New server build – the parts list


  1. All prices exclude taxes and shipping, unless otherwise specified.
  2. When a price indicates delivered, it includes delivery and taxes.
  3. All prices are in USD.

Yes, it’s time to build a new server because my current backup server is running out of space. This server will be used for more than just backups. What else, I’m not sure, but the servers it will replace also does these tasks (sorted by my estimate order of total system load):

  1. Database backup regression testing (loads the daily database backup to ensure the backup is valid)
  2. Bacula regression testing for various combinations of Bacula 5.x & Bacula 7.x, and MySQL 5.1, 5.5, & 5.6, and PostgreSQL 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, & 9.4.
  3. Runs an instance of ElasticSearch gathering various trivial statistics
  4. the outgoing MTA for my home network
  5. DNS
  6. My Ansible instance

The decision process

I can make most coding and design decisions quickly. Hardware is … harder. I posted on and to I did a lot of asking on IRC and emailed a few people. Many suggestions were made. Finally, the selection is up to me.

The parts list

The case I have decided upon is a huge monster of a box. The Lian Li PC-D8000 holds 20 HDD and has plenty of ventilation capacity. I found it on eBay for $351.15 delivered (it should arrive this coming Friday).

The PSU is a EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 80+ GOLD, 850W ECO Mode Fully Modular for $139.99 delivered.

The motherboard is a Supermicro LGA2011/Intel C612 ATX Server X10SRA-F-O (NOTE: I was told by Supermicro that the -O suffix indicates a retail box). $318.00

The CPU is an Intel Xeon E5-1630 v3 Quad-Core Haswell Processor 3.7GHz 0GT for $369.99

For the OS, I bought two SSD in the form 2 x Intel 730 240 GB SSD for $144.89 each, total of $289.78 delivered.

I bought 64GB of RAM in 4 sticks of Samsung DDR4-2133 16GB/2Gx72 ECC/REG CL15 Server Memory at $153.99 per stick, total of $615.96

For cooling, I bought 7 x Cooler Master Blade Master 120 – Sleeve Bearing 120mm fans at $11.70 each, total of $81.90 delivered.

I have ordered two fan filters, which attach to the outside of the case. The frame filter uses an adhesive backing. The filter then attaches via a magnetic frame. I ordered the Standard Triple 120mm Radiator Dust Filter (by DEMCiflex) from OutletPC (link to their product page). Cost was $19.98 per filter, for a total cost of $47.91 including shipping.

Other parts

I have some Toshiba 3TB HDD which might form the basis of the storage in this system. I have been using about 18 of the Toshiba DT01ACA300 for over 2 years, in constant 24×7 use. They have been used for database dumps and loads, following by Bacula regression testing etc. They do not have a leisurely life.

I have not bought CPU cooling yet. This is intentional. I want to have all the parts and then measure to see what will fit.

When the time comes to buy more disk controllers, I will buy the M1015 which is an LSI card inside. They seem to be a staple for FreeNAS systems.

What’s next?

There will be photos of the assembly as I go along. This won’t be a quick build. It will take weeks to get everything collected and assembled. I plan to have superior cables, for both data and power.

If you have any suggestions for fan filters, data or power cables for SATA, please comment away.

Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

22 thoughts on “New server build – the parts list”

  1. Hmm… Since you bought PWM fans (4-pin) it’s going to be a bit trickier… Did you made a typo? 8 instead of 7? (3 on each side and two in the back?)

    I’d recommend you to make your own 6/8-pin PCIe (VGA) to 4-Molex cables, since you don’t have that many SATA/4-pin Molex connectors to begin with and to save the clutter….

    So, 8-pin PCIe (VGA) –> 4-pin Molex –> 4-Pin Molex to 3-pin fan splitter (very limited selection due to PWM fans (4-pin)) –> Fan resistors –> Fans

    3 * Your own cable (preferably one for each side of the case)
    3 * – Splitter (preferably one for each side)
    3 * – Fan resistor (very simple to do it yourself)

    As for the HDDs I’d probably measure since you probably need extensions (additionally to splitters) on one side since the PSU will be mounted on one side.

    I mentioned it earlier but this is most likely your best bet if you want to keep the noise down and still have good cooling performance given the space around the socket.

    As for the SFF cables (M1015), LSI/Avago and Adaptec have good cables that are usually pretty cheap…
    (Make sure you get “forward” cables)

      1. The M/B has 5 fan connections, all of which are PWM aware. They are rated at 2.5A. My fans are 0.36A max. I was planning to run the fans off there.

        The BIOS has these setting:

        Fan Speed Control Mode
        The Fan Speed Control Mode sets the speed of the system fans to either
        Full Speed (100% of PWM cycle), Heavy I/O or Standard speed (50%
        of PWM cycle, temperature controlled). Select Heavy I/O mode when IO
        devices are under heavy load.

  2. If you haven’t already ordered the parts, or can return them without expense, I would recommend going with the Supermicro X10SRH-CF as the LSI 3008 on it can be flashed to IT mode, thus enabling both JBOD and SATA Passthrough which are necessary for your zpool).

      1. No, the X10SRA-F-O does support SATA Passthrough through the C612 controller, but you mentioned buying the M1015 later, so I thought I’d recommend the X10SRH-CF since it comes with essentially the same hardware already attached to the motherboard.

          1. Ah, I see. Yeah, even with the motherboard I suggested you’d be two ports short if you end up filling your entire case.

  3. Be very careful with LSI 3*** controllers, ppl have been reporting unreliable results with those in FreeBSD and on Linux (there’s a forum thread about it on if you want to read more). You want to use AHCI if possible not passthrough and the IBM cards just works ™.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top