[Beowulf] dual Opteron recommendations

Seth Bardash seth at integratedsolutions.org
Thu Oct 21 10:37:50 PDT 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org
[mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Alan Scheinine
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 2:49 AM
To: Beowulf at beowulf.org
Subject: [Beowulf] dual Opteron recommendations

Many venders sell U1 cases for dual Opteron based on the Tyan
main boards, but on the other hand, a vender here says that the
product Newisys 2100 is much more reliable than Tyan though it
costs 10 to 20 percent more.  I have not previously heard of
Newisys and I do not recall it being mentioned in this mailing
list.  Would anyone like to comment?

best regards,

Alan Scheinine   Email: scheinin at crs4.it

Alan and the list,

First, let me say that I am not trying to suggest to anyone to buy
our products, only provide information we have seen integrating
Dual Opteron systems:

1) The Newisys boards are made expecially for them and only come
in their cases. I can not comment on their reliability as we have
not used nor tried to integrate their systems. I think Sun uses
them and charges appropriately for Sun.

2) We have built over 250 Dual Opteron systems, mostly 1U's used
in large linux clusters.

Initially, we used Tyan MB's and found that we were getting around
a 10% to 15% DOA rate here before burn-in. After burn-in we had no
failures here or deployed. So.... My take on the Tyan Dual Opteron
MB's is that they work fine once they have gone through burn-in
but the DOA rate out of the box is not good. YMMV.

We then switched to the Arima (www.accelertech.com) HDAMA,
ATO-2161 motherboards. These have had DOA's only caused by the UPS
gorillas - All 2 of the HDAMA MB's that were DOA were received in
badly damaged boxes. Over 190 have now been received and
integrated with no failures - either here, in burn-in or in the
field. BTW, this motherboard is the AMD reference design and has
been very robust even with Enhanced Latency memory (CL 2-3-2-6-1).

We have installed Fedora Core 2, RH ES 3.0, White Box Linux and
SUSE 9.1 and they all work fine.

We are testing the Server and Workstation Iwill motherboards
(www.iwillusa.com) and they seem to work fine so far.

There are many other factors that should influence Dual Opteron
vendor selection. These factors are: cooling, performance,
configuration, I/O, reliability, technical expertise, support and
price - your order of importance will usually dictate a vendor.

Hope this provides the feedback required to make an informed
decision about motherboard selection and system vendors.

Seth Bardash

Integrated Solutions and Systems

Supplier of AMD and Intel Servers and Systems running Windows and

*Failure can not cope with perseverance*

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