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Giving a second life !?

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Last response: in Storage
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February 9, 2007 2:19:00 AM

Hi I Would like to give a second life to my old computer. It's a AMD K6 2XT/500 processor; 100MHz external, 500MHz internal, with technology3DNow!, on a V75M Motherboard, with 184Mb ram. I would like to know if i can do like a LAN storage server, but on a Gigabytes connection? What i plan was to buy a PCI 32bits Gigabytes Ethernet card and a SATA controller PCI card. The thing I want to know is, if it will work and, if i will have a great performance even if its an old comp. Thanks for your help ! :) 

More about : giving life

February 9, 2007 3:13:27 AM

If you add a bigger hard drive, then it would work great as a file server. You might want to run Linux on it so that you don't have to pay license costs and Linux without a GUI is very quick on older hardware. I have a file server setup with a 450mhz Pentium II and 256mb of RAM and it is bottlenecked by my network so your computer should work great.
February 9, 2007 12:18:28 PM

No, you can't get great performance from this setup. Gigabit networking alone can run 1000 Mb/s (actually 1000 Mb/s times 2 for full-duplex), but the standard PCI bus can only handle around 1000 Mb/s at best, minus overhead, and when you share that between the storage controller and GbE NIC, the bandwidth will be heavily capped.

Gigabit speed networking also takes its toll on the CPU, and that old CPU is probably not fully up to that task, esp. with some of the less efficient, inexpensive NICs (e.g. Realtek-based).

Moreover, some of the older PCI buses don't hit full PCI speed, and moreover have additional devices wired to them, further curtailing the available bandwidth.

You might still do a lot better than fast ethernet 100 Mb/s, but don't expect to hit high gigabit speeds with such a setup for the above reasons.

If you really want to do this well and have a fast gigabit file server, you'll have to take some of this stuff off the PCI bus -- perhaps on-board SATA, perhaps an add-on PCIe storage controller, etc..

Note also that your transfer speeds will be limited by a number of things, besides the server speed -- the client's network and HD speed in particular -- so there's already going to be a limit on how high you can go, regardless of the server speed.
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February 9, 2007 12:50:59 PM

>have to take some of this stuff off the PCI bus -- perhaps an on-board SATA

On-board kit sits on the PCI bus. Well, it did when this system was made, anyway.

>perhaps an add-on PCIe storage controller

On a system with no PCIe slots?


>Fileserving

That machine will do fileserving nicely. You want a new gigabit network card, a new SATA controller card, probably want to run Linux as your fileserver, and you want to stuff as much RAM as you can beg/borrow/steal/acquire into it.

I'll stress that - you need RAM! More RAM! As much RAM as you can ram into it!
February 9, 2007 1:23:30 PM

Quote:
>have to take some of this stuff off the PCI bus -- perhaps an on-board SATA

On-board kit sits on the PCI bus. Well, it did when this system was made, anyway.

>perhaps an add-on PCIe storage controller

On a system with no PCIe slots?


Read between the lines. I'm either implying a hammer or another computer :) 

Seriously, if you're set on trying this out and not building something else, I'd suggest starting it with just an add-on GbE NIC etc., holding off the storage controller. Set it up, try it out with real files, and if it's OK, go for the storage controller, etc. Otherwise you might be better off not getting these parts and getting a newer on-board solution.
February 9, 2007 1:41:05 PM

Are you planing on using raid? If not, then just get a big IDE drive.
I think you should also max out the ram on that board.
Do you have a Gig switch? If not, a gigabit nic is not going to help.
February 9, 2007 1:56:14 PM

Well, I planned to make Jbod on SATA, but i could go IDE. The motherboard supports udma4(maybe 5) (80 cable). What i understand is that the PCI bus will be a "bottleneck" supporting PCI gigabytes and SATA controller. The board is a ACER V75M (IBM Aptiva 2170). There is 3 PCI bus, 1 is shared with an ISA Slot. Well keep helping me i appreciate greatly !
February 9, 2007 1:59:01 PM

I forgot, Yes I have a Gigabytes router (Linksys WRVS4400N) and 3 other comps with Gigabytes connection.
!