New Server (Motherboard and CPU)

Lets talk about the motherboard. As I wrote in the previous post I was looking for the smallest possible board. That’s the Mini ITX size. I wanted to put the latest Intel CPU on it, that means LGA 1155 socket. I wanted the server to use ECC memory. There are a lot of discussions on the Web talking ECC up and down. After reading some boards and some papers, I came to the conclusion that if I have the box to handle a huge amount of data, I’d rather make sure a chance of it getting corrupted in memory is minimized. Finally, I wanted to get some decent graphics support from the Intel CPU itself, that means C206 chipset. I could find only two motherboards that satisfy these requirements: WADE-8011 from Portwell and S1200KP from Intel. The latter was widely available and relatively cheap comparing to the former one, so the decision was simple: I ordered the Intel board. Please note that S1200KP does not support Ivy Bridge CPUs. Intel has an updated version S1200KPR out that supports both Sandy and Ivy Bridge.

The choice of the CPU was pretty straightforward as well — I went with the cheapest Xeon CPU that supported graphics and 8 threads: e3-1235. In retrospect, I could have used a less power hungry CPU, e.g., i3-2125. I thought that 30W tradeoff was worth additional speed and performance. I might have been wrong, but boy! Does this thing fly!

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2 comments
  1. alexjj said:

    I’m interested in how the install of OS X went on this hardware!

    • Anton said:

      I’ll post about it later, but the short answer is that the install went fine using general instructions for unibeast. I wanted to make a custom DSDT, but I did not get too far. I had to patch both graphics and ethernet kext infos to get the p3000 and the ethernet adapter recognized. One quirk: right after a startup I get a warning that “one of the USB devices was drawing too much power and was disconnected”, but it does not look like it affects anything.

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