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Old 1st August 2011
jsmith6134 jsmith6134 is offline
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Default new system - recommend chip sets / motherboards

I would like to put a new AMD64 4.9 system together. My current computer is 4-5 years old. I figure should replace it before it dies. Normally, I just buy a motherboard and assemble the system myself.

I am wondering what the best approach is to getting hardware that is compatible. I saw the ' hardware support' thread by rgb_cn. It said to avoid newer chip sets, on board graphics and nvidia vieo.

My guess is that a lot of the motherboards that are in the stores are probably not supported because the chip sets are within the last 6 months. Does one need to buy motherboard now and tuck away for a year or so?

I am looking at AMD motherboards because I remember seeing various threads about how intel did not implement W^X correctly. I also have the impression that AMD is open source friendly as they donated hardware a ways back. Several of the motherboards that I looked at have AMD 850 or 880 chipsets. I see the following mentioned in the change log for 4.9:

ChangeLog.34:PCI id is shared between the SB600, SB700 and SB800 chipsets.
ChangeLog.34:mention the AMD SB700 and SB800 chipsets.
ChangeLog.34:- rename some SATA entries which are shared between the ATI SB700 and SB800 chipsets
ChangeLog.34:- add some new SATA entries for the ATI SB700 and SB800 chipsets

I tried:

1. man -k on several terms, it did not find anything usefull for various terms that I put in for chip sets. (On 4.9)

2. I also looked at the 'Your OpenBSD Hardware', but there is not a lot there that is recent.

3. Various searches on the web.

I am not looking for super fast video or latest hardware. My current system dual core AMD 64 3800. I certain do not need a video card with fan because that is just a waste for me as my current embedded (hate to say it) nvidia had enough performance for me. I am looking for a system that works reliably and does not have issues. For example, I saw a thread about some hardware that had a very high interrupt rate that causes a bit of a performance issue because it was a bit too new.

Would intel motherboard be better than AMD?

Anyway, just looking for some guidance to get to some specific. If I am not reading something that I should have read, feel free to flame me.
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Old 1st August 2011
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith6134 View Post
My current computer is 4-5 years old. I figure should replace it before it dies.
Some of my hardware is over ten years old, & to date, I haven't had problems. However to make sure I don't get bit, I have some redundancy in my network to minimize any sudden mishap. The biggest issue is to have backups of everything important.
Quote:
It said to avoid newer chip sets, on board graphics and nvidia vieo.
Avoiding nVidia prevents headaches.
Quote:
My guess is that a lot of the motherboards that are in the stores are probably not supported because the chip sets are within the last 6 months. Does one need to buy motherboard now and tuck away for a year or so?
Your premise is not altogether correct, & buying hardware just to shelve it for a few years is ill-advised.

Better answers to your fundamental question are:
  • search archives of the official misc@ mailing list for specific hardware. You may find previous discussions there. Archives can be found at the following:

    http://www.openbsd.org/mail.html
  • buy hardware from vendors/shops which have a well-defined return policy. Be sure you are very clear about the policy's conditions before buying.
  • try -current. Development for OpenBSD 4.9 was completed in mid-February 2011. Lots of work has gone on since then.
Compared to other projects, the OpenBSD project is quite small. The developers don't have access to wickedly insane lists of hardware; all they can do is test on what hardware they have available. All anyone else can do is stay informed by reading misc@ & simply experiment.
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Old 2nd August 2011
shep shep is offline
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If you're in the states NewEgg has a nice feature allowing you to "drill down" by chipsets.
The amd motherboards in this link with 740G and 760G northbridges should work (ATI Radeon 2100 and 3000).
Newegg AMD motherboards as of 1Aug2011
I also asked and got a reply in this forum that Intel NM10 chipset has OpenBSD intel video support (but not FreeBSD). I have not tried an NM10 to verify but I have an older Atom 330 board that runs well. If you want a fan less low power solution this page has some options - The Atom 525 is dual core and 64bit.
NewEgg all-in-one-mobo as of 1Aug2011

Last edited by shep; 2nd August 2011 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 8th August 2011
jsmith6134 jsmith6134 is offline
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Thanks for pointer and the suggestion of the 7xx chip sets.

I found a local store that that had one last gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-S2. I just installed 4.9 amd64. Seem to be working well; this includes the onboard video at 1920x1080.

The only issue that I have noticed so far is that it only sees about 3/8GB of memory as displayed in top and vmstat. I thought that large memory was solved/fixed. I will do some searching around to see whether I can get it to be able to access the rest of the memory.

Anyway, thanks for the help.

Last edited by jsmith6134; 8th August 2011 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 8th August 2011
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith6134 View Post
The only issue that I have noticed so far is that it only sees about 3/8GB of memory as displayed in top and vmstat. I thought that large memory was solved/fixed.
Access to memory above 4GB was enabled in April for amd64:

http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=artic...20110413140750

OpenBSD 4.9-release was tagged in CVS mid-February, so the results you are seeing with 4.9-release are correct. If you need to access all available memory, you can do so by installing -current (only for amd64).
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Old 8th August 2011
jsmith6134 jsmith6134 is offline
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That is the message I remember seeing. I don't need it now, just wanted to make sure that nothing was wrong. I can wait for 5.0 to be released. I will run memory testing for a day or two to ensure all 8GB is OK.
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Old 9th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith6134 View Post
I can wait for 5.0 to be released.
While waiting is your prerogative, installing a snapshot now has one potential benefit: if issues need to be addressed, there is a possibility that the underlying problem can be resolved before the 5.0 code base is frozen in a few weeks. If you wait until the release of 5.0 in November, any unforeseen problem may not be corrected before 5.1 -- which would be formally released in May 2012.
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