You could build a dual opteron with 4 GB of ram, 12 10k raptor SATA drives with a battery backed cache for about 7k or less.

Okay. You trust SATA drives? I've been leary of them for a production database. Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "battery backed cache"? I know the drives have a built-in cache but I don't if that's the same. Are the 12 drives internal or an external chasis? Could you point me to a place that this configuration exist?

Or if they are not CPU bound just IO bound you could easily just add an external 12 drive array (even if scsi) for less than 7k.

I don't believe it is CPU bound. At our busiest hour, the CPU is idle about 70% on average down to 30% idle at its heaviest. Context switching averages about 4-5K per hour with momentary peaks to 25-30K for a minute. Overall disk performance is poor (35mb per sec).

Thanks for your input.

Steve Poe

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