[TriLUG] New computer...finally!

David Burton ncdave4life at gmail.com
Sun Dec 4 15:38:29 EST 2011

On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM, Paul G. Szabady <paul at thyservice.com>
> Greetings,
> I've been looking at new computers and see a number of them that offer
> raided SATA SDD disks.

What does SDD stand for?

> How about differences between Intel and AMD?  I don't want to start a
> religious war, but do people have a preference nowadays or are the issues
> the past history?

The new Intel Sandy Bridge (i3-2xxx, i5=2xxx, i7-2xxx) and AMD Llano Fusion
("A-series") machines both give a nice balance of low power consumption,
integrated graphics, and good CPU performance.  The Intel CPUs tend to be a
little bit faster, but even the very low-end AMD CPUs have full support for
virtualization, which the low-end Intels lack.

You can get a "scratch 'n dent" Dell Inspiron 620 i5-2310 Sandy Bridge
with 8 GB RAM and 1 TB HDD at the Dell Outlet
under $400.  (Note: 3/4
of the machines there have slower i3 CPUs; the i5 is worth waiting for.)  I
got one,
intending to do RAID 1 on it, with Windows.  However, it uses the cheaper
Sandy Bridge chipset, which doesn't support Intel's FakeRAID, instead of the
H67, which does.

So I bought a SiI3132 PCI-e SATA RAID adapter, but the onboard firmware/BIOS
didn't work.  So I bought a Marvell 88SE9128 SATA adapter, but it has the

Well, come to find out (contrary to what two different Dell support reps
this machine has a UEFI BIOS, which is apparently incapable of running the
adapters' onboard BIOS code.

So, no RAID 1 for me, at least until I can find a UEFI-compatible adapter.

But for Linux this machine might be good, since there should be no problem
Linux's software RAID.

One other thing worth mentioning: Dell doesn't bother with a heatsink on the
H61 Southbridge chip on their Inspiron 620 motherboards, even though its
TDP rating is 6.1W and all the Intel boards using these chips do put a small
heatsink on it.  So I added a heatsink on mine; let me know if you need one.


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