Advice on selecting motherboard

April 11, 2009 at 17:09:25
Specs: Debian Etch, Athlon64 X2/4G
Hi folks,

I'm planning to build a AMD Quadcore box with following config;

RAM - DDRII 800 CL4 dual channel, >8G

The box will be used for testing server consolidation running either Xen/Vserver/OpenVZ as virtualization software. There will be >10 servers running on the box.

Operation System - host and guests Linux, Debian or Ubuntu
Architecture - 64bits
Servers to be build - mail and web servers, CRM and PSPP(for statistical computing)
Server installation and fine tuning - via ssh remotely

No graphic editing nor gaming will be required. Onboard vedio card is of minor important. I can re-use an old graphic card. Windows server may be tested only if required providing advice to customers running Windows server. The same will be used for reference only.

Actually an AMD dualcore CPU can satisfy my application. But I have AMD dualcore boxes here. I expect trying AMD Quadcore CPU instead of building a new PC with the major components of yesterday.

Please recommend me an economic motherboard for my use. TIA


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April 11, 2009 at 17:28:42
The Phenom II was designed with DDR3 memory in mind. It's integrated memory controller is also compatible with DDR2, but if you want max bandwidth/throughput, you should run DDR2-1066 rather than DDR2-800. Decide on the RAM, then decide on a board.

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April 11, 2009 at 17:44:47
Hi jam,

Thanks for your advice.

Actually I prefer DDR III dual channel RAMs. But I can't find CL4 dual channel on them. I have no problem turning to DDR II 1066 if CL4 dual channel 4Gx2 is available.


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April 11, 2009 at 18:31:33
When DDR was king, the best latency you could get was CL2. Then DDR2 came around, CL4 was the best. You're not gonna find DDR3 RAM at CL4...CL6 is as good as it gets, mainstream is CL7, 8 or 9. But don't be fooled by those numbers. This will explain:

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April 12, 2009 at 02:36:29
Hi jam,

Thanks for your URL.

I'm open for RAM selection. However most mobo only have 4 slots for RAM. At the start I'll install 8G RAM to be expanded to 16G later. I only found DDR II 800 having 4Gx2 kit, most of them 2Gx2 kit. If I select 2Gx2 kit I need 2 sets of them leaving no spare slot for expansion.

Any advice together with relevant mobo to match. TIA


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April 12, 2009 at 07:35:51
I'm not familiar with server requirements but I suspect you'll need as much bandwidth as possible? Why do you keep mentioning DDR2-800? If you're gonna get a Phenom & a board that supports DDR2, get DDR2-1066. If you're gonna get a board that supports DDR3, get DDR3-1600.

Look for a board based one of the AMD 790 series northbridge chipset (FX, GX or X) paired with the SB750 southbridge.

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April 12, 2009 at 08:29:09
Hi jam,

As I explained in my previous posting on "Response Number 4", if I need installing 16G RAM on mobo I have to go DDR2-800. It has 4Gx2 kit. Most of other RAM only have 2Gx2 kits. There are only 4 RAM slots on the mobo. How can I install 16G RAM if choosing 2Gx2 kits. Unless I reduce the total RAM capacity to 8G then I can use 2Gx2 kit.


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April 12, 2009 at 09:47:06
And how much is 2 x 4GB of DDR2-800 gonna cost you? I only found one kit offered & it's over $400. So you're willing to invest almost $850 for 16GB RAM? That's crazy!

If you need that much RAM, why don't you build a *real* server using a server motherboard?

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April 12, 2009 at 18:15:14
Hi jam,

I got your point. I'll drop the RAM capacity to 8G turning to DDR3. At start I'll install 4G then expanding to 8G later. It is NOT my interest building a new box on components of yesterday.

What will be the best CL for DDR3 RAM 2Gx2 kit available on market? CL7 or CL8?

This new box is for testing ONLY not for production. Therefore I don't consider server mobo. The DDR2-800 4Gx2 kit is $240

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