Question Building a new Windows Server. Help please !!!

Marky000

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Sep 23, 2013
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Guys,

I am building a server but thought I would ask here as hardware questions are pretty scarce over at the server forums.

Looking at using either a Xeon E-2336 (6 core) or the more expensive Xeon E-2378G (8 core) CPU. Problem is I just can't find server boards that go with them. My preference was Intel boards but they don't have any LGA1200 from what I can see. They only have LGA1151. I even called Intel support and they have been looking at answering me this question for last 2 weeks :)

Here are some boards I have found:
https://www.pbtech.com/au/product/MBDSPMX12101/Supermicro-C9Z490-PGW-Desktop-Board-ATX-LGA1200-4?qr=...

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/Workstation/Pro-WS-W480-ACE/

https://www.gigabyte.com/au/Enterprise/Server-Motherboard/MX33-BS0-rev-1x

Only the Gigabyte board is marketed as a server board. I'd rather go with an Intel motherboard and case combo if at all possible (although Gigabyte would probably be my next choice).

Why is there no Intel boards? 14nm Chip shortage? I don't understand why I can buy these CPUs in Australia now but I can count motherboard choices on one hand :(

What am I missing here?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Guys,

I am building a server but thought I would ask here as hardware questions are pretty scarce over at the server forums.

Looking at using either a Xeon E-2336 (6 core) or the more expensive Xeon E-2378G (8 core) CPU. Problem is I just can't find server boards that go with them. My preference was Intel boards but they don't have any LGA1200 from what I can see. They only have LGA1151. I even called Intel support and they have been looking at answering me this question for last 2 weeks :)

Here are some boards I have found:
https://www.pbtech.com/au/product/MBDSPMX12101/Supermicro-C9Z490-PGW-Desktop-Board-ATX-LGA1200-4?qr=...

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/Workstation/Pro-WS-W480-ACE/

https://www.gigabyte.com/au/Enterprise/Server-Motherboard/MX33-BS0-rev-1x

Only the Gigabyte board is marketed as a server board. I'd rather go with an Intel motherboard and case combo if at all possible (although Gigabyte would probably be my next choice).

Why is there no Intel boards? 14nm Chip shortage? I don't understand why I can buy these CPUs in Australia now but I can count motherboard choices on one hand :(

What am I missing here?
"Server" and "Workstation" only differ by the orientation and size of the case. So the Asus motherboard should be fine.

What do you believe defines a "server" ?
What do you plan to do with this server ?
What other components are you planning ?
 
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Marky000

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Sep 23, 2013
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"Server" and "Workstation" only differ by the orientation and size of the case. So the Asus motherboard should be fine.

What do you believe defines a "server" ?
What do you plan to do with this server ?
What other components are you planning ?
Well, I think the main distinction with server hardware (mobo + CPU combo) is ECC memory. I assume also hardware designed for 24/7 use.

For a 6 user medical surgery. Will be installing Windows Server Standard 2022 probably with 2 instances. So Hyper V with host as the Domain Controller and the guest as file server and RD session host.

Still need to find a server case.

Disks probably around 3 x WB Black 2 TB drives and possible 1 NVME drive for the OS. 2 of the mechanical drives in a RAID 1 mirror for data and 3rd mechanical drive to backup the RAID and OS etc.
 

Marky000

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"Server" and "Workstation" only differ by the orientation and size of the case.
Are you sure on this? Generally server boards have dual Ethernet, less graphics connectors (VGA DVI etc) and since they seem to cost at least twice those that are marketed as Desktop boards, I assume they are also more durable for 24/7 use?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Are you sure on this? Generally server boards have dual Ethernet, less graphics connectors (VGA DVI etc) and since they seem to cost at least twice those that are marketed as Desktop boards, I assume they are also more durable for 24/7 use?
Am I sure, yes. I purchased many of both types of devices during my career. I am very familar with the similarities and differences.
Most "workstations" from Dell or HP are similar to the servers. Why? Saves cost. The biggest difference is that servers fit in rack mounted cases and use risers for I/O cards. Workstations can use larger conventional cases and the I/O slots can be standard desktop layout.
There are not many C256 chipset motherboards out there. This article gives a few -- https://www.servethehome.com/four-new-asus-intel-xeon-e-2300-series-motherboards/
With supply chain problems and the newness of these motherboards you may want to choose a different CPU.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I did find this however: https://servers.asus.com/products/Servers/Server-Motherboards/P12R-E-10G-2T/

That would be compatible. It has 2 x 4th gen NVME. Thinking RAID1 (2 x NVME) for Server OS and RAID 1 (2 mechanical drives) for data.

Then either 16GB or 32GB of ECC RAM
I wouldn't focus so much on BLEEDING edge. Windows DC and file server won't benefit significantly from PCIe 4.0 NVMe.

Are you going to be the day-to-day administrator of this hardware? If not, I wouldn't do an NVMe RAID. Even if you are going to be the admin, I would recommend against it. To rebuild this RAID, you will have to power off the server. So you won't get 100% uptime that hot swap RAID tries to provide. Having the second NVMe and cloning the drive on a regular basis would allow the boot order to be swapped and the server restored without the additional complexity of RAID.
The bigger thing you need to have is dual, hot-swap power supplies. This allows one to be on UPS and one to be on mains power (preferably on a separate breaker). Power supply failure is much more likely than disk failure.
 

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