[HARDWARE] Cheap hardware

Phillip Chambers pj.technology at virgin.net
Wed Sep 23 19:23:23 EDT 1998


I've done the same thing over here in the UK, and at first I had grand plans
of booting boxes from a network etc - but the cheapest and easiest way is to
use a '95/'98/DOS boot disk with the DOS client so it boots up with no input
required from yourself. For n machines make n+1 disks, and give each the
maximum amount of blocks you can have (1000?). Then when you want to flush
them, just swop the disk with an identical one - the client doesn't mind if
suddenly the buff files are different - and put the completed disk into your
machine with the internet connection and run a separate copy of the client
with it's buff files set as a:\buffin/out etc...
I have a little .bat file:

rc5desg -flush
exit

Like that... Then your other client on that machine isn't interupted.

Hardware wise the cheapest $/keyrate ratio is definitely:

ABIT BH6
Celeron 266
Cheap case
Cheap 2Mb AGP
Floppy
32Mb DIMM

You can overclock the C266 to 448 with no problems at all, it's not worth
going for the 300a with cache as this makes no improvment to the keyrate
seemingly....
I have 5 of these BH6's now and they really are great - as someone else said
they are completely jumperless, all options are set in the BIOS including
CPU core voltage which you can alter in 0.05V intervals. In the UK they cost
me £85 for the BH6 and £70 for the C266, so you can work out US$ price -
which is always much cheaper anyway :o( !

Hope this helps,

Phil
-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Hewgill <greg at hewgill.com>
To: hardware at lists.distributed.net <hardware at lists.distributed.net>
Date: 23 September 1998 15:14
Subject: [HARDWARE] Cheap hardware


>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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