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spikegifted's Dreams Rigs Archive

2H 2003, 1H 2004, 2H 2004

2nd Half 2004

CPU Dual AMD Opteron DP Model 250 (2.4GHz) Rev C0 stepping (Yeap, this is the 'daddy' of x86 processors, right now! Ok, it is not as cool as seeing 4 CPU graphs in Task Manager, if you've a pair of Xeon DPs but, hey, the Opteron is an 64-bit processor that happen to have awesome 32bit performance. In terms of securing an upgrade path, this is just unbeatable!)
Motherboard Iwill DK8N Dual Opteron nForce3 250 Pro (The Opteron platform has been around for over a year and this is the first dual-CPU platform that is built around a third party chipset - nVidia's nForce3 250 Pro. Iwill has, in recent years, been building up a good range of server and workstation motherboards on both Intel's Xeon platform and AMD's AthlonMP and Opteron platforms and the DK8N is just take the company to the forefront of the Opteron market. While the nForce3 chipset doesn't support all the latest and greatest features like PCI-e, it has more integrated feature than even the average SSF box and it has expansion capability coming out everywhere.)
System RAM 2 GB Kingston Technology HyperX PC3200 (DDR400) ECC Registered 3-3-3 SDRAM (The Opteron has a dual-channel memory controller built right into the core of the CPU and the C0 stepping models support DDR400 memory. Kingston's HyperX PC3200 modules has just the right balance between performance and stability just right - the units have tested for dual-channel operations and the registered DIMMs is just what the platform required. Additionally, four 512MB modules means that each of the two channels of each of the CPUs will be filled, satisfying the CPUs' throughput bandwidth.)
Graphics nVidia Quadro FX 3000 AGP8x Dual Display (This card is just plain awesome... It arguably delivers the fastest application performance with the highest quality graphics - with dual DVI output. Some may argue that I should list something like ATi's Radeon 9800 XT or nVidia's GeForce FX Ultra, but this is a workstation. If I was putting together a gaming box, sure, but it would be a single processor rig.)
Sound Card Terratec DMX6Fire 24/96 (The amount of support it provides, the sound technologies and the crystal-clear audio reproduction makes this card is a must have sound card for anyone, even those who don't much care about sound quality on a PC)
Speakers Acoustic Energy Aego2 2.1 speaker system or Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 speaker system with ProMedia SWS subwoofer system (Speaker are the end of audio delivery line, so to pair up with an excellent sound card, you need excellent speakers. For the smaller setup, it is a difficult choice between the Aego2 and the ProMedia 2.1 setup. I believe both give equally good audio reproduction, but the Aego2 won my vote with its good looks. For the bigger 5.1 setup, it is a very easy choice - no-one makes better 5.1 speaker system than Klipsch. What's even better is the new line of complementary subwoofer system the ProMedia SWS. Adding that to the ProMedia 5.1 should really rock!)
RAID Controller Adaptec SCSI RAID 3210s Dual Channel U160 RAID Controller with 128MB cache 64bit/66MHz PCI (I'm a strong believer in RAID technology and while Adaptec doesn't provide the best performance and probably not the value leader by a long way, I believe it delivers a strong and reliable solution for my needs.)
SCSI Controller Adaptec SCSI Card 39320A-R Dual-channel U320 SCSI Controller PCI-X 64-bit/133 MHz (With this controller, it means that I'm not going to be using the onboard U320 SCSI, but I just love to have that PCI-X card!)
Network Onboard nVidia Gigabit Ethernet controller
Hard Disks Seagate Cheetah X15.3 (ST318453LC) 18GB U320, 15,000rpm (boot)
Seagate Cheetah X15.3 (ST336753LC) 37GB U320, 15,000rpm x 4 (RAID 5 array + 1 spare, applications)
Maxtor Atlas 15K II 73.5GB U320, 15,000rpm x 3 (RAID 1 array + 1 spare, primary data)
Maxtor Atlas 15K II 73.5GB U320, 15,000rpm x 2 (secondary data, downloads, music, etc)
DVD+/-RW Plextor PX-712SA DVD+/- R/RW Serial ATA x 2 (Plextor is the best name in optical storage solutions. This unit can handle just about any form of optical storage technology. To add icing to the cake, this unit utilizes the Serial ATA interface. As most good DVD-ROM drive makers have now stop producing DVD-ROM readers, I'll need a second DVD drive to read the media, hence two of these Plextors are spec'ed.)
Monitors Dual Sony PREMIERPRO 23 Wide Flat Panel LCD SDM-P232W/B (With native resolution at 1920x1200 and the WildCat4 7210's 3D anti-aliase maxed out at 1920x1080, 2 of these babies will give a 3840x1200 desktop, topping even Matrox's TripleHead capability!)
Input Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard and Logitech Cordless TrackMan Optical and/or Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse or Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer (Very personal choices here. Both Logitech and Microsoft make excellent keyboards and mice, but I prefer Logitech's trackballs, though.)
Casing Lian Li PC-78 Aluminum Server Tower (6 x 5.25" bays, 3 x external 3.5" bays and 12 x internal 3.5" bays, this monster can house my rig. I could have gone of a 'cube' case, but they're usually in steel while the Lian Li is in aluminum. Cooling capability is excellent as well.)
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling Max-Performance ATX with PFC 510 XE/EPS12V (This is one heck of a PSU - 30A on 3.3V, 40A on 5V and 34A on 12V, peak power 650W! The only down side is that it is rather noisy at 44dB.)
Backup Exabyte VXA-2 80/160GB Tape Drive Ultra2 LVD/SE Internal (Backing up data is so important, but I've little knowledge on the subject. This unit is recommended by Ars Technica's crew.)
UPS American Power Conversion Back-UPS Pro 1000VA (This is what I need to make sure that my investment is not blown away with stupid power surges and outages.)
OS Microsoft Windows XP Profession, with Service Pack 2 (While this is matured platform, it is still full of security problems; however, I'm not knowledgeable enough to dive into 64bit Linux. So unfortunately, this is the only chose of OS...)

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1st Half 2004

CPU Dual AMD Opteron DP Model 248 (2.2GHz) Rev C0 stepping (Yeap, this is the 'daddy' of x86 processors, right now! Ok, it is not as cool as seeing 4 CPU graphs in Task Manager, if you've a pair of Xeon DPs but, hey, the Opteron is an 64bit processor that happen to have awesome 32bit performance. In terms of securing an upgrade path, this is just unbeatable!)
Motherboard Tyan Thunder K8W (S2885) Dual Opteron SSI EEB V3.0 (The Opteron platform is still relatively new and while there are many dual CPU boards out there in the market this is the most capable one. Tyan has a strong tradition in building serious motherboards for workstations and servers and their experience is very evident here - as far as I know this is the only dual Opteron board with an AGP slot!)
System RAM 2 GB Kingston Technology HyperX PC3200 (DDR400) ECC Registered 3-3-3 SDRAM (The Opteron has a dual-channel memory controller built right into the core of the CPU and the C0 stepping models support DDR400 memory. Kingston's HyperX PC3200 modules has just the right balance between performance and stability just right - the units have tested for dual-channel operations and the registered DIMMs is just what the platform required. Additionally, four 512MB modules means that each of the two channels of each of the CPUs will be filled, satisfying the CPUs' throughput bandwidth.)
Graphics nVidia Quadro FX 3000 AGP8x Dual Display (This card is just plain awesome... It arguably delivers the fastest application performance with the highest quality graphics - with dual DVI output. Some may argue that I should list something like ATi's Radeon 9800 XT or nVidia's GeForce FX Ultra, but this is a workstation. If I was putting together a gaming box, sure, but it would be a single processor rig.)
Sound Card Terratec DMX6Fire 24/96 (The amount of support it provides, the sound technologies and the crystal-clear audio reproduction makes this card is a must have sound card for anyone, even those who don't much care about sound quality on a PC)
Speakers Acoustic Energy Aego2 2.1 speaker system or Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 speaker system with ProMedia SWS subwoofer system (Speaker are the end of audio delivery line, so to pair up with an excellent sound card, you need excellent speakers. For the smaller setup, it is a difficult choice between the Aego2 and the ProMedia 2.1 setup. I believe both give equally good audio reproduction, but the Aego2 won my vote with its good looks. For the bigger 5.1 setup, it is a very easy choice - no-one makes better 5.1 speaker system than Klipsch. What's even better is the new line of complementary subwoofer system the ProMedia SWS. Adding that to the ProMedia 5.1 should really rock!)
RAID Controller Adaptec SCSI RAID 3210s Dual Channel U160 RAID Controller with 128MB cache 64bit/66MHz PCI (I'm a strong believer in RAID technology and while Adaptec doesn't provide the best performance and probably not the value leader by a long way, I believe it delivers a strong and reliable solution for my needs.)
SCSI Controller Adaptec SCSI Card 39320-R Dual-channel U320 SCSI Controller PCI-X 64-bit/133 MHz (With this controller, it means that I'm not going to be using the onboard U320 SCSI, but I just love to have that PCI-X card!)
Network Onboard Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller
Hard Disks Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP 36.7GB U320, 15,000rpm (boot)
Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP 36.7GB U320, 15,000rpm x 4 (RAID 5 array + 1 spare, applications)
Maxtor Atlas 10K IV 36.7GB U320, 10,000rpm x 3 (RAID 1 array + 1 spare, primary data)
Maxtor Atlas 10K IV 36.7GB U320, 10,000rpm x 2 (secondary data, downloads, music, etc)
DVD-ROMs Pioneer DVD-106S DVD-ROM ATAPI UDMA or Pioneer DVD-305S DVD-ROM UW-SCSI (It is a shame that Plextor doesn't make DVD-ROM products. However, Pioneer has proved to be strong and reliable as well. The decision of whether to go with an ATAPI drive or a SCSI one is a difficult one though.)
DVD-RW Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW CD-RW ATAPI UDMA (Plextor is the best name in optical storage solutions. This unit can handle just about any form of optical storage technology.)
Monitors Dual Sony PREMIERPRO 23 Wide Flat Panel LCD SDM-P232W/B (With native resolution at 1920x1200 and the WildCat4 7210's 3D anti-aliase maxed out at 1920x1080, 2 of these babies will give a 3840x1200 desktop, topping even Matrox's TripleHead capability!)
Input Logitech Cordless Desktop Comfort Wireless Keyboard or Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro Keyboard and Logitech Cordless TrackMan Optical or Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer (black leather) (Very personal choices here. Both Logitech and Microsoft make excellent keyboards and mice, but I prefer Logitech's trackballs, though.)
Casing Lian Li PC-78 Aluminum Server Tower (6 x 5.25" bays, 3 x external 3.5" bays and 12 x internal 3.5" bays, this monster can house my rig. I could have gone of a 'cube' case, but they're usually in steel while the Lian Li is in aluminum. Cooling capability is excellent as well.)
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling Max-Performance ATX with PFC 510 XE/EPS12V (This is one heck of a PSU - 30A on 3.3V, 40A on 5V and 34A on 12V, peak power 650W! The only down side is that it is rather noisy at 44dB.)
Backup Exabyte VXA-2 80/160GB Tape Drive Ultra2 LVD/SE Internal (Backing up data is so important, but I've little knowledge on the subject. This unit is recommended by Ars Technica's crew.)
UPS American Power Conversion Back-UPS Pro 1000VA (This is what I need to make sure that my investment is not blown away with stupid power surges and outages.)
OS Microsoft Windows XP 64bit Edition (While this is not a matured platform, I'm not knowledgeable enough to dive into 64bit Linux. So unfortunately, this is the only chose of OS...)

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2nd Half 2003

This rig represents what I would dearly love to have if money was no object. The approach is very similar to that of the folks over at Ars Technica on their 'God Box': "Sure, some might argue that a God Box could only be accurately identified as a CAVE, but at Ars, for a box to be the pinnacle of power and wisdom, it needs balance and realism".

CPU

Dual Intel Xeon 3.06GHz (533MHz FSB) (Yeap, this is the fastest of the Xeon DP line. Some may argue that I should take another look at AMD's AthlonMP line of processors, but since I already have 2 rigs built around the AthlonMP/XP, I decided on the Xeon. Also, I like the idea of HyperThreading - it would be cool to be able to see 4 'logical processors' in Windows' Task Manager.)

Motherboard

Supermicro SUPER X5DA8 iE7505 Dual Xeon ExtATX (Sure, there are other motherboard makers who have introduced dual Xeon motherboards - Iwill, MSI and Tyan - I just like Supermicro's long track record of delivering stable and optimized server and high-end workstation solutions on Intel platforms.)

System RAM

2 GB Corsair PC2100 (DDR266) ECC Registered SDRAM (With Intel's dual channel DDR technology, memory needs to be installed in pairs to take advantage of the increased bandwidth, so this can either be 2 sticks of 1GB or 4 sticks of 512MB. With 12 DIMM slots available on the motherboard, lots of different possibility.)

Graphics

3Dlabs WildCat4 7210 AGP8x Dual Display (This baby take up 2 slots! Some may argue that I should list something like ATi's Radeon 9800 Pro or nVidia's GeForce FX Ultra, but this is a workstation. If I was putting together a gaming box, sure, but it would be a single processor rig.)

Sound Card

Terratec DMX6Fire 24/96 (The amount of support it provides, the sound technologies and the crystal-clear audio reproduction makes this card is a must have sound card for anyone, even those who don't much care about sound quality on a PC)

Speakers

Acoustic Energy Aego2 2.1 speaker system or Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 speaker system with ProMedia SWS subwoofer system (Speaker are the end of audio delivery line, so to pair up with an excellent sound card, you need excellent speakers. For the smaller setup, it is a difficult choice between the Aego2 and the ProMedia 2.1 setup. I believe both give equally good audio reproduction, but the Aego2 won my vote with its good looks. For the bigger 5.1 setup, it is a very easy choice - no-one makes better 5.1 speaker system than Klipsch. What's even better is the new line of complementary subwoofer system the ProMedia SWS. Adding that to the ProMedia 5.1 should really rock!)
RAID Controller Adaptec SCSI RAID 3210s Dual Channel U160 RAID Controller with 128MB cache 64bit/66MHz PCI (I'm a strong believer in RAID technology and while Adaptec doesn't provide the best performance and probably not the value leader by a long way, I believe it delivers a strong and reliable solution for my needs.)

SCSI Controller

Adaptec SCSI Card 39320-R Dual-channel U320 SCSI Controller PCI-X 64-bit/133 MHz (With this controller, it means that I'm not going to be using the onboard U320 SCSI, but I just love to have that PCI-X card!)

Network

Onboard Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller

Hard Disks

Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP 36.7GB U320, 15,000rpm (boot)
Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP 36.7GB U320, 15,000rpm
x 4 (RAID 5 array + 1 spare, applications)
Maxtor Atlas 10K IV 36.7GB U320, 10,000rpm x 3 (RAID 1 array + 1 spare, primary data)
Maxtor Atlas 10K IV 36.7GB U320, 10,000rpm x 2 (secondary data, downloads, music, etc)

DVD-ROMs

Pioneer DVD-106S DVD-ROM ATAPI UDMA or Pioneer DVD-305S DVD-ROM UW-SCSI (It is a shame that Plextor doesn't make DVD ROM products. However, Pioneer has proved to be strong and reliable as well. The decision of whether to go with an ATAPI drive or a SCSI one is a difficult one though.)

DVD-RW Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW CD-RW ATAPI UDMA (Plextor is the best name in optical storage solutions. This unit can handle just about any form of optical storage technology.)

Monitors

Dual Sony PREMIERPRO 23 Wide Flat Panel LCD SDM-P232W/B (With native resolution at 1920x1200 and the WildCat4 7210's 3D anti-aliase maxed out at 1920x1080, 2 of these babies will give a 3840x1200 desktop, topping even Matrox's TripleHead capability!)

Input

Logitech Cordless Desktop Comfort Wireless Keyboard, Logitech Cordless TrackMan Optical (Very personal choices here. Both Logitech and Microsoft make excellent keyboards and mice, but I prefer Logitech's trackballs, though.)

Casing

Lian Li PC-78 Aluminum Server Tower (6 x 5.25" bays, 3 x external 3.5" bays and 12 x internal 3.5" bays, this monster can house my rig. I could have gone of a 'cube' case, but they're usually in steel while the Lian Li is in aluminum. Cooling capability is excellent as well.)

Power Supply

PC Power & Cooling Max-Performance ATX with PFC 510 XE/EPS12V (This is one heck of a PSU - 30A on 3.3V, 40A on 5V and 34A on 12V, peak power 650W! The only down side is that it is rather noisy at 44dB.)
Backup Exabyte VXA-2 80/160GB Tape Drive Ultra2 LVD/SE Internal (Backing up data is so important, but I've little knowledge on the subject. This unit is recommended by Ars Technica's crew.)

UPS

American Power Conversion Back-UPS Pro 650 VA (This is what I need to make sure that my investment is not blown away with stupid power surges and outages.)

OS

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 3 (With Hyper-Threading, the logical choice of the OS is Windows XP Professional. However, WinXP has issues RAID, so Windows 2000 Server will have to do.)

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