Looking for suggestions on specific hardware for home lab -ultra quiet build

thecoffeeguy

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Mar 10, 2016
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As the title states, I need some suggestions on a build I will be doing for my home lab (work and home stuff).
It will be running ESXi with a bunch of VM's and containers.

The one unique challenge/requirement is that the build/server needs to be virtually silent. (long story, but super quiet is a must).

I was looking to maybe even buying something prebuilt, maybe eve something like a shuttle case.
I wanted to ask others and what their experience is. I am hoping to find something that has at least 64gb of memory, 2+ NIC's, couple slots for SSD's. I may end up buying a NAS for external storage, budget depending.

I also need to find a 12+ port switch that is super quiet as well (if possible)

Budget is about $1000, ball park.
Thanks

TCG
 

thecoffeeguy

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E3 v6 with 64GB RAM or XeonD if you want more pcie and ram too.
Both can be made completely silent in the right case.
Do you have any recommendations? Case wise? fan wise?
I ask because this server will be in my room and my wife says "it better be super quiet", so yea. (Happy Wife, happy life! :) )
 

T_Minus

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thecoffeeguy

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Wow..you gave me an idea.
I dug through some of my boxes (still unpacking after moving)
And found a nice similar case, padded, good fans, cooling, and quiet.

It has this mobo in it:

SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCL-F-O LGA 1155 Intel C202 Micro ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server Motherboard - Newegg.com

Here is the case:
Fractal Design Define Mini Black Micro ATX Silent PC Computer Case w/ USB 3.0 support and 2 x 120mm Fractal Design Silent Fans - Newegg.com

Older mobo, with 16gigs memory. CPU could use upgrading.

Or I had this thought.


I have this mobo in one server that I may be getting rid of (4U, kinda loud, not an option for my room...good CPU, 64gigs memory, (6) NIC's.
SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SRL-F Server Motherboard LGA 2011 R3 - Newegg.com


Would the better mobo fit into that case? I think it would (both ATX boards...fit in that case)

Thoughts on that? Basically swap boards out (maybe upgrade the PSU) and maybe a better CPU cooler.

Good idea?
Bad idea? :)

EDIT: Nope, wont fit. I just cracked it up, its a micro ATX.

So the next question would be, replace the 4U server with a nice fractal case, padded and quiet?
Or
Update the older mobo to better CPU (It has a pentium in it) and 32gigs memory.

suggestions?

Much appreciated!
 

T_Minus

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Case --> Motherboard Compatibility:Micro-ATX / Mini-ITX
X9 Motherboard -->Form Factor: Micro ATX

x10 Motherboard --> Form Factor: ATX


Will not work with the x10 Motherboard.
 
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thecoffeeguy

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Case --> Motherboard Compatibility:Micro-ATX / Mini-ITX
X9 Motherboard -->Form Factor: Micro ATX

x10 Motherboard --> Form Factor: ATX


Will not work with the x10 Motherboard.
yep, saw after i postd.. :(

But, this looks pretty good:

Define R4 Black Pearl

Supports ATX.

Or this one:
Define R5 Black

My only question is, with that x10 mobo, i should have enough room? (NO GPU, (2) SSD's, (1) quad NIC) and thats it...
 
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K D

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I like the Define C from Fractal design. Needed a smaller case and moved my desktop from an R5 to the C.
 

arglebargle

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I like the Define C from Fractal design. Needed a smaller case and moved my desktop from an R5 to the C.
My current desktop is a Define C and my little NAS box is in a node 304; both are great cases, loads of nice features and exceptionally quiet with Noctua fans and decent fan control. I hear my GPU more than anything else in the desktop and the NAS is basically silent aside from the hard drives.

@thecoffeeguy You could pick up a Brocade ICX6450-24 and replace the fan with something quiet for ~$150(+$7 fan) as well, that's what I've got under my desk. The switch isn't perfectly silent but it's pretty quiet for an enterprise switch with 4x10Gb and 24 1Gb ports.
 

thecoffeeguy

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Thanks guys. I am going to go with that Define C.
Much appreciated!

EDIT: One more question for you guys. What CPU cooler would you recommend to go with this case? Dont want something ginarmous, but somethign cool and quiet.
THX!
 
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arglebargle

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Thanks guys. I am going to go with that Define C.
Much appreciated!

EDIT: One more question for you guys. What CPU cooler would you recommend to go with this case? Dont want something ginarmous, but somethign cool and quiet.
THX!
Honestly, I just use the stock Intel box cooler for every non OC'd non gaming machine these days. They're actually pretty capable and I wouldn't expect to need anything else unless you're throwing a lot of voltage at the chip.
 
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thecoffeeguy

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How much CPU and RAM do you need?
Sorry for the late reply.

Single socket CPU should be ok and my current mobo can support up to 256gb of memory. I would like to keep options open if i want to replace the mobo. I do not think i would need to go dual sockets, just lots of memory. :)

Thanks for the help