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Thread: Stable Mobo for file server

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    Stable Mobo for file server

    I'm looking for a new motherboard to replace my aging ( obsolete ) file server

    ATM it is an:
    epox 8k7a+ with a 1Ghz Athlon
    8 hard drives ( Pata ) ( keeping but will have to add extra pci ide card / s )
    full tower case with racks ( keeping )
    650 watt power supply ( 8 mulex ) ( main reason for new mobo after all this time +5 volt rail is low )
    16m vodoo 3dfx agp ( it worked )

    what im looking for is advice on :

    1 - stable motherboard to run at stock ( amd or intel will work fine )
    6+ sata's ( i need to change the pata's but not yet )
    2 ide ( if posible but i dont think so )
    ATX if posible with 3 PCI slots

    2 - PSU ( got to run 8 drives )

    memory / graphics / dvd-r ( for install only ) / air cooling - to suit Mobo

    to be stable is the most important factor as all its doing is serving 5 HTPC's

    Regards Paul

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    There's a huge range of server class motherboards from both Tyan and Supermicro for either AMD or Intel.

    If you want to go desktop class then Intel motherboards are probably the best bet, though it's hard to get 2xIDE.

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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    There's a huge range of server class motherboards from both Tyan and Supermicro for either AMD or Intel.

    If you want to go desktop class then Intel motherboards are probably the best bet, though it's hard to get 2xIDE.
    yes a server class board would work but, it would be wasted on file server ( just a NAS
    box ) for 5 clients
    2xide i can always add pci cards for this and for extra sata's (when i change over )

    i would usually use and old desktop board but the only ones i have spare are either too old or too unstable

    any motherboard that is stable would work ( the 1Ghz AMD works but can be hard to boot due to PSU )

    Paul

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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    I am actually after similar thing too.
    Do you really need a 650W PSU? I've had 480W PSU pushing Pentium D + 10xHDDs which worked perfectly fine.

    You may as well just get a new PSU and a decent RAID card in the PCI slot. Quality CPU+Mobo+Ram does not come very cheap.

    If you really do want a new system, you may be hard pressed to find 4+ SATA on budget boards, let alone 6. But there are plenty of cheap PCIe Dell SAS card (which can use SATA HDDs) on ebay if you want to expand to 8~12 ports

    P.S. I would not recommend going for a Tyan mobo. They betrayed me when I bought a dual opteron mobo for my server. First the mobo does not support dual core (when AMD said it only required BIOS update to support dual core); Second, the RMA turnaround time is VERY SLOW. I had about 20 caps blew on the mobo, it worked very unstable. I ended up asking a shop to replace all the caps.

    If you just want to serve HTPCs, May be a cheap c2d laptop (Sempron/Celeron laptops are quite crap) with a couple of USB 750GB drives. My C2D T7200 could run 20 days at ~95% Load without crashing.
    Last edited by arthurleung; 10-10-2007 at 09:07 PM.
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    650 seemed a good idea at the time lol
    I will be getting a new PSU, CPU and memory but i'm looking for advise on stable motherboard
    I don't need an up to date motherboard but i don't mind getting one.
    Good idea on the S.A.S. card but realey thats for future. I've already got a PCI card that will take 4 drives + 2 onboard = 6 so 4 SATA would be ATM as i realy only need 2

    I've never had much luck with externals running 24/7 lol they are ok for backup
    I prefer WD raid drives but im not going to change them all yet

    i surpose some of the most stable boards ive had have been Intel

    Regards Paul

    Ps i have a sempron laptop its great for remote desktop, word and excel lol
    Last edited by s3ds; 11-10-2007 at 03:16 AM.

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    Fried Chip Extremist alsenior's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=572628

    what about this

    based on server chip set it will have oodles bandwidth
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/95354

    Foxconn SKT939 Nforce4-SLI chipset DDR400 Dual Gigabit LAN SATAII ATX Motherboard

    * ATA133 x 2
    * Serial ATA(SATA)/RAID
    * Serial ATA II x 6 with RAID 0,1,0+1,JBOD and cross-controller RAID

    Any one used or has one ?

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    NF4 SLI is not gonna be "stable". I've had mine crashing countless times even with minimal configuration, problematic PCI bus and the power usage is quite high too. For fileserver try and find a board with onboard graphics and mATX. I would say stay away from "gaming" chipsets as much as possible.

    You should pick Socket AM2 not Socket 939 as both CPU and Memory is more expensive on the older S939 platform.
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  9. #9
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Yes I'd avoid nVidia desktop chipsets - they're darn fast, but not as stable as Intel or their professional range.

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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Any Intel chipset motherboard will be stable as long as you don't get a dud, or try to overclock.
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Quote Originally Posted by alsenior View Post
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=572628

    what about this

    based on server chip set it will have oodles bandwidth
    How can it have oodles of bandwidth when the memory controller doesn't even hit 400Mhz?
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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    How can it have oodles of bandwidth when the memory controller doesn't even hit 400Mhz?
    Bandwidth can mean more than the CPU to RAM connection. In this case he means to the PCI-X and PCI-E ports.

    Bit overkill for the task in hand though.

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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Bandwidth can mean more than the CPU to RAM connection. In this case he means to the PCI-X and PCI-E ports.

    Bit overkill for the task in hand though.
    My point being, most devices directly dump data to the RAM, and the CPU read from there, so when you have both the CPU with a FSB of 800-1333Mhz (effective clock) doing I/O from 600Mhz RAM, as well as massive bandwidth buses also doing I/O from 600Mhz (effective) RAM, there's a huge imbalance, effectively the entire system is choking from lack of memory bandwidth.
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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    My point being, most devices directly dump data to the RAM, and the CPU read from there, so when you have both the CPU with a FSB of 800-1333Mhz (effective clock) doing I/O from 600Mhz RAM, as well as massive bandwidth buses also doing I/O from 600Mhz (effective) RAM, there's a huge imbalance, effectively the entire system is choking from lack of memory bandwidth.
    I thought you'd know better than that aidanjt

    The FSB is largely irrelvant. The CPU is communicating at 266 or 333mhz, the RAM is communicating at 266 or 333mhz. The fact that you can quad pump the FSB doesn't have much bearing. RAM is not bottlenecking when it's running at 1:1 with the CPU clock, even if this is 4x slower than an 'effective' FSB clock. Otherwise you'd see massive performance gains running the ram on a divider going up to 1066 or 1333mhz, the usual FSB speed. But you don't.

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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I thought you'd know better than that aidanjt

    The FSB is largely irrelvant. The CPU is communicating at 266 or 333mhz, the RAM is communicating at 266 or 333mhz. The fact that you can quad pump the FSB doesn't have much bearing. RAM is not bottlenecking when it's running at 1:1 with the CPU clock, even if this is 4x slower than an 'effective' FSB clock. Otherwise you'd see massive performance gains running the ram on a divider going up to 1066 or 1333mhz, the usual FSB speed. But you don't.
    You're missing the point, you have 4 main buses competing for RAM bandwidth on that board, the FSB, the PCIe bus, the PCI bus, and the PCI-X bus. The actual clock is irrelevant, the effective clock determines how much bandwidth you have available. For a balanced motherboard, you want your RAM communicating at least as quickly as the FSB. Otherwise you have devices in an I/O wait state. It doesn't matter if a bus has a gazillion gigabits per second bandwidth if the RAM can't keep up with it. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
    Last edited by aidanjt; 12-10-2007 at 04:20 PM.
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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Stable Mobo for file server

    Well of course, but the weakest link is the CPU in that case, not the RAM.

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