By user12625760 on Nov 23, 2007
With the addition of the photo frame and a second Sun Ray the home server was beginning to struggle. The ideal (realistic) solution would be a multi core CPU but the lack of power management on those, at least the ones that will fit in the existing system, puts me off. However since most of the performance issues have been due to lack of memory there was a way out.
If you recall the motherboard in the system is ASUS M2NPV-VM which has four memory slots, however the system was supplied with a Zalman 8000 Low Profile Cooler which interferes with one memory slot reducing the number of available slots to 2 (the slots have to be used in pairs). The reason given for the optional cooler is to make the system quieter. So the only ways to increase the memory would be to replace the existing DIMMS with larger 2G DIMMS or swap the CPU fan for the default one, which I still have, and then add the extra memory. The alternative would be to unteach the family that it is OK just to pull your card out of the system when you walk away, now what is the fun of that?
It seems like a no brainer to me. I can always put the system in another room so the noise does not get me down.
So I have now added 4G of RAM, giving 6G total and put the AMD cooler on the system, so far so good:
Last login: Fri Nov 23 17:37:41 2007 from gmp-ea-fw-1.sun Sun Microsystems Inc. SunOS 5.11 snv_78 October 2007 : pearson FSS 1 $; prtconf | head -3 System Configuration: Sun Microsystems i86pc Memory size: 6111 Megabytes System Peripherals (Software Nodes): : pearson FSS 2 $; batstat -t Thermal zone: \\_TZ_.THRM, temperature = 40C, critical = 75C Active Cooling: 73 : pearson FSS 3 $;
Once again battling with the hardware really brought home just how fantastic the designs of Sun hardware is. This could have been designed by Citroen1 given how difficult it is to replace bits. Even if I had not had to remove the CPU fan to add the memory I still would have had to remove all the disks, the main power supply the fan power cable just to add a DIMM.
What is surprising is that the system is very much quieter now than is used to be and even with the original AMD fan.
1 I once, well twice owned and or leased Citroen Xantia cars. While driving up the motorway on the way home one day, the day after it had been serviced, the “stop or you will die” light came on on the dashboard as the engine started making some alarming noises. So I pull over sharpish onto the hard shoulder and pop the bonnet and take a look. No problem spotting the issue. One of the spark plugs had come out, still attached to the high tension lead. I make a mental note not to return to that garage the service the car but am not that worried. I have a tool kit in the boot and so can just refit the spark plug and be on my way. That is until I see where the plug has come from , a deep deep whole which those cunning French engineers have made so difficult to access that a normal spark plug socket won't fit down there. I ring the AA, thankful that I am a member and wait. I did not have to wait long. I explain to the AA man who looks at me as if I am a fool, possibly I am, after all I am the one driving, or not, the Citroen and he says the immortal words: “No problem, I'll have you going in 2 minutes”. 30 minutes later he has managed to get the sparc plug in but not tight but the car will run so he follows me to a Citroen garage who did indeed have the special tool required to fit spark plugs and also employed a double jointed Frenchman (he may not actually have been French, but you get the picture) capable of using them. Suffice to say the phrase “ease of maintenance” and “Citroen cars” are not ones you will often hear together, unless there is also the word “nightmare” in the sentence. That said this was the first of my Citroens so it did not put me off. Though now I think about it the last car was replaced by a bike.