So you have a IBM S30 Workstation, Huh?  Why not use it as a gaming computer?  The IBM S30 is a single socket CPU DDR3 based Xeon workstation.  It is important to note that the IBM S30 has a 610W Power Supply, which gives you sufficient wattage to run high end graphics cards.  Let us show you how you can build an effective IBM S30 Gaming Computer.

Where to buy?

If you haven’t already acquired a IBM S30 we’d recommend checking out a company called Serverworlds.  They sell the S30’s cheap and they provide free ground shipping to the lower 48 states.  You can click on this link and it’ll bring you directly to there S30 Page: IBM S30 Link.  You can also try to snag them cheap on Ebay.  However, Ebay can be a bit of a gamble because you never know what you are going to get.

The goal is to purchase the S30 with a good processor and memory already installed and then you can source the graphics cards, hard drives, and other optional components from other sources.


What Processor should I get?

High Clock speed cpu’s are the way to go.

Recommended Processors:

Xeon QC E5-1620 3.6Ghz 10MB  Processor | 3.8 Max Turbo Frequency (SR0LC)

Xeon QC E5-2643 3.33Ghz 10MB 8GTs Processor | 3.5Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0L7)

Xeon 6C E5-1650 3.2Ghz 12MB Processor | 3.8Ghz Max Turbo Frequency  (SR0KZ)

Xeon 6C E5-2667 2.90Ghz 15MB 8GTs Processor | 3.5Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KP)

Xeon 8C E5-2687W 3.1Ghz 20MB 8GTs Processor | 3.8 Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KG)


How much Memory should I get?

The base line should be a minimum of 16GB of memory.  However, 24GB to 32GB would be ideal.

Memory PNs:

4GB 2Rx8 ECC 12800R DDR3 Module (D65JJ)

4GB 1Rx8 ECC 12800R PC3L DDR3 Module (N1TP1)

8GB 2Rx4 ECC 12800R PC3L DDR3 Module (RVY55)

8GB 2Rx4 ECC 12800R DDR3 Module (RYK18)

8GB 1Rx4 ECC 12800R PC3L DDR3 Module (RKR5J)

16GB 2Rx4 ECC 12800R DDR3 Module (JDF1M)

16GB 2Rx4 ECC 12800R PC3L DDR3 Module (20D6F)

It’s very important to use 12800R modules because they will run at the max speed supported by the system board and processor.


What Hard Drive should I get?

Ideally you would want to have a Solid State Drive as your boot device as well an NVME.2 SSD to store your game libraries/large programs on.  If you are limited on budget you could go with a small SSD for your boot device and a larger capacity 7.2K SATA drive to hold your larger files/programs/games.


Recommended SSD Drives:

Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)

Samsung 860 Evo 500GB 2.5 inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E500B/AM)


Recommended large Capacity SATA Drives:

Seagate 2TB BarraCuda SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive (ST2000DM006)

Seagate 3TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal HDD (ST3000DM008)

Seagate 6TB IronWolf SATA HDD 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5″(ST6000VN0033)


*NVME.2 Drives cannot be used as a boot device with this model workstation*

NVME.2 PCIe Adapter (You need this if you plan to install an NVME.2 Drive in to this system):

NVME.2 SSD Adapter *Required to Install NVME.2*


Recommended NVME.2 SSDs:

WD Black 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe NVME SSD (WDS512G1X0C)

Samsung 960 EVO Series – 500GB NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E500BW)

Samsung 960 EVO Series – 1TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E1T0BW)


Recommended Graphics Cards:

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX 1070 TI 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB Graphics Card


What type of Monitor should I get?

Ideally it would be nice to get a monitor with a 144Hz or 244hz refresh rate or better monitor.  However, it really depends on the games you play.  If you play first person shooter games a 144hz or 240Hz or better monitor is a must.  If you play other games that do not require quick response time then a 60hz monitor should work fine.

Recommended Monitors:

ASUS PG248Q Full HD 144Hz 1MS 24″ Gaming Monitor

ASUS VG278Q Full HD 1080P 144Hz 1MS 27″ Gaming Monitor

ASUS XG258Q ROG Strix 24.5″ 1080P 240Hz 1MS Gaming Monitor



Using the criteria above you can build a good, great, or even borderline spectacular gaming system using a IBM S30 Workstation.


Sample Configuration:

IBM S30 Workstation

Xeon QC E5-2643 3.3Ghz 10MB 8GTs

16GB PC12800R ECC Reg (4 x 4GB)

Samsung 256GB 6GBPS SSD + WD 2TB SATA 7.2K 6GBPS HDD

GTX970 w/4GB  Graphics Card

1 x 10/100/1000 Network Port

610W Power Supply


10 Pro 64Bit


I have tested this system with games like Dota 2, CS Go, PubG, and The Division.  The frames can range from 50FPS to 144FPS depending on the game and settings that you choose.  The system was tested using a 144Hz 27″ Acer Monitor.



SteelSeries QCK Heavy Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad (Click Here)

SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB Mechnical Keyboard (Click Here)

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum RGB Tunable Gaming Mouse (Click Here)

HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Gaming Headset (Click Here)

El Gato Game Capture HD60 Pro for a Streaming Capture PC (Click Here)

Secretlab Premium Gaming Chairs (Click Here)


If you have any questions please contact us!

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