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Thinking about upgrading option for old Core 2 Duo E8400 home server

unseengundam101

Senior member
Oct 26, 2005
251
2
81
I was thinking about doing major upgrade on Linux Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU machine since it HD died and I need reinstall OS anyhow. I actually already tried and received a DoA Ryzen 2700 CPU/MB combo, so I sent it back.

Now I am thinking of doing a much minor low cost upgrade. Here want I am thinking:

  1. Reusing an spare MSI z77a-gd65 Socket 1155 MB with Celeron G1620 - Cost me $0

  2. Reusing an spare MSI z77a-gd65 Socket 1155 MB + buying a used i7-3770 (3770 pick for VM support with VT-x tech) - costs $120

  3. Another try for new set of Ryzen 2700 + Motherboard - costs $450

Considering how managed to live with old E8400 setup for 10 years and wasn't in any hurry to upgrade before it died, I doubt I will *need* anything super powerful. I tempted to spend very little $$$ and save it for my main workstation upgrade in the coming months.

Any suggestions or advice?
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
21,133
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Well, you can get an 1800X for $240 (or less) and a nice ASRock AB350 Pro4motherboard for $90, and its very close to the 2700x, and $120 less. If you go that way, get at least 3000 DDR4 memory, probably 16 gig in 2x8 gig sticks. Also, you can get a 1700 Ryzen for $220 with an included cooler.

I would not spend a dime on any socket 1155 upgrade of any kind.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,438
6,031
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I would not spend a dime on any socket 1155 upgrade of any kind.
Yeah, Ryzen really made everything that came out before it, obsolete, more or less. CoffeeLake hangs on, because Intel increased the core counts on those CPUs, most of them anyways. If they didn't do that, Intel would have been completely dead in the water, with only overpriced HEDT being even remotely comparable performance-wise to Ryzen.

OP, look for a good Ryzen combo deal, at Newegg, or even Microcenter if you have one near you.

Those sale prices (check ebay too!) on the 1700 and 1800X being fire-saled right now are also a good deal, even if you have to buy a board separately.

You also shouldn't have the issue of needing a BIOS flash for your board (what I'm guessing your issue was with you needing to send back your Ryzen 2700 combo).
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
449
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@unseengundam101 If you were happy with the performance of your old system, it just died then Threadripper or the 2700 you already tried is just wildly overkill. If this is just a basic file server, I'd go with a 2200G, a decent M.2 boot drive, and at least 8Gb of fast RAM. The Celeron G1620 is technically still faster than your original system, although not by much.

Yeah, Ryzen really made everything that came out before it, obsolete, more or less. CoffeeLake hangs on, because Intel increased the core counts on those CPUs, most of them anyways. If they didn't do that, Intel would have been completely dead in the water, with only overpriced HEDT being even remotely comparable performance-wise to Ryzen.
It really didn't, people just like jumping on bandwagons and cherry picking data. AMD still doesn't match Intel clock for clock and the vast majority of users gain nothing going past 4 cores. If it wasn't for the fact that I do stuff that will take advantage of the extra threads, I would have stuck with Intel. From a gaming perspective, I didn't gain all that much going from an OC'd 3770k to a 1700x.
 
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cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
15,152
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I was thinking about doing major upgrade on Linux Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU machine since it HD died and I need reinstall OS anyhow. I actually already tried and received a DoA Ryzen 2700 CPU/MB combo, so I sent it back.

Now I am thinking of doing a much minor low cost upgrade. Here want I am thinking:

  1. Reusing an spare MSI z77a-gd65 Socket 1155 MB with Celeron G1620 - Cost me $0

  2. Reusing an spare MSI z77a-gd65 Socket 1155 MB + buying a used i7-3770 (3770 pick for VM support with VT-x tech) - costs $120

  3. Another try for new set of Ryzen 2700 + Motherboard - costs $450

Considering how managed to live with old E8400 setup for 10 years and wasn't in any hurry to upgrade before it died, I doubt I will *need* anything super powerful. I tempted to spend very little $$$ and save it for my main workstation upgrade in the coming months.

Any suggestions or advice?
Option 1. Hands down. I wouldnt put a penny more into that old rig.
Edit: also make sure its not an old a** psu that is bricking your hdd..
 
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LightningZ71

Senior member
Mar 10, 2017
659
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Unseen, what is the factor that is making you want to upgrade the rig in the first place? Those old core 2 systems are still decent for most home server and home lab tasks. There are a handful of very cheap upgrades that can make a noticeable difference for you:
Replace the processor with a Core 2 Quad 9550 (or 9550s if the bios will support it). It doubles your cores for almost no noticeable impact on single thread performance. If you're running multiple VMs, this can have a big impact in performance. This can cost less than $30. [The gotcha here is that the 9550 is a 95W processor and MAY require a different heat sink, the 9550s is a 65W processor and can use the existing cooler in all cases]
You say the hard drive is dead. You're going to have to buy a new one anyway, so a new drive, especially a change to an SSD, or a seagate hybrid SATA drive, can have a HUGE impact on performance, and if selected right, reduce energy consumption as well. This can be moved to a newer machine, so the cost is portable.
Add more RAM. used DDR3 is actually very cheap for what you get, and increasing available RAM can also make a big improvement on server performance, especially if you're running a lot of VMs.

I run a pair of HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFFs as lab servers with Core 2 Quad Q8400s with an SSD and a HD each, a pair of used dual port PCI-E Gigabit Intel server Nics in each one (for isolating Network traffic from the main VMs) and they work great for me. Are they going to set speed records or serve hundreds of users? Heck no, but they do what I need without costing a fortune. They can be found used for super cheap, as can Dell Optiplex 780s and 790s. There's no need to break the bank for something that's going to sit in a closet or on a shelf being idle 90% of the time and only serving a handful of people.

Also, if you are looking to sink a bit more in, used Dell 990s and 7010s are starting to hit the used market in droves and they offer lots of capability for home servers for little cost.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,940
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Considering how managed to live with old E8400 setup for 10 years and wasn't in any hurry to upgrade before it died, I doubt I will *need* anything super powerful.
Option 1. Hands down. I wouldnt put a penny more into that old rig.
Edit: also make sure its not an old a** psu that is bricking your hdd..
+2 for option 1.

Most especially since:

I'm tempted to spend very little $$$ and save it for my main workstation upgrade in the coming months.
Save the cash and get yourself a nice Ryzen or Threadripper for your main workstation.

It sounds like, please correct if wrong, the E8400 system is more of a "toy"/tinkering box then something you rely on. You could always reuse your older workstations hardware for this, unless you need something right now.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,047
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How many drives in the old server? What kind?

There are really good deals on tank-quality used workstations online, talking all-in $100ish, that would be a big upgrade for the seemingly very low intensity usage you have for the thing. Then save your big $ build for Ryzen 2xxx or Intel 8xxx (depending on whether you want gaming or multitasking as your A1 goal).
 
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Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,636
161
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Option 1 if thats all you really need since its free. That or some sort of refurb deal. If building new with an eye on long term use/capability, I agree on looking at a cheaper ryzen combo deal.
 

unseengundam101

Senior member
Oct 26, 2005
251
2
81
Hey, Thanks for the good info guys.

@unseengundam101 If you were happy with the performance of your old system, it just died then Threadripper or the 2700 you already tried is just wildly overkill. If this is just a basic file server, I'd go with a 2200G, a decent M.2 boot drive, and at least 8Gb of fast RAM.
...
From a gaming perspective, I didn't gain all that much going from an OC'd 3770k to a 1700x.
I definitely agree with you, I already ordered a small boot NVME from Amazon. I will probably get another SSD to put my VMs on too. Thats good info on the 3770 too. About 2 years ago I spend money on AMD's bulldozer APU for family member. Those have decent performance


Add more RAM. used DDR3 is actually very cheap for what you get, and increasing available RAM can also make a big improvement on server performance, especially if you're running a lot of VMs.
Yeah, improving VM performance would be great. Should have mentioned that actually in my future plans. My main workstation/gaming i5-2500k has 32 GB of DDR3 RAM that I can donate to Server when I upgrade that one in a few months. That should definitely help with the VMs.


+2 for option 1.
Most especially since:

Save the cash and get yourself a nice Ryzen or Threadripper for your main workstation.

It sounds like, please correct if wrong, the E8400 system is more of a "toy"/tinkering box then something you rely on. You could always reuse your older workstations hardware for this, unless you need something right now.
Yeah, I just waiting to see Threadripper come out next month and if Intel actually release those rumored i9-9900k. I will read up the reviews and refresh my main workstation / gaming rig.


How many drives in the old server? What kind?

There are really good deals on tank-quality used workstations online, talking all-in $100ish, that would be a big upgrade for the seemingly very low intensity usage you have for the thing. Then save your big $ build for Ryzen 2xxx or Intel 8xxx (depending on whether you want gaming or multitasking as your A1 goal).
This old server has 12 hard drives hooked into. It NAS type setup that collect my old drives from last decade, it up to 22 TB of storage now.

I actually decided go ahead buy a i7-3770 of ebay since it would add more PCIE lanes for PciE to m.2 NVMe and PciE to SATA adapters. Also, the 3770 is faster than my i5-2500k, in fact that 3770 make it fastest computer in whole house.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
996
704
136
Option 1 or 2, can't believe people are suggesting you get Ryzen and spend $500 on new hardware for a home server when you clearly stated your goal was to save money. DDR4 also costs a lot more than DDR3.

Save those pennies for your upcoming upgrade, it will be much better served there.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I would actually be leaning towards reusing the MSI Z77A GD65. Maybe not an i7, but you could go with an i5 depending on price. See if you can get a good price on something like a 3570.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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752
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Heads up, I was looking around on ebay and the 3570 goes for about half the price as the i7. You could likely save even more by going with a lower i5, though looking at those it is very diminishing amounts of $ savings.
 

slashy16

Member
Mar 24, 2017
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"Reusing an spare MSI z77a-gd65 Socket 1155 MB + buying a used i7-3770 (3770 pick for VM support with VT-x tech) - costs $120"

This is a great option. DDR4 is a deal killer for any upgrade these days. I run a 3770 on a file server running esxi 5.5u3. The system has 32gb of memory
and handles 7 VMS and 9x6TB seagate disks. If you had money to burn I would go with a Ryzen 1700, however, unless you are doing any CPU
intensive tasks it would be an absolute waste. You will not see any difference between a 3770 and Ryzen unless you are doing CPU intensive tasks.

I have had a hard time recommending upgrades to anyone because of DDR4 prices. The 3770/4790k are holding their value extremely well these days because you can build nice home servers around them with 16-32gb of ddr3 for under $350.
 

unseengundam101

Senior member
Oct 26, 2005
251
2
81
"Reusing an spare MSI z77a-gd65 Socket 1155 MB + buying a used i7-3770 (3770 pick for VM support with VT-x tech) - costs $120"

This is a great option. DDR4 is a deal killer for any upgrade these days. I run a 3770 on a file server running esxi 5.5u3. The system has 32gb of memory
and handles 7 VMS and 9x6TB seagate disks. If you had money to burn I would go with a Ryzen 1700, however, unless you are doing any CPU
intensive tasks it would be an absolute waste. You will not see any difference between a 3770 and Ryzen unless you are doing CPU intensive tasks.

I have had a hard time recommending upgrades to anyone because of DDR4 prices. The 3770/4790k are holding their value extremely well these days because you can build nice home servers around them with 16-32gb of ddr3 for under $350.
Yes you are absolutely right about RAM. As I will have 32 gb of DDR3 left when I upgrade my main system, it made sense to reuse. This save me $300-$400 on new 32-gb of ram by sticking to an older platform for the server.

I with all this $$$ I have saved, I am eagerly waiting to see what more review on i9-9900k and Threadripper Zen+ next month for new workstation/gamer build.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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I would pick up a Q8400S on ebay ($9.99 OBO, 65w, 2.66Ghz) and undervolt it. I had a Q8200 that would work at stock speed near 1V and never had the fan ramp up. I put a 30% overclock on it still with an undervolt at 1.2V stable.
 
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LightningZ71

Senior member
Mar 10, 2017
659
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He's going to loose a lot of single thread performance going to a Q8400 series from the two core he's got now. The Q9550 (and S, and above) is the only upgrade that doesn't sacrifice single core performance on his system. I've got a Q8400 and, while it will get the task done, it's not particularly quick about it. I've worked on a Q9560 system before and it's a noticeable difference from the 8400 on anything that leans into single core performance.
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
636
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IMO for regular file serving, one of the modern NAS boxes all the way. Less hassle in maintenance and broad feature set. I'd just pick up a synology box or so and call it a day
 
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