With a lot of help and several patches from the friendly folks over at the LinuxBIOS mailing list, I finally got LinuxBIOS working on the Tyan GX28 hardware.
I’ve put a Tyan s2881 LinuxBIOS build HOWTO on the LinuxBIOS wiki, describing all the steps required to get a stable LinuxBIOS on such a machine. It’s not hard now that it’s been documented
That hardware, by the way, is highly recommended. You can build a 1U dual-Opteron box based on a Tyan GX28 with 4xSATA disks (2x 74GB WD Raptor, and 2x250GB Seagate Barracuda), 2GB of RAM and an IPMI card for just under $2000. That’s with 2x a single-core Opteron 246 (at 1.8GHz). If you want 2 dual-core Opterons (the ‘low-end’ 265), add about $400.
Opterons rule. LinuxBIOS rules. The combination is fantastic.
At linuxworld a few weeks ago I talked to a guy from a company selling clusters who said that the clustering market totally changed from Intel to AMD practically overnight – and all because of the superiority of HyperTransport over Intel’s frontside bus design.
This thread on the Postgresql Performance agrees – the concensus is pretty much that nothing beats Opteron for running PostgreSQL, period.