Hello 64 World - My proposed 3Ware system

Toll, Eric etoll at vipstructures.com
Thu May 5 09:55:43 PDT 2005

> > 
> > Anyone else have a Gigabyte board with (GA-7A8DW  AMD 8111/8131) 
> > Chipset running AMD-64?
> It is hard to find information about this motherboard at 
> Gigabyte's USA
> site (since you're mentioning $$).   Where have you found to buy it?

It's listed under the server/workstation boards:

> This motherboard has a 4+0 DIMM configuration, which means 
> you are (1) limited to 4 DIMM's, (2) only get 1/2 the 
> possible memory bandwidth.  I'm not saying this is an 
> absolutely terrible thing, but be aware of it.

Thanks for pointing that out.  Can you offer a replacement model? What MB/RAM
setup do you have? {and how much $ was it?}

I'd like it to be able to run Dual Opteron 242's (as they're cheep) and have a
66MHZ 64BIT PCI slot, and (1) AGP slot.  What do you or anyone else recommend??
I couldn't find much else that had these features that was on the 3Ware tested
list.  Am I crazy for going to this length?  :)

As it is the memory must be ECC Registered, and I opted for the Kingston which

.. a kit of two 64M x 72-bit (512MB) DDR400 CL2.5 SDRAM Synchronous DRAM)
registered ECC memory modules. Total kit capacity is 1GB. The components on each
module include eighteen 32M x 8-bit (8M x 8-bit x 4 Bank) DDR400 SDRAM in TSOP
packages. Each 184-pin DIMM uses gold contact fingers and requires +2.6V

Bleading edge technology costs so much.  I have only $2,000.00 USD to spend.
I thought what I came up with wasn't that bad price wise, I already own the
Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti4200. (Gainward GS) 3Ware recommended the WD SATA drives
(RAID Edition) and the mainboard as it's on their certified list, which was
updated March of this year.

8006-2LP KIT     ESCALADE 8006-2LP                1       141.47      141.47
WD2500SD         WD CAVIAR 250GB RAID SATA-3      2       149.98      299.96
GA-7A8DW         SERVER BOARDAMD 81118131+81      1       340.86      340.86
TITAN 550        TITAN SERIES 550                 1       209.87      209.87
OSA242AUBOX      OPTERON DP SERVER 242 PIB-R      2       217.77      435.54
KRX3200AK2/1G    1GB KIT(2X512)DDR400 REG HY      1       415.80      415.80

BTW these items all come from Insight.com, and all are in stock
(I get better than Web price)

> I fear this board won't get good BIOS support - looking at 
> the list of downloadable BIOS updates, I cannot tell what any 
> of them fix.  Worse is no confidence Gigabyte will support 
> the new Opteron revision E (90nm) processors, including 
> dual-core ones.

That's OK I guess, I will have this system for the next 6 years. The dual
Opteron 242's I want to get are 1.6Ghz each and at least are based on the "new"
64bit technology from AMD.  I would never pull out those (2) 242's and replace
them with something better, I'd build a whole new system again.

> I'm not sure why you are looking at an AGP based motherboard 
> for a server.

To me X Windows is sooo sexy.  I *love* the GL screensaveers, I also like to
watch my logs in realtime. (e.g.  tail -F /var/log/maillog  ...)I'll be running
1280x1024x32 color with the Nvidia accelerated driver via a 19' NEC CRT.  Even
now the OpenGL screen savers only use 3%-10% of my CPU. Have you ever seen
"Endgame" run at 45fps? In best GL mode.  I love X11 (or is it X.org now)  DNS &
WWW logs I like watch on screen realtime.  So to me having a server motherboard
with an AGP port is very important.

Will I be able to do this [the above] with AMD-64 FreeBSD?

Nothings been purchased yet, so I appreciate any steering you may be able to

Kind Regards,

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