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Old December 13, 2011, 11:05 AM
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MARSTG MARSTG is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Montreal
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My System Specs


I settled on this platform as it was a sale on ebay very cheap, basically at 55$, plus 30$ on shipping, and because was coming from US another 40$ at the customs. It was intended to run folding under Linux, but I had a bad experience, second time I installed Linux, after a few days all the HDD was written. Might be because I created no partition for the swap so I reverted to Windows again. Basically everything started from another rant of mine to see if I could build a -bigadv machine under 350$ then when I saw this combo on sale I jumped on it. For the moment I retired the platform as the noise from the coolers is a little too much for my ears, but at next pay I will get the SilenX fans and will replace the original fans on the heatsinks and restart it again. Also I will function with Win XP as I can overclock the system using nTune. The platform is based on an nVidia chipset. However all this adventure is not without caveats : along the way I discovered PS2 and USB ports on the back i/o plate were not functional. Luckily the USB headers are. Also the model I have has no SCSi chip, there is an identical model with SCSi. If you want SAS you need to look other model, probably more recent. The rig has an integrated video chip, the ATI ES 1000 which is basically a Rage Pro if I understood correctly. there are no PCIEX 16x ports, only 2 at 8x. Mobo manufacturers should stop implementing physical slots smaller than 16x, make it smaller at electrical interface, but put it physical at 16x. So if I want a modern videocard can only be on PCI or PCIx1. If you want to meddle with socket F and make it wothwhile in present conditions you should look at 4P platforms. But coolers can be expensive, those for socket F are around 40$ a piece. You could get it cheaper by getting those bracket retention clips and installing regular socket AMD2/3 coolers. Also at 4P means you will only be allowed Opteron 8000 series. I have seen recently a big lot of around 80 refurbished Arima boards in 4P socket F configuration, priced at 80$ which is not bad. RAM also will have to be DDR 2 ECC, but this is dirt cheap already. But a 4P socket F with 4 quadcores will make you eligible for -bigadv is just you have to factor in the cost. Let's say you still find the board at 150$, delivery included (still available as I can see and they are more than 10 a Quadcore Opty@2.9 is 100$ ( apiece with delivery to Canada Opteron Quad Core 2.9GHz OS8389WHP4DGI socket 1207 | eBay ) 4GB of ECC RAM DDR2 is 35$, you will need 8GB at 16 cores. The brackets and the coolers another 100$ for all of them. Lastly you will need a modern PSU as the power connectors on that thing are given from a 8PIN connector plus 3x6pin for pcie so another 100$ for that let's say. Luckily a 16x pciex is present so for videocard you are good reusing an existing one. So it amounts to some 800$. You need to think if you wouldn't go cheaper with a more modern socket G34 or C32 setup at this price.
But again if you want to stay only 2P, that is something else. As PSU me I am using an old Antec Truepower 550, I got an adapter to compose the 8pin power connector and it was working fine. I guess the driver for videocard in win7 needs to be installed in compatibility mode as there are no Rage pro drivers for win7, just for Win XP. Also nTune is not working under W7 which is why I will be installing WinXP on it. I am leaving Linux aside as I might want to use it as a regular desktop from time to time. Will also have to get an old soundcard, I just seen on local kijiji one of those SB Live on USB for 20$.

Last edited by MARSTG; December 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM.
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