OT: I actually bought a server
In the old forums I had a short discussion going with the subject "OT: I almost bought a server" but for the life of me I cannot find that thread. Irritating not being able to find and link to your own posts. Google search can't find it, but I know it's there. Must not have been visited enough.
Anyway, I did finally buy an old server VERY cheap. What I ended up with is a 3rd generation Dell Poweredge 1950 with dual Quad-core cpus and 8Gb of memory. It was up for auction and I got it for $80, but with buyer's premium and tax it was $100 out the door. No hard drives, no OS. Even with slower cpus and slower memory than what's available today, it's still about 6x faster than my current lump and has 4x the memory. It's 64 bit capable and has 8Gb of memory vs. the max 2 Gb on my old desktop. I just didn't want to go out and spend $1500 on a gaming rig for this hobby. Priorities, priorities.
Now the question is, what OS to put on it? I would dearly love to run Linux on it, which is what it probably had on it before, and what I use at work. I can do that at no cost other than a new HDD, which I need anyway. Problem is, I can't use it as a network render box for Bryce if I put Linux on it. I could run Luxrender on Linux via Reality, which I do have, but Bryce Lightning insists on having the slaves the same OS as the master, and it doesn't support Linux at all. Sure, I could install one OS as base and run the other as a VM, but there's no real point doing that as far as what I need it for. I may also want to run DS4 on it directly, as my current system is 32-bit, and the server will handle 64 bit windows quite nicely. That means buying a copy of Windows 7 Professional. Maybe cheaper with the OEM/system builder edition, but still, it's Windows, with all the attendant problems and nuisance. Linux would be easy and stable, but the apps I want to run on it aren't supported. Opinions?
The chief problem running a 1U server as a home computer is the noise level. Running full tilt with all 8 cores cranking, the noise level is about the level of a shop vacuum. I'll need industrial strength hearing protection... :grrr: