This is a 3 part series that inlcudes:
- SharePoint Development Server Build - Part 1, The Specs
- SharePoint Development Server Build - Part 2, The Build
- SharePoint Development Server Build - Part 3, The Install
- CPU - AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8150FRGUBOX ($159.99)
- As before, AMD was an easy choice over Intel. 8 cores vs 4 cores and at ~$40 savings. Plus, its 8 cores! How awesome is that!
- I was able to get a discount on this item, its normally $189.99.
- Motherboard - ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX ($84.99)
- This was a highly rated board from NewEgg and was compatible with the FX-8150.
- RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-8GBXL ($24.99 x 4)
- Highly rated RAM from NewEgg, plus all G.Skill items have a lifetime warranty, big plus!
- This was purchased on sale, its normally $34.99 a stick.
- SSD - Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive) ($95.99)
- Highly rated SSD and it was on sale!
- HDD - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($69.99)
- I wanted a beefy HDD at the best price, this fit the bill.
- Video - EVGA 01G-P3-1312-LR GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card ($29.99)
- I wanted a basic video card as the motherboard had no on-board video.
- Power - Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-450 450W Continuous @ 50°C, 80 PLUS GOLD Certified, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V ... ($59.99)
- This was recommended via a forum post on a builders forum. It came highly rated, and I appreciated the advice as power supplies are not my area ;)
- Case - Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ... ($49.99)
- Its a case, but it has neon!
- Cables - Rosewill Model RCAB-11050 18" SATA III Red Flat Cable w/ Locking Latch, Supports 6 Gbps, 3 Gbps, and 1.5 Gbps ($3.49 x 2)
- Wanted some cool red cables to hook up the drives!
- No SSD - Take the SSD out and you're shaving ~$100 off that price tag. In all honesty you don't need it for a dev machine, but I wanted the warm and fuzzy feeling of having a super fast boot.
- CPU - Move down to a 6 core processer and you'll save some money. 6 cores is still a lot of power.
- Motherboard/Case/Video/Power - All of these components could be less expensive. More aggressive price shopping here could save some money as well. My goal here was the highest rated I felt comfortable spending on.
- No Monitor - I plan on using remote desktop, so that obviously saved $$.
Now on to the build! I'm not going to go through all the steps, below you'll find some pics and high level descriptions. One thing to note is I did not get any optical drives, so no DVD/CDs here. The motherboard supported boot from USB, so I used the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to create a bootable USB drive from an ISO. This tool was great! I bought a new 8GB USB drive for $14 as this tool will format the drive in the process, so I wanted something that didn't already have any files on it. Once I was done, I just deleted all the files and I have a new flash drive. w00t!
Here are some pics:
Here is the empty case with the motheboard in the background.
Motherboard with CPU and heatsink installed. This was my first build and this part made me nervous. It took a lot of pressure to get that heatsink installed, I thought for sure the board was going to break!
Motherboard installed in the case with all the RAM installed. At this point everything is installed and I just need to connect all the wiring.
This was the first power on. The ASRock motherboard has a nice GUI interface. Everything looked good!
Final product sitting at a Windows Server 2012 login screen. From power on to login screen takes about 10 seconds! Power of the SSD!
So that's it. A beefy development machine for well under $700. I hope this post shows that you can build a well spec'd out machine for relatively little money. In my case, SharePoint and .NET are my career path so dropping that money was truly an investment in my future. I plan on using this machine to build a SharePoint 2013 Farm, as well as several stand alone machines for various purposes.