Monolith is the name of my main server. This server runs 24x7 as it hosts the virtual servers that run my email and web servers as well as my file shares. Due to my upgrade to Exchange 2013 the hardware that the server was running on needed upgrading. The main reason for this was down to RAM, I needed more virtual RAM for the Exchange 2013 virtual servers and on DDR2 the cost was too high to warrant sticking with the old hardware.

The design specification was straight forward. The system needed to be powerful enough to run my virtual servers for the forseable future and provide resilience to the critical data volumes. I chose to base the system on a Gigabyte Z87-HD3 motherboard as this provided the interfaces I needed as well as on-board RAID. All new motherboards come with integrated video cards due to the Intel Core CPU graphics so this meant I wouldn't need to install / power a card.

The CPU I chose was a Core i7-4770K running at 3.5GHz on 4 physical cores with 4 virtual hyper-threaded cores. i also included 32GB of RAM on 4x 8GB sticks at PC3-12800C10. With 16Gb of RAM the virtual allocations of the RAM was too tight.

The break down of the major costs are as follows:

£30    Thermalright Macho 120 CPU Cooler
£70    Gigabyte Z87-HD3 Intel Z87 (Socket 1150) DDR3 ATX Motherboard
£200    Patriot Viper "Black Mamba" Generation 3 16GB
£200    Intel Core i7-4770K 3.50GHz (Haswell) Socket LGA1150 Processor
£100    Fractal Design Define XL Full Tower Case

Various other minor costs for fans and adapters for power cabling.