Gustavo Duarte posted a nice guide a while back on building a quad-core server. As I mentioned in an earlier post, you might find it preferable to use a remoted hosted server instead of building and hosting your own, by using providers like Linode or Bytemark. But if you are interested in creating your own server machine, here are some updated notes and prices (via Newegg).
- Some processor options: AMD Phenom 9850 ($159) or 9950 ($199) quad-core processors.
- Compatible motherboard such as this micro ATX sized one ($78) or this regular ATX one ($188).
- A hard drive(s) such as this one (~$100)
- 4 gigs RAM ($40) or more. See motherboard specifications for max RAM supported.
- Micro ATX case such as this quiet one ($75) or this traditional one ($70). Get a bigger ATX case if you get an ATX motherboard.
- DVD burner ($29 and less)
- Then get monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers etc. if needed.
That comes to under $500 or more depending on your options. If you want to use it as a regular desktop machine, you’ll want to also look into a bigger power supply, graphics card, and other options.
Once you build the server, you’ll want to update the BIOS and install an operating system, such as Debian or Ubuntu. Here are some notes on setting up the software for an Ubuntu server, including firewall protection.
Another nice idea is to run each server in its own virtual machine. There are various virtualization options such as Xen, VirtualBox and so forth. The one Ubuntu apparently favors is KVM. See various notes on setting up and using KVM (here, here, here).