fileserver revisited05 Aug 2006 After yesterday's adventure with taking pictures of my lungs (which prove btw that I did indeed have some kind of lung infection, still visible on the photo's), it was too early to pick up my medication.
So I stopped by UPC to finally get that new internet connection I promised myself a long time ago. They will hook me up this tuesday.
The new internet connection pushed me to look into the whole fileserver thing again. So I looked up my old notes and compared them to the new prices. The only thing that changed is the processor price. (In fact, the one I had in mind is no longer sold and I'd have to go with an athlon 64 3500+, not a big problem for me)
When I got to the computerstore and explained what I wanted, the owner shifted into a 30-minute lecture about the new Intel Core Duo CPU's and how wonderful they are and whatnot. He also showed me a motherboard they had been testing: Gigabyte 6-Quad. I told him I'd look into it, mainly because I didn't want to just buy old crap after such a long time of stalling the purchase.
I looked at the CPU benchmarks and they are absolutely stunning. The new Core Duo's blow the Athlon 64 out of the sky on every terrain: better performance, much lower power consumption and less heat dissipation.
So my mind was already half set to get this new godly piece of silicon (65nm technology vs 90nm btw).
My attention shifted to the proposed motherboard. It has 8 (eight) SATA2 connectors, which made me "yippie", onboard sound, enough PCI and PCI-e slots and a very good power supply towards the CPU.
I convinced myself that the extra 200 euro would be well spent and that the new fileserver would outperform anything I had in mind before. But then I remembered I want to run linux on it...
The motherboard has a Realtek ALC888DD chipset which has me worried a bit. Although there is a datasheet for it, which would allow a linux driver, I can't get the Realtek RTL8139 chipset out of my mind which, although cheap, is of terrible design (I had a link to a kerneldriver with comments depicting just how awful this chipset is, but I can't find it... maybe it's this one)
Then I thought about the intel P965 chipset. I actually haven't heard of anyone who was able to run Linux on it. This could be because it's so new of course. The motherboard has 2 SATA controllers: one is the ICH8R chipset (the southbridge) and the other is some Gigabyte thing I never heard of. The ICH8 will probably work in Linux, but I don't know about the Gigabyte SATA2 controller...
So before I buy this thing I'll ask the shopkeep if he tried running Linux on it.
I've also looked at the alternatives... They have 1: The MSI P965 Neo motherboard. It only has 5 SATA2 connectors though, not enough.
While looking up this motherboard, I saw another one based on the P965: MSI P965 Platinum, which has 7 SATA connectors. The audio chipset is again a realtek one... :(