DO I really need the expensive server board?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by BG250, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. BG250

    BG250 Guest

    I'm considering building or purchasing a new server. The server's function
    will be a file server (300 GB fault tolerant SCSI RAID), will serve three
    printers and will have the Pervasive SQL engine loaded for some accounting

    Our current server is a Dell Power Edge 4300 with dual 550Mhz Intel cpus. I
    need to replace the server because it will be 5 years old and the extended
    coverage will cease. The 100bps network strains under the load of the heavy
    file I/O and the drives are filing up. However, the CPUs is with utilization
    near 0 most of the time as the SCSI RAID controller handles the disk I/O.

    I'm considering going with a good workstation mother board with a single,
    but fast CPU and a RAID board, Gigabit Ehternet card and switch and perhaps
    an external driver tower.

    What do you think? bg
    BG250, Jan 16, 2004
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  2. BG250

    Ghislain Guest

    For optimal SCSI Raid performance, a 64-bit PCI slot is required and those
    usually are available on server boards only. If you plan on using a Gigabit
    Ehternet card, it would also perform better in a 64-bit slot.
    Ghislain, Jan 16, 2004
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  3. The problem is PCI performance.
    Remember that the standard PCI bus is 'nominally' 133MB/sec, and will be
    lucky to actually do 100MB/sec. Now a Gigabit ethernet card _on it's own_,
    can fill this. Similarly a fast RAID adapter, will easily surpass this
    figure. Hence the bus will bottleneck the system, unless you have a
    motherboard that supports preferably 66MHz/64bit PCI. Some motherboards also
    implement multiple busses, with some slots on one PCI bus, and others on a
    seperate bus.
    Guess what, it is generally server boards that support these features!...

    Best Wishes
    Roger Hamlett, Jan 16, 2004
  4. You don't necessarily need a server board, but you probably will want one
    with 64-bit PCI (PCI-X) support, and many of those are server boards..
    Robert Hancock, Jan 16, 2004
  5. BG250

    Leythos Guest

    If you want to go cheap, consider the Dell Dimension 650 Dual Xeon
    system with 2GB of ram or more. Bought 5 last month for $6000 each.

    You could also consider building your own using the ASUS PC-DL board,
    dual Xeon chips and mirrored 250GB SATA drives. Bought one last week at
    a local store for $1500.

    I just installed 5 650's today with dual 73GB SCSI drives in a simple
    mirror running Windows 2000 Server and they scream - HT is enabled.

    If you are running a database you really need to consider putting the
    transaction logs on a mirror and the data on a raid 5 array set.
    Leythos, Jan 18, 2004
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