Tyan server part list

Here’s the full parts lists (after several completion attempts), with prices:

  • Tyan Tiger K9HE (S3970G2NR), eWiz Part Number MB-S3970G2, $267.80
  • Tyan M3291 Server Management Daughter card, eWiz Part Number MB-M3291, $87.55
  • Antec P180B, NewEgg Part NumberN82E16811129017, $124.99 (darn, a $25 rebate appeared 2 days after I ordered)
  • 3ware 9550SX-4LP, NewEgg Part Number N82E16816116031, $309.99
  • Opteron 2210, NewEgg Part Number N82E16819105021, 2@$279.00 (they were $50 cheaper 10 days later)
  • Kingston 1GB KVR667D2S4P5/1G DDR2 667 (PC2 5300), Cas 5 ECC, Registered, NewEgg Part Number N82E16820134338, 2@$154.99 – not my preferred, but not much else was in stock
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB drives, NewEgg Part Number N82E16822148144, 4@79.00 – best bang for the buck, but not the largest available storage – the case still has a couple of slots open.
  • Lite-on DVD 16x DVD multi burner (ATAPI), NewEgg Part Number N82E16827106017, $28.99
  • Antec Neopower HE 550W, local store, $113
  • ASUS K8MH7S CPU Fan, local store, 2@$25
  • Shipping and rush fees: $40.39 + $13.30 = $53.69
  • (Canadian) sales tax: $22

for a grand total of $2245.95 for a quad-core, 2GB server with IPMI 1.5-compliant remote management, 1TB of raw storage, and hardware RAID5. This compares how to off-the-rack servers?

A Linux Journal ad for a ZT Reliant Server A8200 (no online link yet!) has 1GB of RAM, 500GB raw storage, DVD-ROM (and floppy), and “Super Doctor Server Management” (a Supermicro product, not fully compatible with Linux), for $1899. If you add in the additional components at my prices: CPU (+$279), RAM (+$154.99), storage (+$160), you’re at $2493, plus shipping. Is a three-year limited warranty worth $247.05? Probably. Are these servers guaranteed to work with Linux? In neither case… But at least I understand all the risks of my system myself (and note that at the time of this writing, you can’t order the A8200 online…).

A Dell PE2950 (with educational pricing, dual-core Xeon 5110, different specs, same amount of storage) costs $4753, but can only be purchased with SAS drives, not SATA drives. You get more (reliability? speed?), but don’t have the choice of the lower speed. Is it worth the extra $2500 to have the Dell “reliability”and 3-year service? Less clear – that’s a full extra server…


  1. Lars Vilhuber - 13 November 2006 @ 10:36

    A note on the Dell config: to achieve the same amount of storage on the Dell, which only has a maximum of 6 drives available, of which one is eliminated for the OS disk, you have to use 300GB SAS drives. Eliminating one for RAID5 overhead, you need 4 300GB SAS drives, for 900GB accessible.

    Alternatively, I could have upgraded my config to run with the faster Raptor drives. They are $225 for the 150GB model. So to achieve the same 4x300GB raw = 900GB of usable RAID5 that I configured for the Dell, you need 7 of them. That would have involved buying the more expensive 8-port 3ware (+$150) and replacing the 4 SATA/7200 drives with 6 Raptors (+$1255). That would have brought the cost of the Tyan config up to $3500 – still $1250 cheaper than the Dell config.

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