Starter kits – This was the goldilocks zone; not too sparse, and not too expensive. These listings would come with a processor or two installed with heatsinks, a couple of drive caddies (required for adding hard drives), ample (and matching) memory, and seller guarantees of the servers working when they shipped. Sure, they didn’t come with the beefiest RAID controllers, the most RAM, or any storage, but that’s all stuff that can be had fairly cheaply and with the specifications I wanted. This was ultimately the “style” of listing I chose when I made my purchase.
Prebuilt powerhouses – Someone probably had a lot of fun with these. The prebuilt refurbished listings came with almost all the parts I’d need right off the bat, including way more memory than I’d find a use for and usually a few SAS drives installed. The only catch was that these were pricier than what I wanted to spend, and were total overkill in the hardware department compared to my incipient needs. Sure, it’d be great to start off with 144GB of RAM and a pre-established RAID array, but that’s not what I need. After all, I want to learn something hardware wise, and one of the best ways to learn is by doing.
What’s in the box?
Check back soon for the exact parts I chose, photos of the parts (if they come in on time), and a few tips for buying parts on eBay. Don’t want to check back as often? Check out the subscribe box on the right side of the screen, where you can enter your email address and start receiving notifications of each post released, straight to your inbox.
Note – in hindsight, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” would have made a great subtitle.