Am I using suitable hardware?

I need to know if my Asterisk server is good enough for what I will be using it for, or if I need to get new hardware. I am actually using “desktop” PC hardware as a server. Here is what I have:

Motherboard: VIA GA-K8VT800
Processor: AMD Athlon 64, 2 GHz (This processor is 64-bit, not the FX version and not dual-core)
Memory: 512 MB
Hard drive: IDE 80 GB
Networking: Onboard Realtek 10/100 (not Gigabit Ethernet)
Sound: Onboard AC’97
OS: Fedora Core 6 x86_64

As you probably guess, it is the things I mentioned above that the system is “not” that concern me. Now I am running one FXO card, X100P, for 1 outside PSTN line. I might be upgrading the card or adding another one in order to use 2 FXO lines, but no more than 2 for the near future. I might also like about 2 FXS lines for the future but am more interested in SIP with Asterisk. (TDM400P would be perfectly forwards-compatible for all these plans.) I am so far using one soft SIP client on a separate computer, and it isn’t likely I will use more (unless other family members will). Other than Asterisk, I use this server as an HTTP and SSH server, and it is occasionally used for Desktop purposes (e.g. Gnome).

I would like to mention that the AC’97 sound card hasn’t given good quality for the console, and ztmonitor gives me the following message that doesn’t seem to have an effect: “Sound card won’t let me know the input buffering…” Also, when I ring the console with the SIP phone using demo extension 1234, the audio is pretty good, but when I ring the console calling on the PSTN line from an external phone and ring the console, the audio quality is horrible. I’m not sure if there’s a way to fix it.

Also, the informational manual AsteriskTFOT.pdf says the following on page 63:

[quote]Compiling on VIA motherboards
On VIA-based motherboards, you need to set the processor to i586. If Asterisk
detects the processor as i686, you may get random core dumps. To force Asterisk to
compile using i586, remove the comment from the following PROC line in the Makefile
(line 81, at the time of this writing):

Pentium & VIA processors optimize


I have pretty much ignored this because my hardware is neither of those: it is x86_64.

Whew! With all the above information, do you think that I need to change the hardware to something better, or is this set-up good enough?


  1. random tip- ip phones are MUCH better than softphones. grandstream is good and cheap, but use snom or aastra if you have more money. the snom 360 is a favorite among asterisk geeks, I have one on my desk :smile:

  2. that i586 tip relates to VIA EPIA boards which use VIA processors. You have as you said an AMD X86-64 CPU so that does not apply to you.

  3. I wouldn’t use the console channel for much of anything other than testing or paging. It’s not a great way to make calls. See number 1.

hope that helps!

What do you mean by “random tip-ip phones”? I thought SIP was a type of IP phone, and soft just meant it’s on the computer.
Also, does Asterisk come with support for any other IP phone other than SIP? Are there computer software (preferrably Windows) that I can use as a softphone like with SIP?

I’m glad that the VIA MB isn’t a problem, but the O’Reilly book should’ve made it clear that it’s only VIA MB’s with VIA processors. :angry:

I forgot to mention that this MB does not have any PCI Express, just in case I ever needed a different telephone card, but from what I read, none of them use PCI Express.

Could you tell me if I am able to enable the MMX optimizations in Asterisk for my setup? The same manual vascillates between saying MMX isn’t available on AMD CPU’s, then it says if it comes on AMD CPU’s it’s not stable, etc.

In any case, is this server and network setup a good setup?

i think helix was giving you a random tip … ip phones are better.

SIP is a protocol, and is not platform specific. look on the wiki for lots of options for both soft and hard phones.

you can use SIP, IAX, MGCP, H323, SCCP and you will probably find others too.

TFOT can’t be relied on for everything, and if you have an issue with a part of it, let the publisher know … i’m sure they’d appreciate things like that.

Sangoma make cards in PCI Express now !!

like all things Asterisk … why not try the MMX extensions and see what it does. then you’ll be able to help the next person asking for help, or you can post it to the wiki so everyone can see it.

server sounds fine … i have 20 seat offices running on much less and with g729 encoding and 15 trunks.