[rescue] U20 motherboard upgrade ?

Lionel Peterson lionel4287 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 06:15:12 CDT 2009


There are lots of boards that can do, say, 16 Gig, but with only four  
DIMM slots it is more of a theoretical option, since suitable RAM may  
not be available OR could cost $400 for a 4 Gig DIMM. I recently  
bought two Gigabyte MBs (to build up two test Virtual hosts using  
surplused Opteron 1210s) that can do just that, but unless prices drop  
profoundly I can't see it ever happening.

Quadrupling RAM, using a more power-hungry CPU, and (I assumed) a much  
'bigger' graphics card would, very likely require a bigger PS. The  
stock unit is what, 450 watts? What is minimum power requirement for  
an i7 system? I would think at least 650 watts... The i7 you mentioned  
uses more power than an Opteron (I have to believe), and max for U20  
is 4 Gig RAM, you want a box capable of 4x as much...

Please don't take the above the wrong way, i'm not 'against' you  
upgrade plans (honestly, why would my opinion matter), but I wanted to  
offer my thoughts and concerns were I to head down such a path. I also  
have a Dell Poweredge T605 (tower formfactor, dual quad-core Xeon, 4x  
drive bays, redundant PS and three year on-site warranty) that I  
picked up for $1,300 that came with 16 Gigs of 4x 4 Gig DIMMs, with  
the 4x DIMMs to fill up the box and go to 32 Gigs currently selling at  
Crucial for about $550...

All I'm getting at, really, is your specs take you out of  
'conventional' desktop range and really talking about a server or  
'workstation' build that will be heading towards $1,500 pretty quickly  
were you do all upgrades at once. You've indicated that this would  
more likely be extended over the little while, but I was looking at  
cost of a near-complete 'forklift' upgrade of the U20 chassis to an i7  

Sorry post rambles, it's early for me.


On Oct 18, 2009, at 11:14 PM, Jerry Kemp <sun.mail.list47 at oryx.cc>  

> Hello Lionel,
> Thank you for the reply, please see inline comments.
> On 10/16/09 06:44, Lionel Peterson wrote:
>> I can't imagine an economical way to get to 16 Gigs without 8 SIMM  
>> sockets,
> I understand, but can't imagine that I am blazing any new ground  
> here, or doing something that others on the x86/x64 side are already  
> doing.
> and that many SIMM sockets would eliminate dual CPU boards in
>> ATX form AFAIK.
> I don't see that to be a problem.  At this point, I am planning for  
> something with an Intel i7 CPU, and as I understand currently, those  
> are at least 4 core per die.  I am not currently unhappy with my  
> current CPU/motherboard CPU-wise, but I am looking for something  
> that can get me past the 8Gb barrier that my current system board has.
> This is a lab/play/learning system for me in my home, and I am  
> playing with virtualization options.  This is my big drive for more  
> ram.
> You may have to up the PS as well, making it an
>> expensive upgrade, on a par with the price of a new system... I  
>> understand wanting to keep the case, but that and the DVD drive may  
>> be all you keep.
> Currently in the case, is the motherboard/CPU, DVD-RAM drive, (2)  
> sata drives, the Nvidia Quatro FX 1500 frame buffer that shipped  
> with the system and a differential SCSI controller on the PCI  
> expansion bus.  I don't see that changing anytime soon.  Are you  
> suggesting that doubling the amount of RAM will make a significant  
> difference in the amount of power being pulled from the PS, or that  
> the new CPU/MB will, or all of the above?
> Thanks again for your reply,
> Jerry
>> An i920 or i750 board with lots of DDR3 RAM and bigger PS would  
>> make a GREAT upgrade, but at $600-750US it is close to the price of  
>> a similar 'store bought' system. Of course, I'd fill the two SATA  
>> bays with 1 TB WD Black drives at $100 ea.
>> That's how we roll here at Chez Peterson...
>> Lionel
>> _______________________________________________
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