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Gaming on server hardware? (ML350 w/ video and sound cards added)

Rob Nance
Occasional Visitor

Gaming on server hardware? (ML350 w/ video and sound cards added)

I have found threads, and they are never specific enough. This is impossible to google, because you find so much about gaming servers for hosting.

First, my reason. I want this for personal use. I want a server that I can run ESXi on, and it's very specific on what you can run it on, due to drivers. I could try and piece together a white list compatible ESXi box, but it'd be hit or miss. The other side is that I want to be able to play some games, but don't want to have to invest in a second machine, and I don't want the noise and space of a second machine (wife factor). I just want to add something like a Radeon 2850 and a sound card. I am not looking for it to perform better than a dedicated desktop system, but within 10% or so on average would be nice.

Fully buffered RAM should not hold it back. Xeon processors don't seem like they'd be bad for gaming, and most of that load falls on the GPU. I plan on running a RAID 0+1 setup for the space allocated for Vista. And then we come to Vista, am I going to see missing drivers here?

I just want to know what problems you all think I might encounter with this setup, or dealbreakers. Or if anyone has heard of someone doing this, properly (not with onbard video)?

Thanks
2 REPLIES
Heironimus
Honored Contributor

Re: Gaming on server hardware? (ML350 w/ video and sound cards added)

A Proliant probably won't have the PCI Express x16 slot you'd want for a gaming video card. If you get an older model that predates PCI Express it may not have an AGP slot either.

Your PCI slots will probably all be PCI-X. A lot of cheap consumer PCI cards won't work in those. You'll need to do your homework.

I'm not sure that you'll be able to get Vista drivers for the storage controller in a Proliant. HP doesn't put much effort in to supporting desktop operating systems on server hardware.
Rob Nance
Occasional Visitor

Re: Gaming on server hardware? (ML350 w/ video and sound cards added)

Actually, I am looking to buy new, so it would be a G5. It does have pci-e x8 slots, but not x16.

I have also since found that people have gotten Vista and XP installed on G5 ML350s, so I don't think that would be a problem. I'll need to look into the PCI-E X8/x16 situation some more.