[GLLUG] Linux home server for simulated distributed computing

Mike Brodbelt mike at coruscant.org.uk
Fri Jan 3 12:37:25 UTC 2014

* Andy Smith <andy at bitfolk.com> [140103 02:22]:
> I appreciate that you may consider 8 VMs with 4G RAM each to be
> sufficient right now, but presumably you would hope that this server
> will have a shelf life of 3-5 years in which case I think it may be
> prudent to spend a little more on a motherboard with more than 4
> DIMM slots.

While I've not checked this for the Haswell chipsets, it was certainly
true that the Ivy Bridge chipsets Intel produced for "desktop" use maxed
out at 32Gb of RAM. I can't remember quite whether this forced the
4-slot design, or whether that was an OEM choice related to expected
memory density. Certainly, the price point for 16Gb DIMMs is still
overly high unless you are trying to max out a board, and that's
somewhat moot if your chipset will only allow you 32Gb total.

> Also I must admit I am surprised that in this day and age it doesn't
> support 16G DDR3 DIMMs as they are currently where it's at for RAM,
> with 32G ones to come down in price next..

If you want a board with more than 4 slots, and one that's capable of
taking 16Gb or higher capacity DIMMs, you're probably going to end up
being pushed towards a Xeon CPU and associated chipset, along with the
other goodies like ECC memory. Definitely a better system than what the
OP was suggesting in absolute terms, but for personal testing purposes,
probably not cost effective. There might be a consumer board that
supports more RAM out there, but you're going to have to wade through
the chipset specs to find one that supports > 32Gb, and then find a
board built around it with the appropriate number of DIMM slots. It's
annoyingly difficult to find the actual specs among all the marketing
crap these days, as well.


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