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Building the Ultimate Linux Test Server, part 1 - page 2

Dock, CPU and Mobo

  • March 3, 2011
  • By Paul Ferrill

Thermaltake also supplied us with a CPU cooler (see Figure 5). It's absolutely critical to adequately cool your CPU if you want it to last for any length of time. The Thermaltake Jing cooler delivers efficient cooling while at the same time keeping things quiet. You'll want to follow the directions when it comes to applying the thermal grease as this step can make the difference in your CPU cooler functioning properly or not. It's also important to get the fans plugged into the right place on your motherboard. There's a nice step-by-step guide that comes with the Jing to help get your through the whole process.

<em>figure 5</em>
figure 5

Power and Memory

A high-end CPU and motherboard along with a potentially large number of disk drives demands a heavy-duty power supply. Thermaltake came to the rescue here providing us with their Toughpower Grand (TPG) 750W power supply. This unit outputs almost twice the power you would expect to get from a typical off-the-shelf unit. The TPG power supply uses the modular connector approach to give you added flexibility when it comes to providing power to just about anything you would need to drive. An ample supply of cables with multiple connectors comes with every TPG unit and more than met our needs (see Figure 6). Another nice touch with this unit is the mounting pads meant to help isolate the power supply from the case. This helps cut down on any extra vibration the power supply might introduce due to its fan.

The Asus M4A89GTD Pro motherboard accepts DDR3 memory in a number of different speeds. Crucial provided us two of their CT2KIT51264BA1339 8GB memory kits to meet our 16GB memory requirement. Installation is simple as long as you don't have the CPU fan installed yet. While it's not impossible to get the memory in later, it's much easier if you install it before the CPU cooler.

<em>figure 6</em>
figure 6

Final Notes

Our goal was to build a machine capable of performing well both as a virtual machine host and as a server test bed. To do both jobs well, you need lots of memory and multiple cores. This combination of case, CPU, memory and motherboard should provide all we need to build our test server machine. The one thing we haven't talked about yet is storage. Next time we'll take an in-depth look at options from solid state disks (SSD) to hybrid drives for the boot device and reliable drives for our storage array.


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