Yep, we finally did it. After inching along for two years on 1.0 GHz servers (one or two or three as we saw fit at the time) we have finally invested in some big iron. $800 got us the following:
- 2x 1GB DDR2 667MHz RAM
- 4x 500GB Seagate 7200.10 HDDs
- 400-watt Rosewill PSU
- 4U Rackmount Case
- 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 ProcessorAsus M2N-E Motherboard
I managed to get the HDDs for $100 through some sort of error on Tigerdirect's website I think. They had ones with 16MB cache listed there for $120 (and the same price was at Newegg), but 8MB ones for $100. I didn't really care that much about that so I ordered them. Then I read online that those drives aren't available with 16MB cache so I clicked on the link in the shipping confirmation e-mail they had given me and that lead me to a non-existant page. Then 16MB cache drives showed up at the door, which made me happy. But the HDDs still made up 1/2 of the total price.
Buying the RAM second-hand from my boss in Medora also helped stay under budget as I got it for $60. The power supply was pretty cheap ($35) and I have some doubts about it (it's not very heavy) but it had lots of good reviews on Newegg.
I got that motherboard because it's an Asus and it has 6 SATA ports with RAID 5 support. So the HDDs are in a RAID 5 with an end total capacity in Windows of 1.36TB. Unfortunately due to some initial issues installing Windows I ended up not putting the OS in the 60GB partition on the RAID that I had planned. I threw in an old 160GB drive for that, and we are now using the RAID solely for file storage.
I also threw in one out-of-budget expenditure: an 8-port gigabit switch which I picked up for ~$60.
Tomorrow I will detail all the headaches that we had installing everything.