[CentOS] [Hardware] Good Server I/O on-the-cheap: ASL Monarch 811x with CentOS 4.2 ...

Bryan J. Smith thebs413 at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 23 04:14:41 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2005-11-22 at 20:52 -0600, Paul wrote:
> The Sun Fire x2100 looks to be in about the same ballpark features &
> price wise, though I admit I did not look that close into the specs.

The SunFire x2100 uses the nForce4 Ultra -- a desktop chipset!
_No_ PCI-X and only PCIe.  It's definitely _not_ a server chipset.
Especially it's GbE -- it has only a very small SRAM cache.

For servers, nVidia promotes its nForce Pro 2200 with optional nForce
Pro 2050, which has more server GbE and other features.  And even then,
you have to add the AMD8131 (or 8132) to get PCI-X.

[ I haven't researched what "base" chipset the x4100/4200 use (nForce
Pro 2200?), but it's clear the x4100 uses at least 1 AMD813x for its
PCI-X, and the x4200 uses 2. ]

The ServerWorks HT1000 is the only single-chip solution that offers PCI-
X, at just a little higher price-point than the nForce4, while cheaper
than the PCI-X-less nForce Pro.  It also has Broadcom's dual-integrated
server GbE ports with 96KiB SRAM cache each.  This results in a price-
point around $200 in a server-quality mainboard.

The HT1000 can also add the HT2000, which adds both PCIe as well as a
2nd PCI-X channel.  No AMD8131 (or 8132) required.  You'll typically
only find the HT1000+HT2000 combo on dual or quad setups, just like the
nForce Pro 2200 with optional Pro 2050 and/or AMD8131 (or AMD8132) for

If you are not familiar with who ServerWorks is (now owned by Broadcom),
understand they basically _designed_ the Intel E7500 series of chipsets
(as well as the E7200).  Intel has never designed good server chipsets,
and most everyone used the ServerWorks ServerSet III for P3, and the
ServerSet IV prior to Intel's license resulting in the 7500 (and 7200).

ServerWorks was originally Reliance Computer Corporation (RCC).  Before
entering the retail circuit in the ServerSet III, they designed/licensed
most of the Tier-1 chipsets for 2 and 4-way Pentium Pro and Pentium II

> Any opinions on this box?

Bryan J. Smith   b.j.smith at ieee.org   http://thebs413.blogspot.com
For everything else *COUGH*commercials*COUGH* there's "ManningCard"

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