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Hardware Recommendations
Hi all.

I'm wondering if anyone has some hard numbers on what the minimum recommended hardware configuration for a source ds should be?

I'm running a server on a p4 2.6ghz machine with 768MB ram and no graphics acceleration, and this seems to work fine, but I'm guessing that a lesser machine, particularly under Linux, should do the trick. I'd like to build a new server on the cheap, but I don't want to get less than I need. What's the minimum you'd try?

Maybe people could post hardware specs on some lower-end dedicated servers they're having success with?

What game are you planning on running? Gaming Servers
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Ok, here is the system I've currently got running:

P3 800
512 PC133
Slackware 10
Cable modem

This will run source but it's not really running at it's optimum. I tend to see lag spikes when people go through windows or smoke grenades are thrown. I am planning on tunning the server and adding more memory though and if I see any significant improvement in performance I'll let you know.

hmmmm, ram always helps but im thinking the processor is a little crippling. Tweak settings and you might have it, the cable modem is a serious worry, you need a lot of upload speed.

If your in the US or Canada they tend to have more upload so maybe 12 players at a push, more likely 10.
Anywhere in europe: upload speeds tend to be a hell of a lot lower.

Linux is only good for stability, its not necessarily faster.
Good luck either way Gaming Servers
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Cable modem will NOT allow you to run your server smoothly. When your neighbor downloads or uploads something... your connection goes to frozen... not slow... frozen. Let's also not forget that if YOU do anything else with your connection (ie. browse or download) the server will freeze. There is nothing you can do about it and you will spend weeks trying to mess with rates and such but it WILL NOT WORK. Trust me, I've tried with my cable connection at 1.5Mb upload. Pings were great, but lag spikes were terrible. They will clear your server out in a second.

If you are wanting a small 8-10 slot server for neighborhood friends or something, it is bearable, but you can also look around at gameserver companies and get a really good deal on a 10-12 slot server for less than the cost of upgrading your cable's upstream. I'm not just saying that because I work for a GS company, but because you will spend many times more on a boosted cable upstream that still lag-spikes (and drive yourself CRAZY trying to fix it) than a datacenter dual Xeon server.

As for hardware, it has been my experience (from running servers from my dorm room in college) that RAM is the biggest factor in running a server. The less you have to rely on swap file, the better. Processors should be reasonably fast (AMD XP 1800+ and higher; P3 1GHz or higher). Try to get one with a large L2 cache. That helps. ATA harddrives with 7200RPM's or higher work fine, though SCSI is better, duh.

Hmmm not sure I entirely agree with the last post. It is true that buying server hosting will give you the best performance, especially if you want to host a large server. That said I've been running an 8 player server just fine on our cable broadband connection (2 Mbps down/ 256 Kbps up). I haven't experienced any of the freezing mentioned. We did get some slight lag last month which turned out to be a housemate but I've upgraded our router firmware which now has some QoS settings. This allows me to give priority to traffic to and from the server at the router and has completely eliminated the lag problem.

So don't be too worried if you want to host smaller servers from you cable connection.
#7|Mob Wrote:... When your neighbor downloads or uploads something... your connection goes to frozen... not slow... frozen.

You see I think that statement is wrong (in the UK anyway). It is true for ADSL down your phoneline. On cable, though, if you are told you have a certain download and upload bandwidth that is because the cable company is throttleing the traffic at the junction box to make sure that's what you get.

I certainly have never been effected by anything our neighbours get up to online and I think there are about 8 houses in our street on telewest.
To quote myself:
Quote:If you are wanting a small 8-10 slot server for neighborhood friends or something, it is bearable

I think it depends on how concentrated your area is. I live in a highly populated area (more people per square mile I guess you could say) and EVERYONE and their dog uses cable here. Like I said, if you want to run a small server for a few friends, a little lag here and there is no big deal.
I appreciate what you are saying in that it is definately necessary to either rent a server or have a very good pipe to be able to run larger servers. I just felt that your original post was a little too negative with regard to the capabilities of cable broadband and might put some people off trying to host smaller games. I guess I was just trying to balance the argument a little.

Non-one is going to pretend that 256 kbps upstream is ideal and hopefully the cable isps will sort out some better connections in the future. However if all you need is a 8 player clan server there really is nothing wrong with hosting it from a cable connection so don't worry about it. If you're sharing the connection try and get a router with some QoS features as this will allow you to give priority to the server traffic (will stop housemates etc.. from swamping the connection).
Thanks for the responses, all.

My question was really more related to hardware than connection speed. Let's assume that your connection is not an issue. What's the minimum configuration of the machine you'd run it on? Someone said they got an 800mhz machine running it. Anyone else get it running respectably on a lesser machine? What suffers on slower machines?

It seems to me that particle systems (explosions) and whatnot shouldn't really suffer too badly, because those get rendered on the client side.

To address the bandwidth issue, I've got a server running on a cable modem that runs like a champ. None of the aforementioned lag issues. Does it run as good as the same server would in a colo facility with a dedicated T1? Probably not. Does it allow for 6-8 people to comfortably throw toilets? Certainly.

I run a private Source server for family and friends on an old PIII-733 MHz (SECC2, even) box with 768 MB of PC133. It's running Mandrake 9.2. GKrellM shows that the CPU load for about 8 players from different parts of the US (ranging from New Mexico to New England; the server is North of Tampa, FL) is not that bad, about 30%. This part of FL is not yet saturated, but lag issues can sometimes occur - but not very often. The server and all its players are on cable modem. My throughput is 3Mbps down/ 356kbps up.

BTW, I also run regular HL1 (and its mods) as well as BF1942, and DesertCombat in coop mode with 12-16 bots.

happy new year,

i'm running a CS:S dedicated server on my epia 600Mhz debian linux box and i got like ~15-20% cpu usage for 4 players...

I have set up a Dual P3 866MHZ Server with 1GB RAM.

I am using a cable connection (6Mbps/512Kbps) and ran my first CS:S dedicated server last night. I had the server filled all night, with no lag from anyone.

I had my client max at 12 users and had 9-12 constantly all night.

I have a 16 player server on a PIII 500MHz with 512 RAM. OS WinXP and ISP is 10Mbit Ethernet.

The server works like a ClockWork Orange... Rock Solid.

I am running a server for both 1.6 and source on the same cpu, 1.6 AMD pro , 512 ram with a broadband cable connection of 4 meg download and 384 upload.
1.6 server hosts 16 players fine with the source server hosting 10 at the same time. Only time we ever get lag is when someone logs in with a bad connection , other than that it works like a champ!

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