After my last post, I set about finding out more info on SATA chipsets that I can use under Solaris. The main thing for me is that for some reason, I have drives fail fairly regularly. Maybe I am missing part of the necessary rituals to appease the gods of hardware, but the rotating rust that I have in my house really makes me paranoid about my data. Yes, I currently do offsite nightly backups over the internet, but that can’t keep EVERYTHING safe (I’m looking at you, Birdman).
Hence, ZFS. Now, I wanted to make a cheap, reliable, cheap data tank for my, err, data. I need a mobo that is supported by OpenSolaris, even down to the onboard SATA controllers (not so much for sound, however). Initially, all the info pointed to a Nforce chipset, and that would have been fine. Unfortunately at the moment I can’t seem to find a single cheap AM2 CPU in Brisbane, which I need to have because the old CPUs don’t have the new funky chipsets. The cheapest mobos were all VIA chipset jobbies and unsupported by Solaris for the SATA. Or so I thought. But being the good noodle that I am, I just checked that before writing it off again – after all I had found out reccently that Sil 3114 chipsets were OK, so wrong once, wrong more than once perhaps?
Anyway, here’s my findings – Solaris SATA support for onboard chipsets. Turns out all those cheap VIA boards like the ASUS K8V-X SE are just fine, and teamed with a 4-port Sil 3114 PCI card, I’ll be laughing (I would prefer one of the Micro-ATX variants of these boards but they use the K8M800 chipset for which I can find absolutely no information one way or another… logic dictates that it shouldn’t matter, but the “K8T800” is fine and the “K8T800 Pro” is not so it ain’t necessarily so). If I am wrong in any of this, please correct me, but as with everything on the interwebs, check it yourself first, and DON’T BLAME ME if it doesn’t work. No warranty, YMMV, etc.
Looks like the K8V-X SE motherboard has a Realtek 8201CL ethernet chipset, and I can’t find any drivers, even on this compendium of solaris network drivers. Don’t mind though, I’ve got oooh, 3 PCI cards lying about unused… mostly Realtek 8129 / 8139 chipset so I’m laughing. Turns out I also have 4 sound cards (including 2 SB Live). What the hell am I going to do with 4 sound cards?