Thursday, March 06, 2008

Server - Intel Quad Core Q6600

I'm pretty close to finishing my new Quad Core Server. It's going to replace two existing machines I have right now: my current server and my development box where I do all my coding. Both are athlon xp socket A era machines.

This build is almost identical to the HTPC build I just did so I'm just going to cover what is different here.

Hardware Parts List :
(prices include tax and shipping where applicable)
$86 cooler master cm690 case; frys
$216 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail; microcenter
$132 GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Retail should see 3.5gb of ram in 32bit os
$90 G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
$508 SEAGATE ST31000340AS 1TB SATA 7200 RPM 32MB Hard Drive Retail; X 2 @ $254 each; frys
$13 SUPER TALENT INT-AIN1-C All-in-one USB 2.0 Card Reader - Retail SDHC support
$60 SAMSUNG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM; got two of them at about $30 each
$0 Antec neopower 500w, had it in the closet, forgot the price
$105 EVGA 256-P2-N761-AR GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI; after $40 MIR
$33 ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
$36 Enermax Marathon 120mm Fan - Magnetic Bearing X 4 @ about $9 each
$10 1394 firewire card
$1289 TOTAL

The specs are nearly identical except for a different cooler and two of the latest .11 seagate 1TB drives with 32mb cache.

I used the spread method. I removed the existing thermal paste and used AS5 isntead. The arctic cooling freezer pro 7 was very easy to install. Nothing on the motherboard gets blocked. I'm not a big fan of the 4 push pin mounting system but it sure seems more sturdy than that zalman clip crap. The fan comes with a 4 pin PWN connector so yeah I let my motherboard automatically control the fan speed. At idle it sits around 1000 rpm and is pretty much silent. Max speed seems to be 2400 rpm and is pretty loud but it hasn't hit that even under heavy load. Performance and price are great. It really is a fantastic value.

default VID 1.2625

core temp idle at 2.88ghz

occt load at 3.0ghz

hdtune c:

hdtune d:

crystal d:

So this machine is oc about 100mhz more using a cheaper heatsink but runs about 3c cooler and the difference between cores is much lower too.

UPDATE: 3/6/08

evga 8600gts

dual orthos stable for 9 hrs at 2.88ghz; temps 57-60c

How to enable AHCI NCQ support AFTER vista has already been installed in legacy IDE mode:
After that go into the bios settings and change the first SATA/RAID mode to AHCI and enable the option right below that.
This refers the intel based sata ports. For the gigabyte based chipset sata ports look at the settings that start with "onboard"

After the reboot windows should install some base level sata drivers. Reboot again and get the latest intel AHCI matrix drivers. I got them direct from the intel site instead of gigabyte since they were a bit newer at the intel site:

Install those and reboot. Again your sata devices will be detected and drivers will be installed for each drive. Reboot once more and you are done. Run the matrix intel storage console and confirm you are in SATA II mode and NCQ is working. NCQ should help when multiple applications are hitting the same drive at once. It doesn't do much when there is only one application like when I was running hdtune.

What is odd is burst rate dropped a lot after going AHCI. I'm going to guess this is hdtune not being able to test burst rate correctly when going through the intel matrix drivers. I'm not the only person with this anomaly:

For comparison here is hdtune run in winxp on a raid 0 with two old Hitachi 250GB hard drives:

I ran hdtach in winxp compatibility mode and as administrator:

Burst speed looks just fine now under AHCI.

UPDATE: 03/24/08
Some more tweaks on the server box:

Having the gigabyte sata controller on ahci with an old pata 250gb wd using an ide to sata converter is causing in a strange error. It shows in the system event log as jraid1 something or another timeout. It causes the entire pc to freeze for about 2 seconds when this happens and it happens a few times a day. Going back into the bios and changing "other" sata controller to IDE (I left the intel ones on ahci b/c those seem to work fine), going into vista device tree, under storage controllers, remove and CHECK the delete drivers for the gigabyte controller, then vista will re-detect the controller as ide, install the ide version of the drivers, reboot to be safe, and I think all is good. Yeah I lose ncq/hot swap support on those 2 ports but I couldn't find any other way to stop the errors. I'm on the latest bios and gigabyte raid drivers so I'm not sure what else to try. I'm pretty convinced it's probably not happy with the ide sata adapter. If I had a real sata II drive on there it would probably be fine.

error message:
The driver for device \Device\Scsi\JRAID1 detected a port timeout due to prolonged inactivity. All associated busses were reset in an effort to clear the condition.

Having system voltage set to auto in the bios automatically ramps up cpu and dram voltages(2.0v at 2.88ghz oc which I think is too high) as you overclock. I didn't know this. I set it to manual and used these settings:
cpu clock ratio: 9X
cpu host clock: 320
pic express freq: 100 (though auto is suppose to = 100 I set it to 100 just to be safe)
CIA 2: disabled
performance enhancer: standard
system memory multiplier: 2.50
dram timing: auto
system voltage: manual
ddr2 over voltage: +.1v (1.9v, published range for this memory is 1.8 - 1.9)
cpu voltage: 1.3125 (or whatever one step above 1.3 is, I can't remember) (cupz shows around 1.26 and drops to 1.23 under load)
other voltages: normal

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