Category Archives: Technology

Ordered the Intel DP67BGB3

I think I snagged the only available Intel DP67BGB3 motherboard from DirectCanada (sister site of NCIX and BestDirect) as moments after I ordered it, the item’s status went to “not available”. NCIX, NewEgg and BestDirect are all out of stock too. However, TigerDirect has the DP67BGB3 in stock albeit at a much higher price.

I should be getting the board sometime this week. I have the i7-2600K processor along with 16GB of Corsair DDR3 Vengeance memory dying to be used. The system will be primarily for application development, running virtual machines and day trading stocks on the side (a lot of technical analysis and charting).

Waiting for the Intel Extreme DP67BG B3 Desktop Board

I have a feel the revised version of Intel’s DP67BG “Burrage” is coming out within the next few days. Searching for “DP67BG B3” on Google is returning some freshly updated results, including a page with the new SKUs of the board on a local retailer’s website. While Asus, Biostar and MSI (just to name a few) have had their boards out for a few weeks now, I rather go with Intel’s offering as I plan to use it in my primary workstation at my office. When it comes to professional workstations, I like to stick with Intel-only components, since they are generally known for stability. That’s not to say everyone else’s boards aren’t stable or low in quality. I don’t want anything to do with overclocking (even though the i7-2600K I have is unlocked… hah!) so my plan is to stick with a “no-frills” motherboard. To be honest, I should be waiting for the Q67 series of motherboards (since they are targeted for business use) but I am impatient.

 

Supermicro’s AOC-SASLP-MV8 and Norco Rackmount Chassis for ZFS

I have a ZFS fileserver at home that has about 8 hard drives serving 5.7 TB of data. I plan to throw in more hard drives soon, but I no longer have free SATA ports on my existing controller card and there’s no room in the chassis for additional drives.

First order of business was to find a suitable controller card for the fileserver. It has to be compatible with OpenSolaris and FreeBSD (planning to switch over operating systems soon). With a bit of shopping around, I came across Supermicro’s AOC-SASLP-MV8 SATA controller card. Supermicro is a very reliable company when it comes to server and workstation products. I say this because I am currently using their AOC-SAT2-MV8 controller card, which is equivalent to the AOC-SASLP-MV8 but in PCI-X 133mhz form. The PCI-X card is readily available, but I would not purchase it again because the form factor is technology that is not widely used anymore. I believe it is already in the process of being phased out in the server market.

Currently, the AOC-SASLP-MV8 is not in stock with the popular retailers (NewEgg, NCIX, BestDirect). The ETA, according to the retailers, is about 1 to 2 weeks. It costs about 100.00$ CDN.

The next step for expanding my ZFS setup is to find a nice rackmount case with 16+ drive bays. I’m going rackmount instead of a pedestal because there will be no “wasted space”. Checking on NewEgg, I found Norco dominating the server chassis offerings. Here’s the ones I am currently deciding on:

The latter two units will require special miniSAS to SATA cables. I think I might end up going with the 24 hot-swappable unit for future-proofing my setup. Now I’ll have to find a suitable power supply to handle 24 hard drives!

Time to Jump on the Sandy Bridge Wagon

After waiting about 3 months for Intel and the various manufacturers to clean up the Sandy Bridge chipset issue, I think it’s finally time to move ahead with my new workstation build. I just bought the Intel i7-2600k processor from BestDirect (a sister website of NCIX, like DirectCanada). BestDirect currently has the best price for the processor, not to mention coupling it with free ground shipping. I should have the CPU by mid next week. Looks like waiting to purchase the processor paid off, as I saved about 30 dollars in costs. :)

I’m waiting for Intel to re-release their LGA 1155 desktop boards now. I’m guessing we should be seeing them within the next two weeks. Presently, MSI, Asus, Gigabyte and Biostar have their B3 revision boards out on NewEgg and other sites, with a whole dozen of them released this past week. Judging by this trend, I’d say Intel will have theirs out soon.

I plan to use this workstation as my main day trading system and run a few small virtual machines for application and website development. I’ll announce my complete build once I have all the components in place.

The 300$ Budget Home and HTPC Computer

If you’re looking for a cheap yet performing computer (something better than an Intel Atom), here’s a build that will satisfy the needs of many people. This is perfect for web surfing, typing up documents and basic everyday computing. This computer is also decent enough for an entry-level HTPC computer, but you will lack storage space and HD video acceleration (for 720p/1080p). Please note that this build does not include the monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers. I would suspect a lot of people have these at home already and are looking for a cheap upgrade.

The above subtotal is 293.94$ CDN. Not bad for a budget computer. Shipping and taxes will depend where you currently live (so add an extra 50$ for an estimate).