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The XEON lives! 13 December 2000
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For those of you that have been asking about the XEON, it now lives and breathes.  I was able to borrow a Compaq SCSI card with the proper cable from llearch.  This allowed me to get the box running the the SCSI drives.   Unfortunately, the SuperMicro S2DGE motherboard didn't present me with a SCSI BIOS message when booting.  At first I suspected the card.  I could put that card into a P133, and I would see the familiar "Press A for configuration" message.  But not in the XEON.  If the SCSI BIOS can't be found, you can't boot using those SCSI cards.

The option was to boot using an IDE drive and then use the SCSI drives that way.  So that's what I did.   It worked.  It ran well!  But the Compaq card and cable was merely a loan.  It had to go back.

Today, the Adaptec 2940U2W arrived.  I installed it.  Booted.  No problem. Ran first time.   It was so easy.  FreeBSD never ceases to amaze me.

dmesg extracts
Here's some details from demsg before and after.

This is the Compaq card.

ncr0: <ncr 53c825 fast10 wide scsi> port 0xe400-0xe4ff 
             mem 0xfebfef00-0xfebfefff irq 15 at device 15.0 on pci0

This is the Adaptec card.

ahc0: <Adaptec 2940 Ultra2 SCSI adapter> port 0xe800-0xe8ff 
             mem 0xfebff000-0xfebfffff irq 10 at device 13.0 on pci0
aic7890/91: Wide Channel A, SCSI Id=7, 32/255 SCBs

Note that the Compaq was "wide scsi" but the Adaptec is "Ultra2".   That makes quite a difference to the disk performance.  As you can see in the following dmesg extracts.

These are the SCSI drives under the Compaq:

da0: <SEAGATE ST318436LW 0010> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-3 device 
da0: 20.000MB/s transfers (10.000MHz, offset 8, 16bit), 
                                             Tagged Queueing Enabled
da0: 17522MB (35885168 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 2233C)
da1 at ncr0 bus 0 target 1 lun 0
da1: <SEAGATE ST318436LW 0010> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-3 device 
da1: 20.000MB/s transfers (10.000MHz, offset 8, 16bit), 
                                             Tagged Queueing Enabled
da1: 17522MB (35885168 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 2233C)    

These are the SCSI drives under the Adaptec::

da0 at ahc0 bus 0 target 0 lun 0
da0: <SEAGATE ST318436LW 0010> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-3 device 
da0: 40.000MB/s transfers (20.000MHz, offset 31, 16bit), 
                                             Tagged Queueing Enabled
da0: 17522MB (35885168 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 2233C)
da1 at ahc0 bus 0 target 1 lun 0
da1: <SEAGATE ST318436LW 0010> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-3 device 
da1: 40.000MB/s transfers (20.000MHz, offset 31, 16bit), 
                                             Tagged Queueing Enabled
da1: 17522MB (35885168 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 2233C)

As you can see, the transfer rate under Ultra2 is twice as fast as wide scsi.   That should make a difference to the kernel compiling.

kernel build times
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  484825 Dec 12 10:03 kernel.1212.09.44.18
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  485067 Dec 12 10:26 kernel.1212.10.13.42

Using SCSI WIDE, a kernel build about 19 minutes.  Then I tried a make -j4 and the build took 13 minutes.

Using the Adaptec, a make -j4 took 9 minutes.  That's impressive!  With -j10, it was also 9 minutes.


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