onboard NICs to stay away from?

Dominic Wu dwu at swales.com
Tue Aug 6 11:59:28 PDT 2002

Stay away from the iWill DVD266u-RN board.  It has dual socket 370 and DDR
266 support which was very nice at the time it was released.  Not to mention
the bonus IDE RAID controller.  If only it had an integrated video it would
be an ideal board on specs.  The keyword here is on specs.  The onboard NIC
almost never worked out of the box, some wont work even after reflashing
them with the MAC address provided by the manufacturer.  Of the 4 boards I
have received for a prototype mini-wulf, 2 boards would not boot up.  Upon
closer examination, the Crucial DDR DIMMS that would fit nicely in most any
DIMM sockets do not fit well in the sockets on this motherboard.  It was
impossible to get 4 256MB DIMMs in to the board and boot up to 1GB total.
These were just problems off the top of my head.  There were plenty other
little quirks like not vendor not including a custom backplane cover, being
shorted on the number PCI slots and such.  In their defense, a defective
board was replaced right away and that their pre and post sales support were
excellent.  This evaluation was the experience of one particular model that
did not work out although everything in writing would have indicated that
this is an almost ideal board for a 'wulf cluster.   All in all, defintely
stay away from this one model, though not necessarily the company.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Lux" <James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov>
To: <beowulf at beowulf.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 11:13 AM
Subject: onboard NICs to stay away from?

> Does anyone have a handy list of particularly bad motherboard componentry
> to stay away from?
> What would be useful is to know things like:
> Especially crippled on-board LAN interfaces (i.e. the drivers don't work,
> it's badly implemented, no possibility for booting over LAN, etc.)
> Chipsets that are just so oriented towards consumer apps that they choke
> the memory, or require some exotic (expensive) configuration, or have
> video card interactions, or are totally undocumented in the "open
> Thanks...
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