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 canâ€™t keep EVERYTHING safe (Iâ€™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 canâ€™t seem to find a single cheap AM2 CPU in Brisbane, which I need to have because the old CPUs donâ€™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, hereâ€™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, Iâ€™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 anotherâ€¦ logic dictates that it shouldnâ€™t matter, but the “K8T800” is fine and the “K8T800 Pro” is not so it ainâ€™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 DONâ€™T BLAME ME if it doesnâ€™t work. No warranty, YMMV, etc.
Looks like the K8V-X SE motherboard has a Realtek 8201CL ethernet chipset, and I canâ€™t find any drivers, even on this compendium of solaris network drivers. Donâ€™t mind though, Iâ€™ve got oooh, 3 PCI cards lying about unusedâ€¦ mostly Realtek 8129 / 8139 chipset so Iâ€™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?