Perhaps the very best way of gaining a comprehensive understanding of server computers and how they work is to delve deeper than the surface to explore their core components. They may be pretty complicated and complex pieces of kit in a technical sense, but are at the same time relatively simple by way of their breakdown and component-composition. Server components are almost always built from superior quality/performance components than a standard computer, but what exactly can you expect to find under the hood?
Just as is the case with any computer, server computers feature a primary motherboard that is the foundation circuit board upon which the rest of the computer is built. Technically speaking, you could say that motherboards are the computers at their very core. Components are then added to the motherboard to build a working server computer including processors, memory, primary storage devices, input/output ports, graphics cards, expansion slots and so on.
Often referred to as the computer’s brain, the CPU generally determines exactly how powerful, capable and to a large extent reliable the system as a whole will be. CPUs represent only one piece of a much larger puzzle but are a very important piece nonetheless. There are various processor types – Pentium D, Itanium 2, Xeon, etc. – that are designed specifically for use in server computers.
Just as is the case with all computers, the more memory (RAM) you can pack into a server computer, the better. Server computers need considerably more RAM than standard PCs to operate efficiently.
SATA hard drives are slowly but surely becoming the tools of choice for use in server computers as they are considerably better in terms of performance and reliability than standard IDE hard drives. In terms of size, once again it’s a case of more being better.
Perhaps the most important part of any server computer, sufficient network adapters, and connections must be present in order for the system to be used as a server in the first place.
Server computers very rarely have any need for high-level graphics cards and video performance – the quality of a server’s graphics and video prowess will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on its performance as a server.
Last but not least, the larger and more complex the server computer in question, the larger the power supply that will be required. More often than not, server computers are powered using 300-watt power supplies.
Check out our full range of server parts and components.