Opinion/experience with Intel 845E nodes?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Thu Aug 1 12:20:06 PDT 2002

On Thu, 1 Aug 2002, David Mathog wrote:

> The Intel 845E motherboards seem pretty attractive right now - assuming
> they work reliably under Linux.  Have any of you tried these in a
> beowulf
> or on a standalone Linux machine?

I have an 845G motherboard that works well enough (MSI 845GMax) for the
purpose of being a node.  Its advantage is that it comes with onboard
100BT and video (and sound).  Its disadvantage is that the video drivers
don't work (yet) except maybe in bleeding edge XF86 snapshots, although
it is coming, the sound is misidentified and doesn't load correctly.
The ethernet, however, works (using eepro100 drivers)!  I haven't yet
tested to see if PXE works -- it would be lovely if it did.  So one can
build a single CPU P4 node for cheap, as you note (case, motherboard,
memory, cpu), maybe requiring a floppy and hard disk if PXE doesn't
work.  If PXE works, one could probably build P4 nodes using
less-than-bleeding-edge CPUS but exploiting the good memory performance
for maybe $600-700. Motherboard ($120), P4 at 1800 ($210), and 512 MB
(currently $190 for the pricey PC2700/333, but a week or three ago when
I bought it was more like $90) is $520, so add a case and floppy for
$100 and a hard disk for $80?

I actually bought it for my home desktop and added video, sound and
CD-RW -- makes a nice little system.

I think that the E is very nearly the same but I'm not sure.


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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