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Tips to Building Your Own Server

Building a server yourself is an incredibly smart idea (assuming you have somewhat of an idea as to what you’re doing) as it will allow you to use used or refurbished parts (which are cheaper than new parts), and it will also allow you to customize the machine to your exact specifications. When attempting to build your own server, it is important to understand the crucial components that make up a decent server. These parts include the server’s processor, hard drives, video cards, memory, motherboard, PCI card, and power supply unit.


The processor, often referred to as the CPU, is the hardware within your machine that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. In other words, the processor is the brain of your processor. Processors have the incredibly important job of allowing your system the essential amount of power for its day-to-day functions.

Hard Drives

Hard disk drives (HDD) are storage devices used for storing and retrieving digital information. They consist of one or more rapidly rotating rigid disks (also known as platters), with magnetic heads arranged on a moving actuator arm that write data to the surfaces. HDDs retain information even when your system is powered down, making them an essential part of your server.

Video Cards:

A video card, often referred to as a graphics card, is an expansion card that generates a feed of output images to a display (generally your monitor). Video cards can be integrated either into your computer’s motherboard or its CPU.


RAM (Random Access Memory) is an extremely important aspect of your system. It is a form of computer data storage that your server uses for all of its currently active programs and processes. So, it almost goes without saying that the more processes you execute, the more memory will be taken up. If your server has an insufficient amount of RAM, its overall performance will suffer.


A motherboard is the heart of any computer configuration. Motherboards hold all of the crucial electronic components of your server system, including its central processing unit and its memory.

PCI Cards

PCI stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect. A PCI card, then, is a local computer bus that is used to attach hardware devices in a server system. Some of the typical PCI cards found in most computers today include network cards, sound cards, modems, extra ports, TV tuner cards, and disk controllers. While PCI video cards are available for older computers and servers, most video cards today are either AGP or PCI Express (PCI-e).

Power Supply Unit

Your server’s power supply unit (PSU) operates your server’s processor and other peripheral devices by changing alternating current from a wall socket to low-voltage direct current. Without a reliable PSU integrated into your server, you risk possible damage to your server as well as data loss when the PSU inevitably fails.

So there you have it, the major components found inside all servers. If you’re considering building your own, I highly suggest using refurbished or used server parts. These parts perform at factory standards and generally come with a warranty, just like new parts. However, used server parts will cost you a fraction of what new ones will. Who can say no to that?