New Development Machine
March 21, 2009 3 Comments
A couple of weeks ago I decided to upgrade my main linux development machine, a four year old dual-Xeon machine, with something a little more modern and much less power hungry. Indeed the old machine accounted for between 25% and 30% of my power bill at home.
I did not need to upgrade the entire machine, just the motherboard and the memory. I opted for an Intel DX58SO board with a Core i7 processor. In the event I did need to get a new DVD drive, the DX58SO does not have any legacy ports (so no PATA connector), and a new graphics card, neither of which were all that expensive.
I did run into a couple of snags along the way. I use CentOS 5.2 as my default Linux distribution (I developed a taste for boring and stable after a brief detour into cutting edge, exciting and unstable with Gentoo a while back.) The bummer was that the onboard network adaptor is not supported by CentOS 5.2 and I would need to download and install the appropriate driver, which struck me as a step in the wrong direction, so I opted for Fedora Core 10 instead which I am very comfortable with.
Somewhere along the process the power supply decided to commit Seppuku with a loud bang, a big blue flash and a small cloud of acrid smoke so I had to run out and replace that too. I was glad that it did not take out the motherboard in the process.
So now I have a new machine with 6GB of RAM, 4 cores which look like 8 cpus to Linux (Hyper-threading trickery), which is a lot quieter, a lot more power efficient and a lot cooler (summer is approaching) than the previous noisy space-heater I had. The quietness alone is worth the price of admission.