Evesham’s new Acumen DC10 workstation stands big and tall in a matt black Chieftec DX-01B Dragon case. Inside there’s acres of space for the E-ATX Asus K8N-DL motherboard with its pair of Opteron 275 processors, and taken together the case and motherboard provide plenty of scope for expansion. The case can house a floppy drive and six hard drives plus four optical drives while the K8N-DL (which uses the nForce4 Pro chipset) has the four native SATA and two IDE connectors that you would expect, and in addition there’s a Silicon Image 3114R RAID controller with four more SATA connectors.
Evesham supplied its review model with a pair of WD 250GB SATA drives striped in RAID 0 to offer a single 466GB drive loaded up with Windows XP Pro, just as it would if you ordered this workstation. It had so many options to play with that it installed a second pair of WD drives in RAID 0 with 64-bit XP Pro, so we could switch from one OS to the other by unplugging one pair of SATA cables and plugging in the other. Of course Opteron supports both 32-bit and 64-bit software natively so the transition is effortless, so long as you have software that can take advantage of the latest version of Windows.
When we ran our SYSmark 2004 benchmark on 32-bit Windows it rattled along at a ferocious pace turning in a score of 240 marks but SYSmark wouldn’t run on the 64-bit Windows installation. The reported error related to the Adobe Acrobat element of the test suite, but the fact that there was a problem didn’t come as much of a surprise as SYSmark loads up cut-down versions of a whole host of applications and it is very fussy indeed about the state of the operating system when you install it.
We took advantage of the 32-bit/64-bit Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Evesham to run POV-Ray 3.7 Beta rendering test which supports multi-threading. Using 32-bit Windows XP the test took 16 minutes 30 seconds using only one core, which dropped to four minutes 27 seconds when we used all four cores.