CPU Cooler & Total Cost

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CPU heatsink/fan choices, and tallying up the budget for the SFF Home Server Build.

CPU Cooler: Scythe Samuraii ZZ

With approximately 110 mm of clearance between the processor and the power supply above it inside the Lian Li PC-Q08, the Samurai ZZ is a lock as the CPU heatsink. Of the coolers we’ve tested that can physically fit in our chosen setup, the Samurai ZZ is the best performing and has a high quality stock fan. The ZZ also offers cross compatibility with AMD and LGA775 motherboards if that’s your preference.

°C rise Comparison
16 dBA
12 dBA
Scythe Ninja Mini +
Nexus 92 mm fan
Xigmatek HDT-SD964 +
Nexus 92 mm fan
Scythe Samurai ZZ +
Nexus 92 mm fan
Scythe Big Shuriken +
Nexus 120 mm fan
Prolimatech Samuel 17 +
Nexus 120 mm fan
Tested on an AMD Athlon II X4 630 in an open platform.
Compatible coolers in yellow.

Total Cost Breakdown

Cost Comparison: SPCR vs. Budget Build
SPCR Build Components
Street Price (US)
Budget Build Components
Intel Core i3-530
Intel Celeron E3300
Scythe Samurai ZZ
Samurai ZZ
Zotac H55-ITX-C-E
Intel DG45FC
4GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333
2GB DDR2-800
6 x WD Caviar Green 2TB
4 x WD Caviar Green 2TB
Lian Li PC-Q08
Lian Li PC-Q08
Cooler Master Silent Pro M700
Nexus Value 430W

The total cost for our server came out to over US$1,200 but there are a few places we could have skimped without much impact on system performance. If we had opted for a Pentium G6950 processor, 2GB of RAM instead of 4GB, and a Nexus Value 430W power supply, the total price would’ve been shaved down to US$1150 (US$490 without any drives).

A four drive build based on the Intel DG45FC would have lowered the cost to approximately US$845. In comparison, a pre-built WHS box from a manufacturer like HP equipped with a single 1TB retails for around $500~550. Bringing the total capacity up to 8TB would put the cost up a little over our SFF home server, but that would be the current capacity limit with all four of its drive bays filled.

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