You have a your home!?

Recently I've been getting asked two questions.

"Why do you have a server in your home?"

"What's the system specifications of your server?"


To answer the "why", it should be fairly obvious. I'm a software developer. Now you can be a coder and not have a server. In fact, when I first started off I did everything on a single PC.

The problem is with everything installed on one machine, it was tricky to get all my games, apps and dev tools loaded without creating clashes. For example, Visual Studio (VS) 6 could not be installed with the game "Painkiller" installed because the developers published the first version with debugging enabled. Meaning while playing the game, at certain points VS would fire up to handle statements sent from the game to the debugger. Back then memory was at a premium and this usually resulted in the machine blue screening.

For a short time I worked with removable drives, booting into the system after inserting the needed hard drive.

Then virtualisation arrived and I tried that. Starting off with VirtualPC (Windows XP), then VirtualBox, then VMWare and finally settling on Hyper-V. All running locally on my machine.

Once I moved to Hyper-V, having a server just made sense. Plus, my wife and I had started a huge image repository on a portable drive. Having a server would mean I could store all those images on a file share instead of plugging in a USB drive.

So I built a server. Which was simply a hand me down from myself. The old gaming rig.

But 5 years ago I stopped doing that and focused on my gaming rig and server separately. You'll see why in a moment.

The second we go...


Antec One Hundred

Dimensions (mm): 197.5 x 477 x 480.5 (W x D x H)
Material: Steel, plastic
Available colours: Black
Front panel: Power switch, 4x USB 3, stereo, microphone
Drive bays: 3x external 5.25in drive bays, 1x external 3.5in drive bays, 6x internal 3.5in drive bays
Form factor(s): ATXe, ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling: 1x 140mm roof fan mount (1 x 140mm fan supplied), 1x 120mm rear fan mount (1x 120mm fan supplied), 1x 120mm side fan mount (not supplied), 2x 120mm front fan mount
CPU cooler clearance: 160mm
Graphics card dimensions supported: 295mm long
Extras: Dust Filters, adjustable fan speeds

Power Supply

EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G3

80 Plus Gold 1000W
Fully Modular
Eco Mode with New HDB Fan
10 Year Warranty
Includes Power ON Self Tester
Compact 150mm Size
Power Supply 220-G3-1000-X1


Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3

Supports newest AMD AM3+ FX/AM3 Phenom™ II series processors
Advanced 8+2 phase CPU VRM power design for AMD high-TDP CPU support
2 PCI-E 2.0 x16 interfaces for ultimate graphics performance
AMD SB950 provides 6 native SATA3 ports with superfast 6Gbps link speed and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
Supports USB 3.0 with superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps
GIGABYTE 3x USB Power with On/Off Charge USB ports
Ultra Durable 3 Classic Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature
Turbo XHD technology accelerating hard drive performance with ease
Revolution energy saving design with Easy Energy Saver technology
Hi-def 108dB Signal-to-noise ratio Blu-ray DVD audio playback
Patented DualBIOS with Hybrid EFI technology for 3TB HDD support


AMD FX-9590 8 Core Black Edition

# of CPU Cores: 8
# of Threads: 8
Base Clock: 4.7GHz
Max Boost Clock: Up to 5.0GHz
Total L1 Cache: 384KB
Total L2 Cache: 8MB
Total L3 Cache: 8MB
Unlocked: Yes
CMOS: 32nm SOI
Package: AM3+
PCI Express® Version: n/a
Default TDP / TDP: 220W
Max Temps: 57°C


4 x Hyper Fury Black 8GB 1866Mhz DDR3 CL10 DIMM

Form Factor: UDIMM
Pins: 240
XMP Ready: No
Plug N Play: Yes
Speeds: 1333, 1600, 1866
CAS Latencies: 9, 10, 11
Voltages: 1.35V, 1.5V
Module Capacities: 4GB, 8GB
Kit Capacities: 8GB, 16GB
Kit Configuration: Dual Channel
Operating Temperature: 0° C to +85° C

Processor Cooler

Antec Mercury 360 RGB Liquid Cooler

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

12 x Toshiba P300 3TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gbps 7200rpm

Solid State Drive (SSD)

1 x Samsung 850 EVO 250Gb

Application: Client PCs
FORM FACTOR: 2.5 inch
INTERFACE: SATA 6Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s)
DIMENSION (WxHxD): 100 X 69.85 X 6.8 (mm)
WEIGHT: Max 55.0g
CONTROLLER: Samsung MGX Controller (120 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB)
Samsung MHX Controller ( 1,024 GB, 2,048 GB, 4,096 GB)
CACHE MEMORY: 512 MB Low Power DDR3 (250 GB, 500 GB)

PCIeX16 Expansion

nVidia GeForce 8400GS Graphics Card

Standard memory : DDR2
The bit width of the memory bus: 64 bit
Memory frequency: 400 MHz
Memory bandwidth: 6.4 GB/s
The amount of memory: 256 MB

PCIeX1 Slot 2 Expansion

AverMedia Live Gamer HD C985 video capture card

Interface:PCI-Express x1 / USB (Hot Button)
Video Input:HDMI
Video Output (Pass-Through):HDMI
Audio Input:HDMI / 3-Pole 3.5 mm Jack
Audio Output (Pass-Through):HDMI / 3-Pole 3.5 mm Jack
Max Pass-Through Resolutions:1080p60
Max Record Resolutions:1080p30
Supported Resolutions (Video input):1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 480p, 480i
Record Format:MPEG 4 (H.264+AAC) / Supports hardware encoding


Rivo PCIe SATA Card, 6 Port SATA RAID Controller

PCI Slot 1 Expansion

Silicon Image 3114 4 Port SATA RAID Controller

Over the years, both myself and my wife have installed software for specialised tasks ranging from graphics editing to book libraries to device software. Most of this software was dropped by the vendor or (free) updates not available for current operating systems.

A Hyper-V server allows for virtual machines running this software on the OS it was designed for. Accessible by remote desktop or directly from the server.

As mentioned earlier, a central storage for photo's, music, movies, etc is now possible. Any device on the network can access these, without interfering with my gaming rig.

Obviously, virtual machines are very large and require large storage. With 36TB (OMG! the post on this!) of storage there's planty of room to play and store the thousands of images of kittens we seem to collect!

I put in a video capture card in to allow for the recording of content within the virtual machines and it can also take an input from my PC or my wife's. So anything we might need to record is covered.

The server is running Windows Server 2016 Standard at the moment. However it is normally running Hyper-V Server 2016 Core which is free to download and run from the Microsoft Evaluation Center. I bounce back and forth between full blown Server and CORE versions for testing purposes.

Running Hyper-V Core requires a high skill level using PowerShell. However you can offset this with several third party tools. I'll do a separate article on those. At the end of the day, when it's free, you really can't complain! 😋

Bottom line, my server is a tool we've come to rely on. Being both a needed piece of hardware as well as a play thing.

I highly recommend building one!