New Athlon 64 X2 Server

15 May 2006

I built my new server over a week ago, and did a Debian testing AMD64 install on it. It took 3 tries and a couple days of screwing around, but I finally found that I had to tell the BIOS that I had a PNP-aware OS to get the Adaptec 19160 SCSI card to boot GRUB.

It's an Asus A8N-SLI Premium board with an Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core processor, 1G dual-channel RAM (400MHz), and a random cheap MSI Radeon X300 PCI Express x16 video card. I just kept my old SCSI drives for now, but I'll probably try SATA drives for any new drives, since they're so cheap. The oddest part of the machine is the new 620W OCZ power supply which has a shiny mirror-like finish and glows blue -- it's a shame I have a normal opaque case.

It builds and fully-packaged a Debian kernel in 15 minutes, but it seems to only want to build 64-bit kernels right now. I may need to build a 32-bit chroot to run kernel compiles for other machines, openoffice, and firefox with plugins. Java 5.0 for Linux/AMD64 doesn't come with the Java plugin for some reason, and Flash is only available in 32-bit as well. I haven't taken the time to figure that out yet.

The motherboard and processor have interesting power-saving features like a notebook would, such as scalable CPU frequency and variable fan speeds. The processor can often run at half speed (1000MHz), so every time I've touched the CPU heatsink, it's been cold.

I'm slowly migrating files and services over to the new server. My current task is to get my galleries restored to it. Many of the other non-disk-instensive services will remain out at the VPS, though.


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