Tyan Tiger S2466N vs S2466N-4M

Maurice Hilarius maurice at harddata.com
Thu Jun 13 09:36:45 PDT 2002

With regards to your message at 10:01 AM 6/13/02, 
beowulf-request at beowulf.org. Where you stated:
>Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 23:54:58 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Ivan Oleynik <oleynik at chuma.cas.usf.edu>
>To: beowulf at beowulf.org
>Subject: Tyan Tiger S2466N vs S2466N-4M
>I have heard from several sources that there are some problems with the
>newest Tyan Tiger S2466N-4M that supports 4Mbit flash ROM, in Athlon
>cluster environment. It is recommended to use older model S2466N in order
>to avoid any problems in the future. I would be very much interested in
>getting understanding is it really a big issue? Are there any specific
>advantages to use S2466N-4M in spite of these problems?
>Ivan Oleynik

We experienced problems with these ourselves.
However Tyan was very helpful in solving the problem.
What we found is that the BIOS was not properly behaving in assigning IRQs.
They supplied us with a fixed BIOS that addressed this.
The problem is especially noticeable when using a PCI riser card.
We used Tyans M2139 PCI 64 bit riser, and found that we could not get clean 
un-shared interrupts for cards in the riser. We submitted samples of the 
cards we are using to Tyan, and gave them info as to that Linux kernel and 
modules we are using.
They set up a machine in their facility, and worked with us to ensure the 
problem was solved.
I have to say I am most pleased with their dedication, support, and 
I have received phone calls and emails from the engineering staff after 
hours, on evenings and weekends, so I see some real measure of concern and 
effort by them.
They have also been very co-operative to provide us with info to make 
lm_sensors work properly with their boards.

I have to say that the failure rate on initial installation with the 246x 
series HAS been fairly high, but these all show up on first power-up, and 
is not a problem with the boards failing in service after extended time 
periods. They are also very prompt to provide replacements.

As you can tell we are quite happy with Tyan motherboards in our 
application of building clusters, and will continue to use them.

As far as advantages to the 2466N, there are two clear reasons:
1) 64 bit/66MHz PCI slots. If you are using Myrinet or gigabit cards, this 
makes a big difference.
2) Onboard 3C905 NIC. When building clusters it is nice to have this 
onboard, instead of using up a slot.

There are also other reasons to use these, as compared to the ASUS or MSI 
or others:
The first PCI slot is in "the right place". Many boards have the first slot 
over to far away from the CPU side of the board, making it difficult to use 
in 1U or 2U rack cases
They provide onboard serial console interface, which ( again for clusters) 
makes it very usable, as we do not have to install a video card. It is 
getting very difficult to fins PCI video cards that run 3.3V and 66MHz, so 
this is a big point.

With our best regards,

Maurice W. Hilarius       Telephone: 01-780-456-9771
Hard Data Ltd.               FAX:       01-780-456-9772
11060 - 166 Avenue        mailto:maurice at harddata.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada      http://www.harddata.com/
    T5X 1Y3

Ask me about the UP1500 Alpha - Full systems from $3,500!

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