Linux - HardwareThis forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?
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if im going to build a new computer specifically for linux, which computer components do i need to worry about most with compatibility if the mother board has built in network, video, and sound. can integrated components not be compatible?
Check the hardware compatibility sites. Most distros have their own hardware compatibility section on their sites.
You don't really want to get a multi-purpose motherboard. The buss has to process all that integrated hardware and will slow you down. It's not much of a factor for normal day-to-day use but if you work with lots of graphics or you like playing games it becomes a factor. It's better to get a fast standard motherboard and add hardware to it as you need it.
Yes - some integrated components can sometimes not be catered for initially ie out of the box - however you can usually get any relevant software and install it later - my onboard Ethernet NIC is not compatitble with my distros at the moment - I could probably get hold of the relevant software - but at the moment I'm just enjoying trying the various disstributions and not too bothered about this.
The key thing to remember is that even if the odd component is not catered for initially - it shouldnt stop you getting your distribution up and running - once its up and running you can always look into getting any extra software.
As a general point - personally I would steer clear of Software modems - get an External serial modem - you won't have any problems with them regards compatitbility with Linux
I've used two integrated mobos for Linux. Currently I am using an ASUS A7N266VM with integrated nVidia graphics, sound and LAN. It's a real horrible board. I should never have bought it. It's unstable and in Linux it freezes if I use 3 of the 6 USB ports! In Windows 98SE it just crashes left right and centre.
Previously I had a PC-Chips 810LMR. Okay, it's cheap and the graphics are nothing to write home about. But it works and the experimental 3D drivers work. And it can easily run an Athlon XP2000. If whizz-bang games are not a priority, then I would state that it is very Linux compatible with recent releases. You don't need any special drivers to get the LAN, sound or video going. It used old-fashioned SDRAM, though.
Integrated kit usually borrows the clock for something, if its in a slot or on the board, its all going through the PCI bus anyway.
Sound is a killer, a lot of the SIS based boards are a hastle right now, the Nvidia nforce and nforce2 chipsets are well supported. The Intel i845, 865, 875 are all working out, although Asus, Abit, Epox, World+Dog is craming weird things on the chipset. Usually out-of-kernel cards like the 3com 2000 gigabit card.
Onboard sound borrows clock for sound, it clips down your performance on games a bit and pci sound cards are just cheap these days. Onboard video usually runs on shared RAM, which means that its using a funky bus system to steal system RAM. Aside from Nvidia, Linux doesn't handle this too well, almost all of these cards are supported, they're just kludged together to work, not to perform like Nvidia goop.
Nvidia Nforce is not very well supported under linux yet . I have one and if i had it to do over again i would buy a via kt400 instead. Nforce may one day be better but as of now audio never seems to work right and to get it to work at all i have to jump through hoops. Mandrake some how configured my sound right so i know its posible but i like slackware and i have not had any luck with the nvidia drivers.
I built the one below. I have had no hardware problems yet. I put it together and a few updates, video drivers, java etc, later it works fine. It wasn't to expensive either. I'm disabled. It couldn't be to expensive.
Nvidia chipset support for the nforce, nforce2 and nforce3 (if you can afford an opteron), is all in 2.4.21 and/or 2.4.22-preX series, therefore it'll be there with the next release of any given distro (except possibly redhat, who is a little more conservative). The Nvidia drivers for the board dirrect from Nvidia themselves are a little harder to deal with once you wander away from RPM based distros... Overall the Nvidia chipset is pretty badass, which I suppose is why it took kernel hackers so long to backport support to stable. The KT400 is just another rev of the KT333, and so on... so it was a bit simpler.