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I just ordered parts yesterday to build myself a nice new system with an Athlon 64 3000+ processor, including a 120 GB HD. I'm thinking of most likely setting up a multi-boot system with Windows XP, Windows XP-64 Beta, and some form of Linux.
Which Linux distribution would you recommend? The computer will be using an ATI All in Wonder Radeon 9000 from my old comp (I can't afford to upgrade everything at once, so the vid-card will wait a few months). One of my main incentives is to try Ut2k4's 64-bit version - and just to experiment with Linux at last.
I've played with Knoppix a little bit, and used CygWin (linux command prompt emulator) for a while in writing command-line C++ programs for my comp sci. courses. Other then that (and browsing some forums) I have little experience with Linux. I have done a bit of work with ActivePerl though and am familiar with it's ppm system for installing modules which from my understanding is similar to the linux apt-get.
From what I hear the ATI 64-bit drivers aren't that great - or their Linux drivers in general? I've been thinking of either Debian's 64-bit version (if I can find it) or the Mandrake 10 Amd64 version. Is any particular distribution more likely to work well with my vid-card or games in general? Also will the TV-tuner part of the card work under Linux, or will I have to switch back to windows to use that? I know very little about the various linux distributions, and would appreciate any suggestions/comments.
Frankly from what I read about various AMD64 ports, it seems to me the best thing a new user could do is stay away from AMD64 altogether for another 6 months or so. Still, if you must, SuSE is probably the most polished. If you want free, Gentoo is probably ahead of Debian at this stage. Ati drivers are always troublesome no matter what version
I run SuSE 9.1 pro on an AMD64 3400+. Works great.
Gfx card wise, i dunno about ATI ... from what i hear they they can be pretty troublesome. I use an Nvidia Ge-force 5600 FX, the drivers install from the SuSE on-line update and work a treat.
I have the demo of UT2004 64Bit running at the moment and i have to say its absolutely stunning!!
One thing i would say is beware your motherboard!!, i have a few friends that have had trouble installing SuSE 64bit with Asus boards. I use a Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro with no trouble at all (more by luck than judgment i may add)
I cant comment on other distros for 64 bit because i havent tried any
I think it would be very difficult to rate dostro's that way , especially for 64 bit.
Too much depends on hardware compatibility and personal preference of working environments etc.
For example, SuSE works well for me (with a few minor glitches..) but a friend, with a different motherboard, has had all sorts of trouble.