Home Server hardware update advice

Ronski

New Member
Nov 9, 2020
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Broadstairs, UK
I have a WHS2011 system which was built 10 years ago, and the core hardware has not been updated in that time. Given it's on 24/7 I thought it was about time I upgraded the PSU, motherboard, CPU and ram. Hard drives have been replaced a couple of times over the years, and the old ones repurposed or sold on.

The main use of the server is as a central store for our media, documents and a TV server. I use Mediaportal as the back end for the TV Server, so Windows 10 Pro will be the OS of choice for the new build. Stable bit drive pool is used for file duplication where required and to create drive pools, and back up is to an off site NAS at my brothers house.


Existing hardware I'm aiming to replace:

  • Coolermaster RS-500-AMBA-D3 Silent Pro M 500W Modular Power Supply
  • Supermicro X8SIA-F motherboard
  • Core i3 540 CPU
  • 12GB DDR3 (only 8GB was usable due to restriction on WHS2011)
  • Windows Home Server 2011
  • SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD 500GB
  • SanDisk Ultra II 480GB

This hardware will be kept:

  • Akasa Infinti case
  • Supermicro drive rack CSE-M35TQB x 2
  • Highpoint Rocket Raid RR2720SGL x8 SAS/SATA3
  • Supermicro Dual Port 10GB SFP+ adapter - AOC-STGN-I2S
  • TBS 6985 Quad Satellite HD PCIe TV Tuner Card DVB-S2 - this may now actually be replaced with an external SiliconDust HDHomeRun box
  • WD40EFRX WD RED 4TB x 3
  • SN750 NVME 500GB x 2 Black Friday purchase for the updated server (not used in current build)

I'd require the following PCIe slots

  • TV Card requires x1 slot - this may well now be replaced with an external SiliconDust HDHomeRun box.
  • 10Gb NIC requires x8 slot (unless the new M/B has onboard 10Gbe)
  • Raid card requires x8 slot
The server is run headless, and I have found IPMI extremely useful over the years, so this is a must have feature for me.

I've short listed a couple of motherboards


Short listed PSU - be quiet! Pure Power 11 CM 400 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply

Memory will just be 2 sticks of 4GB of standard DDR4 at the appropriate speed.

Looking at the two above boards there is not much difference in cost, and the X12SCA-F looks like the better option.

What other options are there for motherboards with IPMI or similar that don't require any ongoing licence fee's, and have the required slots?

Am I likely to have any issues with PCIe slot bandwidth given the two NVME drives and 3 add in cards (doesn't look like they are shared on the X12SCA-F)?

Any mistakes I've made in my thinking?
 

kapone

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2015
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596
113
For this kind of usage, my go to motherboards are single socket ATX Supermicro boards. e.g. X9SRL-F (4x PCIe-e 3.0 x8 slots, 2x pci-e 3.0 x4 slots, 1x pci-e 2.0 x4) or an X10SRL-F with similar slots.

The X9SRL-F takes DDR3 which is cheap, and the CPUs are dirt cheap. The board itself may be a bit expensive (relatively speaking) as it is rather popular.

With a typical 2011 v2 quad core CPU and 4 sticks of RAM, it idles at <35w with a good PSU.
 

JSchuricht

Active Member
Apr 4, 2011
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I built a server for my father using a X11SCA-F and a i9 9900 a while back. The big thing that got me by surprise is the NVME does not support RAID through RST. Use case is similar with drivepool and MediaPortal 2 but I put 2019 server on the host and virtualized MP2, PFsense, DC and Blue Iris. If you end up with a CPU not supporting ECC, I can confirm the Gskill 64GB kit F4-2666C18D-64GVK works.

Another potential pitfall is the IPMI because it is a shared port. If your switch takes a while to enable the port due to STP you will need to change some settings or the IPMI will disconnect on reboot which interrupts remote media for a OS install.

That being said, I would look into the X12 because its newer.
 

Ronski

New Member
Nov 9, 2020
7
0
1
Broadstairs, UK
Thank you both for your input. Unless anybody suggests anything else I am currently leaning towards the X12.

Remote media isn't a problem with regards to O/S install as I can plug the a USB stick into the server, it's just not practical to plug a keyboard/mouse/monitor in where it is.

I had also noticed the lack of raid on the X11, but the X12 does support it, I am considering running the two NVME drives in raid 1, but not sure if that will just complicate things, or just use Drive Pool for duplication across the two drives for a simpler approach.