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New server to crunch drivers


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Another hobby if mine of late is servers.

I've had an older IBM x235 for a few months to play with and see how they work.

It' got me the server bug.

One day I forgot to unplug the server to plug in a PCI card.

Servers might be switched off but they keep power to the PCI slots.

I smelled some smoke, and of course then the server refused to start.

I then searched for a replacement, and choose the newer IBM xSeries 236.

Still relatively old in technology but good price to tinker with.

This server takes 64bit Processors (which the previous didn't)

Being able to use 64bit OS also means the included 8GB of RAM can be fully used.

The server is now pretty well setup for driver crunching.

It's currently re-compressing all the drivers we have, with 8GB I can squeeze some more compression from 7zip.

Anywho here are the specs of the 50kg 5U beast:

IBM xSeries x236, 5U with rack rails (not tower case as is normal)

2x 3.6Ghz Xeon CPU's, 800Mhz FSB, 1MB cache, HT, EMT64

8GB ECC registered RAM

5x 73GB 15000rpm Hot swap HD's in RAID 5 ~95MB/s

2x36.4GB 15000rpm Hot Swap HD's (boot to these) in RAID ~150MB/s

1x36.4GB 10000rpm Hot Swap HD not used yet. ~60MB/s

256MB ServeRAID 7K SCSI RAID controller

64MB ServeRAID 7t SATA RAID controller

1TB SATA 7200RPM HD ~65MB/s

Dual reduntant 650w power supplies

6 hot swappable fans

I've used the heatsinks from the older 2..8Ghz Xeons as they are sturdier and attach better to the CPU/MB

Grabbed the 3 bay SCSI back plane from the x235.

The 5x15k HD's are from the x235, the 3x36GB drives came with the x236.

Would like to modify the cable/connector to the HD hotswap fans as the x235 are much better, will mean cutting pasting cables, as for some really strange reason IBM changed this plug in the x236.

I'll get a photo of it soon, it's perched in the garage as it makes far too much noise (not as noisy as the x235)

I hope to add my 1TB SATA drive to the mix so I can then run it also as a server for all our computers.

Then finally the 750GB drive to complete the setup with the Media player also attached.

I'll be doing some more WLAN device testing with this rig.

And ofcourse this is what will be used to crunch the drivers and upload them.

Just a little insight into how the drivers are created.

179.53 is the first driver to get the new server compression treatment.


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Sexae~~(referring to the picture, hehe). I am surprised that 1TB 7200 RPM our performed the 36.4GB 10000RPM drive you have there, and the 2x36.4 15000 in RAID are just overkill (other then SSD)

speaking of HDD performance, if you got some big harddrives, but slow ones, you should check out Short Stroking


Sounds pretty convincing.

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