How to Build a Server Computer – Page 2


Server Motherboard

When building a computer, the most important decision is which type of motherboard? The motherboard you buy, will dictate the type of CPU you will need, the type and amount of RAM memory you will need, and whether or not you will need a graphics card. When researching the motherboard, you probably want to target your search to specify a ‘server’ motherboard. A server motherboard will have characteristics suitable for a server as opposed to say, a gaming computer. For instance, a server specific motherboard usually supports a lot of RAM, but may not require a dedicated graphics card since it will not be used to play 3D games. The motherboard may support additional management tools and storage functionality, like RAID or SAS (serial attached SCSI) support integrated into the motherboard. You will also need to decide on the architecture, deciding between either an Intel or an AMD motherboard.

For our class servers, we decided to go with Intel motherboards. The larger of the two server motherboards has two LGA 1366 sockets for two CPUs. The motherboard has twelve memory slots for DDR3 DIMM memory sticks.The server motherboard is an extended ATX (EATX) motherboard, 12×13 inches large.


ASUS Intel server motherboard, with 2 x LGA 1366 CPU sockets

The second motherboard is smaller than the first, a standard ATX form factor. Excellent cooling, features and extras. It also is an Intel motherboard with a LGA 1366 socket.

ASUS Workstation Intel motherboard

Video Demonstration

We install an ASUS EATX server motherboard into a Rosewill 4U server case. Once we placed the motherboard into the case, we realized that the standoff screw holes on the bottom plate did not matching the pattern of our motherboard, so we had to drill two additional holes into the plate, so that all of the necessary standoffs would be in place to hold the motherboard securely off of the bottom of the computer case.

Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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