[K12OSN] Motherboard Manufacturer Recommendations?

Henry Hartley henryhartley at westat.com
Wed Jul 9 15:41:44 UTC 2008

Terrell Prudé Jr.  wrote: 
>> R. Scott Belford wrote: 
>> > James P. Kinney III wrote:
>> > >> The top board maker by far is Tyan.
>> > >> The second place in most respects is Asus.
>> > >> SuperMicro is my third choice maker.
>> > >> Last and certainly not least of what I will use is Abit.
>> > >> 
>> > >> Right now a solid system using Athlon X2/Phenom is a very good
>> > >> starter point for a new small server. Go look at the Asus
>> > >> Crosshair II Formula AM@/AM2+ board :
>> > >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131292
>> > 
>> > Essential dittos to James.
>> Whatever you get, be sure it's a Socket AM2+, not just AM2.  AM2+
>> will support the new tri- and quad-core Phenoms.  Yes, I know AMD
>> says they're supported on Socket AM2, too, but it requires an
>> updated BIOS.  A recent Tom's Hardware article showed that mobo
>> makers don't really want to do that (only ASUS worked).  So start
>> with AM2+ from the get-go, and you should be fine.
>> My experience with Tyan is likewise stellar, and I'd recommend one
>> of their mobos any day.  That's where Penguin Computing sources
>> their mobos, and for a reason.
>> My demo LTSP server runs a dual-Athlon Tyan Tiger MPX (S2466).
>> Still rockin'.  During the Socket 7 days, their S1590S Trinity
>> motherboard (with AMD K6-2) was my mobo of choice, and they've
>> never broken on me.
>> I've also had good luck with MSI's dual Athlon boards, so I'd
>> imagine their newer AMD64 boards are also good.

Thanks for all this information.  The first computer I built from parts was on a Tyan Tomcat motherboard (2.4MHz Pentium) and it worked beautifully, although I did have to "modify" my old Gateway 386 case in order to get the memory to fit under the drive cage.

Rather than order the parts from New Egg, which I've done fairly often, I decided that this time I'd buy them at a local store (The Computer Place - http://www.tcponline.com/) although it might have cost a few dollars more (in the end didn't).  I also decided that the difference in price of the Athlon and the Phenom was enough that I'd go with the cheaper Athlon for this machine.  When we build the machine this one is the test/demo for, I'll recommend the higher end chip and motherboard.

I ended up with an Asus board, since that's mostly what this store carries.  If they had a bunch of Tyans to choose from, I would have done that but this should work.  So, for $229 I got:

	ASUS M2A-VM AM2 AMD 690G Micro ATX motherboard
	AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 processor
	2 GB DDR2-667 RAM

I have monitor, keyboard, mouse, and CD-ROM drive already.  I got a case/power supply for $49 and a 250GB SATA drive for $69 and I'm pretty much ready to go.  My wife was impressed that I spent as little as I did.  It should be pretty decent as a small server and will allow us me to show the school what LTSP can do.

I've burned CDs with 64-bit versions of both Fedora 9 and K12LTSP 5EL.  I'll try F9 first but I understand that's not "done" yet with LTSP 5.  I have CentOS 5 running (without the LTSP stuff) on a couple other machines and I'm pretty happy with it but it's always nice to show off the bleeding edge stuff.  Anyway, it's worth a try.

So, thanks again for your time.


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