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Building a small server???

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TUK101

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
Wash. State
I am going to set up a small network to game through. I will have up to 6 computers hooked up to it at a time, and am wondering if I should bother with setting up a server to run it through? The #! game that I will be playing through the network will most likely be Unreal Tournament. Others will include Motorcross Madness, and Starcraft. Unreal Tournament suggests setting up a designated server to maintain a high bandwidth so that everyone gets to enjoy a smooth game. I am wondering how many mhz of a processor, and how much ram and hardrive I should have for a designated gaming server. I have shopped around and can build a 500 mhz Celeron system pretty cheap (around $300 or less). (I am still learning about networking and can use any advice. I already know that I need a switch and network cards. Will it be enough just to have a switch, or would everyone benefit from have a server running things?
 

foshdawg

Registered
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Location
ALABAMA YO!
it depends on the frequency of gaming. if you play a lot, it'd be best to set up a LAN server. as for the actual specs of a box, i'm not really sure but i'd guess if the box is fully capable of running the game and handling the mass quantities of info passing to and from the server, it'd be able to run no problem.
 

Krieger

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Location
North of Boston, MA
The games will tend to run faster with a dedicated server, but with only 6 or so people playing it may not matter. I assume that you are playing on a lan, so I'm going to tell you what has worked for me in the past. I would say get your network cards and the switch(Make sure it's a switch as you will get full bandwith) then try running a few games. See if you notice if things are runing slow... then you have the option of builsing the server. But I have hosted some games for about 6 people(plus bots from time to time) without running a dedicated server. The nice thing about a lan on a switch is that you have almost no lag. I dont think it would be cost effective for you to build a server to run the games, you should be ok without running dedicated.
 
OP
TUK101

TUK101

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
Wash. State
Right on. Thats what I wanted to hear. If I dont have to build a comp as a server, then I will have enough money to get a better vid card, or maybe just build a second comp as a spare, so that maybe somebody else can use it to game. I have a couple of extra video cards, a Voodoo 3 and a Voodoo 5 so I am kindof wanting to build a couple of extra cheap comps to make use of those cards. I have a couple of extra small hd's too and some extra ram, so a couple of extra comps wont cost too much. So maybe a server would be possible for cheap, or maybe just use the comps for extras so that peeps dont have to drag thiers over.
 

h20link

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2002
Location
down at fraggle rock
well game servers are all about the RAM....minimum 512 for a game server i would say, and a gig would be even better....video card won't matter too much since it's serving, and the HD will need to be big enough to hold the games you're hosting.

I think maximum PC recommended 30mhz/per player from the CPU and 10mb of RAM/per player but the RAM statistic seems low.....hosting a game is a RAM eater if there ever was one. I've hosted rogue spear on 320 mb of ram, and it wasn't enough....so get yourself some 512 sticks and a mobo with a good bus, like 200 or 266 if you're going AMD and see what you can come up with.

My friends and I bought an 8 port 10baset hub for gaming, it was twenty five bucks shipped and we lan rogue spear on it....it's fun but like i said it's RAM hungry when you host. The bus on my new rig is 266 and man that helped a lot as far as killing lag that a player might encounter.

anyways, hope that helps.--h20link
 

Warlord2

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
Location
Bakersfield,CA
I go to 20 person lan parties and I am usually the one putting up a server. I can host 32 person server not dedecated without really any problem. I have done 20 players and some bots to make 32. this is on a oc [email protected] with the fsb at 150 so that prolly helped ALOT. I only had 256meg ram so I just set the cache pretty big.

the bad thing about setting up a none dedicated server is that you have 0 ping and everyone else has 10-20 ping wich makes it easyer to kill people;)

right now Im working on making a cheap server box with lots of ram and a overclocked celly (man those things are cheap now).

you shouldnt have a problem hosting a 6 person server I have even done it with my dell 500mhz computer with 128megs of ram.
 

Krieger

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Location
North of Boston, MA
that's my point. because he's not going to be hosting more than a handful of nodes on the network he should be fine. I agree that he should have a decent amount of ram and a good proc for the system he does the hosting on(I use mine when I host at my family's house). I've hosted games like starcraft(3 human, 3 computer), half-life, UT, and a handful of others. my system is only a celly 466 oced to 566, 256emgs of pc100 ram, 40 gig WD hd, and a first generation asus v3400TNT video card. so believe me, you dotn need much when hosting a handful of systems. and like he said, maybe hell build a dedicated one later... I'm working on that right now myself.. now just to figure out a way to canablize my girlfriend's computer ... and swap it for the P120 @133... muuu hhahahahah
 

MoPMatrix

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
NJ
I host alot of game servers, they dont take much cpu power,, 300-400mhz will be plenty, they mostly use mem,
something like 256 is nice,, but 512 or higher is just over kill, unless ur hostin like a 60person server, then ur guna want alot

My friend has hosted games on a 200mhz with 32mb it was fine, just not for hugh games :p
 
OP
TUK101

TUK101

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
Wash. State
Cool, lots of different opinions, but all saying some of the same things. Basically, I dont need much of a cpu, and lots of ram. 256-500 megs should be fine for 6 comps running off of the server. Cant I just find a switch that does the same thing? One that has a bit of ram built in to take up some of the lag? Dumb question now. I have a 120 mhz pentium 1 system that I could add around 80 megs of ram to. (I think that I have about 80 megs of simms for it). Would that work as a server at all, or is that not enough ram or processor? Shees, I would pay more in simm memory than I would on just building a comp for a server lol. Can I run a network without a switch if I build a server?
 

Krieger

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Location
North of Boston, MA
Cant I just find a switch that does the same thing? One that has a bit of ram built in to take up some of the lag?

Well not really, the lag is caused by the response time for a packet to get from the user to the server to the user again... it's funny that in all these years I'm still not that good at explaining this. What is nice about a switch is that every user has access to the full bandwidth of the connection. On a hub you lose bandwith as people connect. Unfortuanlty I have never run a game server on a system that slow so I really can't tell if it would or would not work. I would suspect that it would run fairly slow. you should take the money you were going to invest into the simms and get a small cheap computer that you can jack up it's ram. You can build a network without a switch but you still need a device that connects all 6 computers together... in this case a hub. But if I was you I would just buy an 8 port switch as will likely cost as much as a hub if not a couple bucks more.
 
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TUK101

TUK101

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
Wash. State
LOL, I understand how the server works...theoretically. I guess that I will just buy a 5 or an 8 port switch and maybe build a cheap comp as a backup for the others to use. I have been pricing things and you can build a comp pretty darned cheap now.