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Old 2004-12-11, 06:29   #12
moo
 
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yaa i see htose i live near there outlet store i have gone in these things are fugly shaped to i mean there but ugly but they will get job done lol there just fugly. the handle on top is werid but i guess for lanparites its good. as long as u dont kick it
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Old 2004-12-21, 04:23   #13
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Best band for the buck?

Get the 2.4ghz Celeron D with a decent OCing board with dual channel DDR. These chips to 3ghz easy, have 256kb of L2 cashe, and they are cheap. As far a memory goes, just find some old DDR memory (like a local computer place; i can get 32MB DDR200 moduals for nothing) and run it in dual channel mode.
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Old 2005-01-06, 14:28   #14
IronBits
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I picked up 2 dual matched pair 1.6 Xeons (4 procs)
Heard these go up to 3.2GHz on air with a slight voltage mod
$99 for a pair, on ebay...

Last fiddled with by IronBits on 2005-01-06 at 14:30
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Old 2005-01-06, 23:14   #15
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...good deal...
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Old 2005-01-08, 03:29   #16
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IronBits,
Thanks for posting. I have been doing some overclocking recently. Modifying RAM voltage is a must for FSB overclock which in turn ups the speed of the CPU. Various other things have to happen as well.

I have some recommendations:
1) Backup your prime95 work before running OC'd.
2) Even if a 24 hour Prime95 torture test verifies the overclock without errors, this does not mean you won't get SUMOUT errors days later. That happened to me recently. I believe others in this forum have had similar -- and far worse -- experiences.
3) You have to be willing to lose all your work when overclocking and start over. Because of 2), I restarted Prime95 from a known good point. I never allow an LL to complete if any errors show up when overclocking.

Have fun. OC'ing makes you learn things you would never get to know otherwise (as well as burn up a video card and a stick or two or RAM).
My favorite website: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/index.php

Please post your benchmarks in the perpetual benchmark thread. I think they will be informative. I have a nonOC'd dual Xeon in there. (edit for grammar)

enjoy,

john

Last fiddled with by nomadicus on 2005-01-08 at 03:31
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Old 2005-01-11, 18:02   #17
IronBits
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Thanks for the information.
I wonder if the U-wire mod works with any motherboard using the Xeon 1.6 GHz cpus

Last fiddled with by IronBits on 2005-01-11 at 18:03
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Old 2005-01-11, 19:36   #18
Peter Nelson
 
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Post Bang for buck etc on Intel based prime95

1.

I was surprised you wrote DDR2 memory...

DDR2 is required on SOME Intel LGA775 socket boards, but is more expensive. At the same processor speed you won't see speed benefit. It might become more relevant in future, but buyers currently seem to be shunning DDR2 and manufacturers have made boards either without it or as an option (Gigabyte Duo range for instance).

Conclusion: go with DDR memory. DDR400 (aka 3200) is best because higher is premium priced for major overclockers. DDR400 is hardly more than slower models as they become obsolete. If you in future want to go DDR2 there are millions of DDR users to sell your old parts to. Whereas by the time DDR2 gets into volumes which make the price realistic, there will probably be some kind of next generation DDR10x ram technology which obsoletes it.

2.

As prime testing uses access to cache and memory quite a lot, I highly recommend Dual Channel motherboard (and 2 sticks of memory in it).

There are plenty of cheap mobos that although cheap won't do dual channel.

Put in enough RAM to avoid the OS needing to swap which will eat cpu resources. Using linux, personally I'd recommend a couple of 256MB modules or a couple of 512 modules. The 1GB and 2GB sticks are still very expensive.

3.

For Intel cpus, your current choices are 478 or 775 socket.
Some people say 478 mobos now in short supply because intel is phasing out the old design. Well, I have yet to see this, both are widely available.
Originally there was a large premium for 775 but the gap has much narrowed.

4.

Embedded NICs are common at 10/100 now. I prefer gigabit, which is irrelevant for prime but could be very useful for cluster interconnect if you decide to repurpose your farm for something else. Integrated gigabit is becoming more common.

Make sure the NIC/BIOS supports PXE boot or similar which removes the need for local harddrive.

5.

Integrated video is common on cheap boards. eg using Sis chipset.
However, these cheap boards usually have only 10/100 lan, and don't support dual channel memory.

For socket 478, Intel's 865G include Intel's onboard graphics.
For socket 775, Intel's 915G chipset includes its new faster GMA800 graphics.

This might sway me towards 775 if prices were similar.

So the real trick is finding a mobo with onboard vga AND gigabit nic.
People think integrated video equates to cheapskates therefore 10/100 lan.
There are some exceptions eg gigabyte make 915G board with gigabit ethernet.
Unfortunately because of the above this model is quite hard to find in shops or distribution channel so far (in the UK).

6.

Later this year when Intel roll out dual-core (not talking about hyperthreading) it will be on 775 socket. Whether boards/bios will be able to support it is a gamble. But if you could find a board which guaranteed this upgrade possibility that would be a strong benefit.

This assumes dualcore cpus won't cost the earth when they arrive.
Yes they will cost more but you're not paying to two cases, two psu, two mobo etc and should save on electricity per cpu.

7.

Get a mobo that supports 800FSB (not just 400/533)

CPUs with faster 1066 are likely to be price premium.

Having said that, don't be ashamed to stick a Celeron D in it running only at 533. Note celeron D can take advantage of dual channel memory too.

8.

Overclocking helps.

Obviously this will rule out any intel manufactured motherboards.

Overclock safely. As posted above the Celeron D 320 will overclock to 3GHz (and more). For reliability I'm compromising down to 2.7GHz on this 2.4GHz chip. If it can run that fast, we can rely on stability somewhat lower.

(on my system that is with the Intel stock air cooling).

Note the celeron D range now goes up to the 345 model at over 3GHz (without overclocking). A new 350 model has been announced probably arriving Q1/Feb, and should do 3.2GHz (wonder what overclock?)

Intel announced they will shave a couple of dollars off the Celeron D range in Feb.

9.

Power consumption.
If you are not having the latest $500 graphics monster you save power.
Celeron D uses less power than full P4.
Therefore lower rated PSU required.
And less bill from your electricity company.

10.

I agree with using textual SSH as a good solution.

11.
However, for multiple systems optional but worthwhile is a cheap 4 to 1 KVA switch, allowing you to see the gui (if running or desired). The alternative is to fire up an xwindows session over the lan which runs over ssh if you want graphics.

12.
Linux over windows makes sense for the farm application because of cost.
It has been suggested the EULA allows testing. Maybe true if you want your farm to run "torture test" all day. That won't win any prizes. I doubt MS or their lawyers would agree with the idea that mathematical/scientific processing was "testing" the machine or OS. "Testing" for primality is not the kind of testing they permit freely. IANAL though.

13.
While I have suggested network boot using PXE, another option is from flash memory. You can put Linux and prime software on a flash keyfob device.
This avoids complexity of modifying DHCP server settings, running TFTP etc.
USB devices are cheap now, that's why I thought this could have advantages.
Don't use the USB flash as a harddrive though ie don't write to it lots if at all. These devices have limited write lifetime (which varies widely between manufacturers). Be careful. You can of course create a (volatile) ram drive in the main memory of the PC, and copy to a network share drive to keep things longer.

14.
Physical size?
Many mobos are the ATX size or near.
You will find some with embedded nic and embedded graphics with the cut-down Micro-ATX form factor.
This means you can use a smaller case and get more cases on your desk/rack.

I want to take this further and put more than 1 board in a case.
Now, with a little rewiring, I should be able to run 2 (low power using) boards off a single psu. This should save noise, cost and power consumption.

The constraint is that the CPU/fan assembly sticks up from the board quite a way. This limits the density you can pack boards on top of each other.

My idea is to place 2 boards in parallel but upside down and rotated 180 degrees.

Thus one processor is over the (unused) pci slots of the other board and vice versa. Be careful with airflow, but this arrangement should give good cpu density to system volume.

15.

For prime, Northwood does more than Prescott core at same clockspeed (even higher).
I've heard northwoods are in short supply in USA and therefore cost more now.

16.

NX (virus protection bit) is worth having (the J prefix on some Intel cpus)
Some linux distros like Suse 9.2 now support it.
For celeron D NX is only available on LGA775 not 478 socket version.
A few P4 start to appear with NX too. Bear it in mind as a factor to consider.

17.
If cost is a major factor, some people have photos of their farm WITHOUT cases.
This could work. My only concerns are:
a) possible dust (or household pet) ingress/buildup on the board
b) lack of uniform cooling
c) lack of heatsink benefits of metal (particularly aluminium) cases

18.
I have mentioned Gigabyte a few times. This is because I like them and am more familiar with their range. MSI for instance may also have similar boards.

If you want a budget 478 with only 10/100 maybe look at Foxconn?

- - - - -

Hope this helps, interested what others think
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Old 2005-01-12, 05:58   #19
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Default Intel Equipment

Intel makes the 865 chipset which is very good. You can pick up cheap Intel 865PERL mobos on eBay, and do they overclock. No onboard video, though. There is no such thing as an OC board with onboard video. I bought a 865PERL mobo, P4 3.0 GHz 800 MHz, and (2) 256 MB PC3700 DDR DIMMS by Infineon for $300 on eBay. It's the place to go for deals.
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Old 2005-01-12, 07:10   #20
Peter Nelson
 
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Question Motherboards

You suggest the 865PERL motherboard from Intel.
Well, note that there is NO ONBOARD LAN so would require adding a PCI lan card (or, less likely a USB to ethernet dongle) to communicate with primenet.

I'm surprised it supports overclocking because its made by intel, but maybe they woke up to "the customer is always right".

Any 865G (emphasis on the G) motherboard includes integrated graphics in the chipset. Be careful though as Gigabyte use the suffix "G" in their models to designate Gigabit ethernet too.

One example of an 865G chipset motherboard that supports overclocking is GIGABYTE GA-8IG1000 Pro-G which also has onboard Gigabit LAN. I have one with my Celeron D in its 478 socket. The board cost me £75 GBP at a computer fair stand.

This particular board might be difficult to find (as its a pro version) and although I'm happy with my purchase, I'm sure there may be equally good and/or more recent/cheaper alternatives.

Personally I'm inclined towards 775 based boards which may be obsolete less quickly.

Things I want are:

775 socket
Onboard video (performance is not crucial but intel GMA900 better than some)
Onboard LAN @ Gigabit speed (with PXE boot capability)
DDR NOT DDR2 memory
Dual Channel operation of memory
PCI-Express NOT AGP slot
Some level of overclocking but not extremely so
Ideally small form factor - MicroATX 24.4cmx24.4cm is fine

I would be interested to hear of any motherboards which fit these requirements.

I'm currently looking at Gigabyte GA-8I915G-MF boards which does all these and the price I've seen is around £80 GBP.

I would be interested in knowing of any alternatives or opinions on this board, and whether anyone has Linux running on it (I would intend Suse 9.2).
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Old 2005-01-12, 07:57   #21
Peter Nelson
 
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Question Motherboards

You suggest the 865PERL motherboard from Intel.
Well, note that there is NO ONBOARD LAN so would require adding a PCI lan card (or, less likely a USB to ethernet dongle) to communicate with primenet.

I'm surprised it supports overclocking because its made by intel, but maybe they woke up to "the customer is always right".

Any 865G (emphasis on the G) motherboard includes integrated graphics in the chipset. Be careful though as Gigabyte use the suffix "G" in their models to designate Gigabit ethernet too.

One example of an 865G chipset motherboard that supports overclocking is GIGABYTE GA-8IG1000 Pro-G which also has onboard Gigabit LAN. I have one with my Celeron D in its 478 socket. The board cost me £75 GBP at a computer fair stand.

This particular board might be difficult to find (as its a pro version) and although I'm happy with my purchase, I'm sure there may be equally good and/or more recent/cheaper alternatives.

Personally I'm inclined towards 775 based boards which may be obsolete less quickly.

Things I want are:

775 socket
Onboard video (performance is not crucial but intel GMA900 better than some)
Onboard LAN @ Gigabit speed (with PXE boot capability)
DDR NOT DDR2 memory
Dual Channel operation of memory
PCI-Express NOT AGP slot
Some level of overclocking but not extremely so
Ideally small form factor - MicroATX 24.4cmx24.4cm is fine

I would be interested to hear of any motherboards which fit these requirements.

I'm currently looking at Gigabyte GA-8I915G-MF boards which does all these and the price I've seen is around £80 GBP.

I would be interested in knowing of any alternatives or opinions on this board, and whether anyone has Linux running on it (I would intend Suse 9.2).
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Old 2005-01-12, 22:08   #22
moo
 
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i have had some good expreences with the soyo boards socket 478 there not half bad also they include a handy feature to turn off comp if cpu gets to hot aka fan fails.... try
http://www.soyogroup.com/products/proddesc.php?id=195
http://www.soyogroup.com/products/proddesc.php?id=241
unfortunaty both are gone they discontiuned them but u might be able to pick them up on the internet someware....
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