Upgrading My Server To AMD Athlon II X2 255 and AM3 Motherboard

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GraysonPeddie's picture
Joined: 10/29/2006
Posts: 570

I'm thinking about upgrading my server to AM3. That means upgrading my CPU, motherboard, and the memory. I'm planning to go with 4GB, which gives me ample room to run a virtual machine that can take up to 1.5GB of RAM and a couple of low-memory virtual machines (mainly Linux and maybe try out ReactOS as a server OS for ASP.net web server using Mono and Apache -- well, just for experienment). So, aside from the power supply, case, and hard drive (I don't use optical drives but only a flash drive for installing Linux), here are the components that I'm thinking about getting:

AMD Athlon II X2 255 CPU: $62.99
ECS Black Series A785GM-AD3 Motherboard: $69.99
G.Skill 2GB DDR3 RAM: $39.99

So the total cost of the upgrade is $172.97 before shipping.

So, does anyone have any recommendations that are very similar to above components? Besides having a dual-core CPU with hardware virtualization, I really wanted a motherboard with integrated GPU, although it will only be used if it's not possible to make system-wide changes via secured shell (SSH), such as BIOS or when it comes to upgrading Ubuntu Server. Of course, I can't wait to see VGA ports disappear very very soon. It's very unnecessary to take up space in the back of my computer case (perhaps an RS232 port could be useful for me, but I could add a multiport adapter to a PCI slot if needed).

For the motherboard, does the motherboard (that I listed above) support undervolting? Basically, I want to try to get the CPU to run at 0.7 volts if the p-state is 800MHz and for the max p-state of 3.1GHz, it could run at a max of 1.1 volts. So basically, I want to have a CPU that runs as efficiently as possible while still being stable in a server.

Right now, it seems to me that the selection of CPU and motherboards are quite limited, so maybe I'm thinking I should wait for new APUs (accelerated processor units) and motherboards that support AM3+? I doubt I'll get an AMD Zacate E-350 APU that can go with an ATX motherboard and that I don't know how the E-350 will compare to Athlon II X2 255 CPU, although the E-350 does have a GPU built-in. Perhaps transcoding of live TV shows using MythTV as a backend (for server use) could be very useful.

PC: Tt Core V21; Kaveri APU, 16GB RAM, GTX 960, Arch Linux
Server: Rosewill Legacy V6-S, AMD Athlon 5350 APU, 8GB RAM, 90W DC-IN PSU, Ubuntu Server