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Is ECC recommended?

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Hello there.

I have a home server running Windows 8.1 on an HP branded mobo and 4GB of ram powered by a Core 2 Duo.

It's filled with 5 HDDs handled by Drivepool.

This started as a trial run for DP with all these parts I had lying around and it has grown rapidly over the past 1.5 years.

It's time for new hardware. I want more RAM and a new CPU for various needs (Plex, Handbrake etc)

I can't decide on ECC RAM or not. I feel like it couldn't hurt, but would it be needed? This is a 24x7 box so is an Asrock server board H87WS that supports ECC for $110 going to be better than a $60 mobo?

I would be just fine paying extra for the ECC supporting mobo but is it really necessary if I'm not running ZFS? With 12tb storage running 24x7 in Drivepool is it at a big risk of data corruption due to memory errors?

I'm planning on using a G3220 CPU regardless of my mobo choice.

My OS will move to 2 drives in RAID 1 using on board RAID

My Drivepool will be 4x 3tb WD Reds

Splurge for server grade for (supposedly) better quality and longer life or don't bother?

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ECC memory is not required by StableBit DrivePool. 

 

And no, it's not really at risk, as ZFS uses the memory for all operations, and then writes to the disk. StableBit DrivePool uses the normal NTFS stack, so there shouldn't be corruption or data loss here, unless you power cycle the system, or otherwise suddenly lose power.

 

Personally, I run 32GBs of G.SKILL non-ECC RAM in my server. I use HyperV and MySQL (database), without any issues. I probably should use ECC, because of what I am doing with the server. But for most uses, it may not make a difference.

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Thanks for the reply, that clears it up.

 

I noticed your server is running a fairly pricey Supermicro board.  Is there something different with the manufacturing process of server-grade boards that would make them a better choice for running a system 24/7?  I understand the price is probably for the Xeon/ECC/C226 chipset but for my needs would a ~$150 'non-server-grade' ASUS mobo do the trick?  I try to 'buy it for life' when it comes to core components and I don't think a $65 MSI mobo is going to hold up 5+ years @ 24/7 operation.

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I do a LOT on my server, so I felt the board and parts were necessary.

Specifically, I host a website (https://drashna.net/blog), a media server (subsonic), Hyper-V for work and testing, a MySQL database for the blog and for XBMC, BlueIris for monitoring and recording from a bunch of IP cameras, and a few other thing things. So spending the money on server grade parts was important for me.

 

Server parts generally are better quality, and designed to be run 24/7 for years. Also, the tend to support ECC memory and "out of band management" (aka, KVM access over the network, so no monitor and keyboard needs to be attached). They also tend to not support any sleep states, either. So they have very different design goals in mind compared to consumer hardware.

 

But if you have rock solid hardware to use, then there is no issues with consumer hardware at all. And ASUS is a very good brand.

And ASRock does have some server/workstation grade boards for a bit on the cheaper side (ASRock Rack), so if you want to go "server quality", they may be a good choice.

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That really brings into perspective what my needs are and I have actually been eyeing an ASRock Rack mobo http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=H87WS-DL for quite some time.  It's about $110 and supports the Intel G3220 which is perfect for my Plex/Subsonic needs as I'm only serving up max 2 streams at one time.  And it's very upgrade-able if I require more power down the road.

 

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond.  I feel a bit more empowered to make some decisions (finally).

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That really brings into perspective what my needs are and I have actually been eyeing an ASRock Rack mobo http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=H87WS-DL for quite some time.  It's about $110 and supports the Intel G3220 which is perfect for my Plex/Subsonic needs as I'm only serving up max 2 streams at one time.  And it's very upgrade-able if I require more power down the road.

 

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond.  I feel a bit more empowered to make some decisions (finally).

my two cents, you'll do fine with a desktop board, server boards are nice, and will give the benefit of better compatibility when it comes to drivers if running a server OS, but for the most part it comes down to budget. i just upgraded an Asus desktop board that I'd been running 24X7 for over two years, nothing wrong with the board, I just needed more sata, it was an ITX.  got a new (old Z77 I found open box real cheap) asus board atx board and case, had to tweak the intel Nic (yes :)  it has an Intel nic) driver to run on WHS 2011, but it was easy as folks figure out the issue a couple of years ago when the intel nic came out, just marketing ploy from intel so you don't buy a desktop board to run as a server.

 

The proc, G3220, if there is even a remote possibility that you will need on the fly video transcoding, plex streaming video to mobile device=transcoding, then you really need to consider an I5, you can get by with a high end i3, but the i5 will only be a few bucks more and give you 4 real cores of processing.

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my two cents, you'll do fine with a desktop board, server boards are nice, and will give the benefit of better compatibility when it comes to drivers if running a server OS, but for the most part it comes down to budget. i just upgraded an Asus desktop board that I'd been running 24X7 for over two years, nothing wrong with the board, I just needed more sata, it was an ITX.  got a new (old Z77 I found open box real cheap) asus board atx board and case, had to tweak the intel Nic (yes :)  it has an Intel nic) driver to run on WHS 2011, but it was easy as folks figure out the issue a couple of years ago when the intel nic came out, just marketing ploy from intel so you don't buy a desktop board to run as a server.

 

The proc, G3220, if there is even a remote possibility that you will need on the fly video transcoding, plex streaming video to mobile device=transcoding, then you really need to consider an I5, you can get by with a high end i3, but the i5 will only be a few bucks more and give you 4 real cores of processing.

In the past for all my desktop builds I've usually put ~$100 into the motherboard as I felt that was a good price point for good quality on a budget and I still think that I'd go with the ASRock H87WS-DL.  

 

As for the G3220, I did some research and I did find that users could transcode one 1080p stream while still serving up a Subsonic stream to one user.  While that seems limiting to some, for the foreseeable future that's all I need.  I'm glad you brought it up and got my wheels turning because I was pretty tunnel vision on getting that CPU (It helps that the CPU will be free as I'm buying it with credits)

 

The good news is I'm not pressed for time as my current rig is still trucking.  I'm already about a month or two into research and am enjoying learning about all the different hardware.

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In the past for all my desktop builds I've usually put ~$100 into the motherboard as I felt that was a good price point for good quality on a budget and I still think that I'd go with the ASRock H87WS-DL.  

 

As for the G3220, I did some research and I did find that users could transcode one 1080p stream while still serving up a Subsonic stream to one user.  While that seems limiting to some, for the foreseeable future that's all I need.  I'm glad you brought it up and got my wheels turning because I was pretty tunnel vision on getting that CPU (It helps that the CPU will be free as I'm buying it with credits)

 

The good news is I'm not pressed for time as my current rig is still trucking.  I'm already about a month or two into research and am enjoying learning about all the different hardware.

 

I'm still weary of the the proc.  but you've clearly done your home work on your requirements,  check back in in a few months, when you get your build complete,  let us know how it goes.   

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