$1500-2000 Server Build Budget

Hello all, I would like some guidance on building my first server. The server's primary use is just a development server used for testing, so reliability is not super important. I'd also use it for running several VM's for learning, running a web server, and file sharing. I was thinking about going with an AMD processor- the 1800x specifically.


No reason to go 1800x. You're paying an additional $200 for a tiny (0.2GHz) improvement in performance over a 1700. Just get a solid mainboard, buy a good heatsync (hyper 212 comes to mind) and set the 1700 to 3.7-3.8GHz and you're fine.

Do you have any plans for what operating system you want to use?

Are you planning on running a hypervisor (esxi/proxmox/hyperv) or is this going to be baremetal?

How much storage would you like? With that budget, you could get 24TB of rust easy.

That said, if you're not looking for a ton of storage and you go 1700, you can probably fit into a $1000 budget.

I just threw this together in a few minutes.


It's completely overkill, but it's 24.5TB raw storage and a 1700 in your budget of $2000.

This should give you an example of what you can get. Feel free to play with it, use it, mock it, whatever.

Thanks for the advice.
I plan on using OpenSuse on it, but I'm not set on what OS to use

I'm not very familiar with hypervisors, but I should probably learn to use one. What should determine what hypervisor you use?

I'd like to get as much storage as possible.

I don't mind going over a little. My cousin really wants the Thermatake tower 900 with the custom water cooling system. The idea is show it off to clients and just for the fun of it.

A word of caution is look to see if there are any issues with whatever OS you would like to use and Ryzen. Ryzen is awesome but there are some issues out there that can cause headaches. Research compatibility of how you want to use the hardware. If you want hardware pass through make sure it works on the motherboard before buying etc. Also make sure your motherboard supports ECC ram if you plan on using ECC.

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What you need. For single-socket computers, they're all free, so it's really down to use-case, feature set and preferences.

Proxmox is going to be my preference, since it's Debian based and supports containers as well as full VMs. I'm not sure about its compatibility with Ryzen, but a custom kernel would probably fix any problems. (Just checked and they're on kernel 4.10.15, which is not new enough for Ryzen)

The best option for CPU support would probably be hyperv, since it's a MS product. This is the only time I'd ever recommend it, but until Linux 4.12 comes to proxmox or esxi has Ryzen on the compatibility list, there are limited options.

Trust me when I say that you don't want to mess with watercooling when you're building something that's going to be running (more or less) 24/7

RAM makes the server. 64GB is not enough.
If your so called server can't accommodate at least 256-512GB of RAM, it's not much of a server.

Frankly, I don't think you need a server, but rather a workstation. It might be semantics, but the home server meme is overdone. A server is for uninterrupted uptime and service. A workstation can go down if your development project crashes spectacularly.

I recommend boards from SuperMicro to build your system on. They have many offerings that will easily accommodate adequate amounts of memory.

Yeah, I'm not looking for something that would be used for production.
This thing is mostly going to be used for 2 main reasons:
1. As a sandbox/ testing ground for programming projects (me being a web dev, and my partner as a database dev). We just want a place to test things in a break stuff without any concerns.
2. To showoff to our clients and for other PR reasons :wink:

So from what you're saying, we would just need a workstation.
I'm not looking for something over 64GB of RAM because I really don't think we would be utilizing it.
I'd rather build something to suit our needs, but has the ability for expansion if needed.

It really depends on the use case.

If you want 512GB of ram, you're going to be hard pressed to spend less than $4000 on the CPU alone.

Depending on how much storage you need and ram I would think if you are interested we could put together two identical systems and you could have a development server and a production server. Then as you play or find something useful and need it to always be on or available you migrate this to your production server. Again just throwing it out as an option and if it peaked your interest I will setup a pcpartpicker list to help you out. This is actually something I plan on moving to this year or early next year cause my Dell t20 is serving both and a few times I have almost messed up my server and had to either reinstall or a few times I got lucky and repaired the issue.

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Yeah, then what you want is really a workstation.

Still, 64GB is constraining once you start cranking up VMs. Also, I'm not going to be impressed with your 64GB uniprocessor workstation.

A maxxed out Ryzen would be the minimum, and there'd be no room for expansion.

Yeah, I'm a snob.

Hey, I'm not trying to impress other nerds. I'm just trying to impress the partners, presidents and vice presidents of the companies that are our clients that know nothing about this type of stuff. For all they know, this thing can manipulate things on an atomic scale haha.
But this also has some practical used, so it's not like we're wasting money. We mostly need a testing ground for all our projects...so we figured why not make it look cool while doing so?

If you want to make it look cool, spend your money on multiple monitors. 4 would be pretty cool, and beyond what most people have seen.

Sure man, just shoot me something and I'll take a look.

However we might just use AWS or something like that for production....but I i'm interested, so shoot me what you have in mind.

What are your realistic storage needs?