Friday, August 29, 2008

Why S5397?

I need a fast system with lots of memory.
Dual quad core for maximum performance.
64GB of RAM, or more when I can afford it.

Well, it certainly looks like the TYAN Tempest i5400PW S5387 would work.

Others in the series also look acceptable, but this one has 1600MHz FSB and therefore supports FBDIMM 800 memory = More Bandwidth for all those gigs of RAM. The Block diagram in the data sheet for the 5400 MCH shows 17-21GB/s for (533-667) rated FBDIMM so I should get even better with the 800's...

A closer look at the "Seaburg" (5400) Memory controller shows two branches with two channels of four FBDIMM each for a total of sixteen slots. 4GB FBDIMMs are around $360 each, going to 8GB would cost $1,700 each - not sensible. So I could get 64GB on this system - but let's start with 32GB.

I need a suitable processor - 4 cores and 1600 Mhz FSB - the Xeon E5482 at 3.2GHz looks about right.

For video - NVIDIA 9800X2 looks interesting - two processors with 1GB of DDR3, not bad. XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 PVT98UZHDU is the part number.

Power supply - 860 W should be ample and PC Power & Cooling lists the S5397 as supported by the PPCT860.

Case - Thermaltake VG4000SWA - not only big enough but also has a clear side so that the POST codes on the motherboard can be seen.

Screen - Dell 2208WFP widescreen (1600x1050)

Keyboard - Logitech Bluetooth - Cordless Desktop MX 5000 (boy was that a mistake).

Everything is in stock at Newegg - my favorite place to shop (and no more New York sales tax - I'm always for that).


Issues - FBDIMMs run HOT!!! With 8 of the 800's in the system they overheat and the system will BSOD...

Unfortunately Crucial didn't know about it, so they graciously swapped out all 8 of them for me. I finally found the issue running Everest which will show the DIMM temperatures. Added some fans to the memory slots (Corsair Dominators) and fixed that problem....

The other issue still hasn't been resolved - the system will not POST with an XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card - so I have to use the single GPU version (which does work OK).

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