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What level of hardware(CPU,RAM,etc, would a home game server need

Would a home game server need the same requirements (except for video card) as on the games recommended hardware list, or should it be more robust.
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Maybe a touch more robust. I would certainly invest in a solid dual-core CPU from either AMD or Intel. Can't hurt to throw a small truckload of memory at it (3-4GB as memory is so cheap). Some of the newer 500-750GB hard drives have a 32 megabyte buffer, which also wouldn't hurt performance. You could raid stripe multiple hard drives, but that wouldn't be a huge increase in performance for most apps.

A solid CPU/Memory/Hard drive should serve your needs nicely.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Sparkmaker ...

Not sure what you have in mind here.   I'm not aware of any games that run in a client-server mode, so both the CPU and the GPU processing requirements for the games depend on the client PC.   From that perspective, a centralized server doesn't need to be a particularly "high horsepower" machine.   Rather than "more robust" the server can probably be quite the opposite (with a couple of caveats I'll note below).

I presume your intent is to have all of the games loaded on the server ... and accessible via the network to other systems.   Assuming that's the case, you need to meet the following fundamental specs:

=>  A good CD/DVD emulation package that is network-friendly and can emulate the various protection schemes used by most modern games.   Alcohol 120 would fit this need nicely.

=>  A high-bandwidth network, so the emulated CD/DVD access works at a good speed for the games.   A 100mb network MAY be fast enough; but clearly a GB network would be better.

=>  Enough "horsepower" for Alcohol (or whatever package you use) to be able to manage multiple simultaneous emulations ... even a low-end Core-architecture chip should be plenty for this.

=>  Depending on how many simultaneous users you anticipate, you may want to use high-performance disks (e.g. Raptors) to minimize access delays ... although in a "home" environment with only a few users (< 6 or so) I doubt this really matters.   Equipping the system with plenty of memory (2GB is plenty) is probably more important ... as this allows plenty of buffer space for the OS to use when satisfying network requests.

Basically, this system is just a file server with the special attribute that it's providing files from emulated protected CD/DVD drives.
MarkAuthor Commented:
Hi Gary,it would only be 5-7 users, usually playing one multiplayer game (I've 4 gamers in my basement + their friends).
The simultaneous emulation aspect looks interesting as I assume that would be for different users accessing different emulated games. Probably not an issue but could come into play for a certain "disc scratching" gamer in my midst.
The games being served would be Call of duty 2 and Counterstrike multiplayer ,both of which can be setup on a server for this purpose.
I'm looking to do this on a Linux OS as an experiment for the moment, but that may change if it gets too complicated, but I was just wondering on the lower limit of the hardware.

I do like the idea of the emulation though as it would be a great repository for the games rather than using disks(sometimes like frisbees)    ;-)
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I'm not a gamer ... but my kids & grandkids are.   I have a couple of systems for them to use -- one has about 60 "CD's" on it (all Alcohol images) -- and the other shares those CD's on the network.   Nobody every "touches" a disk :-)  [so the real discs don't ever get scratched]

... nothing multiplayer, however => my crew pretty much does their multi-player stuff on XBox Live.   As for me ... my console gaming experience never graduated beyond Breakout on an Atari 2600 :-)

I think you can share Alcohol images in one of two ways:   Alcohol can be installed with an add-in that lets you share an Alcohol drive ... in which case the protection emulations are inherently part of that shared drive;  or you can run Alcohol on every system [there's a free version of Alcohol 52 which should work nicely for this] and simply direct it to the appropriate file in a shared directory on the network.   The latter would offload the emulation work to the individual PC's (this is what I do).

MarkAuthor Commented:
Thanks Gary.
MarkAuthor Commented:
Thanks Gary
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