Server build help

Cazic21

New Member
Oct 12, 2016
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Hey guys looking for something that can I can use for a virtualization with hardware pass thru. I saw the intel 2600 with dual 2670 and 128gb from natex. This server is going to be a virtual lab / playground and host all of my media as well and some other projects.

Could you all recommend a rackmount case 4u preferred and psu and maybe a video card for hardware pass thru I know it will only operate at 8x .

Just trying to build the best bang for my buck and you guys are a lot more knowledgeable than I am.
 

Zathras

New Member
Sep 15, 2015
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Ottawa, Canada
What I and many others used for the Natex combo is the Intel P4000M series. While the selection isn't quite what it was in the spring, you can still find several chassis variants on eBay for very low prices from a seller called OEM XS (INTEL, SERVER ACCESSORIES items in OEMXS store on eBay!). They accept offers well below the asking price - don't expect to pay more than half what's listed. You can check the model numbers at Intel ARK, but I bought the P4216XXMHGR which has 16 hot swap 2.5" bays and dual 750W Platinum PSUs for $125 brand new. The nice thing is these cases were designed for those Intel boards so they work together nicely, however they are set up as tower cases by default and they don't include the parts needed to convert to 4U rack. Those are still available but quite expensive now that this particular seller is sold out.
 

Cazic21

New Member
Oct 12, 2016
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What I and many others used for the Natex combo is the Intel P4000M series. While the selection isn't quite what it was in the spring, you can still find several chassis variants on eBay for very low prices from a seller called OEM XS (INTEL, SERVER ACCESSORIES items in OEMXS store on eBay!). They accept offers well below the asking price - don't expect to pay more than half what's listed. You can check the model numbers at Intel ARK, but I bought the P4216XXMHGR which has 16 hot swap 2.5" bays and dual 750W Platinum PSUs for $125 brand new. The nice thing is these cases were designed for those Intel boards so they work together nicely, however they are set up as tower cases by default and they don't include the parts needed to convert to 4U rack. Those are still available but quite expensive now that this particular seller is sold out.

Thank you this is exactly what was hoping to find. Will 900 series Nvidia cards work at x8 for pass thru ?
 

Zathras

New Member
Sep 15, 2015
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Ottawa, Canada
Thank you this is exactly what was hoping to find. Will 900 series Nvidia cards work at x8 for pass thru ?
In terms of hardware compatibility, yes it will, but keep in mind that VMware tries to block consumer GeForce cards from working properly with passthrough. If you're using something KVM-based for your virtualization I believe it should be fine.
 

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
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In terms of hardware compatibility, yes it will, but keep in mind that VMware tries to block consumer GeForce cards from working properly with passthrough. If you're using something KVM-based for your virtualization I believe it should be fine.
Nvidia, not VMware, blocks GeForce cards from running in a VM. Nvidia blocks it on KVM out of the box too, but KVM has methods to fake a real computer so the driver is tricked, whereas AFAIK ESXi does not.
 

Cazic21

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Oct 12, 2016
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I'll probably use proxmox as I hear nothing but good things. So natex combo + that case linked above. I've got spare drives anything else you all recommend ? I am gonna grab 2 500 GB SSDs. Probably use a gtx 650 ti I have laying around.
 

Zathras

New Member
Sep 15, 2015
16
12
3
Ottawa, Canada
Nvidia, not VMware, blocks GeForce cards from running in a VM. Nvidia blocks it on KVM out of the box too, but KVM has methods to fake a real computer so the driver is tricked, whereas AFAIK ESXi does not.
You're quite right, I'd forgotten it's the Nvidia drivers themselves that refuse to work on a system they detect to be virtualised. KVM can fake being not-virtual so they'll actually install. Wish VMware had the same workaround.

I'll probably use proxmox as I hear nothing but good things. So natex combo + that case linked above. I've got spare drives anything else you all recommend ? I am gonna grab 2 500 GB SSDs. Probably use a gtx 650 ti I have laying around.
Things to note about that case, it's set up for Intel's own fanless heatsinks and air duct, which you can buy online but really you can use any coolers. The Noctua NH-U12DX i4 is popular and very quiet, but two of them can be expensive. Some people just use a pair of good old CM Hyper 212 EVOs. I used the Intel parts (2 AUPSRCBTP coolers and 1 FCPUPMAD air duct I got from Provantage) and they do nicely, but to be fair my usage is not too heavy. Noise is acceptable once properly configured.

The case with the 16 2.5" bays uses 4 backplanes, and includes a reverse-breakout cable to connect to the mobo's onboard ports, so you're good to go with 4 drives right away. To use more drives you'll need an HBA; I use a reflashed Dell H310 that was pretty cheap. Unfortunately, having so many empty 2.5" slots has led to me always looking for drive deals to fill them.
 
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Bill1950

Member
Aug 12, 2016
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For CPU cooling, I'm using a pair of SuperMicro SNK-P0050AP4 HSF's. They seem quiet and very effective. CPU temps rarely top 50C and recovery quickly. Good sources for these seem to be newegg and ebay. I can't speak to the "built-in" heat transfer material that comes stock on the SM HSF's. I'm just using some generic white silicon heat transfer compound that I've been using for years (rather than silver pixie dust or axle grease). Works fine.