The Red Dragon has been surving as a community computer, and a backup drive host since sometime in early 2010.
The Red-Dragon was born in December of 2003 as my primary concole. This duel processor system was running two CPUs before duel-core CPUs were availibal. This system has run pretty much 24/7 since it went on-line.
The Red Dragon has undergone a number of upgrades and changes over it's career. Presently, the Red Dragon contains over 1,400 GB of storage and that space is mostly utilized.
The Red Dragon suffered from a couple problems. The system always runs hot with average CPU temperatures around 140° F (60 °C). Many of the fans listed are no longer in use. Most of the fans have begun to cease up and without regulear (monthly) oiling simply stop spinning. During the summer months, a squire cage blower fan has to be used to keep the temperature down. Naturally, with all the heat generated from the system, power consumption is quite high.
In late August of 2009, the Red Dragon suffer a major failure. I believe the power supply failed catastrophically, and this failure destroyed most of the electronics of the machine. The mother board, RAM, hard drives, and power supply were all replaced. Thus the Red Dragon is pretty much a different machine.
7/31/2009 - Most componets are replaced
7/24/2008 - Removed 500 GB, 750 GB drives and 1 CPU
2/25/2008 - Added 750 GB
5/1/2007 - Added 500 GB
4/10/2005 - Dual monitor setup
3/6/2005 - Video card upgrade
9/18/2004 - Upgrade to 1 TB RAID-5
9/7/2004 - 750 GB RAID-5
7/15/2004 - 120 GB drive added
12/13/2003 - Initial build date
In late July, the Red Dragon finially stepped down as my concole after four and a half years of service. The two overflow hard drives--a 750 and 500 GB drive--were moved to the Blue Dragon.
Due to the excessive heat problems of this system, one CPU was removed. Each CPU draws 66 watts and due to failing fans over the years, the system ended up requiring an external blower to remove the heat from the system. With one CPU gone, the Red Dragon was able to maintain a temperature under 160°ree;F without external cooling. Proformance did suffered quite noticabally.
The Red Dragon will now serve as a secondary concole, offering it's services to roommates and friends.
The Red Dragon was initially built with 100 GB of RAID-1 storage along with the 37 GB boot drive. Storage capacity has been increased several times to over 1,400 GB.
The video for the Red Dragon was upgraded in March of 2005 and two monitors used there after. In April, a 21" monitor was added was added to the system.
This information was written shortly after the Red Dragon was built, and is a little dated.
The idea of building the Red Dragon holds an important position-- this system will have to be extraordinary.
I started by selecting a case worthy of housing such a system. Cheiftech Dragon series cases have been my favorite ever since I first discovered them. Both Pluvius and I have built systems with this case. It happens Cheiftech did make an aluminum version of the Dragon series case-- in red, and with a window side. It would be the perfect start to the Red Dragon. We ran into some trouble finding someone who actually had the case in stock, but that was eventually resolved. As it turns out, the case would be the same price but also include a generic 400 watt powersuply. I didn't want the supply for the Red Dragon, but it would do fine for the single processor Black Dragon. The Enermax powersuply from the Black Dragon would move to the Red.
The case would be cooled and light from 4x80mm ThermelTak Red LED fans-- 2 rear exhaust, 1 intake in the window and 1 intake in the front. One more 80mm fan would be placed as intake in front of the primary hard drive bay.
Some of the additional parts would be acquired from the Black Dragon as this computer would change from a console to a drive server and auxiliary console system. The Asus video card and SoundBlaster Live would be transferred, as well as the 100 GB RAID array. This would leave the Black Dragon with the 80 GB RAID array, an other 80 GB and 60 GB drive. The idea of taking the 100 GB RAID array was the thought of adding an other 80 GB drive to make a 4 drive 80 GB RAID 0+1 array-- a 160 gig stripped and mirrored drive.
One bottle neck of any system is program load speed. In my experiences, this slows down the system more than any other factor. So, for the boot and applications drive, I selected a Western Digital 36 GB, 10,000 RPM, SATA drive. The specs were very impressive, despite it's small storage size. It would make a perfect primary system drive.
Since the motherboard we would be getting did not support serial ATA, we decided on a Promise RAID card, that supported both serial ATA and parallel ATA. The parallel ATA would be used for the 100 GB RAID. This case card could also use the 3.3 volt, 66 MHz 32/64 bit PCI slots on the motherboard. The boost to 66 MHz would increase performance.
The motherboard selection was done my Pluvius, who now had some experience with duel CPU systems. He chose a Gigabyte 7DPXDW+ motherboard using the AMD 760MPX chipset-- 762 Northbridge / 768 Southbridge. It also had integrated Intel 82550PM 10/100Mbps Ethernet, Promise PDC20276 RAID controller and 2x64-bit/66MHz PCI slots. For CPUs, Pluvius found 2xAtholon MP 2000+, running at 1.666 GHz. We also selected 2x512 MB 266 MHz DDR RAM chips for a total of 1 GB of system memory.
Parts for the system arrived over the next couple of weeks until everything was ready. As usually, we ran into problems. The first motherboard is DOA-- not a thing from it. After it was RMAed, the system jumped right to it's feet. The OS installation started to have problems due to the CD being dirty. It installed, but didn't work too well. On the second try, things went a lot better, and the Red Dragon was alive and running.