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Building a Server with Socket T

Every computer needs both a motherboard and a CPU that can work together; that means they not only have to be compatible with each other but also suited for your needs. This is particularly important with servers, as they have different needs than desktop systems.

What Does LGA 775 Mean?

One of the ways that Intel and other processor manufacturers ensure that nobody uses the wrong processor on a given system board is by changing their socket infrastructure as they change core designs. It's a simple way of ensuring that the wrong processor can't physically fit in the board. Every type has both a name and a description, the latter of which gives quite a bit of information to the user:

  • Land Grid Array: The idea behind Socket LGA is that you can get more pin density by moving them from the bottom of the processor die to the base of the mount.
  • 775 Pins: The number and arrangement of pins helps ensure that even when the connectors are the same physical size, you cannot connect the wrong CPU to the system. Individual pins support both data and power transmission.

What Features Should You Look for in a Server Motherboard?

While it does the same basic job as a desktop board, the available features are differently weighted on a server board than they would be on a consumer model, even if both are using the same chipset. It's partly because server boards have different requirements with stability often ranking much higher than pure speed. Some features to consider include:

  • Memory Support: Most Socket T servers use ECC memory, and registered DDR2 DIMMs. This provides a degree of error checking and correction that is very important, especially when financial data is involved.
  • CPU Support: Most servers are more likely to use a dual-core or even quad-core processor than a single core one, with a Core 2 Quad, Pentium Extreme Edition, or Intel Xeon being more often found than a Celeron.
  • Socket Count: Some server boards aim to support more than one CPU. This gives them better multi-tasking abilities as one processor can handle one task while the other can handle a second task.
  • Storage: Another feature to look for is a RAID controller, which provides more data security than a single hard drive.

Using a Server Motherboard

The more you use a system, the more heat it generates, which is why you should always use a good CPU cooler and heatsink. Also, look for a CPU with plenty of L2 cache as that can improve performance more effectively than a faster FSB. Always put stability first, as few qualities are as important for a production server as uptime.

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