24x7x365, 11 yrs, BP6 2xPPGA366 @550, original caps

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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:31 pm

24x7x365, 11 yrs, BP6 2xPPGA366 @550, original caps

Post by HardwareFreak »

Long time BP6 owner, new member, first post. If it's too long winded jump straight to the pics below. Dunno how but didn't find BP6.com until now. Bought my board used from Ebay in 2002 for $100 USD. Dropped in two BOX PPGA Mendocino 366s I'd had lying around and two 64MB DIMMs. I couldn't get them to run stable at 100MHz FSB/550 core, so I set the bus to 91MHz for 500MHz core speed. The Sanyo Denki fans on both were still running fine at 8 years when I replaced them, though noiser. See replacement coolers in pics below.

I built this machine for a single purpose, running seti@home on two ~500MHz CPUs 24x7x365 on Debian Linux. The CPUs were at 100% load, 37% overclock, for about 3 years, only idle when the SETI data server was offline or no work units were available. I stopped doing SETI ~2005 and deployed the box as a Postfix gateway. In 2009 I decided to ditch my aging NT4/Exchange 5.5/file server. I added a Sil 3512 SATA card and a WD 500GB AAKS drive from Newegg and migrated everything over. To the Postfix workload I've progressivly added the Dovecot IMAP server, a local caching DNS resolver called PDNS Recursor, Lighttpd web server, Roundcube webmail server, and Samba. I'm now down from 2 servers in my home office to one, the BP6. It's been running 24x7x365 since 2002 but for maintenance and cleaning, in the same server chassis with the same 350W PSU, though the PSU and case fans have been replaced many times. Every time I add a new workload I assume she'll start slowing down. Hasn't happened. This server's response times are instant. My only gripe is network throughput, hovering at 8.5MB/s for Samba, 12MB/s for FTP, limited by the 100FDX NIC. I'll soon have a GbE card, likely Intel, which should kick this up to 30-50MB/s for single stream transfers, about 4-6 fold.

The board is all original, same caps, VRMs, etc. A couple of the caps do have a slight bulge but no leakage, and the system is still rock solid, even running two instances of burnp6 (a Linux app written in Intel assembler for P6 CPUs, for melting CPUs). I attribute the ~11 year longevity of the board, the caps, to the excellent front-to-back airflow of this chassis, as you'll see in the pics. Oh, and keeping the CPUs super cool is no longer a problem, aided by this front-to-back airflow. :mrgreen:

After installing the new coolers I was able to run these Mendocinos stable at 583MHz at 2.05V, 106x5.5, indefinitely with burnp6 on each CPU. The CPUs or memory wig out at 589/107MHz, probably the CPUs as I didn't try higher voltage. But alas, I couldn't keep 583MHz core, or anything over 550, because the cheap SATA card went wonky. It wigs out with a 34MHz PCI clock, which is within engineering tolerance. Adding insult to injury, this is a PCI 2.3, 33/66MHz card. Something in this design just doesn't like a PCI clock that's a gnat's hair over 33.3MHz, at least in this BP6 board. But it's just not worth it to start swapping SATA cards to get that last 6% the CPUs/RAM can handle with 2.05 Vcore. So I'll probably be at 550MHz forever, but that's fine. The CPU temps are nice and low, the chips may out live me, and 50% overclock is nothing to sneeze at with 366s. Just about every 300/333 could hit 50%, but with 366s it was much more hit/miss.

Current Specs:
Abit BP6, BIOS date 11/03/99, original caps
Dual 366MHz PPGA BOX Celeron Mendocino at 550MHz, 100x5.5
384MB PC100-- 256MB, 64MB, 64MB
Intel Pro/100+ PCI fast ethernet
S3 Trio64+ PCI VGA
Koutech Sil 3512 dual port SATAI, PCI 2.3, 33/66MHz
WD Blue 500GB SATA2 7.2K RPM
Dual Cooler Master Hyper101A AMD socket AM3 heatpipe coolers, adapted
Zalman NBF47 Northbridge cooler
Self fabricated 28 gauge copper VRM heatsinks
Codegen pedestal server case on rack shelf
11 yr old 350W ATX PSU
Future upgrades: GbE within weeks, 768MB at some point
Debian Linux, kernel 3.2.6 (I roll my own kernels from vanilla source. I'm currently using Linux 3.2.6 with Debian Squeeze atop, soon to be upgraded to 3.4.x or 3.6.x, and Debian Wheezy, which are all current. Linux loves the BP6, and the newest kernels run fine if configured properly. So don't feel you must run an old version of Windows just to use your BP6)

Many more pics w/slideshow and some additional information at: http://www.hardwarefreak.com/web/server_pics/gallery/
All pics were taken while the machine was in service handling email and web traffic. The fan blades appear to be stationary in the photos. This is due to the "shutter speed" of the CCD. Camera is a Fuji A820. Pics were 8MP, 3296x2472 resized to 1024x768 with Curator/Python Image Generator (PIL). The page, images, slideshow are served up by Lighttpd running on this very BP6 machine. The gallery software is Curator Highslide, written by Canadian Martin Blais. It's free Linux software. I shot many of the pics blind as I couldn't see the view finder while my hand was violating this machine. Threw out twice as many pics as remain in the gallery. And I had to be very careful for the close ups--touch the wrong thing and a short to ground will halt/reboot the system.

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