This is a quiet but powerful machine that runs 24x7 in my small office/study at home. I'm not a gamer so I'm happy with the onboard Intel HD graphics and don't need a GPU. The rest of the machine is quite high-spec though, with a Core i7 running at 4 GHz, 32 GB of decently fast RAM and SSD for booting.
The OS is Fedora Linux and the machine is used for:
- Host for a CentOS 6 KVM virtual machine that runs 3 minecraft servers for my children and their friends
- Host for a Windows 10 KVM virtual machine for running Windows-only software like Microsoft Money
- Software build machine for my Fedora packaging activities (SSDs also used to cache downloaded data for this)
- DHCP server for home network
The hard disks are all inherited from my older machines that this one is replacing, and are for data storage rather than the OS. All storage devices, including the SSDs, use Linux software (md) RAID1, hence they are all paired. I know from experience that storage devices are eventually going to fail and it's nice that the machine sends me an email about such failures and carries on working whilst I arrange a replacement drive.
When I first put together the machine it didn't boot up, and stopped with a "76" code on the motherboard's LED display. At first I suspected that I needed to flash update the BIOS to support my Devil's Canyon processor, which I was able to do via a USB port even though the machine wouldn't boot. However, it made no difference. So I took the motherboard out of the case and found that one of the case stand-offs was a bit loose. The motherboard seemed happier out of the case, so I tightened up all of the stand-offs, put the motherboard back in the case and all was then well, and I was able to install the OS onto the SSDs.
Thus far I am very happy with the performance, quietness and coolness of this system.