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Old 01-09-2011, 12:26 AM   #1
neilgunton
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AM3 motherboard recommendations for Debian Lenny?


Hi, I'm going to be building a new development workstation for myself. It's going to be used primarily for web development (Perl, C++, Apache, MySQL), everyday browsing, and as a MySQL slave to a server which runs a moderately busy community website (slaves generally have to be fairly powerful to keep up, since they run as a single threaded process). I am not a gamer. I'd like to run Debian stable (currently that's Lenny, 2.6.26) because it's what's on my production server, and my dev workstation is a testing environment so I like to have the same version of the OS as the server if possible. I'll also be occasionally running Windows 7 on this machine, either in a dual boot or VM, mostly just for when I have to test something on the site against IE.

I've been liking the look of the AMD Phenom II X4 processors, though I'm not sure that I really need four cores - but in my experience you should get slightly above what you think you need now, because otherwise whatever you get will inevitably look pretty anemic in a couple of years. Someone mentioned that if I get 4 cores then I can dedicate two cores to Windows in a VM, which makes sense. I'm thinking 8GB of RAM, seems like a good amount for allowing plenty of room for running VMs of Windows 7.

The motherboard choice is difficult. The ASUS M4A78T-E is a possibility, but it's had issues in the past with memory speeds. Besides, I see the newer standards coming out, like the ASUS M4A89GTD PRO, which has SATA 6GB/s and USB3.0 - well, first of all will it work with Debian Lenny, and second of all am I going to see any actual benefit from those new SATA and USB speeds in the near future? I don't use SSD, just standard SATA drives.

Oh, I should also mention that I'm trying to build as silent a system as possible - so that means as few fans as possible. So I'm looking at motherboards currently with integrated graphics, which (I assume) means no extra fans.

Any recommendations on the motherboard choice? Something nice and fast, preferably with the newer SATA and USB specs, but works with Debian Lenny. Is that unreasonable? If so, what do people recommend that is rock solid with Lenny, with regular SATA 3GB/s and USB 2.0?

Thanks!

Neil
 
Old 01-09-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
EDDY1
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I'm running
Phenom IIx6 1090T
with
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO USB3
10Gig ram
I want to say with wind tunnel chasis
only 2 of the fans running and it's quiet.

Debian Squeeze no issues.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 01:04 AM   #3
neilgunton
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Thanks! What do you find 6 cores is useful for exactly?

Do you think the M4A89GTD PRO would work with Lenny?
 
Old 01-09-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
EDDY1
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I didn't have to do any post installation config.
Debian saw all 6 cores from start
It runs so I don't really do anything to it.
But it's responds fairly quick, until I know exactly what I'm doing I just check for warnings every now and then which I don't.

Quote:
Thanks! What do you find 6 cores is useful for exactly?
Just wanted it as far as usefulness I haven't really quite tapped into that aspect yet.
I just wanted to have options and it's second computer that I built. Wifes was first mine had to be better.
Hers has Phenom IIx4 955 in fact that's the 1 I'm on.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
EDDY1
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Quote:
Do you think the M4A89GTD PRO would work with Lenny?
I'm not sure,but I know squeeze supports.
Until I installed Squeeze I didn't really have a stable system.
It installed on all my other older machines and I haven't had to do anything to them.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 01:39 AM   #6
neilgunton
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Thanks again - good to know this at least works with Squeeze. As long as the on-board networking, sound, graphics all work, then that's the basics.

I'm not all that keen to upgrade my desktop to Squeeze, though, since I'm not sure if there would be any issues replicating a Lenny server master to a Squeeze slave (different MySQL versions). I guess I could just try to set up a test environment with Squeeze before buying the components for this new box, just to see how if Lenny MySQL can work together with Squeeze MySQL.

The other option is to just try to go with older, more conservative hardware that will definitely work with Lenny (i.e. pre-2008, basically, since isn't that when Lenny was released to stable?), but that would be a little sad, building a new box with old hardware. I'm kind of excited to see what the new stuff can do. But that's not really a practical reason - hardware from 2008 would likely do just fine purely in terms of my development needs!

Basically, my geek "ain't it cool" side is fighting my conservative "just get something that works with Lenny" side... :P

Neil
 
Old 01-09-2011, 01:49 AM   #7
EDDY1
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If you do go with upgrade these guys here will tell you how to backup and migrate data from lenny to squeeze.
Also the new mobo is sata, I have a 2 sata drives and ide on it. So if your present drive is ide data won't be lost.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 01:56 AM   #8
neilgunton
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The new mobo would be in a completely new box, new everything, including hard drive. I'd be doing a new install of Squeeze from scratch there, then porting back data piece by piece - I always found that was much preferable to trying to do upgrades, the config files are always slightly different and the old configs can really mess up the new system. So start from scratch and then port back old data and settings, being careful not to mess up the new defaults too much.

I have read about some people having problems in Linux with the sound on the M4A89GTD PRO (Realtek ALC892). Have you confirmed that sound works ok too? And video, no problems at all? I only ask because I don't want to buy a motherboard with all this onboard stuff, where I find out that I have to go and buy aftermarket boards to make it work properly... if that's the case, then I might as well buy a more basic board and not pay for extras which won't work well with Linux. How much did you test it out - was it just installed and "seems to work ok", or have you done extensive use of Squeeze on the M4A89GTD system?

You've got me looking at the 1090T CPU now, I know I don't need it but there is a somewhat irrational "I want" factor here... :P

Last edited by neilgunton; 01-09-2011 at 01:58 AM.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 02:01 AM   #9
EDDY1
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Sound and video work, I installed blu-ray but haven't found use for it except potential backups, so I'm not sure if I'm supported on that.
I'm going to go rent something Blu-ray soon just to try it out(take it for a spin).
 
Old 01-09-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
EDDY1
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Quote:
You've got me looking at the 1090T CPU now, I know I don't need it but there is a somewhat irrational "I want" factor here... :P
I got that 1 because it was way cheaper than intel. I think I paid $245 for 1090T & $150 for 955.
Also I don't think it'll be outdated too fast.

Last edited by EDDY1; 01-09-2011 at 02:04 AM.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 02:05 AM   #11
neilgunton
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Ok, great, thanks. I guess next thing is to try to figure out a good way to test out Squeeze - maybe roll the dice and do it on my current workstation, just see what happens... live dangerously... I'd be careful to do the little udev/kernel dance to avoid that hassle. I wonder what else will happen. I'll do some more research before jumping in there, I think.

So the M4A89GTD board is looking more like a good possibility - kind of future proof for the time being, and works with the upcoming Debian Stable... might be a good bet.

By the way, what RAM do you use with that?
 
Old 01-09-2011, 02:07 AM   #12
EDDY1
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Before I jump out and bought my equipment I just got some recycled hdd's to test on.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 02:26 AM   #13
EDDY1
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I was going to show output of dmesg but it's too large and haven't figured how to move to attachments.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 02:40 AM   #14
neilgunton
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Thanks! Off to bed right now. If you figure out how to post the dmesg output then that would be interesting, but don't worry about it if it's a hassle.

If I'm not careful then I'm going to be up all night trawling newegg trying to figure out if I really need a Phenom X4, or if one of the faster, lower power Athlon X2's would do me just fine... I have a sneaking feeling that I really wouldn't notice the difference - I don't game and I don't do all that much video editing, which is where the multi core seems to come into its own. Dual core would probably be sufficient, and hey - if I do find myself tapping my fingers waiting for something then I can always just upgrade the CPU. I like the idea of the lower power 65W Athlon, because that means it will run cooler, which means a more quiet machine (less fan noise).

Arrgh, gotta just go to sleep now or I'll be walking dead tomorrow...

Thanks again!

Neil
 
Old 01-27-2011, 01:09 AM   #15
neilgunton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
I'm running
Phenom IIx6 1090T
with
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO USB3
10Gig ram
I want to say with wind tunnel chasis
only 2 of the fans running and it's quiet.

Debian Squeeze no issues.
I just completed my new build, and I am having some issues with Debian Squeeze on this motherboard (Asus M4A89GTD Pro USB3). It seems to work at first, but then increasingly hangs on network requests. At first I suspected it might be a dud board, but I tried installing Windows 7, and that works just fine, so I'm now inclined to suspect it's something to do with the driver in Squeeze. I found at least one thread that talks about this being a problem... I wonder why you aren't seeing this? Did you do anything special with regard to the ethernet driver? Why would it work for you but not me, we seem to have exactly the same board. Weird. Oh well, I think I have the source for the Realtek 8111E driver (downloaded from Realtek's site), tomorrow I will figure out how to build the kernel from source and build this driver into it. I was really hoping it would "just work", but apparently not.

Neil
 
  


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