With Skylake Out, It's Becoming Easier To Build A Cheap Haswell Xeon Linux System
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 11 January 2016. Page 2 of 6. 27 Comments

With being a micro-ATX board, I used a Norco 2U rackmount server chassis, which I've bought a number of for my test systems. Normally these 2U cases retail for around $50 USD. The power supply was a Corsair CX430, an affordable ATX/EPS PSU that I've bought a number of over the years and they all continue running strong.

On the memory side I was using a Crucual Ballistix 8 x 2GB DDR3-1600MHz kit for $67. For storage was a Samsung 850 EVO 120GB SSD for $68. I have 8+ Samsung 850 EVO SSDs used in different test systems and they all continue running very reliably, performant, and are cost effective.

With the Xeon E3-1231 v3 not having integrated graphics but this system not being used anyways for Linux graphics tests, I popped in a Radeon HD 4550 low-profile graphics card I had available.

All in this quad-core+HT 3.8GHz Haswell Xeon system cost just under $500 USD. In trying a number of Linux distributions already on it, there's been no issues encountered with the Gigabyte H81M motherboard working out fine and the Haswell CPU support on Linux obviously being very mature, even if using an older Enterprise Linux distribution. The only caveat is with the HD 4550 graphics card is that it no longer plays nicely with any recent version of the Linux kernel's Radeon DRM for kernel mode-setting. On all the distributions tested, I had to boot with nomodeset enabled in order to get a working display.


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