Thu, March 25th, 2004, 06:47 PM
Since I know a lot of you here are techies, I figure this would be a good place to ask some opinions. I'm in need of a basic server. It will primarily be a web server (Apache/PHP running on FreeBSD) and perhaps email as well. I don't need anything elaborate, and I would like to keep the price not too far over $1000US. That of course rules out most of the prebuilt packages, which is not a problem, I've built quite a few servers in the past. I've been somewhat partial to the Tyan/Intel combination in the past, but looking at their current offerings, there is nothing that really appeals to me. I'm not necessarily partial to Intel at this point either. I'd like the whole package to fit into a 1U box. It should have either SATA or U320 SCSI. I'd prefer SCSI, but if it pushes price too high, then I'll stick to SATA. Any opinions?
Thu, March 25th, 2004, 08:23 PM
I'm currently in the process of updating my server situation right now. I have a 1.2 ghz AMD with only 256 mb ram on an MSI motherboard. I have had a lot of luck with the MSI's in the past, so that's what I would look toward for myself. You can probaly get a good MSI board with 512-1GB PC 3200 ram and a AMD 2000-2800 and keep it within your budget. I also know people that think the ASUS boards are pretty good, but I can't say myself. I'd stay far away frm the ECS, BioStar, and Syntax mobos. Too many small glitchy problems that they never seem to fix in the BIOS updates, the board layouts are a little weird, and they seem flimsy.
Depending on the board you get, the MSI's may come with an SATA RAID setup, and if not, you can get a promise SATA 4x raid card for around $150. (2x for even less depending on your needs) I just ordered 4 160GB Hitachi DeskStar SATA drives from NewEgg.com and the new promise RAID Card. I've heard a lot of good things about the Promise RAID as far as performance for the $. Now you can get some pretty reasonable 200 gb SATA Western Digital drives, but I opted for the Hitachi because of the past IBM reputation and their performance with digital video applications. I've read some reviews of the setup I'm looking to put in. While it doesn't match up to a SCSI setup, it blows away the closest IDE, and all the reviewers felt that as far as performance, storage, and price, it gave you the most bang for your buck.
Your price range won't build you a magnum throbber, but it should be more than enough for your needs.
Just my $0.02. I'm sure the rest of the guys here have their own opinions. Let me know what you decide. I'm always interested in what other guys do for their hardware.
Thu, March 25th, 2004, 09:03 PM
careful with SATA-capable mobo's and fbsd 4.9... a friend had one and it tried to boot using SATA even when he had udma drives connected, and the kernel would continuously panic. he ended up having to disable the sata controller within the bios for his machine to boot properly.
Fri, March 26th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Yeah, I guess I should clarify the mobo issue. My recommendations are based more on reliability than compatibility. I have mostly used win2000 on my installations, and I don't have any experience with fbsd. If I remember correctly, the promise sata cards had drivers compatible with red hat and suse, but said that fbsd 4.7 compatibility was coming soon. So that may not help you in the short run.
Fri, March 26th, 2004, 09:38 AM
careful with SATA-capable mobo's and fbsd 4.9... a friend had one and it tried to boot using SATA even when he had udma drives connected, and the kernel would continuously panic. he ended up having to disable the sata controller within the bios for his machine to boot properly. Keep in mind that 5.2.1 may have improved this (probably dramatically) so don't let that keep you away!