from 4GB of mem to 8GB - Hardware

This is a discussion on from 4GB of mem to 8GB - Hardware ; Hi to all c.o.l.h.'ers, In late 2006 I bought a *cheap* desktop system that has worked flawlessly, with 4 GB of RAM. I put emphasis on the "cheap" side, because I want, once again, to buy a cheap system... But ...

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  1. from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    Hi to all c.o.l.h.'ers,

    In late 2006 I bought a *cheap* desktop system that has worked
    flawlessly, with 4 GB of RAM.

    I put emphasis on the "cheap" side, because I want, once again,
    to buy a cheap system...

    But this time I want it to support 8 GB of RAM and I wanted
    to know if anyone here could share the exact hardware setup
    and software setup (distro / kernel) he has running a 'desktop'
    Linux PC with 8 GB of memory.

    Here's my current setup:

    - Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem)
    - Core 2 Duo E6300
    - 4 GB of Kingston 533 memory

    I've used that system basically daily for 18 months and I think
    I rebooted it maybe 4 times or so (current uptime being only
    3 months, for I moved it to another room).

    It's really more a 'workstation' than a desktop (for example
    I never bothered to configure the sound on it: it's really
    a machine I use just for work).

    This setup as been rock-stable-solid (that is I never had any
    problem other than occasionnally "kill -9'ing" Firefox-the-pig
    after I let it running for weeks, with tens of tabs).

    It has been running on Debian etch with a custom-build
    32 bit non-PAE kernel:

    Linux saturne 2.6.16.33 #1 SMP ... i686 GNU/Linux

    I also made a lots of test with Xen using hardware virtualization
    and everything was working really well (now I only use Xen on my
    SVN, Samba, NFS, Squid, etc. server which is a separate machine).

    I'm not using Xen on this machine anymore, but I'm constantly
    running Windows XP inside VMWare's free vmplayer (and I do
    need to run Windows XP all the time).

    I was thinking about the following setup:

    - Asus mb P5B-VM SE (chipset G965) (73 Euros)
    - Core 2 Duo E6320
    - 8 GB of 667 Kingston memory (200 Euros)

    Since 4 or 5 "generations" I've been using Asus mobo's, Intel CPUs
    and Kingston memory and I've always been very happy with these
    brands so I'd rather stick with that.

    Is anyone running such a cheap 8 GB setup as a 'desktop' Linux ?

    What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the
    64 bit route ?

    Will VMWare's vmplayer run fine on a 64 bit Linux ?

    I don't want to go the server/ECC route. I want something cheap
    that will work as flawlessly as my previous 4 GB setup was.

    I need a Core 2 Duo E6320 setup that supports 8 GB of non-ECC mem
    and that supports hardware virtualization (just in case in want
    to go back to Xen and/or KVM).

    Any help, hints, tips, gotchas from anyone here currently running
    a Core 2 Duo with 8 GB desktop/workstation Linux on cheap hardware
    are very welcome,

    Thanks and see you here,

    Alex

  2. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 13:46:33 -0800, alexandre_paterson wrote:

    > Hi to all c.o.l.h.'ers,
    >
    > In late 2006 I bought a *cheap* desktop system that has worked
    > flawlessly, with 4 GB of RAM.
    >
    > I put emphasis on the "cheap" side, because I want, once again, to buy a
    > cheap system...
    >
    > But this time I want it to support 8 GB of RAM and I wanted to know if
    > anyone here could share the exact hardware setup and software setup
    > (distro / kernel) he has running a 'desktop' Linux PC with 8 GB of
    > memory.
    >
    > Here's my current setup:
    >
    > - Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem) - Core 2 Duo E6300
    > - 4 GB of Kingston 533 memory
    >
    > I've used that system basically daily for 18 months and I think I
    > rebooted it maybe 4 times or so (current uptime being only 3 months, for
    > I moved it to another room).
    >
    > It's really more a 'workstation' than a desktop (for example I never
    > bothered to configure the sound on it: it's really a machine I use just
    > for work).
    >
    > This setup as been rock-stable-solid (that is I never had any problem
    > other than occasionnally "kill -9'ing" Firefox-the-pig after I let it
    > running for weeks, with tens of tabs).
    >
    > It has been running on Debian etch with a custom-build 32 bit non-PAE
    > kernel:
    >
    > Linux saturne 2.6.16.33 #1 SMP ... i686 GNU/Linux
    >
    > I also made a lots of test with Xen using hardware virtualization and
    > everything was working really well (now I only use Xen on my SVN, Samba,
    > NFS, Squid, etc. server which is a separate machine).
    >
    > I'm not using Xen on this machine anymore, but I'm constantly running
    > Windows XP inside VMWare's free vmplayer (and I do need to run Windows
    > XP all the time).
    >
    > I was thinking about the following setup:
    >
    > - Asus mb P5B-VM SE (chipset G965) (73 Euros) - Core 2 Duo E6320
    > - 8 GB of 667 Kingston memory (200 Euros)
    >
    > Since 4 or 5 "generations" I've been using Asus mobo's, Intel CPUs and
    > Kingston memory and I've always been very happy with these brands so I'd
    > rather stick with that.
    >
    > Is anyone running such a cheap 8 GB setup as a 'desktop' Linux ?
    >
    > What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the 64 bit
    > route ?
    >
    > Will VMWare's vmplayer run fine on a 64 bit Linux ?
    >
    > I don't want to go the server/ECC route. I want something cheap that
    > will work as flawlessly as my previous 4 GB setup was.
    >
    > I need a Core 2 Duo E6320 setup that supports 8 GB of non-ECC mem and
    > that supports hardware virtualization (just in case in want to go back
    > to Xen and/or KVM).
    >
    > Any help, hints, tips, gotchas from anyone here currently running a Core
    > 2 Duo with 8 GB desktop/workstation Linux on cheap hardware are very
    > welcome,
    >
    > Thanks and see you here,
    >
    > Alex


    My recommendation is that you buy DDR2 800 memory instead of DDR2 667,
    the price is almost the same and it will give you more timing margin if
    you run it at 667 or 533 instead of 800. 2G DIMMs are double sided so
    they present twice the load as a single sided DIMM which can lead to
    problems. I'm using 8G of GSKILL DDR2 800 RAM running at 601MHz in my
    system (the 601 is because I'm overclocking my 6700 to 3GHz, the basic
    clock is set to 300 instead of 266, if you multiply 533 * 300/266 you get
    601). My system has been running 24/7 for 15 months without a problem.

    With 8G you will definitely want to switch to a 64 bit kernel.


  3. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Jan 31, 10:02 pm, General Schvantzkopf
    wrote:
    ..
    ..
    ..
    > My recommendation is that you buy DDR2 800 memory instead of DDR2 667,
    > the price is almost the same and it will give you more timing margin if
    > you run it at 667 or 533 instead of 800. 2G DIMMs are double sided so
    > they present twice the load as a single sided DIMM which can lead to
    > problems. I'm using 8G of GSKILL DDR2 800 RAM running at 601MHz in my
    > system (the 601 is because I'm overclocking my 6700 to 3GHz, the basic
    > clock is set to 300 instead of 266, if you multiply 533 * 300/266 you get
    > 601).


    Thanks for that info... I was thinking of Kingston's KVR667D2N5K2/4G
    but then I'll consider the KVR800D2N5K2/4G.

    I was thinking about these modules because they're listed as
    compatible
    with both the Asus P5B-VM mobo and Intel's "Desktop Board DG965WH"
    which I'm also considering (tough I've read strange thing about people
    being
    forced to run the 8 GB at 667 if they were using 8 GB on that Intel
    chipset).


    > My system has been running 24/7 for 15 months without a problem.


    And what system would that be ? Mobo / CPU ?





  4. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Thu, 2008-01-31 at 13:46 -0800, alexandre_paterson@yahoo.fr wrote:
    ....
    >
    > What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the
    > 64 bit route ?


    64-bit IMHO

    >
    > Will VMWare's vmplayer run fine on a 64 bit Linux ?


    Runs fine. I use a 4way Opteron right now.

    >
    > I don't want to go the server/ECC route. I want something cheap
    > that will work as flawlessly as my previous 4 GB setup was.
    >
    > I need a Core 2 Duo E6320 setup that supports 8 GB of non-ECC mem
    > and that supports hardware virtualization (just in case in want
    > to go back to Xen and/or KVM).
    >
    > Any help, hints, tips, gotchas from anyone here currently running
    > a Core 2 Duo with 8 GB desktop/workstation Linux on cheap hardware
    > are very welcome,


    My 4-way Opteron box with 4G (not 8G, but obviously I see the whole
    4G) with 300G SATA and DVDRW is housed in a SFF box with a Nvidia
    7600 GS and a fibre HBA (both PCIe). Total cost today... probably
    around $2K. But it's overkill for what you are looking at. There's
    about a $800 premium for the SFF.

    I run openSUSE 10.2 currently... may move to 10.3 shortly. I often
    times run 5-6 VM's under VMware on it. Running everything from
    W2K SBS to Solaris. Even my more limited memory config is more
    than enough horse power (though I do have dual dual cores... which
    is better than a single quad... usually...).

    The only other gotcha is a few 32-bit isms. That's mainly with
    Firefox add-ons (e.g. Java, CrossOver Shockwave)... you can always
    install the 32bit version of Firefox to get around those limitations
    (along with installing the other 32bit dependent pieces).




  5. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 14:12:18 -0800, alexandre_paterson wrote:

    > On Jan 31, 10:02 pm, General Schvantzkopf
    > wrote:
    > .
    > .
    > .
    >> My recommendation is that you buy DDR2 800 memory instead of DDR2 667,
    >> the price is almost the same and it will give you more timing margin if
    >> you run it at 667 or 533 instead of 800. 2G DIMMs are double sided so
    >> they present twice the load as a single sided DIMM which can lead to
    >> problems. I'm using 8G of GSKILL DDR2 800 RAM running at 601MHz in my
    >> system (the 601 is because I'm overclocking my 6700 to 3GHz, the basic
    >> clock is set to 300 instead of 266, if you multiply 533 * 300/266 you
    >> get 601).

    >
    > Thanks for that info... I was thinking of Kingston's KVR667D2N5K2/4G
    > but then I'll consider the KVR800D2N5K2/4G.
    >
    > I was thinking about these modules because they're listed as compatible
    > with both the Asus P5B-VM mobo and Intel's "Desktop Board DG965WH" which
    > I'm also considering (tough I've read strange thing about people being
    > forced to run the 8 GB at 667 if they were using 8 GB on that Intel
    > chipset).
    >
    >
    >> My system has been running 24/7 for 15 months without a problem.

    >
    > And what system would that be ? Mobo / CPU ?
    >
    >


    I'm using an AB9Pro. I had a lot of Linux issues with it originally but
    everything is OK now. A BIOS update fixed the speed governor problems and
    the latest kernels handle the ethernet controllers. However this board is
    a 965 board which is obsolete. You want something that can run with at
    least a 1333 FSB and preferably at 1600 FSB so that you can use a Penryn.

  6. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    alexandre_paterson@yahoo.fr writes:
    >Hi to all c.o.l.h.'ers,
    >
    >In late 2006 I bought a *cheap* desktop system that has worked
    >flawlessly, with 4 GB of RAM.
    >
    >I put emphasis on the "cheap" side, because I want, once again,
    >to buy a cheap system...
    >
    >But this time I want it to support 8 GB of RAM and I wanted

    ....
    >- Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem)


    Why do you think that it supports only 4GB? AFAIK it has 4 DDR2 slots
    and should be able to support 8GB. Then the cheapest approach would
    be to buy 4 2GB DIMMs and put them in the existing machine (even if
    that does not work out, you will need the 4 DIMMs for another board).

    >What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the
    >64 bit route ?


    I would use a 64-bit kernel even if you want to run a 32-bit userland:
    more address space for the 32-bit applications, you can run a 64-bit
    userland in a chroot, and it's probably slightly more efficient.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  7. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Feb 1, 11:00 am, an...@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl)
    wrote:
    ..
    ..
    ..
    > >- Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem)

    >
    > Why do you think that it supports only 4GB? AFAIK it has 4 DDR2 slots
    > and should be able to support 8GB. Then the cheapest approach would
    > be to buy 4 2GB DIMMs and put them in the existing machine (even if
    > that does not work out, you will need the 4 DIMMs for another board).


    On Asus's website all the P5LD2 (V, VM, VM SE, VM DH) are
    listed as supporting max 4 GB of memory and 18 months ago
    before buying mine I did research on this. They do not support
    4 x 2 GB mems.

    If you go to, say, Kingston's website and ask which ram are
    compatible for Asus's P5LD2s they will not list any 2 GB module
    (the only 2 GB they propose are kits of 2x1 GB modules).

    It's even worse than that : out of the 4 GB some are unavailable,
    no matter what you do. It's a BIOS limitation. No BIOS fix, no
    workaround.

    So out of my 4 GB I've got 'only' 3.7 accessible.



    > >What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the
    > >64 bit route ?

    >
    > I would use a 64-bit kernel even if you want to run a 32-bit userland:
    > more address space for the 32-bit applications, you can run a 64-bit
    > userland in a chroot, and it's probably slightly more efficient.


    Very interesting, thanks for the input.

  8. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On 2008-02-01 12:00, Anton Ertl wrote:
    > alexandre_paterson@yahoo.fr writes:
    >>Hi to all c.o.l.h.'ers,
    >>
    >>In late 2006 I bought a *cheap* desktop system that has worked
    >>flawlessly, with 4 GB of RAM.
    >>
    >>I put emphasis on the "cheap" side, because I want, once again,
    >>to buy a cheap system...
    >>
    >>But this time I want it to support 8 GB of RAM and I wanted

    > ...
    >>- Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem)

    >
    > Why do you think that it supports only 4GB? AFAIK it has 4 DDR2 slots
    > and should be able to support 8GB. Then the cheapest approach would
    > be to buy 4 2GB DIMMs and put them in the existing machine (even if
    > that does not work out, you will need the 4 DIMMs for another board).
    >
    >>What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the
    >>64 bit route ?

    >
    > I would use a 64-bit kernel even if you want to run a 32-bit userland:
    > more address space for the 32-bit applications, you can run a 64-bit
    > userland in a chroot, and it's probably slightly more efficient.
    >
    > - anton


    The 4GB max memory limit is due to the Intel 945P controller.
    see: http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/945p/index.htm

    You need another motherboard to go higher.

    /Rolf

  9. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 05:07:11 -0800, alexandre_paterson wrote:

    > On Feb 1, 11:00 am, an...@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) wrote:
    > .
    > .
    > .
    >> >- Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem)

    >>
    >> Why do you think that it supports only 4GB? AFAIK it has 4 DDR2 slots
    >> and should be able to support 8GB. Then the cheapest approach would be
    >> to buy 4 2GB DIMMs and put them in the existing machine (even if that
    >> does not work out, you will need the 4 DIMMs for another board).

    >
    > On Asus's website all the P5LD2 (V, VM, VM SE, VM DH) are listed as
    > supporting max 4 GB of memory and 18 months ago before buying mine I did
    > research on this. They do not support 4 x 2 GB mems.
    >
    > If you go to, say, Kingston's website and ask which ram are compatible
    > for Asus's P5LD2s they will not list any 2 GB module (the only 2 GB they
    > propose are kits of 2x1 GB modules).
    >
    > It's even worse than that : out of the 4 GB some are unavailable, no
    > matter what you do. It's a BIOS limitation. No BIOS fix, no
    > workaround.
    >
    > So out of my 4 GB I've got 'only' 3.7 accessible.
    >
    >
    >
    >> >What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the 64 bit
    >> >route ?

    >>
    >> I would use a 64-bit kernel even if you want to run a 32-bit userland:
    >> more address space for the 32-bit applications, you can run a 64-bit
    >> userland in a chroot, and it's probably slightly more efficient.

    >
    > Very interesting, thanks for the input.


    Does the BIOS have something called Memory Hole Remaping? My MSI A64
    boards have a couple of options for Memory Hole Remaping which moves the
    IOMMU above the RAM which allows you to use 4G of memory. My Abit AB9Pro
    Core2 board doesn't have any options in this area, it handles large
    memory by default.

    As for 64 bit Linux, it just works. I've been running 64 bit Fedora for
    years and there isn't anything that doesn't work for a desktop system. As
    long as you have 32 bit libraries as well as 64 bit libraries you can run
    32 bit applications. I run 32 bit Firefox because there is no 64 bit Java
    plugin, it works just fine, it also runs the 32 bit Windows codecs just
    fine using the mplayer plugin. The only place where there can be problems
    is if you have a device that lacks a kernel driver, for example a
    Broadcom WiFI card.

  10. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    alexandre_paterson@yahoo.fr writes:
    >On Asus's website all the P5LD2 (V, VM, VM SE, VM DH) are
    >listed as supporting max 4 GB of memory and 18 months ago
    >before buying mine I did research on this. They do not support
    >4 x 2 GB mems.
    >
    >If you go to, say, Kingston's website and ask which ram are
    >compatible for Asus's P5LD2s they will not list any 2 GB module
    >(the only 2 GB they propose are kits of 2x1 GB modules).


    It may be that 2GB DIMMs were not available and could not be tested at
    the time when the P5LD2 was current, so you still might buy first the
    2GB DIMMs (that you have to buy anyway), and try them in your existing
    board, and only buy a new board if the present one doesn't work with
    them.

    Also, especially if you want cheap, I don't see a reason why you need
    to buy an E6320 when you already have an E6300.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  11. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    Rolf Blom writes:
    >The 4GB max memory limit is due to the Intel 945P controller.
    >see: http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/945p/index.htm


    Looking at the data sheet
    , I see:

    On one hand:

    Maximum memory size: 4 GB for [...] 82945P MCH (page 24).


    On the other hand:

    4 chip selects per channel (Page 36, 37).
    Supports [...] 1-Gb DDR2 technologies for x8 [...] devices (page 24).
    Directly supports [...] two channels of memory (each channel
    consisting of 64 data lines) (page 24).

    Now I compute: 8 1Gb x8 devices means that one can have 1GB per chip
    select, i.e., 4 GB per channel, i.e. 8GB total.

    So, if you buy 2GB DIMMs that have 16 chips and use two chip selects
    (sometimes called dual-sided), you may get 8GB to work. The official
    4GB limitation might just be marketing for higher-end chipsets.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  12. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    > Also, especially if you want cheap, I don't see a reason why you need
    > to buy an E6320 when you already have an E6300.


    My mistake I haven't been clear : I'm not looking into 'upgrading' my
    system, which would be silly...

    But I've got the opportunity to sell my old system and I'm willing
    to add a few bucks to build me a whole new machine, preferrably
    a Core 2 Duo with 8GB of ram.

    I'm really curious : does anyone here run a 64 bit Linux with 8 GB
    of ram on one these boards (the specs for all these boards allow
    up to 8 GB), or something similar :

    Asus P5B (chipset G965)
    Intel Desktop Board DG965WH
    Intel Desktop Board D975XBX2 (more expensive but I may go that route)

    But on a second thought I may go the ECC route... I saw the
    price difference wasn't that important.

    So maybe that I'll go with the 975X chipset, supporting up to 8 GB
    of either ECC or non-ECC memory.

    Oh well, I may post a "cheapest 8 GB ECC desktop Linux setup" in
    the group one of these days

    Talk to you soon and thanks for the infos,

    Alex





  13. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On 2008-02-01, alexandre_paterson@yahoo.fr wrote:

    > It's even worse than that : out of the 4 GB some are unavailable,
    > no matter what you do. It's a BIOS limitation. No BIOS fix, no
    > workaround.
    >
    > So out of my 4 GB I've got 'only' 3.7 accessible.


    Is this running 64-bit linux or 32-bit linux?

    --

    John (john@os2.dhs.org)

  14. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Feb 1, 10:55 pm, John Thompson wrote:
    > On 2008-02-01, alexandre_pater...@yahoo.fr wrote:
    >
    > > It's even worse than that : out of the 4 GB some are unavailable,
    > > no matter what you do. It's a BIOS limitation. No BIOS fix, no
    > > workaround.

    >
    > > So out of my 4 GB I've got 'only' 3.7 accessible.

    >
    > Is this running 64-bit linux or 32-bit linux?


    32 bit Linux *but* this is a very well known BIOS limitation
    of this board/chipset. Same 'problem' under Windows.

    I want to add that, to me, 3.7 out of 4 GB is perfectly fine,
    I've been using it like that since 18 months.

    I'm not that interested in taking time reclaiming those 0.3 GB,
    especially since I'm 99.9% positive that it is a BIOS limitation
    that, on this board/chipset, you simply can't bypass.

    I'm seriously looking at buying a new system, one which support
    8 GB of ram and it is not because of these lost 0.3 GB



  15. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB


    wrote in message
    news:7bd6ec0e-4ce9-48aa-a5f4-e7b5cacf5024@k2g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
    > On Feb 1, 10:55 pm, John Thompson wrote:
    >> On 2008-02-01, alexandre_pater...@yahoo.fr
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> > It's even worse than that : out of the 4 GB some are unavailable,
    >> > no matter what you do. It's a BIOS limitation. No BIOS fix, no
    >> > workaround.

    >>
    >> > So out of my 4 GB I've got 'only' 3.7 accessible.

    >>
    >> Is this running 64-bit linux or 32-bit linux?

    >
    > 32 bit Linux *but* this is a very well known BIOS limitation
    > of this board/chipset. Same 'problem' under Windows.


    Have you tried 64 bit to see what happens?



  16. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 13:46:33 -0800, alexandre_paterson wrote:

    > Hi to all c.o.l.h.'ers,
    >
    > In late 2006 I bought a *cheap* desktop system that has worked
    > flawlessly, with 4 GB of RAM.
    >
    > I put emphasis on the "cheap" side, because I want, once again, to buy a
    > cheap system...
    >
    > But this time I want it to support 8 GB of RAM and I wanted to know if
    > anyone here could share the exact hardware setup and software setup
    > (distro / kernel) he has running a 'desktop' Linux PC with 8 GB of
    > memory.
    >
    > Here's my current setup:
    >
    > - Asus mb P5LD2 (allowing max 4 GB of mem) - Core 2 Duo E6300
    > - 4 GB of Kingston 533 memory
    >
    > I've used that system basically daily for 18 months and I think I
    > rebooted it maybe 4 times or so (current uptime being only 3 months, for
    > I moved it to another room).
    >
    > It's really more a 'workstation' than a desktop (for example I never
    > bothered to configure the sound on it: it's really a machine I use just
    > for work).
    >
    > This setup as been rock-stable-solid (that is I never had any problem
    > other than occasionnally "kill -9'ing" Firefox-the-pig after I let it
    > running for weeks, with tens of tabs).
    >
    > It has been running on Debian etch with a custom-build 32 bit non-PAE
    > kernel:
    >
    > Linux saturne 2.6.16.33 #1 SMP ... i686 GNU/Linux
    >
    > I also made a lots of test with Xen using hardware virtualization and
    > everything was working really well (now I only use Xen on my SVN, Samba,
    > NFS, Squid, etc. server which is a separate machine).
    >
    > I'm not using Xen on this machine anymore, but I'm constantly running
    > Windows XP inside VMWare's free vmplayer (and I do need to run Windows
    > XP all the time).
    >
    > I was thinking about the following setup:
    >
    > - Asus mb P5B-VM SE (chipset G965) (73 Euros) - Core 2 Duo E6320
    > - 8 GB of 667 Kingston memory (200 Euros)
    >
    > Since 4 or 5 "generations" I've been using Asus mobo's, Intel CPUs and
    > Kingston memory and I've always been very happy with these brands so I'd
    > rather stick with that.
    >
    > Is anyone running such a cheap 8 GB setup as a 'desktop' Linux ?
    >
    > What are the gotcha's ? Should I go the 32 bit + PAE or the 64 bit
    > route ?
    >
    > Will VMWare's vmplayer run fine on a 64 bit Linux ?
    >
    > I don't want to go the server/ECC route. I want something cheap that
    > will work as flawlessly as my previous 4 GB setup was.
    >
    > I need a Core 2 Duo E6320 setup that supports 8 GB of non-ECC mem and
    > that supports hardware virtualization (just in case in want to go back
    > to Xen and/or KVM).
    >
    > Any help, hints, tips, gotchas from anyone here currently running a Core
    > 2 Duo with 8 GB desktop/workstation Linux on cheap hardware are very
    > welcome,
    >
    > Thanks and see you here,
    >
    > Alex


    If I were you I'd get a P35 based board that supports a 1600 FSB, that
    way you'll be able to upgrade to a Penryn when you are ready. You can use
    your current processor and memory on a P35 board. I'd wait on the
    processor upgrade until Penryns become plentiful, Intel has only released
    a couple of Penryns which leads to the suspicion that they are waiting
    for a mask spin before they start shipping them in volume. When you see a
    lot of choices for Penryns that will be a signal that Intel is
    comfortable with them.

    When choosing a board, look for one that has a lot of reviews on Newegg.
    Also search for the word Linux in the reviews so you'll know if there are
    any issues.

  17. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    alexandre_paterson@yahoo.fr writes:
    >But I've got the opportunity to sell my old system and I'm willing
    >to add a few bucks to build me a whole new machine, preferrably
    >a Core 2 Duo with 8GB of ram.
    >
    >I'm really curious : does anyone here run a 64 bit Linux with 8 GB
    >of ram on one these boards (the specs for all these boards allow
    >up to 8 GB), or something similar :
    >
    >Asus P5B (chipset G965)
    >Intel Desktop Board DG965WH
    >Intel Desktop Board D975XBX2 (more expensive but I may go that route)
    >
    >But on a second thought I may go the ECC route... I saw the
    >price difference wasn't that important.
    >
    >So maybe that I'll go with the 975X chipset, supporting up to 8 GB
    >of either ECC or non-ECC memory.


    The 975X is pretty ancient. There are newer chipsets for
    single-socket Core2 (aka Xeon 3000/3200) based servers out there; the
    most recent seem to be the Intel 3200 and 3210 chipsets. And you
    might also consider Athlon 64 X2 (aka Operon 1xxx) based boards, since
    you are not looking for performance currently beyond AMDs reach.

    Anyway, concerning experience:

    We have two machines based on the Supermicro PDSME+ with a Xeon 3070
    (aka Core 2 Duo E6700) CPU and 8GB ECC RAM each running Debian Etch
    AMD64. These machines are very stable; the current uptime of these
    machines is 130 days (each:-), and I don't think they ever crashed on
    us; however, there was a problem with the CPU fan control on these
    boards: <2007Nov3.082246@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at>.

    We also have a very stable single-socket machine with an Athlon 64 X2
    CPU based on the Tyan S2865 Tomcat K8E running Debian Etch AMD64; but
    this machine has only 4GB ECC RAM, because it is from the pre-DDR2
    days. The current uptime of this machine is 292 days.

    You would buy newer board designs, but if you buy from Tyan or
    Supermicro, I would expect them to be similarly stable. Single-socket
    server boards of this kind cost around EUR200-250.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  18. Re: from 4GB of mem to 8GB

    On 2008-02-01 15:39, Anton Ertl wrote:
    > Rolf Blom writes:
    >>The 4GB max memory limit is due to the Intel 945P controller.
    >>see: http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/945p/index.htm

    >
    > Looking at the data sheet
    > , I see:
    >
    > On one hand:
    >
    > Maximum memory size: 4 GB for [...] 82945P MCH (page 24).
    >
    >
    > On the other hand:
    >
    > 4 chip selects per channel (Page 36, 37).
    > Supports [...] 1-Gb DDR2 technologies for x8 [...] devices (page 24).
    > Directly supports [...] two channels of memory (each channel
    > consisting of 64 data lines) (page 24).
    >
    > Now I compute: 8 1Gb x8 devices means that one can have 1GB per chip
    > select, i.e., 4 GB per channel, i.e. 8GB total.
    >
    > So, if you buy 2GB DIMMs that have 16 chips and use two chip selects
    > (sometimes called dual-sided), you may get 8GB to work. The official
    > 4GB limitation might just be marketing for higher-end chipsets.
    >
    > - anton



    The notes in chapter 9: 'System Address Map' (pg 205 ff) also explicitly
    states max as 4GB for 82945G/P, and chapter 10.2.2: 'Dram technologies
    and organization' (pg 226 ff) talks about 8GB being unadressable, in
    spite of a possible population with such memory (pg 228):

    quote:
    ------
    By using 1Gb technology, the largest memory capacity is 8 GB (16K rows *
    1K columns * 1 cell/(row * column) * 8 b/cell * 8 banks/device * 8
    devices/rank * 4 ranks/channel * 2 channel *1M/(K*K) * 1G/1024M * 1B/8b
    = 8 GB). Using 8 GB of memory is only possible in Interleaved mode with
    all ranks populated at maximum capacity. The Intel 82945G GMCH and
    82894P MCH are limited to 4 GB of address space. Any memory in the
    system beyond 4 GB cannot be addressed and should not be populated due
    to the additional loading it places on the memory subsystem.
    ----------
    end quote.

    The host bus interface is also only for 32bit addressing, and I found no
    internal registers useful for adressing of more memory than 4GB through
    this device from the host (cpu) side.

    /Rolf

  19. Q: 32-bit systems and large RAM

    General Schvantzkopf wrote:
    > With 8G you will definitely want to switch to a 64 bit kernel.


    Can you explain? This is not a trick question, I just thought that
    32-bit systems can go to 64 gigs with PAE.

    In fact I will shortly be setting up a linux server with 4 dual-core
    CPUs and 32G of RAM for simulation and analysis. I use some
    third-party software for which 32-bit versions are very stable
    and well-tested, but 64-bit versions are new and can have warts,
    so I somewhat prefer a 32-bit setup.

    What traps I would be stepping into if I went with a 32-bit system?

    --
    Alex

  20. Re: Q: 32-bit systems and large RAM

    On Tue, 05 Feb 2008 10:42:38 -0500, alex wrote:

    > General Schvantzkopf wrote:
    >> With 8G you will definitely want to switch to a 64 bit kernel.

    >
    > Can you explain? This is not a trick question, I just thought that
    > 32-bit systems can go to 64 gigs with PAE.
    >
    > In fact I will shortly be setting up a linux server with 4 dual-core
    > CPUs and 32G of RAM for simulation and analysis. I use some third-party
    > software for which 32-bit versions are very stable and well-tested, but
    > 64-bit versions are new and can have warts, so I somewhat prefer a
    > 32-bit setup.
    >
    > What traps I would be stepping into if I went with a 32-bit system?


    32 bit systems can use 64G of RAM when you use PAE, however each thread
    is limited to 4G.

    You should be able to run the 32 bit version of your simulation software
    on a 64 bit system, I do that with NCverilog because the 32 bit version
    is faster.

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