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Old 03-10-2005, 11:29 AM   #1
Yalla-One
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Building the perfect Linux PC


Having followed the threads and input from contributors such as jiml8 and J.W, I hope to get some recommendations on how to build the perfect Linux PC for running Slackware and/or SuSE Linux. My requirements are that the system should be well-performing and reliable, but not ridicously expensive (ie. no need for 4x Pentium-4 and 1TB diskspace)... This is to be my main home office PC desktop for running everything from gnucash to OpenOffice and perhaps a couple of games. Will run SQL database. I do unfortunately not live in the US and thus cannot buy from ubid or ebay or similar.

My concern is buying a lot of different excellent equipment, just to find out that it won't play together running Linux.

The first decision is 64 vs 32 bit motherboard/CPU, and I have (until anyone proves me wrong) decided on 32-bit system as I most likely won't need more than 2GB RAM in the foreseeable future (while Bill Gates settled for 640k).
Are there any particular motherboards I should stay away from or make sure to get?

CPU-wise I consider a reasonably fast Pentium-4 with Hyperthreading.

Harddrive - SCSI, but how fast do I need?
Will an Adaptec 2930U controller (20MBps) suffice, and what brand and speed of disk do you recommend with that? I have looked at a couple of IBM disks, but they proved to be very expensive.

As for Video card I have followed quite a few generic discussions on which is best, but have so far found little useful insight on what is recommended for Linux systems for both compatibility and performance.
Is the general concencus that ATI cards to reasonably well both performance, driver and price-wise?
I will run it with a 19" LCD screen.

Sound - my impression is that most modern sound cards are supported - do I need to pay any special attention?

I'll also throw in a USB2 PCI-card to be able to connect to a couple of external 200GB harddrives and to connect to my DVD-RW.

So without further adue, please post your favorite hardware configurations.

Thanks in advance!
 
Old 03-10-2005, 11:43 AM   #2
okmyx
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Stay away from ATI.

I think most ATI card owners will agree that the drivers can be a pig to get 3D accel running.

From the posts on this forum Nvidia seems the more sensible route.
 
Old 03-10-2005, 11:57 AM   #3
frieza
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Re: Building the perfect Linux PC

Quote:
Originally posted by Yalla-One
Having followed the threads and input from contributors such as jiml8 and J.W, I hope to get some recommendations on how to build the perfect Linux PC for running Slackware and/or SuSE Linux. My requirements are that the system should be well-performing and reliable, but not ridicously expensive (ie. no need for 4x Pentium-4 and 1TB diskspace)... This is to be my main home office PC desktop for running everything from gnucash to OpenOffice and perhaps a couple of games. Will run SQL database. I do unfortunately not live in the US and thus cannot buy from ubid or ebay or similar.

My concern is buying a lot of different excellent equipment, just to find out that it won't play together running Linux.

The first decision is 64 vs 32 bit motherboard/CPU, and I have (until anyone proves me wrong) decided on 32-bit system as I most likely won't need more than 2GB RAM in the foreseeable future (while Bill Gates settled for 640k).
Are there any particular motherboards I should stay away from or make sure to get?

64 bit, gigabyte mobos, avoid any 'all in one' mobo with everything onboard

CPU-wise I consider a reasonably fast Pentium-4 with Hyperthreading.

PENTIUM 4? try AMD64 3700+ it will blow any pentium 4 out of the water but an amd64 2800+ is more reasonably priced and will still outpace a pentium 4

Harddrive - SCSI, but how fast do I need?
Will an Adaptec 2930U controller (20MBps) suffice, and what brand and speed of disk do you recommend with that? I have looked at a couple of IBM disks, but they proved to be very expensive.

scsi is obsolete... use SATA or regular IDE gigabyte boards that take 64bit processors have onboard sata and IDE controllers

As for Video card I have followed quite a few generic discussions on which is best, but have so far found little useful insight on what is recommended for Linux systems for both compatibility and performance.
Is the general concencus that ATI cards to reasonably well both performance, driver and price-wise?
I will run it with a 19" LCD screen.

nvidea or msi would be best

Sound - my impression is that most modern sound cards are supported - do I need to pay any special attention?

not really, in fact the gigabyte mobos have built in surround sound

I'll also throw in a USB2 PCI-card to be able to connect to a couple of external 200GB harddrives and to connect to my DVD-RW.

gigiabyte boards have onboard usb

So without further adue, please post your favorite hardware configurations.

p.s. for such a setup you will need a MINIMUM of 350Watt power supply 400 or more reccomended, i reccomend enlight cases

Thanks in advance!

i work for a company that builds computers, so trust me... i know what i'm talking about
http://www.longhaircomputers.com

Last edited by frieza; 03-10-2005 at 12:12 PM.
 
Old 03-10-2005, 12:22 PM   #4
Yalla-One
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Thanks much - whoa - that's better and faster information than I dared hope for.

Quote:
64 bit, gigabyte mobos, avoid any 'all in one' mobo with everything onboard
Any specific manufacturers (or any to stay away from?)
My concern is this - is it 100% compatible with 32bit software and and systems? Will I run into any compatibility issues with lets say older versions of Slackware or Windows or any such? As I am sure you can tell I am quite new to this, and I worry that my limited knowledge might lead to buying something that I cannot use or that requires too high-level maintenance.

You say "avoid everything onboard" - what's "everything" as they seem to come with both audio, HD controller and USB2 already... When I last worked on computer hardware (OK, back in the 80486 days) I had to go out and get separate controller, serial and audio-cards

Quote:
PENTIUM 4? try AMD64 3700+ it will blow any pentium 4 out of the water but an amd64 2800+ is more reasonably priced
Is this the same as the AMD Athlon XP or Athlon 64 chips?

Question: The AMD Web is real messy - does this have an equivalent of Intel's P4 HyperThreading?
I see on the webpage that users can download Windows XP drivers - will I need special drivers for Linux?

Quote:
scsi is obsolete... use SATA gigabyte boards that take 64bit processors have onboard sata controlers
My understanding was that SATA uses IDE and thus is more prone to errors, while SCSI gives higher transfer speed and superior reliability? However, as it's for a home system I guess that's not needed.
Is the SATA controller on-board? Will any SATA-drive do, or does it have to be matched to the motherboard?

Quote:
nvidea or msi would be best
Some further research and answers have brought me to nvidea, but they seem to have lots of different drivers etc - how to best pick one that is both Linux compatible and "future-proof"? (as in not buying yesterday's technology)


Thank you again ever so much for your kind and patience support here!
 
Old 03-10-2005, 12:38 PM   #5
frieza
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yalla-One
Thanks much - whoa - that's better and faster information than I dared hope for.


Any specific manufacturers (or any to stay away from?)
My concern is this - is it 100% compatible with 32bit software and and systems? Will I run into any compatibility issues with lets say older versions of Slackware or Windows or any such? As I am sure you can tell I am quite new to this, and I worry that my limited knowledge might lead to buying something that I cannot use or that requires too high-level maintenance.

You say "avoid everything onboard" - what's "everything" as they seem to come with both audio, HD controller and USB2 already... When I last worked on computer hardware (OK, back in the 80486 days) I had to go out and get separate controller, serial and audio-cards

especially avoid onboard video.. onboard sound is ok and onboard ide/sata isn't too bad

Is this the same as the AMD Athlon XP or Athlon 64 chips?

Question: The AMD Web is real messy - does this have an equivalent of Intel's P4 HyperThreading?
I see on the webpage that users can download Windows XP drivers - will I need special drivers for Linux?

first of all, the 64bit version of windows is still in beta, linux on the other hand does have 64bit builds. as for hyperthreading, i don't know, i use PIIIs at the max myself, can't afford anything better yet but when i do, it will be an AMD64, as for drivers... you shouldn't need special drivers for a processor, just the rest of the componants that come with the card, look in the HCL

My understanding was that SATA uses IDE and thus is more prone to errors, while SCSI gives higher transfer speed and superior reliability? However, as it's for a home system I guess that's not needed.
Is the SATA controller on-board? Will any SATA-drive do, or does it have to be matched to the motherboard?

scsi is obsolete.... regular IDE is what my boss uses, scsi would be more expensive
anyways


Some further research and answers have brought me to nvidea, but they seem to have lots of different drivers etc - how to best pick one that is both Linux compatible and "future-proof"? (as in not buying yesterday's technology)


Thank you again ever so much for your kind and patience support here!

Last edited by frieza; 03-10-2005 at 12:50 PM.
 
Old 03-10-2005, 06:08 PM   #6
piscikeeper
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nvidia only uses one driver for all their video cards.any series,sub-manufacturer,pci/agp........it's the same driver.
the biggest thing to avoid with the all-in-one boards is video and some ESS sound chips.SIS chipsets have caused me headaches even under windows,so most of my boards are VIA or NVIDIA.
 
Old 03-10-2005, 06:25 PM   #7
frieza
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Quote:
the biggest thing to avoid with the all-in-one boards is video and some ESS sound chips.SIS chipsets have caused me headaches even under windows,so most of my boards are VIA or NVIDIA.
the biggetst thing to avoid with the all-in-one boards is the all-in-one-boards themselves, because the lack of scalability repairabilty, and upgradability.. 'nuff said
 
  


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