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what is the difference between motherboard/processor for server and the ones for desktop ?

I've been hosting stuff on my computers for the last couple of months from my home personal computer. What is the difference between this and something such as this:

Does this have a visual? (How do I get on it to run stuff on it?) Can I just start normal .exe's on it? Do I have to do things differently? What are the spec comparisons? What would be better, a $250 server (such as the one above) or a $750 gaming computer?

Are they built differently (for specific things) or what?


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marked as duplicate by Mark Henderson Apr 4 '11 at 23:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

That particular system is barely above a home PC.

It does have a visual (on-board VGA). You can install whatever x86 OS you want on it.

These are the features that make it somewhat better than your average PC:

  • ECC memory
  • RAID1
  • accepts 4 drives (@ 2TB each for 8 TB total)

You can get PCs with those features. Regular servers are actually much different than home PCs. They usually have these properties (I'll use a HP DL 360 as an example):

  • are a standard size that fit into standard racks (1u)
  • have more CPUs (2x 6-core)
  • have more memory (384G)
  • have more NICs (2 dual port with TOE and iSCSI accelerator)
  • have more disks (8)
  • use higher performant disks (15k RPM SAS)
  • have RAID controllers with BBWC
  • have hot/swappable drives, power supplies
  • have redundant power supplies and fans
  • have out-of-band management capabilities (ilo)
  • don't care that their noise would make you go deaf
  • have poor on-board graphics
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Have a bigger bus, larger CPU cache, and better CPU load balancing, not to mention multi-channel RAM and heftier power-supplies – tjameson Apr 5 '11 at 7:49

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