[Linux-Desktops] Recommendations or experience with Dell Precision workstations and

Sabuj Pattanayek sabujp at gmail.com
Wed Mar 12 11:21:37 CDT 2014


> guests on our company server (all CentOS 6), but have not installed a
> Windows guest.
>

This will work fine, you just to make sure you install the latest virtio
drivers (if you plan on using virtio devices) in your windows guest
otherwise things like the network probably won't work and I/O may not be
optimal :

http://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/virtio-win/latest/images/

Its provided as an ISO so you can feed it to the VM as a virtual CD/DVD.


> I am looking at the Dell Precision Workstations (specifically the
> Precision T3610) and would want to probably have a RAID 1 setup, so am
> looking for insight on raid setup or controller cards for this system.
>

I wouldn't bother unless you plan on using > 2 3.5" at 6g speeds, which
looks like you're probably not with a RAID1. Looks like the onboard chipset
supports 2x6g and 4x3g sata. I'd just use software RAID, less latency.


> Also are there any audio or video gotchas for Linux on the T3610. Video
> card recommendations? I see there is a long list of options on the Dell
>

Audio is intel, it works fine.

configuration page. I will probably get a new monitor and set it up with
> my existing 19" LCD to have a dual monitor setup.
>

I've primarily been an nvidia + linux user and it has worked fine, but
there are some gotchas. Don't mix quadro + geforce cards amongst multiple
monitors. GL windows can't be dragged across multiple monitors. I haven't
had problems with 90" setups, but then again the system had 2 nvidia video
cards driving 3 monitors. Don't know if GIS applications work best with
quadros or if they just need lots of video memory, if the latter I'd just
get whatever cheapest video card dell forces you to get, toss it, and get a
higher end geforce with lots of video memory.


> Minimum memory recommendations for a host with two, or possibly three,
> guest VM's? I don't have any really heavy memory intensive workload
> requirements, other than the GIS mapping, but assume that I probably may
> want to go with 16 GB RAM.
>

We get the minimum required memory toss the dimms and install at a minimum
a crucial ddr3 1600 ecc registered 2 x 16GB kit (32GB total):

http://www.provantage.com/crucial-technology-ct2k16g3ersld4160b~7CIAL6UN.htm

The price is half what dell charges for the same amount in the
workstations. it's basically server memory, but they charge double the
price for it in the workstations vs in the poweredges.
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