I am currently planning to set up a dual Opteron based machine which will woirk as a server machine (offering quite different services) for a school's network. Tyan's NVIDIA "nForce Professional 2200" based mainboard "Thunder K8SE 2892G3NR"  has come into closer consideration, yet.
My question regarding this main board or chipset would be: Is there anyone who uses this mainboard (or any other mainboard that is based on the same chipset) with Linux (or even especially with SuSE-Linux-9.3_x86-64)? If so, can you please tell me about your experience? Are there any pitfalls, that means, components that tend to make problems when running Linux?
- Is the onboard Gbit/s NIC working with Linux?
- Do I need NVIDIA's binary drivers? What is supported (or not supported) by a recent Linux kernel, e.g. 126.96.36.199?
- How well does the builtin S-ATA-II controller run? Would a distribution like SuSE-9.3_x86-64 be directly installable on the S-ATA disks connected to this builtin controller? (I don't think so).
- Is my assumption right, that the RAID services the builtin S-ATA-II controller is capable of, are no real hardware RAID services but driver emulated RAID?
So my solution would be (please correct me, if I'm wrong) to use Linux kernel based software RAID (level 0+1) instead. I plan to buy four S-ATA disks (RAID 0+1) for the users' data (the software RAID shouldn't impact the performance much as I don't run computing intensive RAID 5).
For the Linux system itsself (which should be bootable, of course) I plan to buy two further hard disks, not S-ATA, but (P-)ATA instead. I am going to make them to another RAID 1 to reduce the risk of system failure. So I can install SuSE-9.3_x86-64 on these (P-)ATA disks and don't need S-ATA support during installation.
I would be very glad if anyone can give me some information about this board or chipset running Linux.
Many thanks in advance!
 K8SE 2892's data sheet
, K8SE 2892's manual