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Off-the-shelf Quadcore: spec to tweak into a hardware RAID for osx86 and Xen

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This off-the-shelf config for the NX Fusion II Soundwave might be useful to people: the defaults (mobo, memory, sata drive) look osx86 compatible. The graphics card needs changing, and "to what" is the thrust of my question.


I need a box as a Media/Backup for fileserver for the laptops and as CPU Server, for running Xen (VT-capable) server.


I'm eager to buy the right parts from the outset to lower the cost of continually patching the system. After much research, (first on the wiki (I wish your wiki was more comprehensive!), then the forums and IRC) I've approximated what I need. I'd really appreciate your input to finish the spec.


The default config is listed below.


Motherboard From reading the forums I know this GA-P35-DS3R mobo is a fair bet. I understand that this mobo will be Penryn compatible. I dare say I don't need a quad core from the outset, so I am thinking go dual core for now and replace the CPUs if necessary when the 45nm stuff is released. Any problem with that?


Graphics Card I appreciate a eVGA GeForce 7600 or 7900 graphics card has a good reputation. How soon will the 8900 cards be supported? Will 256 MB in the graphic cards be sufficient to properly drive the FP241WZ monitor?. I thought about putting two video cards in but don't know whether the OSs (in particular OSX) can be told to ignore the one not in use. (I understand eVGA have a trade-in program but I don't think that they will accept systems built by NCIX as NCIX are not on eVGA's approved retailers list).


Hardware RAID I think I will need separate hardware RAID on PCIe as the operating systems may get swapped out at various times. As such the mobo's the onboard windows-only compatible software RAID useless most of the time, and in OSx. Do most people run RAID5 or RAID1? Can you recommend something that is known to work?


Hard disk Caddy I will likely fit the machine with a removable trays for the HDD, possibly removing the tray offsite as a backup.


It would be great if everything was available from NCIX! has the base system, they have a nice UI to search, add and remove components.


I live in Toronto, Canada, so I used NCIX , a Canadian retailer. Canada Computers would also do fine.


I own a BENQ FP241WZ 24" WUXGA 1080p (with HDMI/DVI).


I would like it to be osx86 compatible but it doesn't absolutely have to run osx86 straight away, just as long as it is on a "sure bet" path for Q1, 2008. One of the reasons I want Xen is because I want to build Amazon AMI images locally. There is not much chance I would play games on it.


Thanks very much for any help!





PS. I've crossed out stuff I know won't work. Alternative suggestions appreciated.

PPS. I've re-edited this topic, as me and the HTML editor messed up the table last time ;)

PPPS. I've edited yet again, thanks to krazubu for recommendations of what to clarify.


  1. Computer Cases Silverstone Lascala LC17-B Black HTPC Case 2X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT W/ 2X80MM Case Fan 1 $119.55
  2. Processors (CPUs) Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB Retail Box 1 $309.99
  3. Motherboards Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R ATX LGA775 Conroe P35 DDR2 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 SATA RAID Sound GBLAN Motherboard 1 $150.44
  4. Memory (RAM) Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory 1 $109.99
  5. Video Cards Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3850 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDMI HDTV Out Video Card 1 $189.99
  6. Power Supplies Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX 12V 33A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan 1 $85.97
  7. Hard Drives Western Digital SE16 320GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive OEM 3 Year MFR Warranty 1 $87.32
  8. DVD Writers Samsung SH-S203B Black SATA DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 DL 18X/12X INT DVD Writer OEM W/ Vista SW 1 $39.75
  9. Operating Systems Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 32BIT DVD OEM 1 $123.90
  10. OEM Corel Workperfect Office X3 with QuattroPro & Presentations OEM *for Sale with PC or Notebook Only* 1 $29.99
  11. TV & Video Hauppauge WINTV-HVR-1600 PCI TV Tuner for Vista MCE NTSC/ATSC Whitebox OEM No Remote 1 $103.62
  12. HTPC Accessories Microsoft Remote Control W/ USB Receiver OEM for Windows XP Media Center Edition (with System Only) 1 $35.48
  13. NX Fusion Assembly Options Nx Fusion Premium Experience - Optimal Cabling for Best Airflow & Extended BURN-IN *No Lighting* 1 $49.99
  14. Keyboards Logitech Cordless Desktop Ex 110 Wireless RF Keyboard & Optical Mouse USB/PS2 1 $45.10



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