I have three old Dell Dimension 8200 computers, that despite their age, continue to work fine. I am wondering if I can get more mileage out of them by installing RAID controller PCI cards and turning them into servers. These machines have the i850 chipset on the motherboard and the FSB speed is 400 MHz, 8 kb L1 cashe, 512 kb L2 cashe, Pentium 4 1.7 GHz processor. Has anyone tried this before? Is this Mobo too primitive to support a RAID controller? How about the BIOS? Might this scheme work, or do these computers belong in the recycle bin? I will appreciate any thoughts.
Really old computers, do you need servers to perform some network tasking? ANY of the old Promise PCI cards would allow you to run RAID 0 or 1, with 40 pin IDE drives. Newer cards would allow you to run RAID 5, with 3 to 5 hard drives, with the newer SATA interface. Servers should also have a fast network connection, two gigabyte cards bridged should allow good throughput...
Thanks for your thoughts. My hope was to use these old machines to store lots of old stuff - pictures, movies, family videos, etc. I am thinking about building an HTPC and storing the movies on these Dimension 8200/"servers" upgraded with PCI RAID and 1 Gbps ethernet cards. I am afraid that the motherboards and BIOS's may be too old to boot to a RAID1 logical drive. I was wondering if anyone has gotten this to work. I would be using UltraATA/100 hard drives (40 pin IDEs). If you think this might work, do you have any suggestions on which of the old Promise PCI cards I should try?
Thanks again, DRB55