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building a hot-rod

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    building a hot-rod

    well not LITERALLY, but close. SO I decided a while ago that I needed a new file server. I discovered that I needed a central place to store files as my sister is dabbling in web pages and video editing and I have a growing library of "animated video files" that need stored.

    Being the person that I am, I would be so much happier with something old rather than buy a new setup. To make a long story short when I was in high school and the p3 tulatins came out I was doomed to never get one as my parents would never fork over the cash for a new computer, let alone one for me. So all I could do is look on with sad eyes as my friends left me and my p2-350 in the dust.

    Anyway now that I have a lot more expendable income I feel its somewhat my duty to make sure I get the things I always wanted. You only live once remember? And since ANY joe blow can go out and buy a newer dual xeon board it kind of fell into my head that this would just me so much more fun to do.

    Now before I start to ramble I just purchased the motherboard. I had been looking for a good dual tulatin board for a LONG time and the only good one on ebay was "on sale" for $450. Well that guy can go pound sand, because I found THIS on ebay. It cost me a bit, I wont lie but having dual p3's with dual channel ram and TRIPPLE pci busses.... Well it was just too tempting to pass up. So now that I am fully committed to this "project" now I can use your help! below are the items I'm planning on getting to finish off the server. I DO want it to look nice. So I may decide to use windowed cases, and lights. And I have heard that cool lights, stickers and rounded cables make your computer faster but i dont want it too flashy. But if anyone has any inputs I certanly will take them into consideration.

    motherboard: link 1 link 2
    processors: link
    heatsinks: THIS or THIS
    raid card: probably THIS or similar
    NIC/wifi: LINK and this
    case: undecided
    Ram: 2 of 6 1gb pc133 ecc registered dimms purchased.
    hard drives: ???
    power supply: 610W pcp&c

    Basically if someone had a name I can call this, that would be awesome or if they had some recomendations on one or more of the following:

    1: cheap scsi/sata hard drives

    2: wireless nic as I plan to turn this computer into a wireless access point.

    3: case, I am open to the option of taking a non-functioning PC-XT and keeping the shell and modifying the case to take a full atx board and drives. Maybe even if I gave it a window! If I went down this road I would DEFIANTLY get one of the old mice and a ibm clicky keyboard.

    4: any other design considerations because I plan to have it do the following:

    wireless access point
    web server
    file server
    print server
    telephone answering machine (more on this later)

    link
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

    #2
    ideas

    Nice mobo.

    Wireless:
    If you plan on streaming 720p video, like say a DVD on Hardrive across the network, 54 Mbps may cause stuttering. I've got one setup that uses two channels to give you up to 130 MBps and that works nicely.
    Of course, that only lasts until my neighbor pick up his cordless phone, since it shares the same 2.5 Ghz spectrum that a lot of other dreck shares.
    I've had good luck with Netgear equipment, and problems with D-Link. Other people I know have the opposite experience.
    The 1000BaseT server NIC is nice, what is it going to connect to ? More 1000BaseT stuff ?

    Hard drives/RAID:
    Does the mobo have raid ? In that case, you might be able to use the onboard RAID to set up two drives as RAID 1 for your system partition.
    Don't know if you saw this review of the 3Ware:
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/sto..._15.html#sect0
    If you're looking for peak performance, the fact that it won't support a 66 Mhz PCI-64 bus might be a downer.

    What OS are you putting on there ? That might limit the amount of memory the system can use.

    I'd steer clear from cheap SCSI drives, if you can find cheap new SCSI drives these days.
    For your data volumes, it depends on what you're doing with them.
    If it's something that just involves streaming large files across a network for 1 or 2 users, the cheap, large-capacity SATA drives would work well.
    If it's something that involves a lot of seeking, then you'd be better served with something like the Raptor series, or drives that have a higher number of platters for a given capacity then cheap high-capacity ones.

    In the past 4 years I've been using SATA drives, the only >200 Gbyte drive I've had crash was a Maxtor 500 GByte drive. Prior to the crash I had a roughly equal mix of Hitachi, Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital.
    I have several Seagate & Western Digital drives that are on 24/7, and seem to be doing well.
    I have Hitachi & Seagate SCSI SCA drives on some of my servers, and they're on 24/7, and are doing well.

    If you have the choice between new SATA & used SCSI, I'd go with the SATA.

    SCSI tends to be more pricey to set up, cables cost more, drives cost more, SCSI RAID controllers can be pricey...It all depends what you need it for. Since there are so many flavours of SCSI, you might think you're getting a deal, but end up getting a dog, so you really have to do your homework.

    If you want it to be reliable, I would not recommend used hard drives, but that's just my opinion.

    Design considerations:
    Regardless of what the adverts say, the high-capacity SATA drives like to be cooled, so you'll have to figure out how to cram fans into the chassis of your choice.

    Just some thought, hopefully helpful.
    patscc

    Comment


      #3
      actually its very helpful.

      the wireless can just be basic but I want it to remain quick with multiple users. there are times where 2 laptops and the Wii are running at the same time, they dont do more than web browsing so I think G should be just fine. Are there cards that handle multiple systems better than others?

      I have wired gigabit through most of my house. So having gig in the file server is only natural.

      the motherboard has onboard scsi160 so I was hoping for a pair of 9's or 18's of the 10-15k variety for boot. I have a small pile of 160gb ide hard drives so I might as well use them until they get full and i need to go somewhere else. It seems that the 80 pin drives are almost free but you put 68 pins into the search and people act like the things are made with the wood of the true cross...

      I havent decided on an operating system. I have a copy of 2000 advanced server, but I think routing in windows is about as intuitive as shifting from 5th to reverse in a car without a shifter. So i've been told.

      as for the raid card, thanks for the head's up! I'm kinda hoping to find one of these

      http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=150297997274

      slightly cheaper, the 12 will be overkill as I only have about 5 ide drives atm but the 8 runs real cheap.


      as for the case I still think it would be nice to gut an XT but if that doesn't pan out (i.e. i cant find one on the cheap) then I'm kinda stuck between these three:

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811160008
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129043
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811112141

      the last one is out of my budget a bit, but I paid more for the case for my current main system and I've been happy with it for the last 6 years so I know they last.
      Last edited by luckybob; February 15, 2009, 10:20 PM.
      It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

      Comment


        #4
        server

        I wouldn't worry about the routing, with your setup, it shouldn't be that big a deal. Advance server will let you use more than 4 Gbyte.

        80 pin (SCA) drives require a backplane or adapter, and a lot of servers use them, so they're readily available.
        If you just want some 9 or 18 Gbyte 68-pin drives to get you started, you can always PM me, I have a bunch of various 68-pin drives sitting in a box that I don't use anymore, and they're definitely not even the wood of a fake cross.

        You can always stick your board into something non-traditional. I have a P3 Xeon quad-board that just sits in a open chassis that sits on top of the power supplies & fans. Noisy, but different.

        patscc

        Comment


          #5
          Wow! that's a lot of money for a ten year old server board.

          Here is what I see as minuses.

          Only 2 32 bit standard PCI slots (You can't use some older 5v PCI cards in that board's 64 bit slots as they are only keyed for 3.3v)

          No dedicated Graphics card slot (eg. AGP)

          Antique processors, Yes, I know not vintage, but they are still about 9 years old.

          1gb 168pin SDRAM is getting rare, therefore expensive.

          If you are expecting super fast performance, don't. It'll make a nice fileserver, but you could have built something faster that was newer for less than you are going to have to dump into looking for (more expensive)older parts. A dual core Allendale Celeron e1400 with a budget board and 4GB DDRII ram would have set you back less than the entire cost of that board and is arguably faster.

          But hey, it's a hobby, right? Have fun.

          Comment


            #6
            LOL, laughing as I sit here thinking of all the PIII Slot 1 CPUs I own. Yes, we do develop irrational emotions towards our hardware. I still love those clunkers, even if a more modern <gag> celeron is faster.

            Comment


              #7
              Geeze guys, don't rain on his parade Getting it all to work is half the fun!
              sigpic

              Comment


                #8
                Not trying to rain on anyone's parade...

                Like I said; It's a hobby, have fun!

                Speaking as a guy who has a 21 year old Zenith (which is almost completely proprietary) on his desk I certainly know the irrational attachment to marginal hardware.

                I was was just a bit shocked at the price for a bog-standard 10 year old server motherboard.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a few Zenith machines and I myself am currently in the process of getting a dual PIII motherboard to put together a machine that'll go on to control a disk array just for the fun of it. Probably start restoring a PS/2 soon too but I digress
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I used to have a Dell with dual processor slots, originally with a PII 450. I put in dual PIII 800s, and it worked great until I trusted it to be on for 2 weeks straight. I was playing a high graphic game and the thing overheated! Never worked again, even with the old processor. Good times. This summmer I'm going to be working on getting a 486 rackmount server working as a fileserver.

                    --Ryan
                    Come to the dark side...we have cookies.
                    Wanted: Somebody to buy alot of my stuff
                    AT&T PC 6300 site

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by dpatten View Post
                      Wow! that's a lot of money for a ten year old server board.

                      Here is what I see as minuses.

                      Only 2 32 bit standard PCI slots (You can't use some older 5v PCI cards in that board's 64 bit slots as they are only keyed for 3.3v)

                      No dedicated Graphics card slot (eg. AGP)

                      Antique processors, Yes, I know not vintage, but they are still about 9 years old.

                      1gb 168pin SDRAM is getting rare, therefore expensive.

                      If you are expecting super fast performance, don't. It'll make a nice fileserver, but you could have built something faster that was newer for less than you are going to have to dump into looking for (more expensive)older parts. A dual core Allendale Celeron e1400 with a budget board and 4GB DDRII ram would have set you back less than the entire cost of that board and is arguably faster.

                      But hey, it's a hobby, right? Have fun.

                      i know its overpriced, but I really don't care. My father always told me a good deal is when both people are happy.

                      anyway, I think I only need 2 32 bit slots to be honest. 1 for the wireless card (unless someone knows of a 64 bit) and 1 for the voice modem that I plan to add later. (I want to be able to record my telephone conversations. I have rental properties and having a recording that I can take into a courtroom is something thats very very nice to have.)

                      every other card I'm getting is 66mhz/64bit so I think it will all work out fine. dont care that it doesnt have agp, once its setup i plan to connect to it via ssh so a monitor would be rather moot.

                      The ram really isnt that expensive. I got 2 sticks for $15 on ebay and that was with shipping. I LOST a 2nd auction that day for 4 sticks that sold for $25. I lost mostly because I forgot when it ended and showed up too late to bid.

                      as for the processors, as long as i use dedicated hardware raids then the cpu power wont be a huge factor. In all honesty if I get some nice drives and controllers I would be limited by the single gigabit connection which is what 120mb/s? I can always add a 2nd card but then I would need a switch that supports dual connections and basically thats where I am drawing the line.

                      but before I start to rant I'd like to say thanks for the feed back. its a lot more than I got on some other forums but I dont really blame them, as they see anything thats older than 6 months as trash and should be shunned...

                      ANYWAY... If anyone has any opinions over cases or if I should modify an XT case (or similar) I'm certainly looking for options.

                      @patscc I sure am interested in some hard drives if your willing to sell. I have 2 160 channels on the motherboard itself and i believe I have three 2 drive cables. they may be 1 drive cables with termanators but now I got to go look. I'm pretty much broke right now but I get paid thursday and thats when I plan to go on an ebay shopping spree for the other parts.
                      It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by luckybob View Post
                        anyway, I think I only need 2 32 bit slots to be honest. 1 for the wireless card (unless someone knows of a 64 bit) and 1 for the voice modem that I plan to add later. .
                        Actually, if you get a newer wireless card it SHOULD be 3.3 volt PCI or universally keyed and should work just fine in your 64 bit slots. You should also be able to pick up a newer modem that would work, also probably for a song.

                        Originally posted by luckybob View Post
                        ANYWAY... If anyone has any opinions over cases or if I should modify an XT case (or similar) I'm certainly looking for options.

                        I seriously wouldn't suggest modifying an original XT case. In fact there are some folks here who would stroke out simply hearing that sentence uttered.

                        If you are looking for a "vintage" look, I'd recommend looking for a clone AT style case from the mid-late 1980's.

                        They have the benefit of looking a lot like an IBM 5170 while having absolutely zero collectibility. Plus, you won't be shunned by the IBM purists on this forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          UPDATE:

                          I just finished order a lot of good stuff off of eaby.

                          scsi sca adapters
                          scsi cables with active terminators
                          intel gigabit network card
                          2x 1.4 tualatin processors (matched)
                          2x 1gb pc133 dimms (trying to get all 6 sticks the same model/vendor)
                          2x Tt orbs LINK

                          The motherboard is on its way, and I recieved last night the first 2 dimms. sadly the spare board I have around doesnt support dimms bigger than 256, but it should be alright. all I have left are the pci wireless card, a case, the final 2 sticks of ram and a ide raid card.

                          I'm still weighing my case options. I am leaning heavily on this chieftec. But nothing been completely decided yet.
                          It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            a few months ago I had recently finished putting together a 2U rackmount (for my living room) with a dual p3 1400mhz setup and 3gb of ram. 3x 36GB drives in a raid 5. Sound blaster whatever that was 5v PCI and a universal PCI Geforce 6200 w/ I think* 256mb of ram. Win XP =)

                            Why? because I could and needed to find something to do with all the crap in my basment, still got lots more stuffs to assign duties to
                            -JDT

                            Wanted: IBM XT/286 Model 5162 <-!!!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by luckybob View Post

                              I'm still weighing my case options. I am leaning heavily on this chieftec. But nothing been completely decided yet.
                              Might I suggest EL wire for lighting/decoration?

                              http://www.elbestbuy.com/?gclid=CJXC...FREhDQodlQ_Hcg

                              --T
                              Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
                              _____________________________________________

                              Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

                              Comment

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