[nSLUG] Hardware advice

Peter Cordes peter at llama.nslug.ns.ca
Fri Jan 16 07:06:46 AST 2004

On Thu, Jan 15, 2004 at 10:44:41PM -0400, Rick Wightman wrote:
> Folks,
> In a couple of months I will have about $2500 to construct a small 
> office server for my church which could be given a lifespan of 5+ yrs. 
> I'm looking at 1 boot + 2 mirrored drives + DVD burner (+/-R I don't 
> know yet) as archivable backup. It will, of course, be running some 
> flavour of Linux. What services? The current server, a Sparc10 in an 
> identical configuration (8mm tape instead of DVD), supplies DHCP, BIND, 
> NTP, SMB, Apache, mySQL, SSH and likely a few others I've forgotten.
> I'm looking for the groups suggestions/experiences around motherboard 
> and CPU combinations and hard drive manufacturers/series for this 
> application. Thoughts on price/performance/reliability for SCSI, ATA 
> and series ATA are also appreciated, recalling that there was some 
> discussion about some of this a while back, and you may consider it 
> off-topic.

 I'm really impressed with what I've read about serial ATA.  It's
electrically very well designed, and supports hot swap.  Read this
http://www.lostcircuits.com/advice/sata150/ and you'll wish they'd invented
it years ago.  My next computer will have SATA.

 If you go Athlon64 or Opteron, you should probably avoid NForce3 chipsets,
unless they've improved in performance in later revisions.  mobo reviews
I've seen consistently put them lower than Via or AMD chips for performance.
(And by an almost noticeable margin, unlike the usual < 1% difference
chipsets usually make.)

#define X(x,y) x##y
Peter Cordes ;  e-mail: X(peter at cor , des.ca)

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
 Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
 my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BC
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