Monday, December 10, 2012

SharePoint Development Server Build - Part 2, The Build

In the previous post, SharePoint Development Server Build - Part 1, I outlined all the components I was looking to get for the build of my SharePoint 2013 development machine.  This was a general list of items and aimed at getting the most power/space for the least amount of money.  Well now all the parts are in and the build is upon us.

This is a 3 part series that inlcudes:
So let's take a look at what the final inventory looks like along with pricing:
The grand total with shipping was $660.77.  I think this is a pretty good price for the specs I have.  I was lucky that I was buying during the holiday season, so NewEgg was throwing deals just about every day.  While this price is good, it could be better.  Here are some options that would easily trim the price down:
  • 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 $$.
With the cuts above I suspect you could get this dev machine down to around the $525 mark pretty easily.  Its all about your needs and budget, but hopefully this will dispell the myth of needing to spend massive amounts of money to build a quality dev machine.

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.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. DOH! Sorry didn't mean to remove that comment!! It stated that the power supply may be too low for what I'm doing.

      I had thought so at first too, but not knowing too much about PSUs I went on Toms Hardware and asked over there. This PSU came highly rated and folks over there thought it was the right way to go. The good news is that it will be easily replaced if it can't do the job.

      Thanks, and sorry again about the mess up. :(

  2. Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for putting all together. I was just looking to get laptop with high spec spending quite a lot, but luckily I found your blog and it was quite helpful. I have ordered everything same as you (no SSD). But unfortunately my PC keeps throwing some errors like Dr Debug code 0d. After reading some forums I have done memory and it was ok and no errors was thrown. As you have built everything, I wonder if you have any thing to suggest, like bios setting or UEFI setting and all. Any help would be much appreciated.