Ah there are days I wish I could take these home... on my mind since we threw in a new server and added 5 enclosures of hard drives to the SAN, alas tis all for work though. I'd never have to worry about heating my house again and I'd probably blow power the moment I hooked them up, not to mention I don't have any L6-30-amp plugs at home. I guess I should wish for a data center first.
Dell R815, quad AMD 6 cores, 256GB RAM, 4 15/K 146GB drives, PERC RAID controller, QLOGIC Dual FC 8GB HBA, and DRAC.
230TB (usable) Compellent SAN Series 40 controllers (2nd tower in) [170 disks total, 56 600GB 15/K SAS drives, 114 7/K 2TB drives]
I don't want to hop in the debate but as far Windows 7 OS is concerned when gauging disk space requirements the formula is this:
Current OS space requirements + 1 and 1/2 times RAM for the paging file + disk space for 3 years estimated patches + space need for upgrade (if you plan on upgrading to the next version of the OS.)
At least that is how you estimate needed space on a server. Windows 7 (C:\Windows directory) takes about 30GB of space, if you have say 8GB RAM then tack on another 12 GB for the page file, and the one that gets people the most is amount of space needed for Windows updates over time. I typically tack on another 100GB for good measure that covers that plus upgrade space IF that is the path that is wanted for the next version of the OS.
When you are buying new, as long as all the components are compatible with the motherboard you are in pretty good shape. You can't go wrong with Asus, I'm still running an email server on a high-end graphics box with an Asus motherboard in it from a failed .com I worked at from 1997 to 2001. It has been running for 12 years straight.
I'll definatly make sure the FSB is high enough for the other components to their work at the highest speed possible, thanks for the help.
So an i7 is always the best choice over an i5, hyperthreading support or not?
Off the cuff I would think so, I haven't followed the i5 or i7 series that closely since most of what I focus on are AMD or Intel Xeon server processors when ordering. I have an i7 series in my home PC and love it.
RAID 0 simply binds 2 drives for performance, I'm not sure you would want to even if you can. The SATA drive is significantly slower than the SSD, you wouldn't realize a performance improvement in a RAID 0 configuration. Your SSD's response time is in nanoseconds and the SATA drive is in milliseconds. The SSD is best used for the OS and other purposes where IOP performance is important such as a scratch disk, for example like Photoshop would make use of use when working on large images. The SATA drive is better for program files and other static files that don't change much. If your SSD is large enough, then some games that frequently load to new maps often might be best installed on the SSD drive to improve load times. Also I personally wouldn't use integrated RAID off the motherboard because it will take additional resources from the OS unless the motherboard has the equivalent of an external JBOD RAID card built into it. Typically an external card is a better choice because it will take care of RAID without penalty to the rest of the system.
If you can flip for an i7 processor over an i5 by all means do so, the graphics card won't care which processor you use on your motherboard, it has it's memory and CPU to offset the workload from the motherboard. The most important thing is to make sure the bus speed of the motherboard and all the peripheral components are all running at the max MHz of the motherboard. Everything that connects to the motherboard should at least be able to transmit and and receive data at the same speed, what is known as non-blocking performance.
In fact I would say the most important aspect the computer largely because the max bus speed of the motherboard determines whether or not you get to realize the full potential of whatever new shiny peripheral you put on it. For example, if your motherboards front side bus (FSB) speed is say 1300 MHz and you buy memory that is 1600 MHz, your memory is going to go 1300 MHz no matter how much you may want it to go 1600MHz. If you buy a graphic card that transmits data to and from your motherboard at say 1000 MHz then your graphic card is the bottle neck. All data going to and from your graphic card is going to go only 1000 MHz. The old saying goes, that fastest connection between any 2 points is the slowest link.
I looked to see what the FSB was on my Gigabyte motherboard and couldn't even find the FSB speed, everything is all wrapped into what it components supports probably to make it easier for people, but when you buy everything at once it's less of an issue to be worried about.