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Old 03-26-2004, 12:47 AM   #1
Jubalint
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Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Debian
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Need Advice on Building New Computer


I'm attempting to build my first computer. I have a budget aroundabout 1000 dollars, and I found these two sys at sharky extreme and they just struck me and I've been thinking about using one of them. So which one of do you think would make the best bang for the buck? Is there any other hardware you would suggest more, or that I should replace with something else? I'm not that keen on the windows that they suggest and I've had my eye on the Xandros disto, any suggestions on OS's? I've had a tiny bit of experiance with Linux (redhat) so I'm pretty much in the dark. ANY suggestions you might have on building your own computer would really be appreciated .

AMD Athlon XP System

Case: Aspire X-Dreamer II (with 350W PSU) - $50
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2800+ Barton Retail - $121
Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
Motherboard: ASUS A7N8X - $85
Memory: 512-MB (2x256-MB) Corsair PC3200 DDR - $92
Hard Drive: 80GB Western Digital SE - $70
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128-MB OEM - $179
Monitor: Samsung 955DF - $175
Sound Card: 6-Channel Integrated - $0
Speakers: Logitech Z640 6-Piece Speaker System - $60
CD/DVD-ROM: AOpen 48x24x48x16 Combo Drive - $47
Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
Mouse: Microsoft Intellimouse Optical - $15
Keyboard: Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard - $15
Operating System: Windows XP Home - $82
Floppy: Panasonic, TEAC, etc. - $8


Total: $999


Intel Pentium 4 System

Case: Aspire X-Dreamer II (with 350W PSU) - $50
CPU: Pentium 4-2.8 GHz (533) Retail - $165
Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
Motherboard: ABIT IS7-E - $80
Memory: 2 x 256-MB PC2700 DDR - $72
Hard Drive: 80GB Western Digital - $56
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128-MB OEM - $179
Monitor: Samsung 955DF - $175
Sound Card: 6-Channel Integrated - $0
Speakers: Logitech Z640 6-Piece Speaker System - $60
CD/DVD-ROM: AOpen 48x24x48x16 Combo Drive - $47
Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
Mouse: Microsoft Intellimouse Optical - $15
Keyboard: Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard - $15
Operating System: Windows XP Home - $82
Floppy: Panasonic, TEAC, etc. - $8


Total: $1,004

EDIT: sorry i must have explained myself totally wrong, I'm making this as a gaming computer, not to learn linux, as I shouldn't have much problem grasping that, and am wondering what flavor would run games best, sorry for not making that clear in the first place.

Last edited by Jubalint; 03-26-2004 at 02:28 AM.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 02:20 AM   #2
twantrd
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: CA
Distribution: redhat 7.3
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You don't need a superhigh end processing machine to run linux on it, unless you are planning to run this as a server. From the sounds of things, I think you are building one to learn right? If so, it's not worth spending near 1k just to learn linux, you can run linux on old machines and they run rock solid. Save some money and buy an old machine and put linux on that puppy.

As for the OS, I personally like Debian but some feel it's a bit hard to use. So then, try Mandrake or SuSE.

-twantrd
 
Old 03-26-2004, 02:32 AM   #3
Brane Ded
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I think he wants the computer to be the star of the show here, rather than the OS. If you're looking to test new water, you could try Slackware. It's not as hard as some people make it sound. And it will make your computer happy.

If you're feeling especially daring, maybe try Debian, although its installer can induce a situation known as "user panic!," once you try it enough times, though, you'll get it working.

I don't know about Xandros, I've never tried it. Gentoo was good to me until I tinkered with it too much, and then it flaked out on me. A perfect stage one install ruined.

And with a fast computer, Winex, properly configured, or paid for, should be able to run a lot of your favorite Windows games. C'mon, Linux isn't just for slow, old computers.

Last edited by Brane Ded; 03-26-2004 at 02:47 AM.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 02:41 AM   #4
SlackMaster
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On the hardware:

twantrd is right, if you are going to use this as a secondary system primarily to learn linux, get an old system and slap linux on it. You'll be surprised at how much faster and more reliable linux is on that same old machine.

If you're going to use this as your primary system, buy what you want, just as you normally would.

On the OS:

If you want a desktop Linux distro that leads you through the install and configuration process and then works well once it's installed, I've heard good things about both Xandros and LindowsOS (though I haven't tested either yet myself).

But if you really want to learn linux, meaning that you're willing to put in the extra work to learn it, go with Slackware. It's very well documented, but you'll learn to configure things yourself. (You'll learn the What, How, and Why of what's under the hood of linux.)
 
Old 03-26-2004, 07:59 AM   #5
LinuxBlackBox
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Location: Canada
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Just for you to get an idea of some other prices, check out tigerdirect.com or newegg.com for the same hardware. They usualy have the best deals you can find online
 
Old 03-26-2004, 08:29 AM   #6
Scruff
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Location: Stoughton, MA
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I say if you have the cash, build whatever you can afford. Hell with all the put it on an old machine stuff. I have similar specs to the Athlon machine you are looking at, and it is hella fast with Slackware on it. Linux will run well on old hardware, but it screams on new stuff
 
Old 03-26-2004, 12:14 PM   #7
HawkeyeCoug
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Will the machine always be used for gaming?

You mentioned in your edit that the machine would be used for gaming. Which games, specifically, will you be using now, and which do you plan on using in the future? Also, will it just be used for games, or are there some other stuff that you will be doing with it? Choose the hardest application you will be running on your system, and design it around that. It is really hard to say with games what will work. It seems like half of them really like the AMD, and the other half are P4 optimized. There seems to be little that is lukewarm, as they either use special instructions (P4) or general floating point instructions (Athlon).

Having said that, I noticed that the computers have different hard-drives. Hard drive access is often the limiting factor for much of what you will do. Thus, the AMD system with the faster hard drive will likely be much faster in real-life things like booting and loading where you will have to wait. Thus, while the processors may not make much difference in maximum frame rate, the better hard drive you can afford with the AMD will make it much faster in real things. Note that for you next computer you might want to install a RAID system which will basically double your HD speed, and make your system a whole lot faster than any small speedup in CPU will give you.
 
Old 03-27-2004, 05:04 AM   #8
Guru3
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Re: Will the machine always be used for gaming?

Quote:
[Note that for you next computer you might want to install a RAID system which will basically double your HD speed, and make your system a whole lot faster than any small speedup in CPU will give you.
I'd like to say that raid does not double the speed of a system, but it does speed it up some.
 
Old 03-27-2004, 12:26 PM   #9
Jubalint
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I think probably the hardest thing I would end up running on it would be Half-Life 2, which thank god, does run natively in linux. Besides that I'd probably be using ut2004, Warcraft III, and Grand Theft Auto 3/Vice City. Besides those I'd be mainly playing old games, like starcraft and a great deal of space sims. I'll look into the RAID. Other then gaming I would be probably using it for schoolwork, and word proccessing, net surfing, all the usual stuff. Can't really think of anything else that would require a great deal of proccessor power.
 
Old 03-27-2004, 01:12 PM   #10
Guru3
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[ot] hl2

Quote:
Half-Life 2, which thank god, does run natively in linux.
Sorry that this is off-topic, but when did this happen? And also I recomend the amd system.
 
  


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