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Why did I decide to buy instead of build? The primary reason is I have little interest in hardware. The secondary reason is that the price of just the motherboard, CPUs and case were already more than my configured PowerEdge build (as per a few websites I checked).

I spent over two weeks researching and tinkering with my server configuration on the Dell website before I settled on my configuration. The majority of the words on the configuration page I was not familiar with and had to go educate myself. I also experimented with different configurations to see how it impacted other items and did some more research. Fully configured (without the GPUs), the price was north of $4,500 and I just am not willing to spend that much money in one go, especially because I have no experience with everything I am attempting.

After a few more days of thought, I decided to revisit my configuration and get down to what I called a financially reasonable “bare bones” build. I looked at every item on my full configuration and evaluated the following:

  • Do I need this on day 1?
  • If I don’t need this on day one, can I get it later?
  • Do I need this version/level component or will a lesser one work?
  • Compared the cost of a cheaper component (if available) to the cost of replacing it (like the power supply upgrade was $75 more vs. $175 for buying it later–I upgraded the PSU)

Once I re-configured my build, the price ended up around $3,500 and I am much more comfortable with that. Removing the GPU upgrade was the single largest cost savings. I also backed off the RAM and decided that I could add M2/NVMe later. An important note on the GPU upgrade is that you have to get the rack-mount configuration and it can only take 2.5″ drives in that config. My hopes of replacing my QNAP with this were dashed. (The T640 tower configuration only has one PCIe slot that can hold a GPU.)

Final T640 Configuration

  • 780-BCDS : Unconfigured RAID
  • 770-BBCR : No Rack Rails, No Cable Management Arm, No Casters
  • 542-BBCT : On-Board Dual-Port 10GbE LOM
  • 528-BIYY : OpenManage Enterprise Advanced
  • 461-AADZ : No Trusted Platform Module
  • 450-ADWL : Single, Hot-plug Power Supply (1+0), 1100W
  • 450-AALV : Power Cord – C13, 3M, 125V, 15 A (North America, Guam, North Marianas, Philippines, Samoa, Vietnam)
  • 429-ABDL : No Internal Optical Drive
  • 412-AAJW : Standard Heat Sink for Less = 150W
  • 405-AAMT : PERC H330 RAID Controller
  • 400-AZTI : 480GB SSD SATA Mix Use 6Gbps 5 12 2.5in Hot-plug AG Drive, 3 DWPD, 2628 TBW
  • 385-BBKT : iDRAC9,Enterprise
  • 384-BBSO : No Additional Mid Fan
  • 384-BBBL : Performance BIOS Settings
  • 379-BDCO : Additional Processor Selected
  • 379-BCSF : iDRAC, Factory Generated Password
  • 370-AEQF : 16GB RDIMM, 2933MT/s, Dual Ran k
  • 370-AEPP : 2933MT/s RDIMMs
  • 370-AAIP : Performance Optimized
  • 350-BBLG : Rack Quick Sync 2 (At-the-box- mgmt)
  • 338-BSDH : Intel Xeon Silver 4210 2.2G, 1 0C/20T, 9.6GT/s, 13.75M Cache, Turbo, HT (85W) DDR4-2400
  • 329-BEPB : PowerEdge T640 MLK Motherboard
  • 321-BCXL : Chassis with up to 16 x 2.5″ S AS/ SATA Hard Drives, Rack Configuration

The order has been (very anxiously) placed!

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