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Old 02-14-2005, 09:13 PM   #1
jbeedham
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Anyone build a new linux box lately?


Has anyone on these boards build a new linux box lately?

I want to build a new one since I am getting tired of booting between windows and linux on my existing computer. This way by building a new box, I can dedicate it to linux. Then I can leave it on all the time. Also use it as a learning tool more.

So, if anyone has built a new box lately, please list what parts you used. This will hopefully save me a lot of time. Thanks.
 
Old 02-15-2005, 12:49 AM   #2
rnturn
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Well, actually, it wasn't all that recently but in the past year or so.

I've had a couple of systems built around motherboards by Gigabyte: a PIII/733MHz and PIII/1GHz. Both worked well with Red Hat and SuSE. The most recent build -- an upgrade really -- used an Asus P4/3GHz. Works quite nicely. I've been pretty happy with the PIII boards with 256MB of memory. The P4 system has 512MB and runs nicely. I've used PIII systems with 128MB and had no troubles. (Heck I've got an ancient P100 with 144MB running SuSE 9.0 and other than its being slow I have no complaints. I didn't build this one; it's an old IBM desktop system that was given to me.)

I've tried to shy away from using m'boards with a lot of built-in functions (beyond the standard IDE) but that's getting harder to do nowadays. The older systems only had USB and async functions on-board. Those have always worked OK (the USB was 1.0 but it worked alright). The P4 m'board includes USB 2.0, async, sound, video, and ethernet. So far all that's worked OK but I did disable the sound and video in favor of the cards I was using before (SB512 and Abit/Nvidia Siluro GF4 MX-8X).

If the motherboard you choose doesn't have an on-board ethernet adapter, it's hard to go wrong with 3Com or Intel but they can be a bit pricey.

Nearly all of my disk storage is SCSI. Adaptec adapters seems to be the best supported. I've used some older NCR adapters for tape drives with no problems. However, the performance of the drivers for these boards when used with disk drives is spotty and seems to be getting worse. (If you're only looking at a 2.4 kernel, you might have better luck.) Somehow I rather doubt you'll want to spend the extra money on SCSI. In that case, there are a ton of IDE disks out there. I keep hearing about problems with SATA so I've stayed away from it (for now). If you plan on getting huge disks -- and it's hard not to nowadays -- you should consider find some sort of device for backups. I lean toward tape since it still makes DVDs look like floppy disks.

Cases are a personal preference; what I use you may hate, etc. Find one that has enough room for some growth and is solid enough to provide some sound dampening. The really inexpensive cases, IMHO, aren't worth it as the construction can so flimsy that the whirring disk drives and fans turns the case sides into soundboards. Watch out for boxes with small diameter fans. They have to run these at very high speeds in order to move enough air through the case and they get pretty noisy. I prefer any case that has a removable or hinged side panel. Thankfully, the case industry seems to have finally gotten the idea that clamshell covers on cases were about as easy to deal with as square wheels on a bicycle. There are a couple of built-like-a-tank Supermicro cases that I've lusted after for a long time but they're too expensive for my budget. Antec makes some nice reasonably-priced ones. So do others.

Do not skimp -- repeat do not -- on the power supply. I've had more frustrating experiences due to dicey power supplies than I care to recall.

Good luck (and make sure you account for all the screws )
 
Old 02-15-2005, 02:11 AM   #3
amosf
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Latest linux build was an AMD64 2800+ on a GA-K8NS with FX5700LE... 17amps rated on the 12v supply, but you can't trust those...

I have linux on all sorts of boxes tho...
 
Old 02-15-2005, 02:55 AM   #4
dreamcasting
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Registered: Sep 2004
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Built a linux box over the summer and love the system even though its not used as often as it should be. At the moment I use it to back up data from my laptop and to burn dvds.

AMD 64 3000+
generic NEC floppy
NEC ND-2510A DVD+/-RW x 2 (can now get the 16x OEM drives for less than what I paid for these. Although, it was a steal considering if I bought my shit from bestbuy etc would have paid more for just a damn CD-R drive.)
2x512MB DDR PC-3200
GeForce FX5900XT 128mb ddr - was more than I needed and seemed like a mid-range card.

SOYO Dragon board An ok board and the bonus memory card reader actually worked with no problems (or manual configuration) on Ubuntu, but not on SUSE 9.1. Spent the last three years in college drooling over a different dragon board so I had to go with one for my first build out of school.
Only problem is that the onboard network adapter is always detected but you'll need the linux drivers to get it to work, quick dl from the manufacturers website.
Antec 430W Power supply - like rnturn said don't skimp on your power supply. While this is by no means the greatest power supply its been trustworthy and Its far better than the junker that came with the generic 20 dollar case.

Sadly as soon as it was built I wanted to build another... But every thing works great and its peppy, especially since my last PC was 700mghz Slot-A anthlon. Course now looking through the envoices of the two that I did build its kinda scarry how much damn money I spent on just computer parts - well one was a gift and both were fun to build.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 12:42 AM   #5
rnturn
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Quote:
Sadly as soon as it was built I wanted to build another...
Addictive isn't it?

Building your own is a bit like installing Slackware or Gentoo. You learn a lot about what's what inside the system. And when you outgrow the new system, much of it is reusable in the next system. Try that with one of those highly integrated Compaqs (for example) where hardly anything except maybe the disk drives is a standard component. Plus, when you build your own, you get the opportunity to avoid crud like Winmodems.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 12:57 AM   #6
dreamcasting
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It is addictive. Luckily, I can update my older gateway with a new mobo etc, so it should help with the withdrawl. Building my system is what got me into linux further than I had gone before (ie dual boot with windows). Now after using several distros as my only OS on the machine I want to learn more about everything and am willing to do things I never would have before. Its a fun OS.
 
Old 02-19-2005, 01:53 AM   #7
jbeedham
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Thanks for all the replys so far. As far as building a new system goes I think I need it to be at least 1 Ghz beyond that I am not too picky. I could always upgrade as I go. As long as I can run all the basic servers from the start that will be good. Eventually, I want it to run freevo. However, I may need to build a 2nd box for that.

Now, I know it would be better to build my own system. What do you guys think about this cheapy system that is at frys/outpost.com?

http://www.outpost.com/servlet/Zeus/...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG
 
Old 02-19-2005, 03:37 AM   #8
piscikeeper
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for my money,i'd steer clear from it.4x agp,250 watt psu and pre-installed w/linspire.128mb of ram,upgradeable to 1gb.....yet further down it says max of 2gb.
it sounds as if its built around an ecs k7 series,which means vid card chioces are limited too.
latest builds include 2 shuttle an35n ultra's,albatron kx600s pro,msi km4m-v and kt6v-lsr;nvidia mx4000,fx 5200,fx 5600,fx 5700le,and a radeon 9550.
 
  


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