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Old 09-24-2006, 02:51 PM   #1
powerwindows
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Question Need some recommendations on CDROM/Ethernet/Graphics


Aloha.

I've got three questions and thought I would just lump them all together.

My DVDRW drive and Ethernet card do not work in Linux. I'm shopping around NewEgg to try and find replacements. Cheap and compatible is basically what I'm looking for. Oh yea, and the cd drive needs to be a cd/dvd. Do optical SATA drives play nice with Linux?

Intel open source graphics drivers? Any good? It sounds nice. I've got a 965 motherboard and integrated X3000, but I also have a gefore 7300gs card - but with no open source drivers. The only games I'll be playing is DOOM3 and Counter Strike Source via Cedega.

Thanks for the time!

Last edited by powerwindows; 09-24-2006 at 03:02 PM.
 
Old 09-24-2006, 03:23 PM   #2
lazlow
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Last I heard sata optical drives were just plain bad, regardless of os. I have had pretty good luck with LG dvd combo drives (pata). Nvidia does have drivers for linux as does ATI. While they are not open source they do work. For whatever reason (lack of open source) video drivers are just not as fast on linux (generally). I would try again with the ethernet card because almost all chipsets are supported (at least I have not heard of one that is not). I have had good luck with 3com cards. If you are going to buy a new ethernet card I would buy gigabit ethernet. I got my last 3com GigE on ebay for $20 with shipping.

Posting what distro you intend to use will be a great help to those trying to help you.

Lazlow
 
Old 09-24-2006, 03:39 PM   #3
powerwindows
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Thanks laz. I was thinking SATA because the chords are nice and small, also speed. I just found a cheap IDE LG drive on NewEgg but it has riplock. I'm not ripping any dvds, so does riplock even matter?

Yea I heard about the speed thing. So stick with NVIDIA or take out the card and go with Intel and their open source doohickeys?

I was looking at the Encore ENLGA-1320 net card, about seven bucks. It has a realtek chipset. My current card is onboard my mobo, which hasn't been on the market for too long.

Distro? I'm looking at archlinux with xfce. I like my system to be lightweight, which is why I'm fleeing from Vista.
 
Old 09-24-2006, 05:02 PM   #4
lazlow
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Just as a matter of preference I would choose one of the models without riplock. If you read about riplock it just slows down the transfer rate of the drive on large transfers. I suspect that it may choose to slow you down when you do not want to be slowed down (but that is just me).

I would try the nvidia first. More people are playing games with the Nvidia therefore you will find more support for it. You might try nvnews they have a support forum for linux.

What is your motherboard?(another thing that will always help us, help you)

If you are just using the card for web browsing the Encore will probably be ok. If you are going to use this box for a server (even for in house use only) I would spend a little more money.

Almost any distro will be very lite compared to Xp or Vista. I prefer FC5. It has its own support forum (fedoraforums) and you can get a lot of things "pre packaged" very quickly (for instance livna repo has been keeping a nvidia rpm current). Mostly the differences in distros boils down to support. Does the distro you choose support the things you want to do (easily)? Almost every distro supports at least one thing better than all the other distros. Figure out what you want to do and choose from there.

Lazlow
 
Old 09-24-2006, 06:29 PM   #5
powerwindows
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I heard that with non-opensource drivers, every time you update something you have to reinstall the drivers. And that they're generally less stable than opensource equivilents. Is this true?

My motherboard is an Intel DG965RY. It's beautiful.

I'm hooked up to my school's network. The net card will be used for browsing and Counter Strike. And downloading stuff.

Archlinux seems to have alot of updates. I like what I've read about their Pacman package manager. Archlinux.org keeps mentioning lightweight and simplicity, and use of the command line. I'm still keeping my options open. Fedora is the other distro I'm debating on. Possibly Debian? I want to learn Linux and have a good command of it.

Last edited by powerwindows; 09-24-2006 at 06:33 PM.
 
Old 09-24-2006, 08:18 PM   #6
lazlow
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powerwindows

I think (from the following link) that your built in ethernet should work: http://downloadmirror.intel.com/df-s.../ENG/e1000.htm
Either way you should be ok.

Every time you upgrade the kernel (pretty much just the kernel) you will have to update any special driver, open source or not. These drivers have to be compiled against the specific kernel you are using. You can (and I do a lot) just use the standard video driver (vesa) and you will not have to recompile each time you change kernels (support is built into the kernel). Going this route you will also not have support for the cards "advanced" feature (eg it will be slower). Stability issues pop up when you change kernels (where they will show up is random ( video, ethernet, etc).

As far as destros, have a good backup system and try all the destros that interest you. A lot of people have 3 or 4 distros set up to run (multiple disks). I keep all my drives in drive drawers (newegg has lots of types in HD accesories). I shut down a machine, turn a key, pull out one drive, shove in the next, turn key, power up the machine with "new" os running. I run win311,98,xp, Os/2, FC4, FC5 and a drive dedicated to try outs of new os. The drive drawers are usually $20. You can run dual or multiple boot but Murphy's law tends to apply. Sooner or later one os pees on the other os.

Lightweight is usually more important if one is running on iffy hardware. Less than 512mb ram, a PII processor, something along those lines. But try what you think you like now. Then test other stuff until you find what fits for you.

Good Luck
Lazlow
 
Old 09-24-2006, 09:06 PM   #7
Electro
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nVidia is the only graphics manufacture that is easy to use and plays well in games. Intel and ATI graphics are poor performers in Linux. Intel graphics are partially supported and 3D only works in 16-bit color. I suggest using a distribution that uses Xorg version 7 because it performs well under 3D and has execellent response with input devices. IMHO, Gentoo is better for gamers because it provides performance from compiling.

nVidia drivers are partially opensource but not in a way the Linux community thinks. When you change kernel versions, you will have to re-compile the nVidia modules (drivers). If you compile the same kernel version that nVidia modules were compiled in, you have a choice to re-compile them or just stick with them. You will see the word taint from the kernel logs because some pieces of code from nVidia modules (drivers) were not compiled with the same compiler or something similar along that line. I have been using nVidia cards for five years and I do not have any problems.

I suggest a GeForce6 6800GS with sufficient memory bandwidth or GeForce7 7600. OpenGL needs memory bandwidth and video memory capacity unlike DirectX which needs fast GPU/VPU and CPU.

NIC from 3com, Linksys, and Intel are good. I recommend getting wired NIC if possible. Wireless is not reliable in any OS.

I do not think SATA controllers are compatible with optical drives commands. Just about any PATA CD/DVD drive will work in Linux. If you use CD/DVD disc all the time, I suggest a drive with lower accessing times. Also 8 MB of cache does make a difference when writing at high speeds and accessing files.
 
Old 09-25-2006, 11:52 AM   #8
powerwindows
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lazlow, I've tried installing the intel drivers, but modprobe and insmod [step 5] don't do anything. I'm looking at lightweight mainly because I want a clean and speedy system, and I'm bottlenecked by my processor - Celeron D 336 - which isn't bad but I want the least amount of stress possible on it.

electro, I've read about some major difficulties with nvidia's drivers. Including replacing important files in Fedora. What do you think about my 7300gs card? I can't really afford to spend money on a new expensive video card, besides I only play two games. I checked out those NICs you mentioned, and the cheapest one I could find was intel at $35. Is it really worth it to spend this much money on a net card given what I'll be using it for?
 
Old 09-25-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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Celeron processors are pieces of shit when comes to game playing. You need a processor that has a large cache like 512 KB or a 1 MB. A wide memory bandwidth also helps too.

Cedega, is an Windows emulator which means there is a performance penalty when converting Windows API to Linux X11 commands. Doom III takes a lot of resources. My brother's notebook computer which has a Pentium M 2 GHz (aka Centrino) and nVidia 7800 plays Doom III very, very well with quality settings to max. A Pentium M 2 GHz equals the performance of >=Pentium 4 2.6 GHz (Northwood core).

OpenGL will not perform well on nVidia 7300 GS. Again you need, memory bandwidth and high capacity video memory to get good performance. My GeForceFX 5700 Ultra barely gets 60 fps in Unreal Tournament 2004 and this with the low quality settings. I have a Pentium 4 2 GHz (Northwood core) with 1 GB of RAMBUS memory. When I upgraded to Xorg versin 7, the speed is better than Xorg version 6.8.

Gentoo has a way to select from X11 libraries to nVidia libraries with a program called eselect. Unfortunatly, Fedora developers have not found a way to do this or have not begin creating such a utility. If you still insist of using Fedora, search for the word livna.

When I list the NIC that work in Linux, I thought I mention Linksys which are cheaper. A $35 NIC is still good. My 3com 100 megabit NIC cost around that range. Why you think Intel provides source code to the Linux community. Their SATA/ATA support in Linux is poor. Kernel developers have to reverse engineer their chipsets. VIA is a little better providing source code to kernel developers.
 
Old 09-26-2006, 01:11 AM   #10
powerwindows
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Hey electro, I kind of like my little Celeron. It's been performing quite well for the few months that I've had it. I can run Doom 3 very nicely. I don't think I stated my case right. I'm not a gamer. I just want to play CSS and D3, I don't need ultra-high settings and 200 fps or whatever. Heh, I guess it's kind of hard to talk about my problem when I haven't even installed Linux yet - but I want to cover all bases first, you know?

I am actually leaning towards archlinux, but also looking at Fedora. I'm undecided. I heard about Gentoo but it seems a little beyond my reach.

About the net card - the cheaper Linksys card on Newegg has a really negative review by a guy running Linux. So I turned the other way. You mention Via, who provides the chip to a NIC by Link Depot. Any good, or were you referring to Via's motherboard chips? I thought Intel provides code to the Linux community to expand their customer base. What do you mean by saying their SATA/ATA support in Linux is poor? Will my SATA hard drive not work?

Last edited by powerwindows; 09-26-2006 at 01:54 AM.
 
Old 09-26-2006, 01:51 AM   #11
darkscot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerwindows
My DVDRW drive and Ethernet card do not work in Linux.
Maybe i am just lucky but the only problems I have ever had with hardware in Linux has been with SATA drives, but that was only with SOME distros.

If your current dstro does not work with your hardware then the first thing you should do is look at another distro. My Maxtor 200GB SATA HD wouldn't work with Mandriva 2005 or SUSE 64 bit but it worked fine with Ubuntu and SUSE 32 bit.

I use an AOpen Chameleon CD/DVD r/w, low cost but very good. It has worked with every distro I have tried.

Try changing your distro first! It is the cheapest option. If you are looking for a lightweight distro then I have got to say Zenwalk. It is definately the flavour of the month and on its way to being the new Ubuntu (is that a good thing?).
 
Old 09-26-2006, 10:01 PM   #12
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The only con that I can think of for Linksys cards is they are hard to insert into the PCI slot because they use 6-layer PCM which makes it thicker. I have used Linksys cards since day one of learning networking. I have not run into any problems when using Linksys NIC in Windows and in Linux. I have a combo card that contains Realtek 8169 that works with out any problems in Linux. The reviewer at newegg.com is an idiote because it seems he or she did something wrong to configure and compile the kernel. Probably they have bad memory and did not know about it.
 
Old 09-27-2006, 12:14 PM   #13
powerwindows
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darkscot, yea I've tried a bunch of distros. It's just tough when Linux won't load because the live cds say they don't like my cdrom!

laz and electro, thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to look around a bit more on Newegg but now I've got a pretty good idea of what I should purchase. Cheers.
 
  


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