Hardware - The Ultimate Server: What would it take, what would it do?

  • Please make sure you are posting in the correct place. Server ads go here and modpack bugs go here

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
Looking to take my server to the next level. I have 5-6 people interested in putting up $200 each.

We are looking for a large (160+ mods) 1.10.2 modpack, ideally I'd like to boost the view distance even further as well.

I am looking for smoothness. What would I need to focus on? As it stands right now, I spend $15 a month on a "budget" server through Ramshard. It runs ok, but lags occasionally. If someone is exploring and openning up new territory, everyone else knows it.

I want to make the Cadillac of servers for my world. 5-6 people, large modpack, looking for like 24 view distance (I can live with 16 if I have to), which is 4 times more chunks than the default 12, if that helps. So, imagine hardware enough to run 20-24 people at normal view distances.
 

GamerwithnoGame

Over-Achiever
Jan 29, 2015
2,808
1,507
224
One thing I'm given to understand is that Minecraft does not do multithreading (or at least not properly), so I suspect you would need to have a single very good core instead of a processor made of multiple lesser cores, if that's possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Padfoote

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
I think that is a half-outdated notion, though. 1.9+, I believe, uses multiple cores. I could be wrong there.

But I'm also wondering if there's any kind of software that could maybe generate chunks on 4 different cores simultaneously for the same world or something, too.

I agree that the processing power per core is the more important part, though.
 

Inaeo

New Member
Jul 29, 2019
2,158
-3
0
Ditch any notion of Windows, and run Linux or similar. Keep the overhead nice and low so your server has as much of the hardware where you want it.

I, too, have seen conflicting information on the multi-threadedness of Minecraft in later versions. Clock speed per core is still more important, IMO, but if the load can be split between cores, it should help too. It would be nice to have a definite answer on the topic.

A very quick Google-fu indicated that Dimension management and rendering were allowed multi-core privilege in 1.8+, but the majority of the computation is still single threaded, with chunk generation and mob AI eating a very large chunk of the pie. This means that a server is still handling the vast majority of the load on a single core, as the rendering is being done on the client end.
 

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
Yeah, I was going to try my hand at linux if only because it'd mean not having to buy a license for windows.

My only experience with Linux is that one time when I tried to install it on a whim and ended up having to use a USB drive to boot my PC to windows, lol. So, this will be interesting. I'm sure I'll figure it out though, when it comes to that.
 

Henry Link

Popular Member
Dec 23, 2012
2,601
553
128
USA - East Coast
Mojang did try it one of the snapshots in 1.9 and it was bad enough they pulled change and went back to single thread processing. So you answer is even in 1.12 a fast single core is best for minecraft.

I have verified this on my Linux server. I can see the minecraft/java process occupying a single CPU at 60% at so while the rest of the cores are idle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GamerwithnoGame

Padfoote

Brick Thrower
Forum Moderator
Dec 11, 2013
5,140
5,898
563
Yeah, I was going to try my hand at linux if only because it'd mean not having to buy a license for windows.

My only experience with Linux is that one time when I tried to install it on a whim and ended up having to use a USB drive to boot my PC to windows, lol. So, this will be interesting. I'm sure I'll figure it out though, when it comes to that.

It isn’t too difficult to figure out. Hard part for me was getting the needed drivers installed and playing correctly with hardware that was barely functional at that point.

Assuming what I know hasn’t been outdated since 1.7, which is possible, you’ll want a decent CPU, and based on what @Inaeo just mentioned, you’ll want to focus on one with a good single core clock speed. That should hopefully translate to having a good clock speed for any additional cores it has since those will be used for dimensions, although I don’t know how well implemented that is. You’ll also want an SSD to minimize issues due to read / write speed bottlenecks. Personally I’d aim for a M.2 if I had the money for it, especially because you won’t need a GPU on this build, but that’s up to you.

Edit: Well, @Henry Link ninja’d me with an update about the threading, so aim for a high clock speed and hope for the best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GamerwithnoGame

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
Yes, I was thinking an SSD must make a difference.

And the more I think about it, I'm not totally sure that different cores for dimensions is really all that big of a deal, so it looks like the single core speed is still pretty much THE factor.

Obviously, I could throw in a solid 16 gigs of RAM, too.

I figure those are probably the 3 most important factors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GamerwithnoGame

Padfoote

Brick Thrower
Forum Moderator
Dec 11, 2013
5,140
5,898
563
Yes, I was thinking an SSD must make a difference.

And the more I think about it, I'm not totally sure that different cores for dimensions is really all that big of a deal, so it looks like the single core speed is still pretty much THE factor.

Obviously, I could throw in a solid 16 gigs of RAM, too.

I figure those are probably the 3 most important factors.

16 gigs of RAM is a good idea at this point, especially with about 160 mods. It’ll give MC enough to work with while leaving your OS plenty, especially if it’s a Linux system.
 

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
So, basically, there's no real difference between a "server" and any tower just without the graphics card, right? I'm looking at pre-built servers and it seems like they favor more cores over processing speed, which makes sense if they're used for anything but minecraft. I may just need to custom-build a PC from parts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GamerwithnoGame

Henry Link

Popular Member
Dec 23, 2012
2,601
553
128
USA - East Coast
One last thing I can share is I rent a pretty solid dedicated box out of OVH in Canada. The machine runs an i7 at 4 GHz with 32 GB of ram and an Evo 250 GB SSD. I still see issues even with this hardware on default view settings. Mostly when doing terrain gen with mods that modify the terrain (BoP, RTG, etc.).
 

Padfoote

Brick Thrower
Forum Moderator
Dec 11, 2013
5,140
5,898
563
So, basically, there's no real difference between a "server" and any tower just without the graphics card, right? I'm looking at pre-built servers and it seems like they favor more cores over processing speed, which makes sense if they're used for anything but minecraft. I may just need to custom-build a PC from parts.

Basically. It gets more complicated than that if you want a real server, but for things like this that's all it is. If I were building a server for anything but Minecraft, I would do more cores first. But since this is for Minecraft, I'd sacrifice cores for processing power. If you'd like, I can toss together a quick parts list that I would probably go off of since I have a bit of down time at work and post it here.

Edit: Here it is. I was bored. Only thing missing is a case, gonna leave that for you since that is very much personal preference. Price split is about $108.25 per person for 5 people, or $90.21 for 6 people. Obviously take that list with a grain of salt, I'm not claiming to be an expert on this stuff, only a very bored person with too much time on their hands to learn this stuff at work and may have made some mistakes with putting it together.
 
Last edited:

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
I was just on that same sit putting something together. I went to save the setup and accidentally cleared it. But I got 4.7 ghz, 16 gigs of ram, box, mobo, 512 gig SSD and every part was 4-stars and the whole thing came out to about $695, but I lost it! lol

I'll work off or your picks and fill it up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Padfoote

Hambeau

Over-Achiever
Jul 24, 2013
2,598
1,531
213
I was just on that same sit putting something together. I went to save the setup and accidentally cleared it. But I got 4.7 ghz, 16 gigs of ram, box, mobo, 512 gig SSD and every part was 4-stars and the whole thing came out to about $695, but I lost it! lol

I'll work off or your picks and fill it up.

If you go with a M.2 nvme SSD, I'd recommend the Samsung 960 EVO (I've seen $117 for the 240GB model). It has about the fastest transfer speeds I've seen so far. It has a 5 year warranty :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Padfoote

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
I had never heard of m.2 before today and dont' totally know what that means (I assume it related to the speed, kind of like USB 3.0, etc), but I did check off the m.2 boxes on the search, then the 4-star box and found a decently price 512 gb SSD in there for, I think it was $199
 

Padfoote

Brick Thrower
Forum Moderator
Dec 11, 2013
5,140
5,898
563
I had never heard of m.2 before today and dont' totally know what that means (I assume it related to the speed, kind of like USB 3.0, etc), but I did check off the m.2 boxes on the search, then the 4-star box and found a decently price 512 gb SSD in there for, I think it was $199

To sum it up fairly fast, it's an SSD in a different form factor, and it has a faster read / write speed than your standard SSD because of it. Only downside I've found so far is they can get quite hot since most get placed right next to the GPUs.
 

Drbretto

Popular Member
Mar 5, 2016
1,886
781
139
To sum it up fairly fast, it's an SSD in a different form factor, and it has a faster read / write speed than your standard SSD because of it. Only downside I've found so far is they can get quite hot since most get placed right next to the GPUs.

Which shouldn't be an issue sincethis needs no gpu. cool.

Now, can someone explain to me why this is so cheap?

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/pGrG3C/amd-cpu-fd9590fhhkwof

4.7 ghz, 8 cores? For $126 dollars? That can't be right, right?
 

Padfoote

Brick Thrower
Forum Moderator
Dec 11, 2013
5,140
5,898
563
Which shouldn't be an issue sincethis needs no gpu. cool.

Now, can someone explain to me why this is so cheap?

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/pGrG3C/amd-cpu-fd9590fhhkwof

4.7 ghz, 8 cores? For $126 dollars? That can't be right, right?

It's over four years old, runs quite hot from what I'm finding, and apparently the single core performance isn't the best. Which I'm doubting honestly, seems like people fanboying over Intel more than anything.
 

Hambeau

Over-Achiever
Jul 24, 2013
2,598
1,531
213
Which shouldn't be an issue sincethis needs no gpu. cool.

Now, can someone explain to me why this is so cheap?

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/pGrG3C/amd-cpu-fd9590fhhkwof

4.7 ghz, 8 cores? For $126 dollars? That can't be right, right?

That series was replaced by Ryzen, which performs twice as well. I upgraded from an [email protected] (8 core) with a Ryzen 5 [email protected] (6 cores) and get better performance. I'll be upgrading to an 1800x and using the 1600 in a "new" system for the wife, thanks to Black Friday savings :D
 

Hambeau

Over-Achiever
Jul 24, 2013
2,598
1,531
213
It's over four years old, runs quite hot from what I'm finding, and apparently the single core performance isn't the best. Which I'm doubting honestly, seems like people fanboying over Intel more than anything.

Intel definitely performed better than these AMD chips, but people like me will give up a dozen FPS to save $100+ on the CPU and $50+ on the Motherboard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Padfoote