Hi Dan,

Thanks for the very informative reply. I have searched the 4.8 & 5.1 
HARDWARE.TXT files and can find some but not all of the devices on this mobo. 
So I think you have convinced me not to buy that particular board!

The other option that I have been considering is to buy a Dell PowerEdge 
1600SC. I would be using the onboard SCSI Ultra 320 rather than RAID. I've 
searched the mailing lists and newsgroups for information about this, and I 
get the impression that the 1600SC is *probably* alright with FreeBSD 4.8, 
but I'd really appreciate confirmation of this.



> > http://tw.giga-byte.com/Server/Products/Products_ServerBoard_GA-8EGXDR-E.
> >htm
> >
> > As far as I know, it's a current model.
> I found it.  For some reason it is categorized on the Gigabyte web site as
> a networking product rather than as a motherboard.
> I don't have any direct experience relevant to the compatibility of this
> motherboard with FreeBSD because my new Gigabyte motherboard, the 8KNXP,
> uses a different support chipset, the Intel 875P/ICH5R, and has a very
> different set of motherboard devices.
> I found that while FreeBSD runs reasonably well on my motherboard, FreeBSD
> does not support a large number of the more exotic motherboard devices.
> The situation is expected to improve a little bit when FreeBSD-5.2 comes
> out, whenever that happens.  Not soon I gather.  I frequently browse the
> freebsd-current mailing list.  FreeBSD-current looks sufficiently unstable
> that I don't want to mess with it.  FreeBSD-5.1 is flaky enough.
> Your motherboard seems to have an even more exotic set of motherboard
> devices and features.  I would check the HARDWARE.TXT file for the FreeBSD
> release you intend to run.  Devices not mentioned in the HARDWARE.TXT file
> are moderately likely to prove problematic.
> I see that your motherboard has an AWARD BIOS.  The AWARD BIOS on my
> motherboard does something strange that confuses the standard FreeBSD
> master bootstrap program (booteasy) as to which disk is really being
> booted so that I have to type F5 at it three times in order to boot.
> If the Intel ICH5R serial ATA controller on my motherboard is configured
> to operate in "native" mode, the AWARD BIOS fails to enter my serial ATA
> disks into the BIOS disk list.  Since I have to boot off my serial ATA
> disks, I have to configure them in "legacy" mode.  That means I can't use
> one of my standard ATA ports and that means I can't use standard ATA disks
> on my system (unless I buy an extra PCI ATA controller card for them).
> You may get lucky, but I expect you to have some exiting experiences
> in your future.
> Dan Strick
> P.S. I find that Gigabyte email tech support is extremely sluggish
> and not very helpful.  If you have clout, please light a fire
> underneath those guys.

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