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Old 12-19-2003, 10:51 AM   #1
degraffenried13
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Build my own computer and use linux?


Hello,

I am looking to build my own desktop, and am trying to build a good one for cheap, but I thought I would double check if there are any pitfalls that I should look out for as I will be putting Redhat Linux 9.0 on it once I finish.

I was thinking of things like I know some nic cards aren't supported.

Anyway, any suggestions and advice is much appreciated as this is my first computer building from scratch as well.

thanks
 
Old 12-19-2003, 11:42 AM   #2
timdsmith
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Do a little research before you buy your hardware, because you are right, some things just don't have Linux drivers. Make sure the hardware you get will work in Linux and you shouldn't have any trouble in that department. If you get a piece of hardware that is not supported, it can turn into a nightmare.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 11:52 AM   #3
ronware
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Re: Build my own computer and use linux?

Quote:
I am looking to build my own desktop, and am trying to build a good one for cheap, but I thought I would double check if there are any pitfalls that I should look out for as I will be putting Redhat Linux 9.0 on it once I finish.
Hi. The best advice I can give is to check to make sure the hardware you are going to use is supported. I can't over-emphasize this, because hardware that only "sort of" works, is almost worse than hw that doesn't work, because you'll spend hours trying "just one more thing" and ultimately your experience will be a bad one.

Quote:
I was thinking of things like I know some nic cards aren't supported.
I just put together a machine from a very cheap board/cpu combo from Tiger Direct (www.tigerdirect.com) -- the Biostar M7NCD w/ Athlon XP 2400+. It's cheap and very fast. The mb has a built-in NIC, but you have to get the drivers from NVidia (www.nvidia.com) in order to use the card -- at least, I was unable to get it to work even with all the suggestions I read here, until I installed the nvidia driver. I gave up before then, and bought a 3COM PCI card for $39 which worked right out of the box...

Quote:
Anyway, any suggestions and advice is much appreciated as this is my first computer building from scratch as well.
Like I said, make sure the hw you are buying is supported. Don't forget to get CPU fans (!). If you get a mb like I did, it will already have NIC and sound built-in, so that makes things a bit cheaper.

My configuration has now:

Biostar M7NCD, Athlon XP 2400+ -- $126
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...MBM-M7NCD-2400

Avus Titanium case -- $30
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...3000&CatId=341
This case is not very well constructed, but it is cheap and
even has a power supply. However, I put in a quiet power supply...

Cables Unlimited super quiet socked A CPU fan -- $19
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...2180&CatId=792

Seagate 120G quiet drive -- $140
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...1204&CatId=818

eVGA GeForceFX 5200 128MB AGP 8X video card -- $60
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...5200&CatId=694
Excellent card, and very cheap! Also, it doesn't have a fan, so it's
quiet.

Zalman quiet case fan (92mm) -- $8
http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/zalmancasefan.html
I bought this for a different machine, and the 92mm format is too big
for the mounting holes on my case -- so I used 'superglue' and it
works fine...

Zalman quiet 400W power supply --$88
http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/Zalman400Watt.html
Actually, it's completely quiet. I bought this also for a different
machine, which as it turned out couldn't accept the supply :-<

Ultra 512M PC3200 DDR 400Mhz memory -- $50
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...9&sku=U10-4901

CDRW/DVD/floppy -- from another machine, I don't remember what I paid for them originally.

So my cost for a completely brand new machine, less monitor/keyboard/mouse/cd-dvd/speakers, is $521 (more or less). And you could do cheaper if you didn't get the quiet power supply...

The other parts are scavenged from other machines. You might be able to do a little better with pre-built systems, but I doubt you'll do much better.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 12:13 PM   #4
degraffenried13
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Thanks for that advice that is great. What is your best suggestion for finding if hardware is supported. Is there a good site for that?

Also, why did you get the AMD chip? Do you like it better than the pentium? I don't know much about their chips,a nd so iw as also wondering what the translation is from one AMD chip (num #####) vs a pentium chip.

I appreciate the help. This will save me some headaches and money later I hope.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 12:22 PM   #5
rshaw
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you'll pay more for the pentium just because it says 'intel' on it. you get more processor for less money with the AMD'S. http://hardwaredb.suse.de/index.php?...0d6fa7f2fa6e00
 
Old 12-19-2003, 12:43 PM   #6
ronware
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Quote:
Thanks for that advice that is great. What is your best suggestion for finding if hardware is supported. Is there a good site for that?
You're welcome. This group is a very good resource -- use the 'search' feature to find out if anyone had problems with hardware you are looking at, and how difficult it was for them to get a solution.

You will also want to look at linux-usb.org for USB, linuxprinting.org for printer issues, linux.org for all sorts of information. That should be good to get you started.

Quote:
Also, why did you get the AMD chip? Do you like it better than the pentium?
I don't have strong feelings about it; this is only my second AMD chip (the first one was a '486 clone, very slow by today's standards). Anyway, it was cheap-- at least $100 less for equivalent power, and I am on a tight budget.

Quote:
I don't know much about their chips,a nd so iw as also wondering what the translation is from one AMD chip (num #####) vs a pentium chip.
Supposedly the AMD numbers translate to more or less equivalent power on an Intel chip, though they actually run at a lower clockspeed. I don't know if that is true or not, but the motherboard combo I posted above is *really* fast and very nice for graphics/games and dev work.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 01:53 PM   #7
HappyTux
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Nobody posted it so here's The Linux Documentation Hardware Compatiblility HOW-TO.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 02:12 PM   #8
KingofBLASH
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You should check out Ebay. If you do some research on what kind of hardware you're looking for you can get some great deals for cheap. (I got 4 Intel eepro100's for $20 inclusive shipping). Just remember three things:

1. Google for the product with the words "Linux", "On Linux", etc. See if you can find any posts about problems getting it to work or if it works (i.e. Redhats Supported Hardware Page).

2. Big name manufacturers like 3Com and Intel are more likely to provide Linux drivers then their cheaper coutnerparts. But ebay is a leveler. :-)

3. Always price shop. Sometimes things that look like a deal aren't and visa versa. (I once saw a motherboard with on board SCSI RAID and dual processors advertised for like $10. So I took a closer look and it was only compatible with very old processors and drives). Oh yeah, buy hard drives and things which wear out new.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 02:35 PM   #9
degraffenried13
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Since you guys are helping me I feel I should give back a little. A great website I have found for computer stuff is: www.pricewatch.com

Keep the advice coming if you have more.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 03:15 PM   #10
HappyTux
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Just found another link while surfing around this afternoon http://www.linuxhardware.org/.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 06:12 PM   #11
doublefailure
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i recommend just buying Dell.


i payed 650 for
2.4gh
512,2700 ram
60gig
nic
sound
mouse
keyboard
cdrw

back in march 2003

check out hotdealsclub.com
 
Old 12-19-2003, 06:32 PM   #12
Scruff
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Red Hat should have a compatibility list on their website somewhere. My hardware specs are in my sig and all of it works perfectly well in Linux.

The absolute best place to buy anything PC related is www.newegg.com
Their prices are great (while not always the cheapest on the net) and their support/service is on a level all by itself which always makes up for the possible few extra dollars you might spend.

Last edited by Scruff; 12-19-2003 at 08:08 PM.
 
Old 12-19-2003, 08:02 PM   #13
KingofBLASH
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If I had the money I would get a laptop from either:

http://www.emperorlinux.com
http://www.tadpole.com

(Yes those are UltraSparc based notebooks at TadPole and you can really get them with Linux preinstalled.)

-Dan
 
Old 12-19-2003, 08:13 PM   #14
Scruff
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Quote:
Originally posted by KingofBLASH
If I had the money I would get a laptop from either:

http://www.emperorlinux.com
http://www.tadpole.com

(Yes those are UltraSparc based notebooks at TadPole and you can really get them with Linux preinstalled.)

-Dan
My question is Why? I admit I don't know a lot about Sparc procs (tadpole) but in regards to emperorlinux.com, why on earth would you spend over $2000 for the same notebook you could get for $1000 and spend a day configuring Linux on it on your own?
 
Old 12-20-2003, 12:11 AM   #15
degraffenried13
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I noticed on the bus speeds for the AMDk chips and boards it is only 256 whereas I think the pentium chips and boards are 400m. Has anybody found this to be a problem for speed?
 
  


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