Need help picking a Motherboard for Server build

I just can't seem to find a good board. I was looking at socket 1150

- Virtual Machines
- 32GB of ECC RAM
- At least 8 SATA3 ports and 2 SATA6 ports
- Windows Server, FreeNAS, pfSence, PXE booting from server to install things like Windows on other machines
- Intel i7 Xeon
- Built in Fractal Design Define R5
- Silent Build

Initial build would consist of Fractal Design Define R5, SeaSonic SS-400FL2, a 250GB (should be enough) boot SSD all for about $1000-1200. I will buy the HDDs and the bits for pfSence later. Just want to get a solid base to build off of first.

socket 1150 cannot use ecc ram
Xeons' go in a 2011 mobo
use this mobo
cpu might be an issue for what you plan on doing but the sata is there.
and you've got your terminology wrong it's sata2 3Gbps and sata3 6Gbps

I would say one of the either ASUS or Supermicro Quad-Socket AMD Opteron G34 boards but you specified Intel Xeon.
With the Quad socket G34 you get up to 1TB of RAM. And can run the 16+ Core CPUs. Not that you would necessarily need it but....future proofing. ^_^ Of course the Abu Dhabi Processors can be ~$1k a piece so way out of your price range. But.........You are doing VMs. So maybe that means you are doing KVMs? If so.......AMD all the way. Much better KVM passthrough support. But why you want Windows Server IDK. CentOS or Fedora Server is much better (stable) and doesnt cost a dime while providing the Cockpit interface.

Ah, was in a rush and just woke up. I am aware it is SATA2 and SATA3. ^_^

That part picker link is not working for me says some kind or error for the motherboard.

32GB of RAM is enough for my needs and I have no need for a KVM. Most of the CPU power is going to be for Plex encoding to my phone. If I need more I will compensate when I upgrade. I want Single Threaded performance in case I need it which AMD does not offer. Core needs are 16TB FreeNAS which needs 16GB of ECC memory according to one of the last TS videos. Other wanted tasks are not RAM intensive, 16GB left should be plenty.

One of the other reasons I want this set up and Windows Server is because I want to play with Active directory and other Microsoft stuff so that I can learn them. I learn better by doing it myself than paying some school thousands of dollars.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU | AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor | $164.99 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler | Cooler Master Nepton 240M 76.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler | $108.98 @ NCIX US
Motherboard | Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard | $170.09 @ Amazon
Storage | Intel 520 Series Cherryville 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $134.66 @ Amazon
Video Card | Asus Radeon HD 6450 1GB Video Card | $29.98 @ NCIX US
Case | Fractal Design Define R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case | $109.99 @ NCIX US
Power Supply | SeaSonic X Series Fanless 460W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular Fanless ATX Power Supply | $130.98 @ Newegg
Other| Kingston 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600 Server Memory w/TS Model KVR16E11K4/32| $322.99
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $1182.66
| Mail-in rebates | -$10.00
| Total | $1172.66
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-25 14:51 EDT-0400 |

AMD may not offer the extreme Single Threaded perf you want but.......You are running Server. Not stock windows. You DONT need single-threaded perf. I have taken Server courses as part of my degree in college. We did not need Single-threaded perf. AD does not need Single-threading perf. Most server stuff excels when exposed to Multi-cores. Especially FreeNAS. FreeNAS WILL use just about everything you throw at it. You could do well with a KVM simply because you can run multiple OS's on top of one OS like they are native. You can run FreeNAS and Win Server at the same time.

Even managed to throw in a liquid cooler. Thanks I will look into everything deeper when I get home from work.

Edit: that motherboard only has 8 SATA ports that I can see.

yes only 8 sata 6gbps ports but also 2 esata 6gbps ports too.

Yeah just looked I'm going to need 8 or I am going to be spending about $400 more on drives. Way cheaper to go 8x 2tb drives than 5x 4tb drives and yes I ment to say 12tb NAS not 16tb. I want 2 drives to be able to fail.

So 8 for NAS, 1 for ssd, and they don't make motherboards with 9 SATA ports. If the board had 8 SATA ports and a m. 2 slot I could manage. I wonder what the price differences are between m. 2 and a SATA ssd are.

There is a motherboard that is the definition of value... The supermicro x9srh-7tf. Find a used one for under 350$ and you're good to go.

Optimal disk size is 3tb, HGST drive preferred.

Just add a RAID/SATA expansion card to increase available ports.

LGA 2011 is a little out of my price range.

Your correct 3tb drives are cheaper.

Are hgst deskstar nas drives really that much better than wd red NAS drives. They cost a little more.

Going to need the expansion slots for pfsence.

So... since AMD is power hungry (system will run 24/7) and I can't find an AMD motherboard with 10 SATA ports here is my current list.

All from Newegg because part picker does not have half the stuff.

Fractal Design Define R5 = $110
SeaSonic SS-400FL2 = $115
ASRock C226WS (not +) = $200
Corsair H60 CPU Cooler = $60
Mushkin EC02 240GB SSD = $88
Intel Xeon E3-1230v3 = $257
Kingston 32GB (4x8GB) 1333 = $252

Total = 1,096.38

Concerns / Opinions?

Are you sure about that? No, that's actually not true. C222, C224, and C226 chipsets for 1150-Xeons all support ECC.

As for the Server @ChaosBlades wants to build, I don't know how many VMs you are planning to run, but I'd like to suggest looking into the AMD-stuff vor VMs.
I have an Opteron 3380 8-core on a Supermicro H8SML-7F with 32GB of ECC-RAM. The board has 6 SATA 3Gbs-Ports and 8 SAS 6Gbs-Ports. Maybe that's enough for you and it really doesn't break the bank.

And btw, the opteron has only a 65W TDP, so it's not even that power-hungry compared to the XEON with its 80W.
One last word about the Corsair H60. Please, don't put an AIO into a Server build. It really makes no sense whatsoever.

- no fanless PSU's in a server
- no water cooling in a server

And you might think about that x9srh again, if you run virtualization and storage you will bump into the 32gb ram limit pretty soon.

The X9srh-7tf includes dual 10gbase-T Intel NIC's and a 8 port LSI SAS controller by the way. It's DIRT cheap for what it does. And you can get over 32GB of RAM.

In fact you might look into picking a real prosumer level chassis that can be rack-able and expandable for the future, and comes with real redundant server PSU's - that way you only pay once:

Check eBay for deals on used servers too, now that the haswell-e Xeons are here, you can get pretty good deals on EOL stuff.

System76 Server

@ChrisG I am going to run Windows Server, FreeNAS, pfSence, and maybe one other Linux distro. That is it. Nothing crazy. 16GB of RAM for FreeNAS because of ZFS and 16GB for the rest. I'm not doing anything crazy on the other OSes so it should not need anymore than 16GB total. FreeNAS will be doing most of the heavy lifting.

I am not seeing the big deal about AMD 8-cores over Xeon Quad-Cores. In even the multi-threaded benchmarks the Xeon wins hands down. Can someone link me to something that says physical cores are really that much better than hyper-threaded cores for virtual machines even when only running a handful of them. In the end I may not even need the extra power of the Xeon anyway so the point would be moot but I am still interested in seeing some hard facts. You guys know how the Internet is.

You know I don't think I have really even looked at any Opteron boards. That H8SML-7F is really compelling. IPMI is something I thought was out of my price range. Only real downside I am concerned with is the fact that it is Micro ATX and does not have much expansion options. I think I could manage if it came down to it though. Seems like even finding a place to buy an Opteron 3380 new today would be a challenge. But after saying that the more I look at this board the more I like the idea of using it. That is if I can find a new Opteron 3380. A H8SML-7F isn't exactly easy to find either.

@eugenius I completely understand about the cooling but I require silence in this build and the small chance of those going extremely badly for me is a chance I am willing to take. Would be a good idea to go with an air CPU cooler though just in case the water cooler takes the drives with it. In the extremely small chance that would happen. If this was for a home business server hell yeah, I would not even consider silence, redundant power supplies and the works. Main goal is getting my media server off of my software RAID5 and out of my 300+w idle power hungry gaming PC. Everything else is just basically for fun.

As much as I would love to have the X9srh-7tf and LGA 2011 for that matter, which is what I really need to be using on a server like this. It is completely and simply out of my price range. Not to mention getting a 10 Gigabit switch to even use that feature. I already have to buy this server piece by piece then the drives later. That is the trick with this server I want to build. Getting everything bare minimum I need to get the job done at this price range.

The only expansion I could possibly ever see myself needing is LGA 2011 or whatever it happens to be once I need it. Besides I have absolutely zero room to put a server cabinet or even a 4U Server for that matter not to mention they are loud as hell usually. I refurbish EOL servers at work so I am quite familiar with them on a hardware level. I am a noob when it comes to the software other than some real basic knowledge of Sun ALOM. That is why I am wanting to get into it. Figure help myself out and advance my knowledge of servers.

@LinuxMaster9 Is it bad that when I just typed that I meant to type Linux (just did it again) and I accidentally typed Linus?

This link makes me feel better about what I am getting for $1200 because once I configured it to what I need it came out to over $2200 without drives.

The thing is, if you start with a consumer case, by the time you add hot-swap bays with individual hdd error leds, the price becomes greater than a server case - and that has other things like redundant psu's, better fans, rack mounting options and better build quality on the stuff that matters, not the cosmetics.

You will not run a server without hard drives, hard drives need fans hence a fanless psu is pointless and expensive.

I currently run a Node 304 and a Jetway NF9A-Q67 fwith one 120gb ssd and five 3tb hdd's. It's OK but If I had to do it again I'd go for something with ECC, IPMI and a case with hdd bays with error leds. I had problems with sata cables when I replaced a HDD and I also had to change a PSU once.

The supermicro case I recommended is reasonably quiet (I had the model wrong the first time, it's correct now). Fan speeds are controllable anyway - it's not a 1u case with screaming fans.

I would not advise virtualising either of these.

Due to the nature of hypervisor's I would not put a port on the WAN (which pfsense will require) incase someone escapes the VM straight on to the virtual host. You may be able to mitigate this issue if you use a dedicated hardware pass-through to an expansion card.

FreeNAS will not be able to use ZFS function. ZFS requires direct access to the disk controller and disks. As a result to get FreeNAS running virtually you will require a separate HBA also using hardware pass-through to the VM. Plus I/O wait on the virtual host (as things get busy) may trip up the VM causing it to ultimately fail (potentially killing data).

That's exactly my point. These are not very demanding applications, so you should be fine with the Opteron 3380, which is pretty much an FX chip with lower TDP. I've heard numerous times on this forum as well as from Wendell that these AMD-Opterons are really good for virtualization because of their high core count and low price.
I paid around 500 € (~550$) for the CPU and Mobo together, which is a good deal IMHO.

@eugenius It is a low wattage 80+ Platinum ATX power supply. There is no point in it even having a fan. Even if it did have one 99% (if not 100%) of the time it would not be pulling enough watts to even turn on. I can't even find an 80+ Platinum SeaSonic power supply in that wattage range with a fan on part picker to compare prices.

One less fan is one less fan. Just because I have 1 fan does not mean I might as well have 20.

I am going to replace all the fans with Gentle Typhoon AP-15s shortly after getting everything running. Two in front, CPU cooler, one in back, or two in top instead depending on temps once everything is running.

@zanginator Yes, I was going to use hardware pass-through with an expansion card for all the ports I am going to have pfSence manage.

Did not expect this, I could pick up a LSI 9211-8i for $100 off ebay. Then get a more basic motherboard since I would no longer need 10 SATA ports. So then I can also do hardware pass-through for FreeNAS.

I also found this handy little guide...
Flashing an LSI 9211-8i RAID Card to IT Mode for ZFS/Software RAID (Tutorial)

I read through the first few pages of this...
Please do not run FreeNAS in production as a Virtual Machine!

Getting the impression that it could be bad if not done just right. Challenge Accepted...

I am currently looking at...
SuperMicro MBD-X10SLL-F-O
LSI 9211-8i
Fractal Design Define R5
SeasSonic SS-400FL2
Xeon E3-1230V3
Kingston 32GB (4x8GB) 1333 ECC Server Memory
Some 240-250GB SSD around the $80 price range
Some CPU Air cooler I have not decided on yet that can mount a Gentle Typhoon AP-15

All from NewEgg so prices will be lower when all is said and done.
Total= ~$1,225 (~$1,100 if I get the LSI card off eBay)

@ChrisG Now that you have said this. I should probably weigh the pros / cons and if I do get one were I can find a mobo and cpu new in box. See if the performance difference w/ the power difference is worth the price difference. Just because I don't need the performance right this moment does not mean I won't need just a bit more juice later on. :P