A few days ago i took up the challenge of building a FreeNAS file server using server components from a decade ago. So far i have only purchased the following motherboard from ebay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/191597401322), but i am now looking for a xeon which will have a high enough clock speed to support basic SAMBA, as well as ECC. After checking the spec sheets for several CPUs listed here (http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-022346.htm), but many of them either specify that they don't support ECC, or they don't list it at all. How would i go about finding a CPU with ECC support that is compatible with this motherboard.
If it's an old platform then the memory controller is probably on the board rather than in the CPU, so ECC support would be entirely dependant on the board.
Here is a LINK to the technical sheet (will be very useful to refer to)
This board sits in the lovely 5000 series processors and the DDR2 FBDIMM series.
Regular DDR2 ECC WILL NOT WORK IN THIS BOARD. As the memory socket is completely different.
FBDIMM's will always (99% of the time) have full cover heatsink's due to the massive amount of heat the additional chip on the board kicks out. (A handy identification trick)
Here is a list of test CPU's compatible with the board. On this board the memory controller is still in the chipset so all the CPU's support the FBDIMM's.
As for processor support you have the whole of the LGA 771 5xxx series processors to play with. Your low end stuff 5000 and 5100 processors are all dual cores. With the 5100 being slightly more power efficient. The 5200 series have some weird compatibility according the technical document. (however some are supported according to the cpu supported list)
The 5300 and 5400 are all quad cores. However according to the technical document (linked above) the 5400 have the same weird compatibility issues as the 5200 series. The 5400 are slightly faster and have more cache overall. I believe it is the E5420 that is pretty much equivalent to the legendary Core 2 Quad Q6600.
When buying processors for this board make sure the sSpec are identical if you are going to run Dual CPU's.
Hope some of this helps!
Thankyou for your support so far, and sorry i haven't been able to reply sooner.
Although i am yet to order a CPU or any FB-DIMMs for the motherboard, i have been looking into the other components required for a working server. The following is a list of components that i am currently considering.
Case - Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 White Case (https://www.pccasegear.com/products/23420)
Chosen because it is cheep to obtain in Australia, supports at least 5 drives, and supports E-ATX.
PSU - Antec Basiq VP-500P 500W (https://www.pccasegear.com/products/27175) (with molex to sata connecter.
Chosen because it it is again cheep in Australia, has half-decent wattage, and has an EPS-12V connector (Do i need another ATX-12V connecter to give my xeon/xeons enough power?)
Hard Drives - Western Digital WD Blue 1TB WD10EZEX * 5 (https://www.pccasegear.com/products/21231)
Because storage is NOT cheep, despite what university lecturers tell me.
Are there parts suitable/unsuitable/why would you do that!?
I would look at Silverstone or Seasonic PSUs in the 650-850w range, most of those have modular connectors and some have support for 2 EPS12v 8-pin (4+4) connectors for multi-CPU motherboards.
Here is a great example.
The case should be fine. As the board is E-ATX and its the case supports it. So no problems there.
The board thankfully doesn't do anything silly in terms of custom pin outs (like some other proprietary boards cough dell cough) so an off the shelf PSU will be fine.
The board requires the standard 24pin and 8 pin EPS (for the CPUs). it also requires another 4pin EPS for supplementary board power.
The PSU you listed only has one 8 pin EPS connector, so you could either look for one with two EPS connectors (as @Batojiri says) or use another molex to 4pin adapter.
Storage is cheap.... if you are only buying one drive :P Not for us slightly crazy server nuts who buy 4+ at a time.
The only other thing you'll need to get is coolers.