Oke this thread is about the "Hardware" part of servers and server hosting. Lets get some base thread rules down first! This will NOT become a AMD Vs. Intel thread! Only post FACTS. Do not post things that might be true. No flame wars about "my machine is bigger then yours" Thread Facts! VPS = Small hosted server on a shared machine in the cloud. Dedicated Machine = Full rented machine in the cloud. This is NOT shared. Managed Hardware = Server or PC Owned by YOU and hardware managed by YOU. So lets begin. Oke if you are new to hosting or running a server this thread is a good starting point for you! Read it carefully. Of you are renting a VPS or Dedi Machine, Make sure you know what you are getting for your money. With this i mean. if the service website is NOT displaying what CPU you run on or Ram specs, Go to the support and ask them. If they are not willing to tell you, Change host... Unlike you may have bin told, The server hardware you have is VERY important! And it is not just a matter of "WE NEED MORE RAM", There are a lot of factors about hosting a good minecraft server. We will try and discus them here one by one. Hard Drive or SSD ? So this is something most of the people i talk to don't even want to go into. The response i get is "Man it is way to much overkill". This is NOT the case. It is very simple and easy to see why. A HDD is a "Hard Drive Disk" This means it is a Spinning disk with a moving reader head, so if you want data from point A and then data from point B, your HDD speed will be as fast as the Reader arm can move from point A to point B. So this is more of a "Analog" system of data storage. But a SSD "Solid State Drive" is a solid drive. It is a Storage Drive that has NO moving parts. Like a "Digital" data storage, this means you are not limited to the speed of your Disk spinner motor and your Reader header moving to the point it needs to. Also a SSD will have multiple "Threads" it will be able to read and write data to the drive, on different locations at once. With a HDD it cant be done since you have only 1 Reader arm. This is called "IOPS" or "Input/Output Operations Per Second". Some small facts about HDD and SSD. A HDD only has 75 up to 175 IOPs. a SSD in that matter has from 8.400 up to 12.000.000 IOPs. Why is this so important? Your files like your world files or flatfiles, will be constantly read/rewritten by your server. So if you have a larger map where you got a couple of players + your operating system is running. you already goble all those IOPs down. You dont need a Fancy 12 Mil IOPs SSD. A 10.000 will do perfectly fine for a very large server. And those are very cheap these days. you can get a small SSD for 70$ these days. The Ram! Your ram is something that you need, but not the huge amounts some of you think. To clear out my point. From the moment you have 5Gig or more, your CPU will probably bottleneck your system. So dont go buying 16Gig of ram, you really dont need it. And for the guys here that say "Ramdisk Ramdisk Ramdisk Ramdisk", Please take in account that you might have a fast "Drive" but it will limit your world size by a LOT due to the cost of Ramdisks. And, it is VERY insecure due to the fact that it is unstable. And if you lose power or a crash, you lose the data on the ram disk. But back to Ram. Ram 2 main things next to the total Gig. The speed of the ram, put down in Mhz. And the Latency. So the lower your latency the faster your info will be in and out of your ram towards or from the CPU or other media. Again the faster your Mhz, the faster data gets handled. You dont need more then 1600Mhz. Most mainboards run on 1333Mhz anyway and will need overclocking to run the ram on 1600Mhz. The latency on DDR3 1333Mhz is LC8 or LC9. Even LC10 is still acceptable, but don't go much higher than that. The CPU! First off I will talk about intel since intel is at this point the biggest CPU's you can get. Your CPU is your server's heart. Everything will go to and from your CPU. So don't cut out on it. You have some main specs that you need to look at on a CPU. First you need to know that minecraft (At this point in time) is a SINGLE core application. Apart from some mods that will use a second core you will have no need for 16 Core servers. A 4 Core server will do perfectly fine! The Ghz. This is a tricky one. A lot of you here compare all CPU's with there Ghz. This is not how CPU's work. Oke a Ghz is in perspective the "speed" of the CPU. But, there Ghz are NOT equal over all brands and series of CPU's. So this means. If we take 2 CPU's and both compare them on single core performance. A Core 2 Duo on the 775 socket @ 2.8Ghz. Vs. Core I7 Socket 1366 @ 2.8Ghz. Both the Ghz are equal but still the newer series I7 will be a lot faster then the Cure 2 Duo. This is due to the fact that it uses a different architecture. It is build differently. In main terms, The newer CPU's dont go "faster" but then can handle bigger data packets, where older CPU's needed to split them up and do them part by part. Intel works on "Tick" and "Tock", Every "Tick" is a new Architecture. And every "Tock" is on the same architecture but improved a lot. At this point we are on the "Tock" with the socket 2011 Sandy-Bridge series This all counts for AMD as well. There current bulldozer series is really not so amazing as we hoped it to be, but we can just hope they will get back on top with there new series. But back to intel. There is more to a CPU. You need to look at your Cache as well. Dont use a 1MByte cash. The cash is used to cover a small backlog of data to the CPU. So it can catch it. So the bigger your cash the better. Also look at what the max memory size is that your CPU can handle and what the Memory bandwidth is. Just google your CPU number and check on benchmark websites like this. The Network! I hope most of you can see the importance of this. You NEED a good Uplink. Your download speed wont be used. You are fine with 1Mbit download. Your upload is what you need. Get at least 10Mbit upload speed. Since on a modded server you have use up to 1Mbit per player thanks to all the extra special data blocks. Just look at micro blocks of Redpower. This block will contain: Block ID. Position of the block inside the 1 by 1 cube. And all the data of all the other blocks in the same 1 by 1 cube. This is a TON more data over the vanilla 1 block 1 ID.