2 people connected and not up all the time.

And then maybe a 3rd more basic one infrequent game play.

 

I haven't really looked at steamOS so I don't know if I would be aiming for that or possibly just running a Ubuntu VM for it.

 

This is where I'm trying to work out if it's just going to be more CPU power I need and ram or if it's going to be dual CPU etc.

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As Hoopster Has said requirement #3 upps things quite a bit.

 

I am currently building my first Unraid Server and it's turning into quite an adventure my requirments are almost exactly the same as yours

 

1) Nas/File shares for Houshold Data.

2) Plex transcoding to server up to 4/5 chromecasts at once.

3) 3 simultanious Windows 10 Gaming VM's capable of AAA titles 1 at up to 1440p, I have an Acer predator X34 :)

4) Dockers for Newsgroups, Torrents, Audo Streaming and Unifi mangement.

5) VM Test Lab/Sandpit  (this will be only used for my own personal learning when no one else is gaming)

 

So Far I have Installed Unraid and configured the dockers, and 1 VM for testing and am very happy with the performance, I still have some hardware to come and need to build a custom case for this (when you see the specs you'll understand why).

 

Specs are

 

M/Board - Asrock Rack ep2c602-4l/d16 (Dual Xeon board), I love this board may be old but is almost perfect for what I need, especially with the bifurcation support on 2 of the x16

CPU's - 2 x Xeon E5-2680 v2 (20 cores in total), currently cooled by cheap AIO's but will get waterblocks later

GPU's - 2 x Gigabyte 1070 WF OC V2 (will get Waterblocks thanks to Bykski making them) + 1 x MSI Gaming x 1050TI for the wife's vm she plays very few games.

Memory -  64GB ECC 8 x 8GB 1600 ( with Jonsbo RGB Heatsinks, cos)

PSU - 2 x EVGA Supernova 650 G+ (much cheaper than single 1300w and has more connectors)

Array Drives - 3 x 8TB Ironwolf (New), 6 x 4TB WD blue and Segate, and 1-2TB additionals I already had

Cache - Samsung EVO 500GB 2.5 SSD

VM Drive - ASUS Hyper quad x16, this will house only 1 x ADATA SX8200 480 NVME M.2 for now but will get more later as required. (Awating arrival)

Additional Cards - Sonnettech Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe Card, gives me 4 controller I can pass to VM's, then use Hubs for each VM.

                                 Intel PWLA8391GT PRO/1000 GT (Awaiting arrival), this nic will be used for UNRAID allowing me to pass the 4 onboard Intel GB NIC to the VM's

Additional stuff - 3 x Startech 4 Dive trayless drive bays, 4 x Shielded PCIe x16 Risers, 1 x PCI riser, 1 x PCIe 4 x Riser, Modded EVGA Powerlink adapters for the GPu's, bay Card reader/USB 3.0/USB 2.0 with USB C connector, various USB 3.0 hubs.

 

Based on my testing I can tick every box, I was origionally looking at Threadripper however was worried about stability/compatability and single CPU Intel really doesn't have the PCIe lanes, plus costs is also a big factor given that the Motherboard CPU's and RAM cost me ust over $1000 USD ~$1400 AUD, whereas 1950x at that time was $1300 AUD and RAM required both Kidneys to afford, I decided to jump on New old Stock board and took my chances, which have paid off, I have been building and benching while I wait for parts to arrive and, I am really enjoying this, I spent over a month working out the parts and still made some mistakes, for example I purchased a Startech PEXUSB3544V USB 3.0 card and could not get it to work, these cards here in AUS are really expensive, so bit of a costly mistake. 

 

Do lots of research and don't skimp on your base i.e. Motherboard, CPU & RAM, you can always add/upgrade the rest as you go.

 

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So based on that, since i dont need the gpu power for dedicated server hosting, im going to probably still need to look into dual cpu to support the cpu power of everything.
Ok, this is a good place for me to start then i guess. ill have to checkout that mobo you got and see whats similar,etc.

 

Happy to have other examples of people in similar situations, im sure there are some, just couldnt seem to find people specifically posting builds for this kind of thing on the forums.

 

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, Brianf said:

 

M/Board - Asrock Rack ep2c602-4l/d16 (Dual Xeon board), I love this board may be old but is almost perfect for what I need, especially with the bifurcation support on 2 of the x16

 

Interestingly that mobo is not that expensive now: https://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157350

Only $542 (normaly $609) from newegg.

 

If your saying that you have had no issues with that specific mobo, i may look at a build with it for that price.

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1 hour ago, Natcoso9955 said:

 

Interestingly that mobo is not that expensive now: https://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157350

Only $542 (normaly $609) from newegg.

 

If your saying that you have had no issues with that specific mobo, i may look at a build with it for that price.

 

Just be aware that four of the SATA3 ports on that board (and many other boards) use a Marvell controller.  With recent versions of unRAID, particularly with hardware passthough to VMs, Marvell controllers have caused numerous issues.  If you will have SSDs for cache or unassigned devices, make sure they are connected to the two SATA3 ports supported by the Intel chipset or an HBA controller in a PCIe slot.  For hard drives, of course, the eight SATA2 ports supported by the chipset will give you sufficient throughput.

 

There are many unRAID users quite happily using that and similar socket 2011 boards with Xeon E5-2670 CPUs and DDR3 RAM which is much less expensive than DDR4 right now.

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Just been looking around and throwing together a parts list, https://au.pcpartpicker.com/user/Natcoso9955/saved/7hjpGX

Its abit more costly than i had wanted, thinking that i may overtime put the extra drives in and just start with the 8TB i have, and maybe get the 4TB blue & cache, then look at getting the other drives over the next 6 months or so. still not sure if i want to go dual parity or not, hence having 3 8TB's in total.

 

Wondering if i could also start with a single cpu and then purchase a 2nd later on, and half the RAM, restricting my initial setup to 1 dedicated server, and no dockers. Also wont need plex initially, Media server can handle stuff for now.

 

Not sure how well that would go down, thoughts?

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Can I ask why would you passthrough the Marvell controller? I am using it fine within the array, setup shares and then map the drives to the VM's, that way I can use all 14 Sata port on the board with no issues.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Natcoso9955 said:

Interestingly that mobo is not that expensive now: https://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157350

Only $542 (normaly $609) from newegg.

You may be able to get it cheaper on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/ASRock-EP2C602-4L-D16-SSI-EEB-Server-Motherboard-Dual-LGA-2011-Intel-C602-DDR3-1/142892539545?epid=7003305837&hash=item21450f1e99%3Ag%3AFPQAAOSwxllbIiRt&_sacat=0&_nkw=Asrock+Rack+ep2c602-4l%2Fd16&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=m570.l1313, also remember this board has no USB 3.0 if you want that you will need a card.

Edited by Brianf

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21 hours ago, Brianf said:

This is already more than what newegg has it for ($560 including shipping), also cant seem to find many being sold on ebay, but yeah, worth keeping an eye out.

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3 hours ago, Natcoso9955 said:

2 X $180 = $360 vs $295 + maybe the import cost, saves a little bit, just wondering if its worth the savings or not.

remember these CPU's support quad channel and there are 2 CPU's so you want at least 8 sticks (4 per CPU) of memory to take advantage of the extra bandwidth

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