Ultimate Linux Box 2004

As four-processor x86-64 boards take over the high end of homebrew PCs, we take a look at the systems you'll be building next year.
Ultimate Linux Box 2004 Hardware
  • Motherboard/chassis: Celestica A8440 (AMD-8131 Chipset)

    High-end motherboards are going to onboard Gigabit Ethernet. As with other server-oriented hardware, all the commonly used chipsets have good Linux support.

  • Memory: 16x PC2700 2048MB ECC REG (32GB)

  • Network interfaces: BCM5704 10/100/1000 x 2

  • RAID: Adaptec ASR2200S

  • Storage: Seagate ST336607LC 36GB U320 SCSI HDD x 4

    These aren't the fastest Seagate drives available, but with 32GB of memory, if we touch them we're either doing something wrong or running a benchmark. It's an easy upgrade to 15,000 RPM drives.

  • Video: Appian Rushmore Quad-DVI PCI

    Appian's Rushmore card offers four displays at up to 2048×1536 resolution. With everything working correctly, that would be 25,165,824 pixels or 32 times the area of a conventional 1024 × 768 screen. At press time, we still were dealing with an interesting issue with XFree86 support for this card. Instead of four displays, we were getting two identical copies of two displays. Check out our Web site for the resolution to the X issue.

  • Audio: Creative Labs SB Audigy

  • Power Supply: 500W Hotswap x 3

  • Miscellaneous: PC Floppy drive, IDE DVD-ROM, USB


With Fedora Core release 1.92 (FC2 Test 3) installed, the Ultimate Linux Box put up good numbers on the benchmarks, as might be expected.

Yes, with this much RAM we took the opportunity to build a kernel in a tmpfs partition. 2.6.4 with all defaults set completed in 1 minute 41 seconds. More detailed benchmark results follow.

Dbench 100:

#/usr/sbin/dbench 100
Throughput 133.97 MB/sec 100 procs


#bonnie++ -s 65536

Openssl Speed:

#openssl -speed

                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa  512 bits   0.0003s   0.0000s   3720.8  42628.2
rsa 1024 bits   0.0010s   0.0001s   1005.9  16850.9
rsa 2048 bits   0.0057s   0.0002s    174.5   5674.7
rsa 4096 bits   0.0375s   0.0006s     26.7   1691.6
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
dsa  512 bits   0.0002s   0.0002s   5506.3   4731.3
dsa 1024 bits   0.0005s   0.0006s   2033.5   1695.7
dsa 2048 bits   0.0016s   0.0019s    641.4    520.0


#hdparm -t /dev/sda

 Timing buffered disk reads:  170 MB in  3.02 seconds =  56.28 MB/sec


This year's Ultimate Linux Box team from Pogo except Don Marti, all are credited as authors of this article. Cosmo King did the hands-on integration, testing, troubleshooting and benchmarking. The text (and errors) was written by Don Marti.

Resources for this article: /article/7614.



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Re: Ultimate Linux Box 2004

Anonymous's picture

does the pcHDTV HD-3000 meet the preban specs?


Anonymous's picture

States: "Neithor card detects the broadcast flag."

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