[Okta Webinar] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now


Intel P4 system specs:  pre-purchase input requested

Posted on 2005-05-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I'm about to purchase a system very similar to the one described below.  Any input or recommendations regarding the components would be greatly appreciated (as well as rewarded with points).

The system will be used as a Windows Server 2003 system in a small business (3-5 users max) who will access the machine via Terminal Services to run various MS Access queries and MS Excel analyses.  Currently we are using a similar system to accomplish the same task (same processor and storage setup).  The two drives are to be set up as a single logical drive using RAID 0.

I just want to check whether anyone can spot any obvious deficiencies, potential compatibility issues, or has any suggestions on improving the specs:

1 x Lian Li PC-65B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
1 x SUPERMICRO MBD-P4SCi-O Socket 478 Intel E7210 ATX Server Motherboard
1 x ASPIRE ATX-AS550W-BK ATX 550W Power Supply
1 x intel Pentium 4 3.4E Prescott 800MHz FSB Socket 478 Processor Model BX80546PG3400E
1 x CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model TWINX2048-3200PRO
1 x NEC FD1231H-302 Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive
2 x Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 73GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive
1 x HP DVD640I Black IDE DVD Burner w/ Lightscribe
1 x VANTEC VP4-C7040 TMD (Tip-Magnetic Driving) Cooling Fan

Hey, thanks.
Question by:psk1
  • 3
  • 3
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 13971797
You realize that with a RAID-0, any error in one drive will render the array useless, so the system will be offline until you replace the drive and restore from a backup.  Is it acceptable for users to lose a day's worth of work (or whenever a backup was last done)?  I would also suggest a UPS to keep the server as stable as possible.  Since you're using Terminal Services, do you want to step up to gigabit?  It's fairly cheap these days for a switch and associated NICs.

Author Comment

ID: 13971871
Hi Callandor,

I believe that the motherboard has dual on-board gigabit NICs - http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/P4/E7210/P4SCi.cfm

We have a UPS.

What other storage systems would you recommend?

Thank you.
LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 13971990
Those drives are pretty snappy by themselves.  If you configured them as RAID-1, you would have up-to-date backup.  Add another large IDE or SATA non-RAID drive for archiving data, and I think you have covered it.
Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!


Author Comment

ID: 13972190
I'm now thinking SCSI RAID to take advantage of larger-capacity 10Krpm drives.

My boss likes the RAID-0 for the performance speed-wise he sees on our dual 7200rpm setup now.  If we go 10Krpm SCSI, he may be blown away just by the increase there (you tell me;  I've never seen it).  Maybe I can lure him from RAID-0 to RAID-1.  He isn't as concerned about live mirroring as he is about speed.  We're currently running daily backups to external storage.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 13972288
The advantage of RAID-1 is up-to-the-second backup, versus daily.  SCSI will probably cost you twice as much per drive, and you will need to get a SCSI card as well.  They are great  when you have lots of people accessing the array, but in your situation, it seems hard to justify.  On the other hand, SCSI drives can go up to 15000rpm (Seagate Cheetah), and you can implement RAID-5 for a balance between RAID-0 and RAID-1.  There are also SATA RAID-5 controllers, but they're not cheap (3Ware Escalade 85xx series).

Author Comment

ID: 13973114
Thanks Callandor, decision has been made.

Featured Post

Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Basic computer tune-up with little or no hardware upgrades. Giving an old computer a tune-up usually results in a minimal performance gain, but a gain nonetheless. Several times a week, I’m faced with users at work who ask to make their computers…
No matter the version of Windows you are using, you may have some problems with Windows Search running too slow or possibly not running at all. Before jumping into how you can solve this issue, just know there are many other viable alternative deskt…
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…
Want to learn how to record your desktop screen without having to use an outside camera. Click on this video and learn how to use the cool google extension called "Screencastify"! Step 1: Open a new google tab Step 2: Go to the left hand upper corn…
Suggested Courses

834 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question