LinuxQuestions.org
Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 12-31-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
walterbyrd
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 572

Rep: Reputation: 30
Help me build a great home 64-bit home Linux system


Please suggest what you have found to work: mobo, processor, chipset, video, sound, power supply, etc. Also, let me know if there is any hardware that you would avoid.

Ideally:
- No problems: all hardware works well with Linux, without extensive configuration. Drivers are reasonably easy to find.
- Solid performance: snappy video, quality sound.
- A box that will still be worth having five years from now.
- Reasonable price range: less than $1000 USD.
- Do not need: supercomputer, bleeding edge, gamer's box. Performance should be solid - not necessarily extraordinary.
- I do not want to pay 4X more for a 5% increase in performance.
- I do not mind paying 10% more for a 50% increase in performance.
- It would be great if this was known to work with Debian.
 
Old 12-31-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
farslayer
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,232
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 189Reputation: 189
What's my finders fee for gathering all the data for this system to spec under budget ?
 
Old 01-08-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
walterbyrd
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 572

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
What do most people on these forums get paid for sharing information?
 
Old 01-08-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269
Well, just make sure to get new hardware that fully supports 64-bit, not too much of an issue, as almost all hardware you can buy now supports 64-bit. For the video card, check the drivers to make sure there are 64-bit drivers for the card, of course if you're buying a new card, this is not an issue.

Really, if the box will work with Linux, it will work with Linux in 64-bit mode.

Check here for compatibility info:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl/index.php
http://hardware4linux.info/

I would stay away from manufacturers such as JMicron, Silicon Image, Marvell Yukon. You may have problems with these in some cases.

I run 64-bit and here's my setup:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl/sh...ct/4223/cat/49

In these forums you're not allowed to ask a price for advice. Advice is free as long as there are people kind enough to give it.
 
Old 01-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
farslayer
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,232
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 189Reputation: 189
Well personally I would start with the intel E8400 CPU. ( lower Power consumption and heat generation than comparable AMD CPU, Plus better performance for this current generation ) then build around that CPU.

Check Phoronix.com for compatible motherboards that work well in Linux. I am fond of intel and Gigabyte motherboards.

I prefer nVidia for video cards.. their drivers work very well in Linux

Antek makes nice Sturdy cases and I've never had an issue with one of their power supplies. http://www.antec.com/InternationalWelcome.php

Integrated sound from the mootherboard should work fine, unless you need something more specific.
 
Old 01-08-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
johnsfine
Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2007
Distribution: Centos
Posts: 5,138

Rep: Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127Reputation: 1127
A few thoughts:

For a home system, I think dual core is best. It will have clear performance advantages over single core and not cost much more. Three or more cores is probably not a good idea for home systems. There isn't much software used in typical home systems that can take advantage of multi core, so you pay more money for less performance per core. Unless you have a specific software need for multi core, less performance per core means less total performance. I think AMD is a bit better than Intel for price performance for dual core.

If it isn't supposed to be a gaming system, I suggest skipping the video card. Select a mobo that has built in graphics. That should be plenty for non game use. I think the Nvidia onboard graphics have better closed source drivers, so if you aren't an open source fanatic, select Nvidia for the graphics portion of the mobo chipset (if you are an open source fanatic, don't select Nvidia).

I use a Gigabyte mobo. I really regret the choice. It works, but it has a lot of problems. I wouldn't recommend one, especially for Linux. I used an Asus mobo for my Son's Windows system and was much more satisfied with that, both as a Windows system and testing a Linux LiveCD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walterbyrd View Post
snappy video, quality sound.
I'm not sure what "snappy video" might mean outside of games. In anything I do on a computer any visible delays in video are due to the source (internet or rarely file I/O) not due to the video interface itself. Gaming is where the video interface speed matters.

I am totally unqualified to comment on "quality sound". I wouldn't hear the difference nor really care if I could.

Quote:
A box that will still be worth having five years from now.
Nice goal, but I don't think any of us can predict that. I expect some aspect of hardware price performance will change by enough and be taken advantage of by enough new software that today's system will be garbage in five years.
 
Old 01-08-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
strick1226
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: CentOS, Fedora, OS X, SLES, Ubuntu
Posts: 273

Rep: Reputation: 51
For snappy video I really doubt any kind of integrated graphics solution is going to be as fast as you might want/expect. Definitely with farslayer on this one: heavily recommend an nVidia video card, as they tend to be ridiculously easy to get working in current distro's.

ATI has been making progress in providing better support for their video cards in linux, but they still have to play a bit of catch-up to nVidia.

No need to get an insanely costly one; for your non-gaming needs a used 7800- or 7900-class card (or a new 9600GT) most likely would offer more than enough performance, and not require replacement in 18 months.

An Intel Core2Duo dual-core CPU is hard to beat; I think its price premium is worth that over the similar AMD offerings. We have a lot of Dell boxes that are nearly identical in configuration aside from similar-spec'd Intel and AMD dual-core CPU's. The difference in performance and heat output is noticeable; even non-geeks have remarked about it.

I don't imagine you actually would need more than 4GB of RAM, so save money by not purchasing 8GB...

I've had pretty good experiences with Intel chipset-based motherboards and linux. Some of the nVidia motherboard chipsets have had issues in the recent past, but I hear their stability is improving.

My experience on the audio chipsets: oddly enough, I tend to have a lot less problems with the older Creative Audigy and Audigy2 PCI cards than integrated motherboard audio--but maybe that's just me?

I've had crappy motherboards from Abit, Asrock, Asus, DFI, Foxconn, Gigabyte, MSI, Supermicro, Tyan, and others. Best rule of thumb, generally speaking, is to avoid the absolutely lowest-priced/budget models of any brand--you might luck out, but they seem to be more problematic than middle-tier-and-above models.

For your configuration I would recommend against purchasing an SLI/dual-video card motherboard, as they tend to be priced considerably higher than decent motherboards that only support a single video card.

Consumer feedback can be valuable; check Newegg product ratings and reviews on equipment, and compare them to posts in hardware forums those available here on linuxquestions.org or hardocp.com .

I guess it goes without saying you shouldn't skip the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) here at LQ.

Hope this helps answer a few questions.
 
Old 01-08-2009, 02:09 PM   #8
farslayer
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,232
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 189Reputation: 189
Back to the CPU's for a moment, you might want to look at the links in this post of mine from a week or so ago. You'll get a better understanding of my earlier comments about the CPU's

Intel E8400 vs AMD X2 6400+

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-2-duo-694368/
 
Old 01-08-2009, 11:41 PM   #9
thorkelljarl
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,743

Rep: Reputation: 196Reputation: 196
Oh boy, oh boy

Choice is method.

I would say that if you want the best experience with linux, you want the components with the best support in linux. Therefor that you consider quality components that are either old linux standard choices, with documented, good support in linux, or newer products that have been in production from 6 to 18 months and have acquired a good reputation for linux support. They are the ones that, when googling for them and linux, gain the most eager praise. Next I suggest doing a more useful search with the terms linux and trouble, or problem, or no support. The combination of enthusiasm and warning has served me well.

Much of linux is a catch-up game; the newest is a problem but time is on the side of the linux programmers . In addition, not being at the absolute forefront makes purchasing sense, as high initial prices usually fall quickly to a sweet spot in the price to performance ratio a while after the newest of everything is on the market.

I purchased, in the last year, as a general use personal system:

A then current Gigabyte mother board with onboard sound and internet that everyone said worked and did. Not the gamers' with SLI, not the server standard. Gigabyte was recommended for their actual adherence to the nominally stated standards and specifications in the components they use. That is, exact, not almost.

A dual-core CPU, mine an AMD, that I put a big fan, overclocker cooler on so that the fan turns slowly, it stays cool and is very quiet.

A Nvidia 8600GT graphic card with 512MB of RAM, with passive cooling. Quiet, with not too much heat, and not having more power than Nvidias linux driver will let it use. It has a DVI output for that now new, quality 20-22" flat screen I'll be buying used in a couple of years. Now I use a high quality Eizo CRT that was replaced only because it wasn't a flat screen. The combination produces a nice sharp image using vlc to watch Danmarks Radios TV stream and films on DVD.

2GB Corsair RAM, of better than budget quality, but many other brands would do.

A Samsung SpinPoint 500GB SATA HDD.

An Antec NSK4000 cabinet with a quiet 12cm fan in the middle of the back panel that I can set to a low speed. The case has good air through flow.

A Corsair HX620W PSU, the most expensive single component, and with a quality and output that I expect to be still suitable for my next system.

I agree with all of the previous posts. Everyone's choices are personal, the grounds for making choices will be different, including budget, local prices, and availability. I've tried to give you mine. Even if all the components work on, in 5 years they will be functioning antiquities and we can all begin again.

Lastly, I bought everything with one distro in mind, openSUSE, and I was both pleased and disappointed with the outcome. Everything works well, so well there was no fun solving problems to get everything up and running.

I paid, buying online, about 3500 Danish Crowns, not a bad price considering that Denmark has a 25% Value Added Tax on most everything. For U.S. Dollars, divide by about 6 at the time. The point being that wise choices, including using used equipment, can give good results without draining a budget.

Good luck and best results with your choices.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 01-09-2009 at 10:20 AM.
 
Old 01-09-2009, 05:29 AM   #10
Electro
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,042

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
walterbyrd, I have the following system that I got in 2002.

Abit TH7II-RAID
Pentium 4 2 GHz (Northwood core)
1 GB PC-800 RAMBUS ECC (4 X 256 MB)
GeForceFX 5700 Ultra
ASUS DVD (E608)
Western Digital RE 120 GB (PATA)
IBM/Hitachi 180GXP 120 GB (PATA)
Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1
Koutech USB 2.0/IEEE-1394/1 Gb NIC (PC720)
LifeView FlyVideo 3000+
Hauppauge PVR-250 (980)
Seasonic S12-430
Hitachi CM771

There are some hardware that I upgraded and some that I added over the years. Thanks to GNU/Linux, it still provides good performance although, I am finding out that I need to get a new computer soon in order to playback HD content. After fooling around with Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H in Sabayon Linux, digital audio over HDMI works and everything else also works. An Phenom 8650 processor is not enough to handle all HD content, so a faster processor is require since there is no hardware H.264 and MPEG decoding yet in Linux. A Phenom 8650 barely handles 720p content, but it could be Sabayon Linux slowing it down because my Pentium 4 with Sabayon can not play back 720p like it did if I installed Gentoo my self.

I am thinking of the following setup and it should also suit your price range.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...Number=7802805

My preference is a HTPC. It will be for playing back SD movies, decoding HD content from broadcast and movies from zml.com, giving me a choice between using an AV receiver to experience the sound or save power by using the speakers in a drive bay, and be close to noiseless. One problem I may have is 2D performance, so I may have to go with a nVidia dedicated graphics card like a 9600GT that takes up only one slot and not two. Playing back Blu-Ray movies is not on my list right now because I do not believe in buying hard copies. It should last more than five years if I maintain it through the years which I normally do. I usually neglect doing software upgrades, so I have to install Linux every other year.

Any computer you get will be new to you and you will have to figure out the best settings for audio and video for what you want to do. For example, after using the Gigabyte motherboard, I had to use the following command to direct audio through HDMI and unmute HDMI using alsamixer.

mplayer -channels 2 -ao alsa:device=plughw=1.3 file

For some HD content, I had to use the following command.

mplayer -channels 2 -dr -framedrop -ao alsa:device=plughw=1.3 -vo xv file

On a Sony KDS-60A3000, the audio from HDMI does not always gets initialized, so I had to repeatedly load the video file multiple times to get the audio. Other people also have similar problems with other Sony products. Seeking through the video also cause a lost of audio although I am using ALSA 1.0.16 and problems that I am having should be minimized if I upgrade to 1.0.18 or higher from what I found on some sites, but I am using Sabayon straight from DVD.

Video play back was tearing, so I set video sync to the refresh rate which helps a lot for quality and performance did not get any noticeable penalty. Playing back flash video such as from hulu.com is poor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
Back to the CPU's for a moment, you might want to look at the links in this post of mine from a week or so ago. You'll get a better understanding of my earlier comments about the CPU's

Intel E8400 vs AMD X2 6400+

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-2-duo-694368/
Be careful comparing a two year old processor with a more recent processor. One problem with Core 2 Duo processors is they do not have true 64-bit computing. They become inefficient when dealing with 64-bit instructions. AMD Athlon64 and AMD Phenom are true 64-bit processors. Sure Intel users could go with Core i7 for true 64-bit computing, but it is very costly. Intel may have lower power consumption, but in some areas they lack where AMD shines well. A G33 chipset lacks video acceleration in all areas. It is best to go with a P35 or X38 chipset and a dedicated graphics card.
 
Old 01-09-2009, 05:58 AM   #11
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
Be careful comparing a two year old processor with a more recent processor. One problem with Core 2 Duo processors is they do not have true 64-bit computing. They become inefficient when dealing with 64-bit instructions. AMD Athlon64 and AMD Phenom are true 64-bit processors. Sure Intel users could go with Core i7 for true 64-bit computing, but it is very costly. Intel may have lower power consumption, but in some areas they lack where AMD shines well. A G33 chipset lacks video acceleration in all areas. It is best to go with a P35 or X38 chipset and a dedicated graphics card.
References please. AFAIK, only older Core 2 Duos were not true 64-bit, newer ones are true 64-bit.
 
Old 01-09-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
farslayer
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,232
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 189Reputation: 189
Hmm the AMD CPU I was looking at is 1.5 years old, Proves I'm no AMD expert.. For some reason it's hard to find good head to head comparisons these days of intel / AMD CPU;s

Maybe I should have searched for this one, for dual core to Dual Core comparison. ..
More comparable for performance (the E8400 still has an edge),
The AMD still has higher power consumption..

Athlon X2 7750
Black Edition3 B3
2700 MHz
2 x 512 KB
2 MB
1800 MHz
13.5x
1.1 - 1.25 V
95W
Socket AM2+
Release Date - 15. Dec 2008
$85.00


Personally I haven't bothered looking at Quad Core for home use, since I don't run any apps that would make use of it..
 
Old 01-09-2009, 04:33 PM   #13
Electro
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,042

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
References please. AFAIK, only older Core 2 Duos were not true 64-bit, newer ones are true 64-bit.
The data is at xbitlabs and anandtech that states that Core 2 Duo processors are physically 32-bit, but are capable of handling 64-bit instructions at a performance penalty. The Core i7 is physically a 64-bit processor.
 
Old 01-10-2009, 05:05 AM   #14
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269Reputation: 1269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
The data is at xbitlabs and anandtech that states that Core 2 Duo processors are physically 32-bit, but are capable of handling 64-bit instructions at a performance penalty. The Core i7 is physically a 64-bit processor.
I have not found anything on those sites that says this.

The only differences I've found are listed here, and they are minor:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_64
 
Old 01-10-2009, 09:33 PM   #15
Electro
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,042

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
I have not found anything on those sites that says this.

The only differences I've found are listed here, and they are minor:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_64
It is there at those sites that I listed. You have to search harder. I have read the information from those sites but the information is buried in the text and I also have seen in tables. The following describes about widening of the decoders from 32-bit (Core 2) to 64-bit (Core i7).

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu...tecture_3.html
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
contents of 'home' directory found at sda5: mounted as /home, and also on sda6:/home leswatson Linux - Newbie 4 04-18-2008 05:02 PM
Can I build 32-bit LFS on a 64-bit AMD system? dhave Linux From Scratch 4 07-23-2007 08:00 PM
Put a 2nd kanotix at hdb 3/,-4/home. 1st is at hdb8/,-9/home.#2 is using 1st's /home sleekmason Linux - General 3 12-09-2006 10:21 AM
Suse FAT question for home build PC perfectblue Suse/Novell 7 01-04-2006 07:03 PM
build linux firewall for home ADSL ah_man04 Linux - Networking 7 05-06-2005 05:30 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:55 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration