If you are a bit of an IT nerd and have tried to build a server before, you will know the mountain of a task that it can be when you start. Not to mention that the components can run up quite a cost and before you know it you are up to your neck in cables and out of pocket too. Here find the details of How to Make Server Builds cheaper.
That’s why we are here today to discuss ways in which you can save your cash and still get the server you want. What it all boils down to is using a personalised blend of components that are tailored to your needs.
You want to stay in a sweet spot of server performance to cost, keeping in mind that your usage may require specific components to be of better quality and performance than others.
Below, we will take a deeper look at the components and aspects of a server that impact performance and cost and how to reduce the cost when possible.
This is one of the critical components, as this is the central board of the server that all the other components will function through.
It will dictate the minimum and maximum amount of RAM that the server can utilize, the speed at which the RAM will run, the type of CPU and speed that can be achieved as well as control the number of peripherals that you can include, such as hard drives, graphics cards, etc.
Choosing a quality motherboard will help future-proof your server. Always look for a motherboard that can run all of your other components at their full performance.
An example would be using a bad motherboard with fast RAM, this can result in the RAM being bottlenecked and underperforming.
The same goes for every component, it will underperform if not provided with sufficient speed, power, data rates, etc. A motherboard does not have to cost an arm and a leg and you can find some top-quality deals.
CPU Type & Speed
The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brains of the server. It will dictate the performance. The speed of the CPU is measured in GHz and will function as the determining factor in how fast the server will get through a task.
Having an Intel or AMD CPU can have quite the effect on how certain functions will perform on the server but both are a good choice and will provide the desired result on a basic non-program/task-specific level.Generally speaking, the faster the CPU the higher the cost.
Choose a CPU according to the tasks you need the server to perform- so if you are only storing documents, then it’s a lot less important to have fast clock speeds but if you are using it to run complex tasks and operations, then look for faster clock speeds.
Cores per CPU
Having more cores means that there can be more activity happening at the same moment in time without negatively impacting the performance of the server.
You can save on this component and get a smaller core count per CPU with a higher clock speed if the server is going to be used by a small number of people.
If you have a large group of people accessing the server then getting a higher core count CPU with a high clock speed will ease the stress on the server.
A good thing to remember is to look for a CPU with a big memory cache and to ensure that it has hyperthreading (this essentially doubles performance).
Random Access Memory works as short-term memory in your server and it is responsible for being able to run the server at optimum speed. It is critical to the smooth function in everyday tasks performed by the server such as opening a program or video.
Newer generations of RAM (DDR5 and DDR4) will cost slightly more than older generations but you can get good performance to value as ram is not particularly expensive.
Newer generations will operate at a faster speed and be more reliable/compatible with other newer components. A tip here is to get one stick of RAM that is quite big or make sure that all your ram sticks are the same size.
This will dictate the amount of space available for storage on the server. Choosing a solid-state drive will be massively beneficial for the server and will make the overall functioning of the server faster.
Using more than one hard drive can be cost-effective and beneficial to performance. Choose a small and cheap SSD to run the OS and get a much bigger (1TB or more) hard drive for general storage.
Wifi or cables
Getting a wifi card can be a cost that you can easily avoid by simply using an ethernet cable to connect to the server.
Wifi connections can often be unstable and might cause some performance issues where cables will keep constant connection and performance. Only use wifi if necessary.
Fans and Radiators
Keeping a server cool will get the best and most consistent performance. Cooling fans provide airflow and expel heat while the radiator acts as a heat dispersion tool. Fans are cheap and can easily be installed to boost airflow.
Some other parts and components are needed in server builds, such as rack accessories or power supplies. Specialist retailers like ETB tech have all the parts required for all types of setups and will be able to assist you if you’re not sure what you need.
While it is certainly much easier to go to the shop or go online and buy all of these components in one go you might end up paying quite a lot more than you need to.
Using refurbished parts, like ones from ETB Tech, is a great way to save cash and get more performance than what you paid for.
These will generally come with a warranty or guarantee that protects you if there is a fault with the component or server you purchased.
If the application of the server is meant for many people to use simultaneously along with some complex programs, then the only way to save is to opt for refurbished components or wait for sales or discounts.
On the other hand, if the server is for home and there are few users as well as if the applications used are quite basic, then you have the option of choosing components on the cheaper and lower end without impacting on performance.