The New Powerhouse


The 7044A-82R is a mid-tower system that is targeted at the workstation/server market. Its case design and feature-set could definitely put it in either market, with a strong emphasis on the server market due to its redundant power, rack-mount option, and hot swappable hard drive cage. The case itself has a triple redundant 760 Watt power supply, hot swappable cooling fans and a flexible drive bay configuration. Our unit was equipped with 5 hot swap drive bays, but the system can handle 10 hot swap bays with a stackable drive cage mounted in the front of the case (see image below).

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Motherboard & CPU

The heart of our new workstation is a Supermicro X6DA8-G2, outfitted with Dual 3.6 GHz, 800MHz FSB Nocona CPUs. The X6DA8-G2 is one of the latest boards from Supermicro for Intel's new Nocona CPUs. This particular board uses Intel's E7525 Tumwater chipset and has the following features:
  • 16GB DDR2-400 SDRAM (our system arrived with 4 512MB Infineon sticks)
  • Intel Dual Gigabit Network interfaces
  • Adaptec Dual U320 SCSI (AIC-7902)
  • Dual SATA ports (ICH5R)
  • 1 (x16) PCI-Express slot
  • 1 (x4) using (x16 slot) PCI-Express
  • 1 x 64Bit 133Mhz bit PCI-X
  • 2 x 64bit 100 Mhz PCI-X
  • 1 32bit PCI slots
  • Zero channel raid support (allows you to buy an Adaptec 2010S to add raid support)
  • AC'97 6-channel sound
This is a well-equipped board, and has room for storage expansion with zero channel raid support and flexible chassis configuration support.

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Graphics Card

Since our system was built as a workstation, it was outfitted with a NVidia Quadro FX 3400. Granted, this card is overkill for my purpose, but it does have Dual DVI and is ready for SLI with another 3400 if the need for more power is ever required. The Tumwater chipset is currently the only chipset that will support operating NVidia's Quadro or 6800 based cards in SLI. The Quadro FX managed to maintain 60+ fps at 1024 x 768 high quality in Doom 3 when I wasn't busy writing code.


Since compiling is very I/O intensive, we put two Seagate 18GB U320 15,000RPM drives in the system. We'll probably get larger drives in the future, but for now, it's enough space for the OS and the site code, with some room left over for the odd game or two.

First Try Operating System & Changes
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  • Ecmaster76 - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    Hmmm.... Anandtech makes an article about picking Opterons for their server farm and less than a month later a Nocona system falls of the back of a truck.

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