Some friends of mine are looking to buy a new server hardware based on Intel SE7520BD2 motherboard for their FreeBSD server (6.0 or whatever is the latest release in a month or two). The plan is to use two mirrored SCSI disks as main storage and one (S)ATA disk for backups. Two LAN connections are necessary.

I've been trying to figure out how well all the integrated features of this motherboard are supported by FreeBSD. So far, these are my findings

- SCSI/RAID controller: LSI1030 - explicitly noted in hardware notes, also I'm running one of these with FreeBSD 5.4 right now so this should be OK;

- First integrated NIC: Intel 82541PI - explicitly noted in hardware notes, so should be OK;

- Second integrated NIC: Marvell Yukon EC88E8050 - nothing about this in hardware notes, but a binary FreeBSD 6 driver can be downloaded from Marvell's website. I have no experience using third-party binary drivers with FreeBSD, so I'm a bit hesitant here. If I get this driver working with FreeBSD 6.0, can I expect it to still work with 6.1, 6.2, etc? Given the usual warnings how kernel and userland must be kept in sync when upgrading, I think this is even more true about kernel and modules. Am I possibly commiting myself to running an outdated 6.x release by using this third-party binary driver?

- Intel ICH5R SATA controller. Also not explicitly noted in hardware notes, at least not in 'Disk controllers' section. Couldn't find anything definitive by googling. I'm not interested in possible RAID features, would it work if I just connected a single SATA disk to this controller?

Overall, would you recommend this motherboard for running FreeBSD 6?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Toomas Aas
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