[LinuxBIOS] Recommendations on Fully Free Workstation hardware

Peter Stuge stuge-linuxbios at cdy.org
Tue Nov 21 04:39:58 CET 2006

On Mon, Nov 20, 2006 at 10:57:46PM +0000, Dave Crossland wrote:
> Since this is a server-grade motherboard, it requires an expensive
> (£200) PSU - a "24Pin 8 Pin Enermax Server Grade".

This may not be true at all. Someone up the foodchain at your dealer
may have decided that customers with cash for a server-grade mobo
will also have cash for the expensive PSU and hence teach their
customer service that it is required - with the reality being that no
motherboard needs any special PSU as long as the PSU works with the
board - ie. supplies enough power (Ampere) of enough quality (voltage
tolerance) on each voltage rail to meet the requirements of the whole
system. I think £200 for a single PSU is over the top.

On the other hand it may be true in a worst-case scenario because the
motherboard has 8 SATA ports and 2 PATA ports and a built-in SCSI
controller that could connect to 15 SCSI drives and 8+4+15=27 hard
drives draw a LOT of power.

I suggest that you look into power requirements for the system,
possibly with a few upgrade scenarios to make the investment more
future proof.

> I am considering "Seagate 250Gb NCQ" harddisk, and the NCQ features
> are not yet supported -
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Command_Queuing#Operating_system_support
> - but should be soon.

The disk will still work, just that any benefit from NCQ is lost.

> I wonder about firmware status of CD/DVD Optical disk drives and
> sound cards.

Hard drives have firmware too.

I don't expect to see free firmware for any of these devices very
soon, but will be glad the day I'm proven wrong. :)

There's been an increase in interest for optical drive firmware with
the Xbox 360 though, so I guess it could happen sooner than I think.


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