Pedro Rainho

The important thing is never to stop questioning
posts - 118, comments - 55, trackbacks - 19

Build home server from scratch

During last month I had build a home server from scratch, of course I could buy one already build. But after careful exam of most home server sold out there, I notice that:

  • Lack of ram, most of then only have 512mb or the best is 1gb. If i want for instance have a VM running on, that might be a problem
  • All home server I’ve saw, most uses the intel atom CPU with just one core.
  • Power consuming
  • Expansion. I want a home server that I can add disks, if I want, let me just say that my option is not the best but I have 2 sata and 1 ide. So to me it’s enough.
  • Silence, I want a home server silent. My choices were not very good at the beginning but now it’s silent enough.
  • Network card, I wanted to be a gigabit Ethernet card.
  • Price. I didn’t want to spent too much money.

So what were my choices:

First, the case. I choose the the Apex mi-008


It’s a small case, and silent. You can check the review here.

Second, the board. For the board I had choose the Intel D945GCLF2D, it’s a mini-itx board very small, but it had a Intel dual core Atom CPU, each core has hyper-thread. It has 2 sata, 1 ide, 8 usb, vga, 1 gigabit Ethernet connection. More info check here.

This board has a big big problem… do you see that small cooler on the board. That is definitely the loudest GPU cooler I’ve ever saw. Believe me when I say it’s loud.

Third , the ram, I have a 2gb ram ddr2.

Finally the disk is a WDC 640gb.

Put all of this together and you have a home server.

Now you can choose either install some linux distribution like freenas, or Windows home server, or something else. I decided to buy a license of home server.

All of these have some pros and cons.

So the pros are:

  • It’s a fast home server. Faster than most home servers sold out there with a fraction of the price. By the way I’ve only spent 230€ here in Portugal for the hardware, plus a license of WHS bought on Amazon.
  • I have dual core CPU with 2 gb of ram.
  • The CPU is fan less, so it’s silent


  • Definitely the worst thing in this home server is the GPU cooler

So, after every thing is built I start making changes.

  1. I’ve turned of the GPU cooler, this is not a very smart idea but after I measure temperatures, in speedfan, with fan and without fan, differences were not very different.
  2. Since I’ve turned off the cooler I bought a 120mm very silent fun from Noctua and installed on the side. This way I’m able to cool CPU and a GPU.
  3. Very soon I will buy a silent GPU cooler to replace that “thing”

So my current values of temperatures, on idle, are:

Ambient 37ºC
Remote 1 49ºC
Remote 2 47ºC
HD0 38ºC
Core 1 8ºC
Core 2 16ºC
Core 3 8ºC
Core 4 16ºC


My opinion, is that, if you have time a patience you can build a better server that those sold out there…

Print | posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 11:47 AM


No comments posted yet.

Post Comment


Powered by: