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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 01-17-2005, 05:36 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Canada
Distribution: Slackware
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Buying a new computer soon, what do you think?

So after saving some cash I'm going to be buying a new computer really soon, hopefully in the next week or so. I'm going to dual-boot XP and probably Slackware, but I might choose another Linux distro to take better advantage of the 64 bit architecture I'm thinking of. I want to run some of the fast windows games (half-life 2, madden 2005, far-cry) and linux games too (unreal 2004 and other cool games). For the first time I want HUGE resolution, not really for gaming so much, but more for just doing general work, etc... I figure I have good eyesight so I might as well use it! Heres the setup I'm thinking of, I live in Canada so its not easy to order online and have such a HUGE selection like at or something, this is from a local shops website:

Random decent looking plain black case, I dont care much about it as long as its quality and air can flow nice through it and it looks quiet. I never really cared for case mods and such.

MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (Socket 939 for AMD64)

AMD Athlon64 3500+ (Socket 939)

I already have 2x256 DDR333 sticks, I'll probably go with that and another 512 stick of DDR400. I really don't know the difference in RAM, maybe someone could point me to some links explaining why some of the super-expensive OCZ RAM is so much better. It seems like it handles overclocking-timing better, but I've never OC'd before and dont like the idea much so I'll probably stick with generic RAM

Power Supply:
CoolerMaster Real Power 450watt (quiet)

Video Card:
Asus V9999-TD GFX 6800 128MB

Hard Drive:
I have an 80GB, I might upgrade to a pair of SATA's in the future but not now

Viewsonic Graphic Series G90FB 19" (1920x1484 or something)

Wireless Card:
Netgear WG311 PCI (802.11g)

All the other components left I have from my old machine, thats the setup I'm thinking of ATM. Open to critiquing, I tried to keep it as "linux-friendly" as I could while designing it, tried to consult the HCL for everything, but certain components weren't on there. I really spent almost the whole day researching this stuff, I didn't know anything about the different sockets on the AMD64's until today. I said I didnd't like the idea of overclocking, I guess thats not true, I just don't know how to do it. I'd just hate to waste a RAM stick b/c I burnt it out or something. I looked through tom's hardware for some articles explaining the differences in low-end and high-end RAM, its overwhelming sometimes looking at all the different types. I know how to shop for almost every other PC component except RAM, obviously I know trivial stuff like 400MHz > 333MHz but some links to some articles might change my mind on buying some killer OCZ or Corsair RAM instead of whatever 512 stick they have for 85 bucks at my local PC shop.
Old 01-17-2005, 05:45 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
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Netgear WG311 PCI (802.11g) --> is supported
AMD Athlon64 3500+ --> i have amd 64 3000 and is working fine with debian
Old 01-17-2005, 10:33 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Northern California (NorCal)
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04 and DSL/Puppy etc
Posts: 342

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As far as memory goes, sell what you got on ebay, and get 2 sticks of good solid dual-channel stuff, like this . It's highly rated by normal people (not some magazine), and I used some in my game box with excellent results. As far as video cards go, it's a jungle out there. Know 'what' you are buying, the outside of the car might look good, but is that a V8 or a 4 banger, see to get a good feel for vid cards. You are going to spend over $150 in that department, so you need to get the most bang for the buck. The 6600 GT is the leader in price/perf right now, but everyone has their fav's.

Last edited by faheyd; 01-17-2005 at 10:34 PM.
Old 01-18-2005, 01:50 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Montrose, CA
Distribution: Slackware, SuSE, OpenZaurus
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I'm using a pair of Mushkin 512MB DDR400's on that board, with the Athlon 3000+, and they work great (and in dual channel mode too). I would recommend only running DDR400 RAM, as that motherboard can take full advantage of the extra speed. I'm *cough* not running Linux on that machine, so I can't answer to the compatibility question, but I have run Slackware, SuSE, and RedHat on a number of other MSI boards with no trouble.


Edit: I wasn't very clear on that, was I? I am running 1GB (2x512), and I highly recommend it. Thanks, Faheyd

Last edited by bdrake; 01-18-2005 at 09:23 AM.
Old 01-18-2005, 02:52 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Northern California (NorCal)
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04 and DSL/Puppy etc
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I still recommend 1GB of memory, whatever brand you feel comfortable with. This is the 21st century, 512MB just don't cut it anymore. It is satisfactory, but that's about it.
Old 02-10-2005, 11:40 PM   #6
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Colocrappyrado
Distribution: Windows 2000, Windows XtraProblems, still looking for my linux baby
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I still recommend 1GB of memory, whatever brand you feel comfortable with. This is the 21st century, 512MB just don't cut it anymore. It is satisfactory, but that's about it.
Not really. I had 512 in my computer (before i sold it), but 512 was plenty. I used to edit 1600x1200 photos and I still had plenty of ram left. I used to run half-life two and Unreal. The only reason you'd want 1bg is if you want to leave photoshop and plenty of othere stuff running all the time. Or if you wanna run like 18 games at a time. or if you just want to make you rig sound powerful. Not saying youd never use 1GB but its unlikely.
Old 02-11-2005, 03:00 AM   #7
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The DDR333, DDR400, PC2700, PC3200, and PC3700 is just specs but IMHO they do not tell you the true memory speed. The real speed is the accessing times which a lot of memory modules do not state. For 400 MHz, the accessing time will be 2.5 ns (nanoseconds). Engineers say if you are going to clock the memory bus at 400 MHz, make sure the RAM is at least a few MHz faster. What this means buy 433 MHz (2.3 ns). Doing it this way, the memory can easily handle 400 MHz and the computer can have a much better hit to wait ratio. Also the memory lifespan is increased. Do not worry about T timings because in some cases like using basic programs it does not matter.

If you are wondering about my math for MHz to seconds.

s = f^-1

s = seconds
f = hertz

Buy memory from either OCZ, Corsair, or Kingston. Though OCZ is better in number crunching environments.

The motherboard is ok, but I suggest Abit, ASUS, and Gigabyte. Abit's WN-2S+ looks better than Tyan's Thunder K8WE if you are thinking about dual processors.

For desktop systems, do not use wireless networking. Use wired networking because it is faster, more reliable, and it is more secured than wireless networking.

For SATA hard drives, stay away from Seagate. Use Western Digital like their Raptor series if you want to decrease the time it takes to load applications.


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