HomeLab Part 3: Design Process – High End Design

In Part 1 and Part 2 I covered low power designs and medium designs of my homelab design process. In this part I cover one high end design which was inspired by the builds from Erik Bussink and Frank Denneman. My build is mainly (80%) the same as the two other builds but with some modifications I will explain at the end of the post.

High End Design

ComponentTypeCost
Price per Server1816 EUR
ServerWhitebox
MainboardSupermicro X9SRH-7TF490 EUR
CPUIntel Xeon E5-2620 v2 6x 2.1 GHz380 EUR
CPU CoolerNoctua NH-U12DX i467 EUR
MemorySamsung 16GB M393B2G70QH0-CK0 (4x 150 EUR)600 EUR
SSDSamsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB, 2.5", SATA 6Gb/s111 EUR
HDD-
Power SupplyEnermax Revolution X't 530W ATX 2.478 EUR
CaseFractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl90 EUR
Misc.

Advantage

  • Xeon E5-2600 Processor
  • 6 Core CPU
  • Hyper-Threading (12 threads)
  • 64GB memory
  • two X540-AT2 10Gbit NICs
  • IPMI (incl. KVM)
  • Hardware RAID Controller LSI2308
  • expandable (HDD)
  • VT-x/VT-d
  • complete HCL supported
  • Power consumption compared to Performance

Disadvantage

  • Price

So what is different to the other builds and why have I chosen it?

CPU

Erik and Frank have chosen the E5-1650 v2 processor which gives them much higher clock speed compared to the E5-2620 v2 (3.5GHz/3.9GHz TurboMode vs 2.1GHz/2.6GHz). But there is also a drawback with higher clock speed which is TDP (130Watts vs 80Watts). This can lead to a higher power consumption which should be low for my requirements. The most significant drawback from my point was the price. The E5-1650 v2 is approx. 45% more expensive than the E5-2620 v2 and the only benefit is clock speed (performance). One of the benefits of the E5-2620 v2 is, that you can use it in a dual socket mainboard. One problem encountered by Reinhard Partmann was when he tried to use 32GB LRDIMMs with the E5-1650 v2, it didn’t work. His reseller told him that this DIMMs were not supported with the E5-1650 v2. I tried to find some documentations from Intel for this problem but until now I didn’t find anything. When I have new information about that I will update this post.

Memory

Samsung RDIMMs were the only available DIMMs at the time of buying at my reseller, so I bought this instead of the Kingston RDIMMs.

SSD

Because the whole price of the server was one of my requirements, I have chosen Samsung 840 EVO SSD instead of Enterprise SSDs like the S3700.

In Part 4 of this series I will do a quick summary across all designs in terms of price and present my final build.

Update:

I sent some mails to SuperMicro and Intel regarding the problem with the E5-1600 processor and LR-DIMMs and got the following back from Intel customer support:

While the usage of LRDIMM modules are limited for Intel® E5-1600 processors v1, LRDIMM modules will no longer supported since Intel® E5-1600 processor v2. And they will not be referred anymore at Intel® E5-1600 processors v3.

You can find the required information in the datasheet of the E5-1600 v1 (page 15, section 1.2.1 System Memory Support) and of the E5-1600 v2 (page 17, section 1.2.1 System Memory Support). In the datasheet from the E5-1600 v3, section System Memory Support was removed.

LRDIMM x4, x8 (2-Gb and 4-Gb only) LR-DIMMs are supported only on server specific processors (Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v2 and E5-4600 v2 product families). LR-DIMMs are not supported in workstation specific SKUs such as the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-1600 v2 product family.

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