[HARDWARE] Cheap hardware

Greg Hewgill greg at hewgill.com
Tue Sep 22 22:25:44 EDT 1998


Ok, I'm going to try to build some cheap computing machines. So far, I've
ordered the following items (from Multiwave Direct, www.mwave.com):

DCS P2BXA INTEL 440BX CHIPSET ATX M/B 1xAGP/4xPCI/3xISA/3xDIMM
$95.00
INTEL CELERON 300MHZ (OEM)
$93.00
MULTIWAVE 4X64 PC100 32MB SDRAM DIMM
$38.50
KINGSTON ETHERRX PNP KNE20T ISA 10BT (bare card)
$16.00
TRIDENT 9680 2MB PCI CARD
$22.00

Total ... $264.50

The general idea here is to overclock the Celeron to 400 or 450 MHz (I hear
they're good for that). I couldn't find 16 MB of PC100 memory so I went for
32 MB. The Kingston ethernet card apparently has an NE2000 compatible
(non-PNP) mode. I'll find a cheap ATX case somewhere, the cheapest ATX case
Multiwave had was $50.

As for software, I'm planning to boot the Linux kernel off the floppy and
mount an NFS root. I don't foresee any major problems doing that, but I've
never actually done it before. I read a bunch of howto's last weekend, but
any tips would be gratefully received. :) It doesn't have to be Linux
either, if there's an easy way to make FreeBSD do that, that would work too.
I'm more familiar with Linux though.

I'm going to build one of these first and make sure I can get it all
working. Sometime later it will likely get some companions. Since these
machines will be keyboard/mouse/monitor-less, I probably don't need to buy
more than one video card.

Comments anyone? Anything from "Good price!" to "That motherboard sucks"
will be welcome. Remember, this is probably the first machine of several.

Greg Hewgill

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