1 March 2006, 23:18 by mark hoekstra

...Dual Nocona

I was lucky to spot some Noconas on a site here in The Netherlands. They are 2.8Ghz/800MHz FSB models, but most important (for me), they’re EM64T-models a.k.a. 64-bit. I had this upgrade in my mind, ever since I bought my NCCH-DL motherboard, to put in my modded SGI320-case.

Ever since I started using that case as my workstation, I wanted it to have some proper hardware on the inside. Not to put the SGI-logo on the outside to too much shame. Luckily this case had dual Intel on the inside when it came from SGI, I never would’ve modded a true MIPS-SGI. Anyways, now with this upgrade, I only need a proper OpenGL-card (and one current enough to run on this hardware) to finish it off… Then it’s got everything to make a workstation a true workstation and imho that is, dual CPU, lots of ECC-memory, SCSI-disks and a proper OpenGL-card… we’re almost there… ;-)

Anyways, here’s the photo-journal of getting these babies in my workstation…

Righty… Dual Nocona! ;-) (is it just me, or is it a beautiful name… Nocona … No-co-naaaa … We have an N, we have an O, we … )

my workstation with skins

my workstation in the flesh…

Here you got both sets in one shot… Noconas up front, and my also great SL73Ls (at the back)

...that’s a Xeon allright…

...and on my motherboard…


...and here I assembled my coolers back on the motherboard…

(those are CoolerMaster E3W-NPTXS-04s with a fanmod by the way)

Assembled back together, it booted right up… no problem whatsoever…

...and the Gnome Frequency Scaling Monitor picks’em up also…


Well, was it worth the upgrade? Well, to be honest, the reason hasn’t been because I lacked CPU-grunt or such. The real reason is because I’m collecting parts for a second server. And I could’ve gone out to get me some 533MHz CPUs just for the motherboard I already had (an Asus PRL-DL), but these Noconas were in the same pricerange… It surprised me, they’ve been for sale for quite some time. It seems there aren’t a lot of people in the market for these CPUs. Of course, lots of companies buy them, but they will hardly ever buy from a private individual (as I did). If I had bought these CPUs new, I would’ve payed twice the money. Now I have these Noconas for Celeron-money (really!)... or the price of one Pentium4 (I just checked a pricelist and a current Pentium4 640 3.2GHz S775 with 2MB cache would’ve cost me more…)

I can only conclude if it’s been worth it, after I also compiled my workstation from scratch… as it seems it’s a little harder then I thought, so I keep on running on the old kernel for a couple of days, before I start from scratch with a Gentoo LiveCD… I do notice an improvement though, I guess most of it has to do with the increased systembus, from 533MHz to 800Mhz, not necessarily the increase from 2×2.4GHz to 2×2.8GHz

And why do I collect parts for a second server? Well, nobody knows what the future will bring, but if I want to be able to offer some kind of services to anyone else than myself, I want things to be professional and at least without a single point of failure (as much as possible) on the serverside… So when time goes on and I continue to scrap the parts together for server number 2, it’ll be there one day. In the meantime I can think of what to do with it… ;-) (and if I change my mind, I can still sell it off…)

The parts so far, an Asus PRL-DL, 2 Xeons 2.4GHz/533MHz FSB and a SCSI U320-controller…

In the meantime, I keep it next to my desk, next to some other machinery

update and later on I installed Gentoo X86_64 on it (of course!) ;-)


  1. Mike @ 16 November 2007, 13:14 :

    Reminds me that I’ve got a quad xeon mp at home…somewhere.

    I love your site, keep up the good work!

  2. moncler enfant @ 19 December 2010, 04:51 :

    l s’agit d’un post vraiment super. Tenez-vous au bon travail.

As mentioned in the Message from Mark's family this site has been made static. This means that it will be no longer possible to comment on his ideas and projects, but that we all can continue to cherish his creativity.

             you can find all of my projects overhere