Re: Scientific Linux Workstation
From: John-Paul Stewart (jpstewart_at_binaryfoundry.ca)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 17:46:15 -0400
Gary J. Weiner wrote:
> Hello my brothers and sisters out in Penguinland.
> I have been tasked with building a Linux workstation for scientific and
> engineering applications, mostly running under Matlab. The applications
> are for particle accelerator calculations.
> The ASUS P4C800-E looks like a nice board to go with this chip.
You may want to seriously consider a dual CPU setup. I don't know if
Matlab supports it for sure, but I'd be quite surprised if they *don't*
support multiple CPUs.
> I was orginally going to go with RAID 1 (mirror) with 2 WD Raptors run
> off the SATA controller on the MOBO. But it seems there are issues with
> SATA and even more issues with the on board RAID controllers.
> So maybe I'll go with tried and true SCSI, two Seagate 73GB 10,000RPM
> SCSI Hard Drives and an Adaptec Ultra320 SCSI Card, Model "29320A-R" for
> RAID 1
If you're going to go SCSI, make sure you get a motherboard with 64-bit
PCI slots (or better yet, PCI-X). Even Ultra160 can overwhelm a 32-bit,
33MHz PCI slot. If you're pushing around serious quantities of data,
that can be quite a bottleneck. (Note that even built-in SCSI is
connected to the PCI bus even if it isn't a card in a PCI slot.)
For example, I've got one motherboard here with dual U160 and Gigabit
Ethernet all on the same 32-bit 33MHz PCI bus and bus contention is a
*huge* problem. RAID speed (any RAID level) is the same as single disk
speed strongly suggesting bus contention issues. Another system with
PCI-X provides dramatically better disk performance---even with fewer
disks to stripe across.