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Vampirite 09-23-2006 10:10 AM

Asus A8N-E - to buy or not to buy?
 
Hi all,

I am going to buy this computer:
http://www.targa.co.uk/index.jsp?SID...AREA=undefined

A Targa Ultra AN64II 3700+.

It looks all good to be honest.

The graphics card I will wrestle with later (I assume I'll get it working, even if it may be difficult - as long as it's possible.)

I was just wondering about the Asus A8N-E motherboard, it looks like good compatibility and I googled for any Linux info. I got some incomplete problems about SATA drives, but I am only going to have one Primary Master SATA HDD.

As for the nForce4 Ultra - I think it is compatible right??

So just please tell me if there is any Linux (specifically Slackware 10.2 and 11.0) problems or incompatibility with this computer - mainly the motherboard.

Oh and I am buying it on Monday, so please respond quickly :).

Thanks

Kourosh

Samoth 09-23-2006 10:31 AM

Looks pretty nice, But I have heard bad things about the SATA support on those boards. You planning on making a media center out of that box? If so, the Hauppauge tuner card will work fine. BTW, I am from the US, how much is 999 Euros in American Dollars? Cheers.

<<Samoth>>

hansalfredche 09-23-2006 12:07 PM

Noisy fan
 
I'm not 100% sure it is the one I am thinking about, but a friend of mine has a similar board (if not the same, I'm not sure of the modell) and the fan on it is VERY noisy. Actually was, it got replaced by a passive cooler which made the computer silent. What a difference! He also had problems with SATA (most corrected through BIOS update and fiddling around in BIOS), IDE seems to work just fine (has HD since one week only).

Vampirite 09-24-2006 07:00 AM

Hey I was thinking the Media Centre wasn't going to work! If it works on Linux thats cool.

The SATA could be a problem yes...

But the problems I've seen are to do with Mandriva/Mandrake and two SATA HDD's.

And I'm using Slackware and one SATA HDD.

And I've seen others using this motherboard fine.

I suppose I could buy an IDE HDD and use that instead if things are that bad.

If the fan is noisy, I'll just see if I can return it, or replace it.

I read something about sata_nv kernel module? Any ideas?

By the way I'm getting this computer for 499.99 which is $951.330973(USD)
€999 is $1,278.6201 (USD).

Thanks, I'll probably buy it anyway, the problems are vaguely minimal and easy to fix.

Oh, and is their anyway of internally adding SATA support to an old motherboard?
Kourosh

hansalfredche 09-24-2006 07:34 AM

It was an early model -
 
So it might be they have improved the fan. You also should have newer BIOS on it, so fewer problems.

hansalfredche 09-24-2006 07:44 AM

"Oh, and is their anyway of internally adding SATA support to an old motherboard?
Kourosh"

Yes, but you need an additional PCI controller for it.

And expect some noise from the fan. But you can put some Zalman cooler on it, if it is too loud, like this one (don't know dealer, but you can find it a little bit everywhere).
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...ges&doy=search

lazlow 09-24-2006 03:35 PM

Vampirite

The problem with sata is usually not using it but booting to it. Usually you can temporarily add a pata drive, do the install, install the sata boot drivers, then transfer everything over to the sata drive. Personally I find it easier to just boot to pata and use my sata drives for storage. I have an Asus a8n5x and the only problem I have had is slow transfers from pata to sata (or sata to pata)(nobody seems to have a clue as to why). The pata drive runs 57MB/sec and the sata 73MB/sec(the pata drive is older). Transfering accross GigE is fast to either drive.

The noise from the fan can also be dealt with buy installing the heat pipe from the next motherboard up ( the sli premium one, it escapes me at the moment). The steel one will fit but the copper one(from two motherboards up) will not. Last I heard the heat pipe was $15 without shipping from the asus store.


Good luck

Lazlow

Morocco4Linux 09-24-2006 07:14 PM

I have the same motherboard , I just bought it last week -a new one- from one PC shop 66€. it is great and works very good with my AMD athlon 64.
between, for Sata , they give me an extra paper with the books of the motherboard. in the paper they said :
thechnical updates
OLD SATA===========>REVISED
SATA4===============>SATA2
SATA3===============>SATA1
SATA2===============>SATA4
SATA1===============>SATA3

Electro 09-24-2006 08:08 PM

With any motherboard that contains fan to cool off the chipset is pathetic and dumb. I recommend passive cooling for chipsets because there is no way that the chipset will halt the bus when it overheats. When chipsets overheat, they will still function, but they will corrupt your data.

I recommend wired mouse and keyboard instead wireless mouse and keyboard. A wired mouse and keyboard provides more reliability. Wireless inputs are in the 2.4 GHz range which means it have to share with wireless NIC, cordless phones, cellphones, A/V transmitters, etc.

Using SATA Seagate hard drives are a waste. On terms of file server performance, it is very, very slow. I recommend using PATA hard drives instead and the brands that I recommend are Hitachi and Western Digital. On-board SATA plays around with DMA and PIO modes. Also it corrupts data, so that is why I strongly recommend using PATA hard drives. If you want to go with SATA, use Highpoint RocketRAID 1520, Highpoint RocketRAID 1540, Highpoint RocketRAID 1620, or any 3ware model. Promise SATA controllers have the same problems as on-board SATA controllers, so do not consider buying them.

A desktop/workstation using wireless NIC is pathetic. Only mobile computers should use wireless NIC.

Samoth 09-25-2006 07:17 AM

I used to use a pata drive to load my kernel off of(couldn't figure out in my BIOS how to boot sata) then mount my root partition on the sata drive. Worked pretty well but if you wanted to compile a kernel, it wasn't so easy(wish I had know about chroot back then).

Vampirite 09-25-2006 09:13 AM

Woah this seriously has me worrying now...!!

Wireless I knew about, I wasn't going to use them anyways.

However...

You have got me thinking that I could have my data being corrupted easily. Thats not good, I sort of like stability.

And about the cooling, data corruption and motherboard blowing up won't happen right??

I've never used SATA, PATA and the likes. Only basic IDE ATA ones. Will I simply be able to use ATA??

So...

Can I boot SATA?
Will my data be easily corrupted?
Is cooling a problem, or can I keep it the way it is?
Does everything work the same (grub etc.) in SATA as ATA?
Can I use an ATA drive?

The point is I've got someone to buy it today, that means I could have it now.

And it also means I'm low on money.

This isn't good.

Vampirite 09-25-2006 09:16 AM

Oh and by the way Samoth, you are older than me ;)

Vampirite 09-25-2006 09:41 AM

This motherboard doesn't have good old ATA does it?

Damn...

lazlow 09-25-2006 01:02 PM

Pata and ide are the same thing (essentially)

lazlow 09-25-2006 01:14 PM

Yes, you can boot sata. Your just have to jump through a few hoop to get there.

Very few people have data corruption problems (same as in windows).

They had some very bad fans with the first run of motherboards. The fans do make some noise. The option is always there to replace the chipset fan if it becomes a problems (less than $20). Lots of people run this motherboard without issue.

PATA= plain old ide (essentially).

Sata requires drivers (just like pata) but they are not include in the base boot package. So one needs to get the sata drivers from the install disk (cd/dvd) onto the sata HD before you can boot to the sata HD. This is the tricky part(or PITA part). Once the drivers are in place you can treat it just like an ide device. This little shuffle is why so many people boot to pata (ide) and run off sata.

Good luck

Lazlow


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