Thursday, April 26, 2007

New home heating solution

For quite some time I have wanted to take a really good look at improving Boost.Asio's scalability across multiple processors. Unfortunately, getting unlimited access to this sort of hardware has been somewhat problematic. What I really needed was a decent multiprocessor box at home :)

The arrival of Intel's Clovertown quad core CPUs gave me the opportunity. The primary goal was to maximise parallelism while minimising the cost, and the lowest spec quad cores were cheap enough for me to justify spending the money. So, after months of thinking (and weeks of waiting for parts), last week I finally completed my home-built server.

Here are the headline specs:

  • Two Intel Xeon E5310 quad core processors (1.6 GHz)

  • Tyan Tempest i5000XL motherboard

  • 2GB DDR2-667 fully buffered ECC DIMMs

  • OCZ GameXStream 700W power supply (OK, OK, it's a little overpowered, but it was in stock!)

  • Other stuff like case, hard disk, DVD drive, video card and wireless LAN card

  • Lots of fans to provide soothing ambient noise

So far I have installed CentOS Linux 5 on it, but also plan to try Solaris 10 and FreeBSD. It seems pretty snappy.