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Old server as a work station computer?

gryffinwings
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So I have acquired a few servers for dirt cheap, 2 of them I am already working on, each server I initially paid 5 USD for:

 

Here's my list:

HP DL360 G7 - Barebones - Just installed 2 - Intel E5645 CPUs (20 USD)

HP DL360 G6 - Barebones

HP ML115 G5 - Planning on using as a NAS, waiting for 8 GB DDR2 ECC RAM - then hard drives.

 

So essentially I'm basically building all this stuff on a budget, parts are pretty cheap for what I need so no big deal there. The HP DL360 G7 is what I would like to focus on. What I want to do is potentially install Windows 10 Professional, unless there is a compelling reason to install a server version of Windows I will use Windows 10. I would potentially install 32GBs of DDR3 ECC Registered RAM and also a Nvidia Quadro K4000 (HP has a kit that is cheap on eBay, I have the part number). I know there are probably better ways to do this, and the noise might be a bit high compared to other options, but the power will be there. Also this is a project for my tinkering and to have a dedicated machine for video so I don't have to put everything on my primary desktop which is a Dell T3500 with a Xeon X5675.

 

Suggestions are welcome. Please keep in mind this is a project for me.

 

So will installing Windows 10 Pro work?

 

I paid $40 USD for all of this.

45228769_584186282037088_5140813362090737664_n.jpg

Dell Precision T3500 | Intel Xeon X5675 | 8GB DDR3 | EVGA Nvidia GTX 980 SC ACX 2.0 | Sandisk SSD Plus 120GB | 1TB WD Caviar Black | Corsair TX-650 PSU

Dell Optiplex 745 | Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 | 8GB DDR2 | 320GB SE16 7200RPM HDD (Linux Ubuntu)

HP DL360 G7 | Dual Intel Xeon E5645 | 8GB DDR3 REG ECC | HP 500GB HDD |(Build in Progress)

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An x86-64 PC is an x86-64 PC, you can generally put any OS on any PC.

 

Windows is not particularly picky, Linux is not either.

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2 minutes ago, KarathKasun said:

An x86-64 PC is an x86-64 PC, you can generally put any OS on any PC.

 

Windows is not particularly picky, Linux is not either.

 

That's what I was thinking, now is there any particular reason I should pick Windows Server over Windows 10? Is there any benefits for it?

Dell Precision T3500 | Intel Xeon X5675 | 8GB DDR3 | EVGA Nvidia GTX 980 SC ACX 2.0 | Sandisk SSD Plus 120GB | 1TB WD Caviar Black | Corsair TX-650 PSU

Dell Optiplex 745 | Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 | 8GB DDR2 | 320GB SE16 7200RPM HDD (Linux Ubuntu)

HP DL360 G7 | Dual Intel Xeon E5645 | 8GB DDR3 REG ECC | HP 500GB HDD |(Build in Progress)

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Just now, gryffinwings said:

 

That's what I was thinking, now is there any particular reason I should pick Windows Server over Windows 10? Is there any benefits for it?

None unless you are going to be using it as some kind of actual server.

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13 minutes ago, gryffinwings said:

 

That's what I was thinking, now is there any particular reason I should pick Windows Server over Windows 10? Is there any benefits for it?

For NAS you should use linux, or get a special purposed os like freenas.

For workstation windows 10 is the best.

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Just now, SupaKomputa said:

For NAS you should use linux, or get a special purposed os like freenas.

For workstation windows 10 is the best.

FreeNAS was the plan for the ML115 G5, just slowly buying parts for everything I need. Thanks for the information on Windows 10, seems like there isn't a benefit for the Server versions for my application.

Dell Precision T3500 | Intel Xeon X5675 | 8GB DDR3 | EVGA Nvidia GTX 980 SC ACX 2.0 | Sandisk SSD Plus 120GB | 1TB WD Caviar Black | Corsair TX-650 PSU

Dell Optiplex 745 | Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 | 8GB DDR2 | 320GB SE16 7200RPM HDD (Linux Ubuntu)

HP DL360 G7 | Dual Intel Xeon E5645 | 8GB DDR3 REG ECC | HP 500GB HDD |(Build in Progress)

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The biggest difference on Client OS and Server OS is the recource usage the system uses, very often size on the install itself aswell. Normal windows server is more clean with minimal cluttering and better security rules out of the box. Which one you choose of Windows/Linux doesen't really matter, use what you like the most. While for some things one system is better fit than another. So this is something you'll really want to figure out for yourself based on knowledge you gain or have, and are willing to work towards.

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13 hours ago, gryffinwings said:

Nvidia Quadro K4000

It is worth investigating whether this will actually support video output, or only GPU compute applications. I am not familiar with the exact model of server you are using (DL360 G7) but many servers from this generation that had "supported" graphics cards from the factory only allow usage of them for compute/acceleration jobs while requiring video output over onboard VGA or over the network. For some models there are ways to force GPU video output by disabling the low power onboard analog graphics but this poses its own set of risks/hassle. It would be worth experimenting with hardware you already have, or reading other people's experience before purchasing a bunch of hardware to go down this path. Best of luck!

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For your workstation, you will require at least Windows 10 Pro for dual socket motherboards.

Software Developer by trade

My computer-based interests include programming, gaming, movies and TV series

(outdated) Check out my 32 TB storage server here

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3 hours ago, Minbari said:

It is worth investigating whether this will actually support video output, or only GPU compute applications. I am not familiar with the exact model of server you are using (DL360 G7) but many servers from this generation that had "supported" graphics cards from the factory only allow usage of them for compute/acceleration jobs while requiring video output over onboard VGA or over the network. For some models there are ways to force GPU video output by disabling the low power onboard analog graphics but this poses its own set of risks/hassle. It would be worth experimenting with hardware you already have, or reading other people's experience before purchasing a bunch of hardware to go down this path. Best of luck!

I am looking into it, the Nvidia Quadro 4000 is supported, however I found this from HP:

 

Graphics Card Support

From HP Support:

Does the DL360 G7 support video graphics cards?

 

The DL360 G7 will support many third party video graphics cards up to 150w (Size dependent-full-length, full-height or low profile but doesn't support Double Wide form factor)

Info from reddit

 

Not a lot of information, but it should work for my intended purpose. This guy is using a DL360 G5 which is an earlier model using a Quadro 2000 and playing Crysis 2.

 

Youtube - HP Dl360 G5 + Nvidia Quadro 2000 + Crysis 2

3 hours ago, alex75871 said:

For your workstation, you will require at least Windows 10 Pro for dual socket motherboards.

That was my assumption, I figured that would carry over from what I heard from Windows 7 being the same way.

Dell Precision T3500 | Intel Xeon X5675 | 8GB DDR3 | EVGA Nvidia GTX 980 SC ACX 2.0 | Sandisk SSD Plus 120GB | 1TB WD Caviar Black | Corsair TX-650 PSU

Dell Optiplex 745 | Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 | 8GB DDR2 | 320GB SE16 7200RPM HDD (Linux Ubuntu)

HP DL360 G7 | Dual Intel Xeon E5645 | 8GB DDR3 REG ECC | HP 500GB HDD |(Build in Progress)

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Let's just say you can, but probably shouldn't.

 

First, you can install windows on a X68-AMD64 server just like any other computer.

However, you will face some driver issues. Based on my experience messing around with HP gen8 servers, if you simply install the OS like you would on a home computer, you will end up missing some features. iLO (HP's flavour of IPMI/remote access) will not be able to communicate with your OS and you can't change the resolution for the onboard graphics adapter. IIRC the RAID card also needs some additional software(?) The procedure for HP gen8s is basically boot into a installation utility, load the ISO and the utility will help you with all the drivers and associated programs. I haven't got my hands on a G7 before so I cannot provide any details. But if you want to take advantage of these features, you should go find some documentation.

But again, these features are critical for server scenario but isn't really that useful when used as a personal device.

 

Windows 10's hardware maximums can be seen here.https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10/windows-10-versions-cpu-limits/905c24ad-ad54-4122-b730-b9e7519c823f?auth=1

Regarding the CPU config, the answer doesn't seem to differentiate between Home and Pro. So I will assume that both versions share the same processor limit. ProWS is only necessary when you go beyond 2 procs or you need the additional features.

 

The main reason I advise against using these stuff is the noise. Both your racks are 1U, means that they have 4cm fans. They are incredibly loud, I had a DL360p Gen8 a few years ago, you basically can't sleep without turning it off… Also, 1U servers usually have limited clearance for graphics cards, no double slot full height, no 6pin… so nothing too fancy.

Before you get any crazy idea PCIeXtensionCableXternalPSUMadMaxBuild, these servers need to have their lids closed. IIRC standard procedure forbids leaving the lid open for more than a minute or so while the server is running.

 

But if you have a place to put these stuff and don't need too much graphics, by all means go ahead and use them.

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