Mar 20, 2006
Hey all,

I'm looking to build a 2P Opteron server with 16GB of RAM and a RAID 5 array of SATA HDDs. I need a systemboard with:

2 CPU Sockets
8 DIMM slots
RAID 5 support
RAM expansion for RAID
Support for redundant power supplies. (Not sure if that is supported on a board level or a case level?)

While that seems like a fairly easy setup to come by, I must say I'm not sure what a good board would be. ASUS, Tyan, SuperMicro, ... I've never built a server using server-grade parts. I've only built around an Athlon or Pentium CPU, added a RAID card, and put in 2GB of RAM. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping that I can upgrade to Barcelona towards the end of next year so I'll probably just get a pair of 2212 HEs, but I cant figure out the difference between:


Apr 18, 2007
I'm a big fan of Tyan myself. I've been running this one for over a year, with absolutely no problems. All OS's installed just fine, drivers were easy to find, the manuals are excellent, and the price was reasonable ($500 CAD). I'm using a S2885ANRF (Dual opteron, Dual core supported) which is an older model (only supports DDR not DDR2 RAM).

Their newer models are much nicer and have better features. I would suggest you look into the Thunder line with the S2615 and S2927 a good starting point for your requirements.
Thunder n6650W (S2615) = ~$500 US (32G, DDR, 2000 series, 2P)
S2915A2NRF = (Audio, SATA2/3G, 1 PCI, 4 PCI-E, 2 PCI-X, Firewire, 2 GbE)
Thunder 3600B(S2927) = ~$350 US (32G, DDR2, 2000 series, 2P)
S2927A2NRF = Audio, No video, SATA2/3G, 3 PCI, 2 PCI-E, Firewire, 2 GbE)

Using DDR RAM instead of DDR can be cheaper but has a performance penalty.

If you have lots of money, have a look at the S4985, the MB itself is over a $1,000, but it can expand up to 8 chips, with a total of 16 processors.
Thunder n4250QE(S4985) = ~$1100 (64G, DDR2, 8000 series, 8P)

Have a look at this for processor information :,,30_118_8796_14266,00.html?redir=CP8501

About your NewEgg question. One of the processors is a single core, the more expensive one is a Dual Core (2 processors in 1 chip). Good deal from what I know on the price.

Have fun.