About a year ago I put together a small cluster of linux workstations for students in our department. At the time, I was conservative with spending money and outfitted each node with something like:<br><br><div style="margin-left: 40px;">
Scientific Linux (RHEL 4)<br>AMD 4400+ x2 Athlon 64 (dual core, 2MB L2)<br>Abit nf-95 motherboard (cheapest socket 939 board at the time)<br>2GB RAM, DDR 400<br>200GB SATA hard drive <br clear="all">integrated graphics, sound, 10/100 LAN
<br></div><br>The machines ran with NIS logins, NFS shared home directories, MPICH, an apache-hosted wiki, etc. For the purpose of student work the hardware setup seemed appropriate. <br><br>Earlier this summer, the case fan on one of the machines failed, and the result seems like a cooked motherboard (erratic errors with the integrated NIC). The question I'm asking the list is the following: In a university setting I can't just ebay off the old parts and buy a new node. Thus I'm limited presently to looking for a motherboard with AMD's socket 939 and a few SATA2 ports - everything else is up for grabs. Is it worth my time (and funds) to buy a motherboard in the $200 range (ie something like a tyan s2866g3nr), or should I again go with the cheapest thing there is (something like an Asus a8v-xe in the $50 range).
<br><br>I don't really understand the distinction between these two groups of hardware. The tyan is probably a bad example because it has 3 network ports, but aside from this, they seem like basically the same board. I'd appreciate advice on putting together a decent machine.
<br><br>regards,<br><br>Nathan Moore<br><br><br><br>-- <br>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <br>Nathan Moore<br>Assistant Professor, Physics<br>Winona State University<br>AIM: nmoorewsu <br>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -