[AG-TECH] Best single machine node hardware ? ? ? ?

Osland, CD (Chris) C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk
Fri Sep 10 07:30:01 CDT 2004

> Behalf Of Deb Agarwal
> I have heard several of you mention that you are running a single 
> machine AG node.
> I am planning to upgrade the hardware for my node and want to 
> try running
> my room based on a single machine.  Does anyone have specs suitable
> for a single machine node running Windows XP or RedHat 9.0 
> that can transmit
> at least 2 videos, operate 1 audio, drive 4 displays, and 
> keep up with 
> the video streaming
> in to a well attended meeting in a venue? Lets say up to 30 arriving 
> video feeds.

Here's a repeat of the info I sent out a few weeks ago,
with the name of the audio card manufacturer corrected
(I got it wrong in the original e-mail).


Ours are:

	twin 2.8 GHz Xeon on Supermicro motherboard (I think)
	1 Gb memory
	Winnov Videum 4400 VO video capture (4 streams, one card)
	Matrox Parhelia 256 Mb display card (we only needed 2 main
	onboard 100 Mbit ethernet

Spot the non-information about sound.  Here's the story.

I got Echo Audio cards (stereo, balanced I/O) cards but when we
enabled them, they played back for about half a second and
then produced a lovely blue screen.  Turns out their cards
don't work with Xeon processors - the memory access mechanism
is subtly different from Pentiums, and the Echo Audio cards work
with Pentiums and Athlons, but not Xeons.

In a panic (days to go before VERY high profile demo - UK
Minister for Science!) I found that the onboard AC97 audio
chipset actually was full duplex, so added a balanced-unbalanced
interface (we use Sonifex, but any will do) and a couple of
stereo mini-jack to twin phono leads and we were away.

I have now found that E-Mu 1212m cards do support Xeons
(including twin Xeons) and so, as they are cheaper than the
bal-unbal interface and save 1U rack space, will try those in my
next nodes.

On the display front, we are about to try the Matrox QID which
has, at long last, surfaced - 4 outputs from a single PCI-X or
AGP slot.


We haven't done any stress tests, but from experience with
3 single processor 1400 MHz Athlons and much slower display
card (Matrox G200 PCI) I would be very surprised if the above
doesn't cruise along with 20-30 incoming video feeds.

Hope that helps



Chris Osland                         Office tel: +44 (0) 1235 446565
Digital Media and Access Grid      Medialab tel: +44 (0) 1235 446459
BIT Department             Access Grid room tel: +44 (0) 1235 445666
e-mail:   C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk               Fax: +44 (0) 1235 445597

CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Bldg. R18)
Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxon OX11 0QX, UK

[The contents of this email are confidential and are for the use of 
the intended recipient only.  If you are not the intended recipient 
do not take any action on it or show it to anyone else,
but return this email to the sender and delete your copy of it.]

> -----Original Message-----
> Thanks for any help,
> Deb
> -- 
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> ~~~~~~~~~
> Deb Agarwal                          e-mail:DAAgarwal at lbl.gov
> MS50B-2239                           phone :(510)486-7078
> Lawrence Berkeley National Lab       URL: http://www-itg.lbl.gov/~deba
> Berkeley, CA 94720
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> ~~~~~~~~~

More information about the ag-tech mailing list