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August 09, 2005

Building an E4500/5500/6500

These machines are quite impressive and a number of them are available on eBay and the like for not much more than a song. The hassle is, when you build one from scratch, what are the rules for putting it together?

First, you could start here for a set of PDFs but to speed things along, here are the basic config rules:

  1. You need at least one CPU/Memory Board (in Slot 0) and one I/O Board (in Slot 1).
  2. For optimal performance, use 100MHz boards across the system.
  3. Install CPU/Memory+ boards at the front of the system, starting with the top slot (slot 0). If you reserve the rear slots for I/O+ boards, I/O cable attachments will be made easier.
  4. If you fill the front slots, you may use the rear slots but place the CPU/Memory+ cards below the I/O Boards.
  5. An I/O+ Board must be in slot 1 as this is the only way to access the internal SCSI devices (CD-ROM).
  6. Install I/O+ boards at the rear of the system to facilitate I/O cable attachments.
  7. If you fill the blank slots, you may use the front slots but place the I/O+ cards below the CPU/Memory+ cards.
  8. The on-board SCSI port must be terminated in slot 1 (only). This is used to connect to the media tray (i.e. CD-ROM).
  9. The E6500 supports a maximum of two disk boards which must be installed in slot 15 (first board) and slot 14 (second board). This overrides the CPU vs I/O instructions.
  10. The E5500 and E4500 support up to four disk boards (which presumably should be installed in the four lowest numbered slots).

Posted by Ozguru at August 9, 2005 07:00 AM