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Need to build something quickly

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Last response: in Systems
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January 19, 2011 5:03:17 PM

Hi all,

My computer finally died and now I need a new one. I've been anticipating this for some time and had laid out the following build. But almost six months have gone by so I thought I'd run this configuration by all of you to get your opinion. I will be using this computer as a file server but also for running some virtual machines (for kicks) and general computer usage. The target budget is $1k but cheaper is always better.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T - processor (seemed the best by at the time, is it still?)
ASUS M4A89TD PRO 890FX - mobo (goes with CPU and has RAID 5, plus IOMMU for VMMs)
Kingston HyperX 8GB (4 X 2GB) 240-Pin DDR SDRAM 1333 - good price, open to alternatives
Sapphire 100254HDMI Radeon HD 4650 - seemed like a reasonable graphics card for a non-gamer (definitely open to alternatives here), would an nvidia card make more sense. I'd like to use both Windows and Linux, so support is important.
Anatec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower with 500W - seemed good but open to alternatives
3x Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 3Gb/s 32MB cache - seemed like a good deal but it's now gone up in price

I'm open to anything but if recommending an Intel setup, would like to take advantage of VT-d (their version of IOMMU). Thanks for the help!

More about : build quickly

January 19, 2011 6:24:50 PM

1090T is AMD's second latest processor, awesome multitasker

890FX is a very good chipset, and M4A89TD is very good too.

Kingston HyperX isn't the best but it's not the worst, I recommend Corsair or Crucial, perhaps OCZ.

Radeon HD4650 is a fair all-round card, if you're using it for a file server then a recent hardcore card isn't a necessity.

Fair choice of HDDs.
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January 19, 2011 6:30:21 PM

Quote:
1090T is AMD's second latest processor, awesome multitasker

890FX is a very good chipset, and M4A89TD is very good too.

Kingston HyperX isn't the best but it's not the worst, I recommend Corsair or Crucial, perhaps OCZ.

Radeon HD4650 is a fair all-round card, if you're using it for a file server then a recent hardcore card isn't a necessity.

Fair choice of HDDs.


Thanks Omnisome. Do you have any recommendations for an equivalent Intel build with the new Sandy Bridge? From what I've read, that seems to be the way to go but am unsure which mobo would fit my needs (primarily supporting VT-d).
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January 19, 2011 7:49:14 PM

Planning to RAID those drives? Might want to mix in different brands just in case one model or production run turns out to be a turkey. (AKA IBM Deathstar.) Perhaps a WD and Samsung avoids putting all eggs in one manufacturers basket.
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January 19, 2011 8:04:40 PM

Quote:
Planning to RAID those drives? Might want to mix in different brands just in case one model or production run turns out to be a turkey. (AKA IBM Deathstar.) Perhaps a WD and Samsung avoids putting all eggs in one manufacturers basket.


That makes sense Hank. Any suggestions on specific models? I would assume you'd want similar specs, all 7200, cache size, bus speed, etc.
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Best solution

January 19, 2011 8:16:00 PM

griztown said:
Quote:
Planning to RAID those drives? Might want to mix in different brands just in case one model or production run turns out to be a turkey. (AKA IBM Deathstar.) Perhaps a WD and Samsung avoids putting all eggs in one manufacturers basket.


That makes sense Hank. Any suggestions on specific models? I would assume you'd want similar specs, all 7200, cache size, bus speed, etc.



Maybe I'm just an old time tech, but in 15+ years, I've never heard the advice to mix components in a RAID array. Conventional wisdom is to try and match all the components of an array as closely as possible. 10 years ago, I saw a RAID 5 fail and die because we replaced a dead drive with a newer model that had less platters inside it. Same capacity and everything.

By getting three drives, I assume you aren't going to mirror them, striping them is an option, but it looks like your going to RAID 5 them, in which case by mixing drive manufacturers and specs, your just heading for a forehead bruising headache as you beat your head on the wall with a mismatch setup. Honestly if your looking for a fast redundant setup I'd research a mixed mode or hybrid raid array, a RAID 1+0 (or RAID 10 as some call it) setup properly will need 4 disks, but gives you the speed boost of striping, and the reliability of mirroring.

My $0.02
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January 19, 2011 8:55:33 PM

someone19 said:
Maybe I'm just an old time tech, but in 15+ years, I've never heard the advice to mix components in a RAID array. Conventional wisdom is to try and match all the components of an array as closely as possible. 10 years ago, I saw a RAID 5 fail and die because we replaced a dead drive with a newer model that had less platters inside it. Same capacity and everything.

By getting three drives, I assume you aren't going to mirror them, striping them is an option, but it looks like your going to RAID 5 them, in which case by mixing drive manufacturers and specs, your just heading for a forehead bruising headache as you beat your head on the wall with a mismatch setup. Honestly if your looking for a fast redundant setup I'd research a mixed mode or hybrid raid array, a RAID 1+0 (or RAID 10 as some call it) setup properly will need 4 disks, but gives you the speed boost of striping, and the reliability of mirroring.

My $0.02


Hmmm... makes sense. Well, I'll lean towards someone's advice for now and try and get the same drive for all three or four.
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January 26, 2011 12:05:55 AM

Best answer selected by griztown.
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January 26, 2011 10:30:10 AM

griztown said:

That makes sense Hank. Any suggestions on specific models? I would assume you'd want similar specs, all 7200, cache size, bus speed, etc.
(Apologies for the delay in responding. The forum notified me of your reply only today.)

I have two RAID setups consisting of pairs of (WD|Seagate) and (Seagate|Samsung} drives. In all cases I chose low power/green drives as ultimate performance was not my objective.

Some commercial RAID setups go so far as to synchronize spindles between drives for ultimate performance. I suppose they may also depend on drive geometry for ultimate. That's probably the kind of RAID that someone19 saw trashed with the replacement of a different drive. That's not likely to happen with modern drives where LBA addressing is really what's used internally vs. C/H/S.

I have heard the conventional wisdom go either way. I recall a high end RAID vendor stating that they went with 100% Seagate Barracuda drives because they were head and shoulders above the rest. That was 20 years ago. I'm not so sure that Seagate's reputation is that good today. More recently there was the debacle with IBM's Deskstar drives - known to many as Deathstars - because they had a high early failure rate. I had one of those. I just retired it last month because it started throwing errors. It had over 7 years on the clock. I have heard of problems with RAIDS populated with drives purchased in bulk that not only came from the same manufacturer and production line, but were part of the same production run and frequently started failing at the same time. If I wasn't going to use different manufacturers, I would at least purchase from different vendors to avoid the possibility of getting all drives from a possibly bad production run.

Another and totally unrelated compatibility issue you should know about (if you are using motherboard support for RAID) is that the drives can probably only be read on the same brand of motherboard. If you plug the the drives into a different brand or model motherboard, you will be unlikely to be able to see the data. This is something you need to plan for if you decide to upgrade your motherboard before you replace the drives. (This assumes you are using fakeraid on Windows and not MD RAID on Linux.)

best,
hank

Edit: I should add that I just retired a RAID5 that consisted of 5 200GB Seagate Barracudas. Though they were mixed between IDE and SATA, the internal drives were likely the same design. So for 4 1/2 years I did have all of my eggs in the same basket.
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