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I'm wondering if the PowerEdge SC1425 is the best option for a used, cheap (300-500 USD) 1U server or if I should be looking at something else. Important options for me are SATA (space is more valuable than speed) and the ability to take at least 8 GB of RAM.

If I do end up buying a used server should I put new hard drives in it? If so - what drive would you recommend?

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closed as not constructive by voretaq7 Oct 22 '12 at 15:07

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Can you give a rough idea of intended use? –  Chris_K Aug 30 '09 at 4:21
    
Running a web and database server. The dedicated server I'm renting now isn't worth the money. –  user18816 Aug 30 '09 at 4:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

This may not be the kind of answer you want. :-)

I don't see the sense in buying a 4 to 5 years old server model, no matter how cheap it is. If you want to co-locate it as a Internet server, then a good VPS instance should give you around the same performance and far better reliability.

Maybe old servers can make sense for something like a game server for a few friends -- but aren't there ISPs specializing in game server hosting for the game you're playing?

To answer your question somewhat, I would hunt around for a Dell or Supermicro server based on a single Core Duo or Core 2 Duo dual-core CPU. This is more recent gear than the SC1425, has around the same CPU performance, and should be cheap as these were originally sold as low-end models. And yes, I would put in a new SATA drive, and check all fans and moving parts thoroughly. Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12 would be my choices for harddrive, but opinions very depending on which models/brands people have had luck with in the past.

And last but not least: If you get a old server (you shouldn't) then give it a good burn in test before shipping it to the datacenter.

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Personally, I've had decent experience with Dell hardware. What will you be using the server for? Just putzing-around at home? Then sure - something cheap is great. Be aware - a brand new R200 from Dell is only $620 (as of when I checked just a minute ago). Why buy used if you can get new cheap?

Used HP DL server are also pretty reliable, though you'd most likely be looking at SCSI and not SATA for the drives.

If you're going merely for space, and not the speed, pretty much and 7200rpm SATA2 drive is going to be equivalent quality. See Newegg's hard drive list for examples.

I know people who swear by Silicon Mechanics hardware, and their prices are hard to beat on new equipment.

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Most server grade hardware from the big 3 (so to speak) of is decent enough quality that if you can get the gear for a good price it's not bad.

If I was going the used route I'd look for the following,

  • Less the 3 years old

  • All fans/motors running (if you can see before purchase)

  • RAID 1 in hardware (SC line from Dell is a lower end line so it might be software, but thats almost a preference thing these days)

If its under 3 years, the drives "should" be ok, so if you RAID them they are likely fine. All the same know before you send it out what type of replacement you'll need if you need to send one out there.

Run for about 1-2 weeks before sending it out, just to make sure. If you can run some testing software on it to push it and ensure it holds up.

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