posted on 07:25 PM on Tuesday 17 March 2015
So I was monitoring the buy and sell sections of local forums for a good bargain on a X99 or X79 system. I was interested in trying out virtualisation but for that, I will need more RAM and faster processors. The current system was built for low power and noise while having the ability to host a lot of drives. With the release of the X99, I thought it was a good time to change.
I managed to get a good deal on a MSI X99S SLI PLUS with 32GB of RAM and a m.2 256GB SSD. On top of that, a new Fractal Design Define R5 casing, a Corsair RM650 power supply, an Intel i7- 5820K, Coolmaster Hyper 612 v2 cooler and 2 additional 3TB WD Red drives. I recycled a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 290. This gives me a fast SSD for the boot drive, 8x3TB for the ZFS RAID, 6 cores and lots of memory. A ready power house.
The surprising thing was how silent it runs. Even when doing the stress testing, the machine was very silent. This is probably a combination of the casing and the CPU cooler. I got Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on it and KVM is running multiple VMs. I have one VM running the web server supporting this Wordpress site and another running Plex as a media server. The great thing is being able to testing application in VMs and throwing them away once I am done. This keeps the base system really clean. All I have on the base system is file sharing stuff like AFP, Samba and NFS.
The old server was recycled as my work PC since my Sony VAIO laptop was dying. Got a Samsung EVO 850 256GB SSD for it and it is running Windows 8.1 for work. Windows 8.1 is a big switch from Windows 7 in terms of UI and I see little benefit in the new UI. Just more irritating UI bits. It is faster but the Metro apps really drive me nuts.