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Re: Advice on quiet but powerful hardware for Debian

Tom Allison wrote:
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).

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.

This won't work if the hardware is significantly different. A Debian woody system for example won't work with SATA drives without modification. But it's an excellent idea if the hardware is compatible.

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%.

Here in the UK, the price difference is more like 5%. As to advantages, SATA have a 150 MBps interface instead of 100 MBps for PATA/EIDE and they can be hot plugged. And the wiring is a whole lot easier/prettier. There are also some 10,000 rpm drives but I don't know much about those. The biggest negative is finding a controller/driver/kernel combination that works reliably. google this list and the suse list for sata.

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.

Again, check model numbers carefully if you're using SATA drives.

If you are trying to keep things cheap, the 64-bit architecture isn't it.


If you are willing to spend extra money, you can go a long ways in making a silent or at least quiet machine.

Make sure you get quiet or non-existent case, power supply, CPU and graphics card fans. Get sound-deadening material for the case and for the disk drives.

Seagate barracuda hard drives are quieter than many I've used,

I use these and have no complaints.

quietpc and silentpc are two websites with some basic methods for keeping the noise down.

Good sites. We use <http://www.woc.co.uk/silent4.aspx> because we happen to be in Cambridge. They will install and test various Linux flavours but generally won't warrant that everything works.

But keep an option to install more RAM so buy one 512MB instead of four 128MB sticks.

I'd guess 1 GB sticks are optimal for a fairly powerful machine at present.

Cheers, Dave

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