Re: Advice on quiet but powerful hardware for Debian
Chris Evans wrote:
So questions I have are:
1) Can anyone recommend any company or consultant who puts together
Debian based systems in the UK?
2) Assuming I do it myself I'm telling myself that it's probably time
to go to SATA, to use at least RAID0 mirroring to minimise risk of
losing things, to push the CPU power as high as I can (dual
processor?) and the RAM up to 1G at least and perhaps to add some DVD
writer for backup (though currently I can get the all the things I
need to backup onto a CD).
I have been thinking of Opteron CPU looking toward Debian64 some day
but perhaps that's a bit distant and a bad basis on which to go that
way. Any recommendations of drives, CPU, RAM and motherboards and
the trade off of quiet/powerful? Reply to me or the list: I'll
collate and summarise. Thanks in advance.
For item one.
Take your existing hard drive and copy it over to another disk. You
have a working installation that you are happy with, why change it?
Even if you are migrating from 10GB to 200GB you can do this.
for item two.
I'm not aware of SATA having any marked advantage over EIDE right now.
But I haven't been paying too much attention to that. The disks are
more expensive (at least in the US) by ~10%.
RAID5 is probably the best or at least most common configuration for
reliable RAID systems and this can be accomplished with EIDE, SATA, or
on some motherboards you can find RAID hardware embedded.
If you are trying to keep things cheap, the 64-bit architecture isn't
it. I figure 32-bit architecture will exist for 5 to 10 years in the
Linux community to a large degree. After that time, you will see an
inflection of support as the 32-bit architecture as new units won't be
sold. But in the Linux community a 10 year old machine is just getting
If you are willing to spend extra money, you can go a long ways in
making a silent or at least quiet machine.
I have an Antec Sonata case which has a 120mm exhaust fan. This goes a
long ways in quieting the system down. My cost was ~US$120. The US$35
case that I bought once cost that much for a reason. It was loud and
flimsy. The flimsy added to the loud. I'm not insisting on brands
here, but you want solid case with the larger, slower fans.
CPU fans can also be made much quieter than many. I have 21dBm fans and
the CPU stays relatively cool throughout the year. Pabst is one brand
that's pretty decent.
Water cooling can be an excellent way to go for silent operation, but
you have to be careful that the designs for radiator + fan don't move
the same cheap loud fan onto your desktop.
Seagate barracuda hard drives are quieter than many I've used, but I
suspect that they are all making inroads towards quiet operation. Keep
in mind that faster hard drives make more noise so steer clear of that
15,000 rpm drive you're eyeing.
quietpc and silentpc are two websites with some basic methods for
keeping the noise down.
If you really want quiet then look into passively cooled water systems
that have no fan at all. They take up real estate as you have to
provide some form of passive radiator. This can be made up of 1/2"
copper pipe or even water baseboard heat plumbing. I suppose if you can
find a nice cast-iron radiator that would work and be a bit interesting
RAM is easy. It's pretty quiet by design. :) So just get lots of it.
I guess 1GB is the new design minimum. But if you aren't swapping out
your system now I wouldn't make it a requirement. But keep an option to
install more RAM so buy one 512MB instead of four 128MB sticks.