Got the last remaining bits today (heatsinks) Assembly took longer than I expected. It was tricky getting the board properly supported in a non-CEB case. These copper heatsinks are very heavy and they were causing the board to sag. I had to prop up some plastic motherboard standoffs for a temporary fix. I definitely need a CEB case. That will have to wait till I get back from Boston.
Speed is pretty incredible. I just did a VisualHub encode on "Go Nuts" h264 on a 350MB file and it took about 5 minutes. Haven't had time to fuck around with Logic much. I turned up 4 channels, threw on a directional mixer & compressor and the CPU bar was barely moving. Friday the fake-band is coming over so we can do some serious testing.
These CPUs run incredibly cool. Even after a full load the heatsink is actually cool to the touch. I'm proud of my super ghetto fan. I tried using 80mm fans but they were just too loud. I took a 120mm fan and mounted it diagonally using two woodscrews that just kinda jammed inbetween the heatsink fins. I added a few bolts and a rubber washer to raise the fan up above the CPUs enough to force out the hot hair. (it's blowing down onto the CPUs) Totally ghetto but it works amazingly well.
I'm giving up on the idea of doing VMWare ESX at home for now. Just doesn't make much sense for me. It's a really neat platform but I have one to play around with at work now.
Speaking of which... I think we're pretty much all set with it. Rob figured out how to make VLAN trunking work. We're using an NV chipset and I suspect VMWARE doesn't see the PCI-X bridge so we can't easily add more network interfaces. We're going to try a PCI-E but, again, VMWARE probably won't see it. Not a huge problem but it's a limiting factor down the road to some degree.
OpenFiler + iSCSI is working well. Need to figure out HA eventually and, next year, we'll have $4k to spend on another SAN and another octo-core ESX box.