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SLI-DR raid comments


mlp
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So I put together my new system about 3 weeks ago and have a few comments.

 

I'm using a RAID-0 setup with XPSP2 (from an MSDN slipstreamed SP2 install) using nvidia raid on driver rev 6.53 and the 623 bios. SI3114 is disabled in bios.

 

I haven't had any luck installing with 6.66 (or other versions besides 6.53). Crashes on reboot into windows.

 

I also haven't had much luck with the SI3114. I find that I can use the non-raid5 SATA drivers and that works, but that leaves a leftover device in device manager. Attempting any version of driver to replace that device ends in unhappiness on boot.

 

The non-raid5 version of the 3114 drivers worked with Windows 2003 Server, but I didn't have much luck on the nvidia side.

 

Some comments on components:

- DFI SLI-DR. I like it. I like the bios customization and the feature set. I wish DFI included a cable for the com ports. I think the raid driver integration needs a little work. (or an updated version?)

 

- The seasonic S12-600 is freakin' quiet. I haven't encountered any issues with it. Build quality seems high. I like it.

 

- The Antec 4U case is spacious, easy to work with, looks cool, but the default fans are anywhere from quiet. Although with the case fans on, you can turn off all the other fans in the system. It moves a lot of air. I think the front 120 mm fan is .8 A! If you wanted quiet you could replace the fans with lower-speed quiet fans. For me the sound doesn't matter as I have the system rackmounted in the basement, with a video/usb/1394 cable coming up through the floor. There's a certain sense of satisfaction having your computer bolted into concrete...

 

- OCZ 1GB Plat (2-3-2-5 DDR 400 1T timing). Cheap memory, reasonably fast. Doesn't overclock much past it's rated speed. I could lower the timings, but with extra latency, how is that better? Next system, I would probably go with 4 sticks of faster 512 MB mem.

 

- AMD 4400 X2 - Great cpu. Mine overclocks to ~2750, but is only prime stable with both cores at ~2640 or so. I was going to get a tyan motherboard and dual opterons, but there's so much of a price premium for the 275's, I just don't feel that it's worth it when you can overclock a 4400.

 

- 2 x RAID 0 raptors. I like them. I was thinking about the 15k rpm scsi thing, but again there's so much of a price premium I felt it just wasn't worth it.

 

- The apple 30" cinema display is gorgeous. It took me a long time to decide between that and the dell 2405 (also a cool display). I kept on rationalizing that 2 dell displays would have about the same workspace as the apple. Once I had the display installed though, there is really no comparison. Everything else is just, well, not the same.

 

- Initially I tried a couple extension cables, but got the usual DVI sparkles. Then I called up Gefen. Their switcher arrived the next day. Perfect video quality. I highly, highly reccommend them...

 

---------

// On Rack in Basement

Antec 4U22ATX400 4U ATX rackmount case

DFI NF4 SLI-DR, 623 bios

AMD Athlon X2 64 4400+ CPU w Zalman 7700 cu heat sink

2 x 1GB OCZ Platinum DDR 400 RAM

2 x 74GB Western Digital Raptor 10K RPM SATA hard disks

PNY Geforce 7800GTX video card

Seasonic S12-600 power supply

// Office

Apple 30" Cinema Display on Gefen DL Switcher DVI switch

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