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What workstation/server board?

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August 3, 2009 3:20:56 PM

Hi all... Not been around for a VEEERY long time... :hello: 

Anyway, I need to build a rig for some database work/testing here at work, and it needs to be a bit of a beast... Basically it needs to be a very high performer, but not massively expensive. :pt1cable: 

I don't really have any idea what sort of motherboard to go for... only need one CPU socket, but need a lot of RAM supported.

Vague specs I have in mind:
1 Core 2 Quad CPU
16GB RAM
3 or more Raptors in RAID 5 or thereabouts
XP Pro 64 (obviously need 64-bitness for that much RAM, but don't particularly need/want a server OS or Vista)

Last time I was pondering what motherboard to get (actually for our server here at work) someone on here suggested an Asus P5WDG2 - I'd get one of these, but I believe they only support 8GB of Ram, and they're a bit old so relatively hard to come by nowadays. A Top-notch board though, been a great system thus far. :sol: 

It's for running queries on fairly large Databases using the Firebird RDBMS if anyone's interested. :sleep: 
August 3, 2009 3:53:47 PM

Forgot to mention, there is probably a possibility of overclocking, although it's not that likely.... But the object of the exercise is to see what effect "throwing hardware at it" has in terms of speed... so a little overclocking might be called for.
a c 216 V Motherboard
August 3, 2009 5:13:33 PM

12 GB on a X58 chipset motherboard should be relatively easy, but 16 GB on Core 2 server or workstation motherboards might not work that well. It would be easier with a server motherboard like the SUPERMICRO MBD-X7DWA-N http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and one or two Xeon CPUs.
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a b V Motherboard
August 3, 2009 6:21:57 PM

+1 to GhislainG. For example an Asus P6-class motherboard with a Core i7 has six DIMM slots and will support up to 24GB of memory, although to get that capacity you'd need to use relatively expensive 4GB DIMM modules.
a c 216 V Motherboard
August 3, 2009 6:29:39 PM

sminlal said:
+1 to GhislainG. For example an Asus P6-class motherboard with a Core i7 has six DIMM slots and will support up to 24GB of memory, although to get that capacity you'd need to use relatively expensive 4GB DIMM modules.

Even if they are expensive (not much of a concern when building a server or workstation), getting the system stable with that type of memory might prove difficult. I have yet to see someone who's running 24 GB on one of those motherboards. Server memory is more expensive, but installing 16 GB or more is not an issue.
a b V Motherboard
August 3, 2009 7:28:40 PM

For what you are doing I would recommend something like the Supermicro MBD-X8SAX-O paired with a Xeon E5520 and whatever QVL brand and GB amount of RAM you need.

I do not recommend an enthusiast level board for your purposes and I do not recommend overclocking to get more performance. If you need more performance for your database work then buy a faster Xeon and add more memory. I would think that disk I/O and amount of RAM would be more of an issue that processor speed for database work.

My experiences with Asus "server class" mobos has not been good but I do highly recommend either Supermicro or Tyan.

Good luck!
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