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Anyone have any experience putting together Opteron systems?
I've been charged with putting together two Opeteron systems (one single proc, one dual proc).
I've found some helpful info from the Anandtech forums and think I'll give the Tyan Tiger mobo for dual Opterons a try (the MSI seemed to be a bit "strange" from reading reviews though I would generally choose an MSI mobo over a Tyan).
For the single proc I'll likely just go with the Asus nForce3 mobo.
The biggest thing that concerns me that there are relatively few memory modules that have been tested and approved for these systems (esp. the dual proc one). I suppose I'll end up using crucial.com's memory selector and ordering from them since there will be no restocking fee on memory they approve for whatever board you're using.
Anyway, I sort of have my plan worked out but if anyone has any experience with this and has any helpful tips it would be much appreciated.
Windows has a 64 bit OS. There's actually a new public beta program that opened this week. I've been working on 64 bit Itanium systems on and off for several months now with WinXP 64 (slow as hell btw).
On a single proc Opteron system you can actually run 32bit WinXP and it's not slow or anything (at least on one of the nForce3 mobos you can). I'm not sure about dual proc, but I'd imagine it _can_ be done.
These will likely be mostly running Windows but will use Linux at times. Depends, on what's goin on ya know? That's kind of vague I know but they're for hardware and driver compatibility work basically.
Windows has a 64 bit OS. There's actually a new public beta program that opened this week.
You're going to use a beta copy of an operating system for a development machine?
You're a braver man than me.
As far as linux, I know Suse has a product specifically for Opteron, and it should run the dual proc just fine. Or if you wait 2 months, Fedora Core 2 will be final, which should run all of that natively as well.
Let me know how it works. I've been watching chip prices fall, and thinking how much fun it would be to build a dual opteron system.
EDIT: Just so's ya know, I run a dual-boot so that I can still play my Windows games. I've got XP straight from the box with no service pack or patches to slow it down (disabled the network card so I'm not a petri dish). Even with the old kernel and the old kde, my linux side is substantially more responsive than my Windows side. The new 2.6 kernel and KDE 3.2 are supposed to be MUCH faster, so when I move up I'm guessing this baby will scream. It's only an Athlon 1800+, but I've tweaked it pretty well.
Smart man. I guess you use Linux for everything but games then? That's a pretty good deal really.
Yeah. Some people say "get a console" but my favorite games only run on Windows. I'm not a big player of FPSs, racing games, or the like, which is what consoles are great at. I pretty much only play RTS or RPG.
I have two hard drives. I installed Windows on the first one, then linux on the second. SuSe set up the dual boot as an automatic part of installation. I was pretty impressed really.
Sorry for the lingo. FPS = first-person shooter; RTS = real-time strategy; RPG = role-playing game.
The only half of a hitch I've hit so far has been that the motherboard is supposed to be able to use a standard power supply and the manual has the instructions for using one. However, there was one of the loose sheets of paper included in the mobo box saying not to use one. We happened to have a "proper" one lying around so to err on the side of caution I used that one.
Also, with this particular Tyan mobo use the CPU heatsink mounting brackets that come with the motherboard, not the CPUs. The AMD stock ones would cover up a mounting hole on the mobo and also some resisters which might not be such a good thing.
No Silicon Image 3114 64bit drivers for booting. Only for use in WinXP 64 bit so that's a data drive if I use it on that system. Back to IDE for this one.
Ah, I haven't put it in a case yet. I usually make sure they work first before putting 'em in a case. A standard ATX form factor case will work for this motherboard as that's what size it is. The Tyan Thunder model (which is basically the same mobo only uses seperate memory buses for each CPU) is a larger layout to accomodate the extra 4 memory banks. The Tiger uses a shared memory bus which should be okay for my purposes because I'm not going to be running any database stuff on it.
I have a Dual Xeon 2.8 and 3 Itanium systems already. It wasn't really a price issue but more of needing an Opteron platform to work on.
$954.50 for the 2 CPUs (Went with the 244s instead of 246s because the 246s were twice as much).
$880-something for the 2 1GB DIMMs.
$236.50 for the motherboard
$101.25 for the SATA drive which I'll be using in another system now
$85.50 for the power supply which after reading all of the inserts I believe is safe to use (standard Antec True 480 model).
Floppy, DVD drive, IDE drive was all stuff on hand.
EDIT - Ordered the memory from Crucial.com. Arrived in two days.
Everything else from MALabs.com. Arrive one full day later.