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motherboard POS advice

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March 26, 2003 8:06:07 PM

Hello,
I need some advice choosing a motherboard for a small business network. I am leaning towards AMD processor. The network will consist of one server two workstations and 12 printers. I will need 4 com ports on each computer. I havent used windows XP enough to make a good judgement on performance and stabilty? Would Windows 2000 be better on such a small network? Correct me if I am wrong but I havent seen an Nforce based board with 4 com ports or gigabit lan. So VIA would probably be my next choice on chipset considering AMD performance and stability. I would like to be able to upgrade to a 3 gig or better processor in the future. Performance and Stability are both major issues. These PCs will be used extensively twice a day for 3 hour periods. And I will be running POS software on them. If anyone has any input or advice it is greatly welcomed. thanks!!

A7n8x deluxe
xp1800 thoroughbred
2x256 pc 3200 generic
GF4 4800Ti

More about : motherboard pos advice

a b V Motherboard
March 26, 2003 9:52:00 PM

Intel i810 and some Celeron processors. POS terminals need very little power, I suggest you buy USED and save some money. I see systems perfect for that application selling for $100 each complete except for monitor.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
March 27, 2003 9:16:39 AM

Yeah you wont need that much power. Go for something that is cool and has integrated graphics (a Coppermine Celeron and i810 chipset like crash reccomended). Unfortunately, you will never find 4 com ports on any motherbaord and gigabit lan on only the newest ones out (not the i810 baords) - youll have to buy some com and lan cards.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=5467618 " target="_new">Almost Breaking 12k!!</A>
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March 29, 2003 6:54:27 AM

Well, I was hoping to spens an extra few hundred dollars now on hardware and buy the newest motherboards. So that in the future I wont have to buy all new complete systems if I want to upgrade software. Also the system that I am using now lags when performing a database search. And actually I am not buying the system my boss is. He wants me to set it up. So chipsets support the Gigabit LAN?
thanks for your info..

A7n8x deluxe
xp1800 thoroughbred
2x256 pc 3200 generic
GF4 4800Ti
March 29, 2003 9:11:06 AM

hmm... I think all of the latest P4 and Athlon XP motherbaords have onboard Gigabit Lan, none will have four COM ports. Your next decision is whether to go Intel or AMD? Since I dont know much about servers etc I will let someone else answer this question, although I would say you will probably want to go with a low end Athlon XP to keep prices down and FPU performance up.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=5467618 " target="_new">Almost Breaking 12k!!</A>
March 29, 2003 7:47:44 PM

What are you serving?

I'm guessing files and printers.

In which case you're better off with celerons for all, and a SCSI array on the server.

i810s and Celerons work fine - it's what we use in the office. The older ones are Coppermine, the newer ones Tualatin.

If you're woried about upgradeability later then use P4 Celerons, so you can drop in some 533FSB P4s in a year or two when they are cheap.

You might want to head over to <A HREF="http://www.dell.com" target="_new">http://www.dell.com&lt;/A>. We used to build our own or have local shops do it, but had too much downtime. Now we pay ~US$800 (inc tax& shipping) for our workstations which all come with a 3yr next day onsite warranty. After three years the workstation will get sold to a needy student and we'll replace it with a new one.

We use Win2000 pro and Office 2000.

*Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.74 i815*
March 29, 2003 8:04:51 PM

RE: You might want to head over to http://www.dell.com.

Are you kidding? You're recommending a proprietary solution?

As for serving, I can't recommend a Celeron for the simple reason that it doesn't have enough Cache to support a server environment.

If you feel the need for Gigabit Ethernet, you'll want a board that has the bandwidth to support it. Remember, that's a lot of PCI bus traffic! A Celeron would run right out straight just trying to support the Ethernet!

When it comes to being a FILE SERVER, you'll want fast drives. Whether they are SATA or SCSI, that's up to you. Without knowing what applications are in question, it's hard to make a good recommendation. You might even be okay with a ATA-133 RAID solution available on a wide variety of boards.

It's hard to give any good recommendation without knowing a lot more about what EXACTLY it is that you intend to use the machines for. Additional information would be very useful!

1) Environment of other PC's. Are they Windows XP Pro based or something else? Do they run server based apps or are the apps local on each PC? Do they share files with eachother or just from the server? How much LAN Traffic is going back and forth? Do they share eachothers printers? What do they use for Ethernet? Central Internet Gateway or something else? Will they use Exchange or any other Server intensive applications?
2) LAN Environment (Gigabit?, Full Duplex 100Base-T, Switch/router in use, etc...)
3) Internet Gateway in use. Will this box be utilize or host internet connection sharing?
4) File Server? If so, what applications? For how many users?
5) Remote access capabilities? If so, how many users at once and how often?
6) Print Server? How many printers? How many pages average to each printer per print job? How many concurrent print jobs?
7) Will PC be used as a workstation as well as a server? In other words, is someone sitting at it?
8) Other considerations? Is the software you will be running Windows XP Compatible? If so, I would recommend XP Over Windows 2000 for the simple reason that the Plug and Play aspects are much better than Windows 2000. If you are running a variety of POS printers, this will be critical to smooth operations.

Thanks
Steph Benoit


Stable Technologies
'The way IT should be!'
March 30, 2003 5:28:23 AM

The system will be used for a restaraunt. wich requires 12 printers for 12 food and beverage/bar stations. The system we have now locks up often(I assume because it is using windows 98). But it could also just be a poor motherboard or both. There are 2 workstations and one server, all AMD.
the workstations are 233 k6-2s and when accessing certain databases the workstations CPU definitely bottlenecks. they are all running CIAO POS software. These systems were purchased 2 years ago. And I do not want to repeat buying obsolete equiptment. I know that the Nforce2 chipsets dont offer Gigabit LAN, I was wondering which chipsets do? I will probably go with 7200 or 10000 rpm hardrives with 8 meg buffers. And I will probably have to change all the ethernet cable and hubs to accommodate the gigabit LAN. And I will definitely use Windows XP or 2K, no more 98. I want to go with around a 2 gig processor for the server and 1.5 for the workstations, but want room to upgrade when prices drop and new software is available. I am probably also leaning towards Intel because the Nforce2 chipset is the only one I have been happy with for the AMD as far as stability, unless someone can convince me that the new VIA chipsets are very stable.
Thanks to everyone for their advice. And sorry if my post is a little hard to sort out. I know I need to hone my writing skills.

A7n8x deluxe
xp1800 thoroughbred
2x256 pc 3200 generic
GF4 4800Ti
March 30, 2003 9:01:03 AM

In that case I would go for the cheapest nForce2 board with integrated graphics (no need for VGA card) and also try not to get the version with the integrated stuff - you wont be needing soundstorm or built in 100mbit ethernet. Get around a 2400+ and 2 x 256mb PC2700 Ram.

Although this wont be very upgradable, nothing currently out will be as both Intel and AMD are moving onto new platforms quite soon.

Also, make sure you get win 2k or XP this time because as you said, win 98 isnt best suited to serving.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=5467618 " target="_new">Almost Breaking 12k!!</A>
March 30, 2003 11:18:10 AM

The new VIA chipsets are very stable. I have had 2 KT333 mobo`s and a KT400 and they have all been 100% stable and have never given me a trouble. They have all been Epox motherboards.
AREA_51

'It's only when you look at an ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realise how often they burst into flames'
March 30, 2003 4:05:11 PM

I wouldn't touch VIA with a ten foot pole for anything my business depends on, but that's just my opinion. Personally I find it amusing that some people would take a VIA based system over a Dell.

I fail to understand why everyone dislikes Dell so much but that's a subject for another thread.

To my knowledge no current southbridges support gigabit ethernet natively. The ICH5 will be the first when it is released with the springdale/canterwood chipset. Everything you see on current boards is based on a seperate controller.

Anyways, if you're looking to build your own I'd suggest a Tyan or Supermicro board. <A HREF="http://www.tyan.com/products/html/trinityi845e.html" target="_new">Tyan S2099GNN</A> - 400/533FSB P4, Integrated ATI Rage XL, Integrated intel Gigabit ethernet.

If your server needs to able to crunch some numbers why not get an SMP board (<A HREF="http://www.tyan.com/products/html/tigeri7501.html" target="_new">S2723GNN</A>) with one Xeon now, and if you find it bogging down you can throw in another later.

Just a thought.

*Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.74 i815*
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