A Commodity XenServer: The Build + Specs

This is the first post of my Commodity XenServer series, where I will be describing my experience in putting together a Commodity XenServer.

First off,  let’s take a look at the specs and a photo:


-An old, mid-tower Antec Case

Antec TruePowerTrio 430W


AMD Phenom 9850 Quad Core Black Edition

Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

8GB 4 x 2GB  Corsair DDR2 1066

Western Digital Caviar SE16 SATA 640GB (SATA/7200 RPM/16MB)


I was able to find the majority of the components on sale / rebates / discounted, etc.  For instance, the CPU was a NewEgg Open Box for $83, instead of the retail price of $160+.  This allowed me to get a pretty decent setup for my budget.

Here is a photo before the build




The Build, Stress Testing, & Overlocking

Overall, the physical build went fine.  At first I wasn’t sure if the AC CPU Cooler was going to fit with the memory slots so close, but I was able to finagle it together.

I started off by running memtest86+ overnight, to make sure the memory was good–Although the testing went fine, I noticed the RAM was running at 800Mhz instead of the advertised 1066Mhz, but I left it alone for now.

I then installed Vista, so I could do some benchmarking and stability testing.

I wanted to do a bit of overclocking, (why else would you have a Black Edition Phenom, which features an unlocked multiplier?)

This is where I ran into the memory clock issue, which I will devote a future post to.

Suffice to say, the final result was a CPU overclock  of 8%, to 2800 Mhz / Core, for a total of  11,200 Mhz.  I know I could have OC’ed it more, but since it will be serving in a server role, I didn’t think the extra CPU vs. Power was worth it.

With the build and OC done, I went on to the XenServer Install, forthcoming.


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