I agree - you can get a very good one from www.acmemicro.com or
www.rackable.com with 8x 400GB SATA disks and the new 3Ware 9550SX SATA
RAID controller for about $6K with two Opteron 272 CPUs and 8GB of RAM
on a Tyan 2882 motherboard.  We get about 400MB/s sustained disk read
performance on these (with tuning) on Linux using the xfs filesystem,
which is one of the most critical factors for large databases.

Spend a fortune on dual core CPUs and then buy crappy disks...  I bet
for most applications this system will be IO bound, and you will see a
nice lot of drive failures in the first year of operation with
consumer grade drives.
There is nothing wrong with using SATA disks and they perform very well. The catch is, make sure
you have a battery back up on the raid controller.

Spend your money on better Disks, and don't bother with Dual Core IMHO
unless you can prove the need for it.
The reason you want the dual core cpus is that PostgreSQL can only execute 1 query per cpu at a time, so the application will see a big boost in overall transactional velocity if you push two
dual-core cpus into the machine.

Joshua D. Drake


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