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Anand Killi

Professional Web Developer (Adobe AEM)

My first PC build

Home of my personal web

It's one of those rare days after a job change and waiting for the project to kick off, I had both the key resources with me at the same time which we all dream about...Time and Money! As I was reading online I have stumbled across an article about deploying website on our very own pc at home. I wanted to host 'some' website for a long time but never had the time to actually do it. Web hosting has become very convenient and affordable now a days with lot of companies offering free web hosting and tlds which you can pick for less than a dollar for the first year (you may have to compromise a bit on the hostname having the company name in it and portion of the page advertising their business).

But there is always a punch in the DIY. So I wanted to create a website and host it on my own machine. I wanted to see as much as ME in my website, I develop it, I build the PC, I configure and maintain it (never intended it to be my portfolio though, that's too much ME there). 

I was considering Raspberry PI just get my hands on it. I later decided to build the website in AEM so had to look at other options. From that point onwards I did a lot of YouTubing to learn about PC building and how to choose right parts in the budget so that it has just the right capacity for what you want to do with it. There isn't much talk in YouTube about what the right configuration for a home webserver. All I came to know is you can literally covert any PC into a webserver, even an ESP8266 for that matter.

I set my budget to $200 and stated researching what is the best hardware I can get. CPU is the first part we should decide on as that drives the decision of what you need to pair for compatibility. I went with an AMD processor after looking at what I can get for under $50. AMD is the go to processor for a budget build which gives a better bang for your buck. I bought a AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini processor which has 4 physical cores and runs at 2.5 GHZ clock speed at stock. Choosing the other parts was an easy job. The only other thing I had to research about it whether to get one stick of 8GB ram or two 4 Gig sticks. In my case I went with a single stick of 8 GB as the processor has only one memory controller. So a kit might not add much value here and I have the option to add another 8 GB later if I wish.

Here are the parts I ended up with which costed $189 for all new parts. I used newegg.com to research about all the parts and bought them in jet.com to avail the 15% discount. 

  1. AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini quad core processor
  2. MSI AM1i mini itx motherboard
  3. Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB single stick RAM
  4. Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
  5. In win BP655.FH300TB3 Mini ITX Tower Case w/300W Power Supply
  6. Sabrent 2.5" to 3.5" drive bay converter

The important things to note

  • Get a processor with as many cores as possible as Apache can take advantage of it
  • Use an SSD instead of the mechanical hard drive. Webserver for the most part serves cached pages from hard disc so it needs to be as fast as possible. If budget and motherboard permits, even get a M.2 ssd for lightning fast