Anniversary NSFW build


Celebrating the 1st anniversary of the JDM_WAAAT community with a spectacular set of deals


Since this is our first guide that's posted on the website, feel free to ask comments and provide constructive feedback on the associated Reddit thread or in the Discord
Also, take a look at the getting started page for tips on tabletop building, bench testing, troubleshooting, and more. 


In no particular order: Alanman87, Dwell, EagleScreech, Faultline, GamerNoms, Mister_fix_it, Modzor13, VertigOne, Manbearpig, and JDM_WAAAT.


Outline multiple dual socket 2011 solutions, accessories, upgrades, and builds

Build properties:

  • Highly upgradable, with a clear path for upgrades

  • Bargain basement prices on all components & combos

  • Extreme value, even with the base system

  • Support many different possible configurations, and use-cases

  • Increased longevity compared to socket 1366

  • *New* outline storage options

  • *New* moderation team curated builds



Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 dual socket LGA2011 mainboard
CPU, RAM, and HDD packages also available. 

This is without a doubt the best dual socket 2011 board you can get for the money. Under $200 for LSI SAS2008 onboard (gives 2 SAS2 port which support 8 HDD's, or more with an HP Expander), IPMI, 2xSATA 3, dual 10GbE via an onboard Intel X540 (10GbE Base-T no less), and plenty of PCI-E expansion. The onboard SAS is worth about $40, and the onboard 10GbE is worth about $140. It isn't oversized like the X9DRI-LN4F+, so it will fit in standard SSI-EEB/E-ATX compatible chassis. It also has an improved BIOS and BMC/IPMI from the previous model GA-7TESM. Really, it's the ultimate motherboard, one that will be hard to top in the future. 

The onboard LSI SAS2008 will need to be flashed to IT mode.

This motherboard has over $180 worth of equipment onboard that would normally take up additional PCI-E slots.
The GA-7PESH2 costs less than the sum total of its LSI card + 10GbE.



Quick Recommendations

  • [NAS] We'd pick a single E5-2620, E5-2630, E5-2630L, or similar. They are all great chips with low power usage and adequate passmark. Much faster than what you'd find with an off the shelf NAS, and they won't break the bank.

  • [Virtualization] We'd recommend dual E5-2650L, E5-2650, E5-2660v2, or E5-2651 v2. At minimum these will provide you with a total of 16 cores / 32 threads, all the way up to 24 core / 48 threads. Of course, if virtualization is your game, then consider adding more RAM in denser configurations.

  • [General Compute] We'd suggest dual E5-2630 at the low end, dual E5-2667 at the mid range, and dual E5-2660 v2 at the top end. All are great configs and should cover most of what you want to do.

  • [Gaming / Workstation] We'd go for dual E5-2643, dual E5-2667, or dual E5-2690, obviously depending on your budget or specific needs. For gaming and workstation use, look for turbo speeds that are above 3.3GHz, preferably in the 3.5GHz range or higher.

In this chart linked below, you can find core/thread count, base frequency, turbo frequency, passmark, price, and passmark per dollar. The lowest prices were determined by eBay searches, buy it now only, US only, and sorted by lowest price. Prices will vary, so use this chart as a reference only. Clicking on the processors in the chart will take you directly to a properly formatted eBay search.

Better deals may be had by reaching out to one of the sellers listed below, so check there first.

Mention JDM_WAAAT and when messaging

Contact Moby at ServerMonkey at about any of the processors below, for a possible discount on multiple.
E5-2600 V1 CPUs at 
E5-2600 V2 CPUs at


Check out theitmart's processor selection:
Intel Xeon E5 V1 and V2 Processors at theitmart



8GB is the minimum any build should have.

This advice hasn't changed from the last build. However, I would strongly consider attempting to find DDR3 1600 ECC REG if you're looking at gaming on this machine. It's not strictly necessary, but the processors that are available in this socket can take advantage of the increased speed much better than the 1366 socket processors. 

For a NAS setup, 8GB of 1066 or 1333 ECC REG should be plenty. If you're considering running VMs, obviously you'll need some more - consider starting with 16GB instead. This motherboard has 16 DDR3 DIMMS capable of supporting up to 512GB of RAM with 32GB DIMMS, and also supports both 1.5V and 1.35V DIMMS. Typically search ebay for PC3-10600R 4x4GB (4x4GB, 8x4GB, 4x8GB, etc, whatever config or multiples of you are looking to get)

The link for the motherboard on also has the option for additional 16GB sticks of DDR3 1600 for $52 each.



Rosewill 4U server chassis with 15 bays ($100)

I recently made a short video overview of this case (not specifically for this guide, so it's a little off-topic). It's a good case, has room for plenty of hard drives and fans, too many for my liking actually. I'd personally recommend reversing the fan wall and using Arctic 120mm PWM fans there only, and removing the front fans. I'd also recommend replacing the rear fans with Arctic 80mm PWM fans. This will allow for plenty of airflow but keep the noise levels at a minimum. The chassis takes a standard ATX power supply, and supports SSI-EEB / E-ATX motherboards, but does not support larger SSI-EEB+ / EE-ATX motherboards. Rails are extra, and are not included with the chassis.

Pairs well with another Rosewill 4U DAS chassis setup!


Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower ($90 - $140)

While the Rosewill 4U has been the most popular case for the past couple of builds, I think the Enthoo Pro will see a resurgence here. This build would make a killer workstation that you'd actually want to use day in and day out, not to mention a more than decent gaming rig too. (provided you have a decent video card, of course) The Enthoo Pro can fit 6 x 3.5" HDD + 2 x 2.5" SSD natively, and it's possible to convert the 3 x 5.25" bays into 4 x 3.5" bays for a total of 10 x 3.5" HDD bays. Cooling options are great, and it's not loud in its stock configuration. If you go for the windowed version (or better yet, the tempered glass version) you can show off your build.

Note: the Enthoo Pro M is NOT the same case, it will not fit this motherboard.


Supermicro 2U CSE-826 SAS1/SAS2 chassis with X9DRI-LN4F+ and rails ($269)

TheServerStore is offering this stellar combo of a 12-bay chassis, motherboard, rails, dual 920W PSU, and optional SQ (super-quiet) PSU upgrade. The X9DRI-LN4F+ is a fantastic motherboard, and has been used in previous build guides. eBay price for the motherboard is around $300, while the chassis is typically in the $200 + shipping range. The SQ PSU upgrade is only $100 for two PSUs - these are normally $80+ each on eBay. 2U passive heatsinks are also included.
Obviously you won't get to use the GA-7PESH2 with this option, but i is more of a turn-key solution.

X9DRI-LN4F+ build guide
Supermicro fan replacement guide

Total value on the 826 combo is well over $550.
TheServerStore is offering it to the community for $269.00 + shipping after coupon code JDM



EVGA Supernova G1+ 750W dual EPS 80+ Gold PSU ($60 AR)

This PSU is an absolute stellar deal. It has two EPS connectors for dual CPU use, which means that you don't need to purchase a $10 splitter. It's also 80+ Gold rated, which is as good as it gets in this price bracket.


Other PSU options

If you find a good deal on a PS elsewhere, that's fine. Make sure you use a long EPS splitter (linked below) for this motherboard if your PSU doesn't have dual EPS, as the EPS connectors are split very far apart. Also, make sure the PSU is at least 450W for dual CPU configs. If you're adding a graphics card or many HDDs for example, take that into account.


Storage Options

Everyone's storage needs are different - here are some options to consider.

This build is versatile enough that you can use whatever HDDs or SSDs that you want, including SAS or SATA drives, and even M.2 NVME drives. It's important to pick a solution that will work best for your goals and budget. Storage does not have to be expensive to be effective. Also, TheITMart is offering 2TB SAS HDD with the motherboard as a package option for $25 each. 

Outlined below are HDD and SSD options that are very popular and highly recommended throughout the community. 

Western Digital 8TB My Book - shuckable ($160)

The 8TB My Book and EasyStore external hard drives are the most cost effective (new) high capacity storage solutions. JDM_WAAAT has a video guide detailing the shucking process without causing damage to the enclosure. If the drive inside is a White 8TB instead of a Red 8TB, you may need to perfrom a simple 3.3V mod with tape for the drive to function outside of its enclosure. These are great drives at a fantastic price.


Hitachi/HGST 7K4000/7K6000 7.2K RPM 4TB SAS HDD ($60 OBO)

You will need to use SAS SFF-8482 cables (linked below) with these HDD.

The eBay seller linked is asking $60 (OBO) with free shipping. If you purchase a significant quantity, its likely they will accept $50 each or very near it. These are extremely fast and reliable hard drives.

Seagate Constellation ES 7.2K RPM 2TB SAS HDD ($25)

You will need to use SAS SFF-8482 cables (linked below) with these HDD.

theITmart is offering these HDD with purchase of the GA-7PESH2 for $25 each, sold in pairs, with free shipping.

Silicon Power A55 256GB / 512GB SATA 2.5" SSD

These are fantastic SSDs for the money. Most people don't need a Samsung 860 Evo. You simply won't notice a performance difference in most applications - especially on a headless server. If you're doing production work, consider ditching SATA SSD entirely and go for a NVME SSD.

Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 16GB USB 2.0 ($5)

 This is our preferred USB drive for FreeNAS, unRAID, and other bootable USB ISOs. It's metal.


CPU Coolers
& Thermal Compound

Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Paste ($13.50)

This is about the best thermal paste you can get besides liquid metal. I would highly recommend using this instead of the Arctic MX-4 that is included with all of the coolers below. It will make the heatsinks that you buy even better at dissipating heat - totally worth the minimal investment.
Some benchmarks of the GC-Extreme vs other thermal solutions can be found here.


Arctic 20 CO - Aluminum heatsink with 80mm fan ($16.50)

This motherboard comes with 2 passive heatsinks. In the last build, it was possible to get away with using them in some lower end configurations. That's not the case with 2011. At minimum, buy the Arctic 20 CO. These are adequate coolers for up to E5-2670 or E5-2665. If you're running higher than 115W TDP processors, look towards the tower coolers with heat pipes such as the Arctic 12, 12 CO, or Arctic 33.


Arctic 12 / Arctic 12 CO heatsink with 92mm fan ($20.50)

If you've spent any time around here, you've heard about the legendary Arctic 12. Rated at 150W TDP max (recommended 130W or lower), they can handle just about any processor in the 2011 socket. If you're running anything higher TDP than around 120W, I'd go for the Arctic 33's.


Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo heatsink with 120mm fan ($31)

You all asked for it, so we finally included it in a build guide. It still isn't our first recommendation, as the Freezer 33 / 33 Plus will handily outperform it. A lot of people are comfortable with this option, and that's fine. The tabletop build video above covers the installation process of the 212 Evo.

This tower cooler does not fit in the Rosewill chassis.


Arctic 33 / Arctic 33 CO heatsink with 120mm fan ($30)

Recommended TDP is only 150W, but can cool up to 320W (in dual fan configuration, comes with the additional mounting hardware to add a 2nd 120mm fan). These are the best performing heatsinks you can get for the money for socket 2011. They also come in nifty colors with black heatsinks, listed below as the eSports editions.


Arctic 33 Plus heatsink with dual 120mm fans ($34)

This is the end game for air coolers, unless you want to spend over $50.00. Recommended TDP is up to 160W, but can cool up to 320W (in dual fan configuration.) These are the same heatsinks as the Arctic 33, but they include a second 120mm fan and only cost around $4 more.


Arctic 33 eSports edition heatsink with 120mm fan ($30)

Pretty. Colors. Red. White. Green. Yellow. Sometimes cheaper than the regular Arctic 33.


Corsair H50 / H55 120mm AIO liquid cooler ($50 - $60)

These are absolutely not necessary, and unfortunately will not fit in the Rosewill rackmount case. The tubes aren't long enough. That said, they will both mount up to the top of the Enthoo Pro just fine. (It's awesome to feel all of the heat from your CPUs get vented directly out the top of the case.)
AIO liquid coolers require no maintenance and are very reliable, not to mention quiet. They directly remove heat from your case, instead of dumping waste heat inside like air coolers. Again - these are completely unnecessary, but they do fit, work great, and look awesome. I would recommend using 120mm Arctic PWM PST fans instead of the included fans.


Other parts

These parts will vary based on your build, case, and other hardware. Choose what's right for you.


Arctic 80mm PWM PST 5 Pack ($20)

You'll need these if you want to change out the fans in the Rosewill. Even though you only need 2 for the chassis, it's always handy to have a couple extra small fans. They are useful for cooling chipsets, or Sun Oracle F40's for example.


Arctic 120mm PWM PST 5 Pack ($24)

You probably won't use all of these fans, but it's cheaper to buy 5 packs than it is to buy singles. It's also nice to have spares on hand just in case. These are PWM fans and have PWM Sharing Technology, which is nice (you can daisy chain the fans together for convenience). They are quiet and move a good amount of air. I use them in all of my builds.


Cooler Master MasterFan Pro RGB 120mm 3-pack ($30)

At the time of writing, these fans are on sale for $29.99 (normally $84.99). They look really nice in the Enthoo Pro Tempered Glass version.
Buy 2 packs (6 total) and use them in conjunction with any of the 120mm heatsinks listed in this guide.

Arctic 140mm PWM PST 5 Pack ($27)

You should use these instead if you go the Enthoo Pro route. Larger fans move more air at lower RPM, so noise will be even lower than with the 120mm fans.


SFF-8087 to SATA breakout cable ($8)

You'll need this if you want to use the 4x onboard SATA 2 ports that are hidden behind a physical SAS port. You will not be able to use SAS drives on this port, even though it physically looks like a SAS port. I would use this cable for HDD's only, and leave the 2 onboard SATA 3 for SSDs.


SFF-8087 to SFF-8482 breakout cable ($13.50)

You'll need these to take advantage of the onboard LSI controller. These cables will allow you to connect an additional 8 HDDs or SSDs, with SATA or SAS drives. 



4x SATA Power Splitter ($5.50)

Most PSU's only have a certain number of SATA power connections. If you need more, use these 4x power splitters. They split a single SATA power connection off of the PSU to 4x. They also help tremendously with cable management when HDD's are stacked on top of each other. 

Do not use more than 1 SATA splitter per SATA power wire on your PSU. 


HP SAS Expander ($13 OBO)

This is the easiest way to support 24 drives with this motherboard. Plug in two male-male 8087 cables (found in the common parts list) from the SAS expander to the onboard SAS, the plug all of your SAS breakout cables into the SAS expander. No additional software needed.


8-pin EPS CPU Power Splitter - 10 inch ($7.75)

The majority of lower priced PSU's only have a single 8 pin CPU power connector. To power dual CPU motherboards like this, a splitter will be necessary. Some of the higher end semi-modular and modular PSU's do come with dual, so check the specs.

Note: DO NOT attempt to use a 6+2 (8-pin) PCIe power connector to power on either CPU/EPS connector, they are not the same.


Summary & builds


So, that's nice and all... but what do you get?

Assuming you're going for the Anniversary build:

  • Dual Xeon E5-26XX V1/V2 CPUs

  • Dual 10GbE NICs

  • IPMI for remote server management, with dedicated IPMI NIC

  • 16 DDR3 ECC DIMMs

  • 5 PCI-E slots, in various sizes (see the spec. sheet for details)

  • Onboard LSI 2008 SAS2

  • 14 drive support native (onboard: 2 SATA 3 6GB/s, 2x mini-SAS for 8x 6GB/s SAS/SATA, and 1x mini-SAS for 4x 3GB/s SATA)

    • more via HP SAS expander or additional LSI SAS card

  • 15 or 6 native 3.5" drive bays, depending on case choice

The Anniversary NSFW build destroys the previous 2011 socket builds ($750 Thread-Runner and $470 guides). It's hard to imagine that prices have dropped this much, and that we can now get dual Xeon with both SAS2 and dual 10GbE Base-T onboard for around the same price.


Sample builds

We reached out to each member of the team and asked them to share their personal choices for hardware. (Clickable links)

Dwell's Core-Build (no storage, no frills)
Dual E5-2620 V1 $20.00 X 2 = $40.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
2x8GB = 16GB $42.50
Rosewill 15-bay $99.00
EVGA Supernova G1+ 750W $59.99 AR
Arctic 20CO heatsink $16.98 X 2 = $33.96
SAS SFF-8482 cable $13.49 X 2 = $26.98
Total $477.43

JDM_WAAAT's Ultra-Value Workstation
Dual E5-2620 V1 $20.00 X 2 = $40.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
2x8GB = 16GB $42.50
Phanteks Enthoo Pro $132.00
EVGA Supernova G1+ 750W $59.99 AR
Arctic 20CO heatsink $16.98 X 2 = $33.96
Silicon Power 512GB SSD $79.99
SAS SFF-8482 cable $13.49 X 2 = $26.98
6x2TB SAS HDD = 12TB $150.00
Total $740.42

Eagle_Screech's 2U All-In-One
Dual E5-2650 V2 $90.00 X 2 = $180.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
4x16GB = 64GB $50.00 x 4 = $200.00
Supermicro 825TQ $137.00
Arctic PWM 80mm 5-pack $22.97
Silicon Power 256GB SSD $47.99
Silicon Power 512GB SSD $79.99
2x4TB SAS HDD RAID1 2 x $55.00 = $110.00
Total $952.95

Mister_fix_it's Dream Workstation
Dual E5-2690 V1 $109.00 X 2 = $218.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
16x16GB = 256GB $729.99
Corsair 750D $159.99
EVGA Supernova G1+ 750W $59.99 AR
Corsair H55 CPU Cooler $59.99 x 2 = $119.98
Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme $12.73
Total $1,475.68

Alanman's Upgradable NAS / Plex Server
Single E5-2620 V1 $20.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
1x8GB = 8GB $20.00
Rosewill 15-bay $99.00
Arctic 20CO heatsink $16.98
Arctic PWM 120mm 5-pack $25.00
EVGA 450W 80+ Bronze PSU $30.00
SAS SFF-8482 cable $13.49
4TB SAS HDD $55.00
16GB Flash Drive for OS $5.00
unRAID Basic License $59.00
Total $518.47

Manbearpig's Gaming / Workstation Combo
Dual E5-2667 V1 $75.00 x 2 = $150.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
4x16GB = 64GB $50.00 x 4 = $200.00
Phanteks Enthoo Pro $132.00
EVGA Supernova G1+ 750W $59.99 AR
Arctic 33 eSports edition 2 X $29.99 = $59.98
Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme $12.73
2 x SAS SFF-8482 cable $13.49 x 2 = $26.98
Silicon Power 256GB SSD $47.99
2 x 4TB SAS HDD $55.00 x 2 = $110.00
GPU- GTX1060 / RX580 or above $180.00 +
Total $1,154.67

Faultline's 2U Supermicro Super-Server Starter Kit
Dual E5-2651 V2 $135.00 x 2 = $270.00
Supermicro X9DRI-LN4F+ included w/ chassis
8x4GB = 32GB $60.00
Supermicro 2U CSE-826 combo $269.00
Dual 920W included w/ chassis
2U heatsinks included w/ chassis
Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme $12.73
SAS CABLE included w/ chassis
Total $611.73 + shipping

Jaywire's M E M E L O R D Build
Dual E5-2690 V2 $399.00
Gigabyte GA-7PESH2 $175.00
2x16GB = 32GB $50.00 x 2 = $100.00
Phanteks Enthoo Pro $132.00
EVGA Supernova G1+ 750W $59.99 AR
Arctic 33 eSports edition 2 X $29.99 = $59.98
CM MasterFan RGB 3 pack 3 X 29.99 = $89.97
Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme $12.73
2 x SAS SFF-8482 cable $13.49 x 2 = $26.98
2 x Silicon Power 512GB SSD 2 x $79.99 = $159.98
4 x 4TB SAS HDD $220.00
Total $1,435.63



A special thank you to each and every one of you...

The past year has been truly incredible. We've grown from simple reddit posts on the /r/Plex subreddit to branching out to our own subreddit, discord, and website. 

Our discord community alone is 2,300 members strong (and growing), and the last two build guides have shown a marked improvement in engagement over previous ones. The $145 NAS Killer v2.0 has almost 50K views on the Reddit post alone, and our discord is significantly larger than even popular tech YouTubers.

The amount of time some of you spend volunteering to help others find parts, troubleshoot, or help new users is amazing.
It’s hard to keep up with all of the things going on at times… there’s just too much to follow!

Thank you to all of you who donate, it keeps the show running. Any extra funds are put back into the channel, website, and hardware. 
If you’d like to continue to support our work, check out the important links page. links in this guide are affiliate links, it helps us out a lot if you use them. 


We can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

JDM_WAAAT & the Team