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Re: [K12OSN] Server

On Friday, Nov 8, 2002, at 22:27 US/Eastern, Daniel Loomis wrote:

I built our server around a Tyan Tiger 2460 dual athlon mb. With two Athlon
1800mp cpus, 2 gigs of ECC registered memory, two 80 gb IDE drives, ati rage
video, cdrom, cd/rw, floppy, keyboard, mouse and Antec 1040 server case with
430w ps, cpu and case fans, the total cost including shipping was just under
$2,000. With adequate cpu and case fans, heat is not a problem.

I wouldn't be so quick to say that. We have a stack of 2u dual athlons in our beowulf cluster that are tyan 2460s. We have had a lot of trouble with those -- the temperature in the room has to be about 65 for them to not lock up periodically under load of 1 and above. They have multiple case fans, only one HDD, no video to speak of, and 2G memory per box -- the only components generating heat are the power supply and the processors.

If you throw in an ati rage, two 80G 7400 IDEs, a scsi controller, and a few scsi drives, you would need to seriously consider the heat problem. Two dual athlons in a 2460 with anything less than a full-tower with a bunch of case fans and sufficient ac will cause you pain.

Of course, now that we've cooled down the cluster room to 65F, we are seeing a different problem. Some of the nodes tend to lock up when running code that likes to allocate large chunks of memory. About 5 out of the 24-node cluster of 2460s will lock up like a champ running this particular piece of code by one of our faculty. We've tried everything, but it seems that under certain circumstances the motherboard will just randomly decide to break during memory transfers.

2466s are much nicer in that regard -- same code running on them works without problems. It seems that whatever bugs 2460 had that were causing the lock-ups were fixed in 2466.

Just a word of warning about those mobos. They are trouble. :)

Konstantin ("Icon") Riabitsev
Duke University Physics Sysadmin

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