[Bioclusters] what motherboards are people using for dual Athlon boxes?

Steve Gaudet bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Thu, 6 Mar 2003 09:28:33 -0500

Hello Chris,

> Anyone using anything other than Tyan mainboards for dual-AMD cluster
> systems? Anyone with happy/unhappy motherboard related issues with
> AMD-based systems?
> I've got a client who is looking at a bunch of vendor proposals for
> 2.8ghz dual-Xeon cluster systems and several for dual Athlon MP2600+
> systems. One vendor is even quoting MP2800+ cpus which do not
> seem to be officially released yet in volume from AMD. heh.
> Personally I've never had problems with Tyan but the customer has had
> Tyan-related mainboard issues in the past and in general
> seems to feel a slight sense of unease in that 100% of the Athlon-based
> proposals so far are using Tyan boards. They are wondering if there are
any serious
> non-Tyan mainboards available that are suitable for dual-AMD use in a
> technical computing environment. I'm guessing choice is pretty limited.
> What are people here using? Any recommendations? Are the current
> generation dual-AMD server boards from Tyan giving anyone problems?
> Booards that I've seen in some the proposals:
> Compute nodes: (Tyan S2722) & (Tyan S2466N-4M)
> Head nodes   : (Tyan S2469) & (Tyan S2466N-4M)

Having sold both Intel and AMD in the past and now vendor neutral I'll tell
you what I've seen.  Tyan (my feelings here) has anyways been too fast to
release a product and wait for "customers/end users" build then an error
report.  Then and only then do they make changes.  This was seen on their
first release of the dual Thunder K7.  Today, I hear from customers now that
are using them, and they are upset with very slow turn around time on

Two alternatives are ASUS and Gigabyte, both have had good reviews from end

Another choice would be Intel based, either true Intel with the new 7501
chipset or Supermicro.  Intel offers a 3 year warranty on their motherbds.
Supermicro one year.  What I like about Supermicro is they test the heck out
of everything, and "its solid".  Moreover, Intel will tell you off the
record that Supermicro is their biggest competitor.  Reason, good quality,
very aggressive pricing, and they build a complete solution.  Meaning, CASE,
POWER SUPPLY, and MOTHERBD...that's tested!

Other consideration for Intel is Hyperthreading, and the new 7501 chipset
will deliver at least 80% from the second cpu...depending on your code.
Some people won't consider Intel because they don't want to rework their
code.  Understandable, however, those that do see the benefits of the new
Xeon over Athlon.  Some of our customers have seen close to 90% unitization
from the second cpu with the 7501 chipset when their code is performance

My .02.


Stephen Gaudet

Wild Open Source
Bedford, NH 03110