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MadCatMk2 10-15-2007 01:07 PM

Cheap Linuxbox
 
Hi all!

I'm planning on building a pretty cheap linuxbox that will be most likely running Ubuntu..

So, here we go

Mobo: Asus M2A-VM(Asus even provides linux drivers)
CPU: Athlon 64 X2 (sAM2) 4000
GPU: Asus 8400 GS 256 MB HDCP
HD: 120 GB (7200rpm, 8MB Cache, SATA 2)
RAM: 2 x Supertalent 512MB DDR-2 667MHz CL5
(I already have a PSU)

The system's basically gonna be used for desktop stuff, but I'm also interested in running some apps via Wine..

Anyways, I want to know if there are any known issues (apic and acpi kernel issues basically) or with any of the parts.

And something secondary... how efficiently cooled would the Athlon be, if I used passive cooling?

Thanks in advance! :)

bjagee 10-15-2007 03:09 PM

Passive Cooling
 
I just an article on someone using a passive cooling unit on a Athlon 64. He said that it worked alright with his massive Scythe Ninja having only the slow-turn fan in his power-supply. Why do you want to go passive? I would imagine either sound or energy...

dr_agon 10-15-2007 03:11 PM

Hi!

I am trying to switch completely from Windows to Ubuntu, and I have got Athlon 64 X2.
You must be prepared, that some programs not from Ubuntu repository have no AMD64 binary packages, and you will have to compile them yourself, or you will use 32-bit versions. Forcing install of 32-bit packages somehow confused my package manager.
I had some troubles for example with JAVA plugin for 64bit Firefox (Sun did not released its JAVA for this platform) - to be quite truthful - I still have some problems with it.

I can't say anything about apic and acpi. I am still testing my Ubuntu instalation.

Wine seems to work, but once again - some applications can't be run within it, which probably has nothing to do with hardware configuration.

If you want to passively cool Athlon you must be extremely careful and monitor it closely. AFAIR they still produce more heat than Intels, and I'm not sure if it can be done at all. If you really want to try it, I'd suggest use a model of Athlon for notebooks - they need less power and less cooling. You may visit some overclockers' sites to get more info.

I must say that I like Ubuntu distro. New version 7.10 will be released shortly - you may wait couple of days before downloading.

Good luck.

MadCatMk2 10-17-2007 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjagee (Post 2925146)
I just an article on someone using a passive cooling unit on a Athlon 64. He said that it worked alright with his massive Scythe Ninja having only the slow-turn fan in his power-supply. Why do you want to go passive? I would imagine either heat or energy...

The PC is going to be in a very cramped place and with very little space and ventilation so, passive i think would be the way to go.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dr_agon (Post 2925147)
Hi!

I am trying to switch completely from Windows to Ubuntu, and I have got Athlon 64 X2.
You must be prepared, that some programs not from Ubuntu repository have no AMD64 binary packages, and you will have to compile them yourself, or you will use 32-bit versions. Forcing install of 32-bit packages somehow confused my package manager.
I had some troubles for example with JAVA plugin for 64bit Firefox (Sun did not released its JAVA for this platform) - to be quite truthful - I still have some problems with it.

I can't say anything about apic and acpi. I am still testing my Ubuntu instalation.

Wine seems to work, but once again - some applications can't be run within it, which probably has nothing to do with hardware configuration.

If you want to passively cool Athlon you must be extremely careful and monitor it closely. AFAIR they still produce more heat than Intels, and I'm not sure if it can be done at all. If you really want to try it, I'd suggest use a model of Athlon for notebooks - they need less power and less cooling. You may visit some overclockers' sites to get more info.

I must say that I like Ubuntu distro. New version 7.10 will be released shortly - you may wait couple of days before downloading.

Good luck.

Would there be a problem if I used the i386 ver.?
I think notebook models would be more of a budget problem...
Are you aware of any known issues concerning temperature monitoring with this motherboard?

dr_agon 10-19-2007 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadCatMk2 (Post 2927418)
The PC is going to be in a very cramped place and with very little space and ventilation so, passive i think would be the way to go.

That would argue AGAINST passive cooling. You need good air flow around radiator when you don't put a fan on it, and the radiator is much bigger than with a fan on top. That means you need as much free space as possible. The main reason for passive cooling is silent work. The less space you have the more efficient fan you need.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadCatMk2 (Post 2927418)
Would there be a problem if I used the i386 ver.?
I think notebook models would be more of a budget problem...
Are you aware of any known issues concerning temperature monitoring with this motherboard?

There should be no problem to use 32bit version of Ubuntu on Athlon64. In fact, I am considering this option myself until more programs come out in 64bit.

The mobile versions of processors are more expensive, but you wanted passive cooling...
If you want really cheap box, you may consider a MB with integrated GPU and cheaper CPU. For me 512MB RAM is still sufficient except very rare occasions. You don't need much memory when using wine, but you will need more when running full virtual machine with Windows.

I have another motherboard (MSI) and I don't use temperature monitoring under Ubuntu, but if Asus provide drivers for your MB - you may give it a try.

Did you checked that a MB for Athlon will support 667MHz DDR2 memory? I'm not sure about it, but I'm not up-to-date with hardware, either.

b0uncer 10-19-2007 09:27 AM

Quote:

There should be no problem to use 32bit version of Ubuntu on Athlon64. In fact, I am considering this option myself until more programs come out in 64bit.
Correct, but is there any sense in paying for 64-bit hardware parts and then not taking the use out of them (by using 64-bit software)? I'd either pay less and get 32-bit parts and use 32-bit software on them, which is working well today, or pay more for the 64-bit parts and try to take the little "extra" use out of them by using 64-bit software - it's another matter then, if it really is more useful, considering that software support for 64-bit hardware is still pretty bad. And because computers tend to develop pretty quickly (up to a certain point, but for now anyway), my solution would probably be to go with 32-bit hardware for now, and when the 64-bit software starts being generally as available and working as 32-bit software is now, then move on to "more bits". Noting, of course, that by the time there may also be other options available..

I agree about the cooling too; if the container is small and there's not much space, heat will rise more quickly than if the box was wider and had more "free space" inside (in a tight box there isn't as much air and it can't move around as "easily" as in a more open box, so the box-contained air warms faster, causing the hardware parts not to cool off as well as in a more open box) -- therefore for a tight box you need a more powerful ventilation/cooling than for a "loose" box, and in terms of active/passive cooling it usually means you'll need active cooling. You could use somekind of fluid cooling system as well, which could be as efficient as fan cooling (or more), but it's got some dangers too - on the top that if the silent fluid cooling fails, you won't notice it before smoke comes out. If your fans stop, you're alarmed right away.

Unless you're going to use fluid cooling (circulating some cooling liquid trough the machine, for example), I'd say consider fans -- there are more and less quiet fans available, try to find those that are more quiet.

dr_agon 10-20-2007 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by b0uncer (Post 2929626)
Correct, but is there any sense in paying for 64-bit hardware parts and then not taking the use out of them (by using 64-bit software)? I'd either pay less and get 32-bit parts and use 32-bit software on them, which is working well today, or pay more for the 64-bit parts and try to take the little "extra" use out of them by using 64-bit software

You are absolutely right, bOuncer.
If you want cheap computer, for now 32bit CPU will be the optimal choice.
I have 64bit Athlon, because from time to time I check what is available for 64bit architecture and just try it. I need dual core processor anyway. Looking forward for switching to 64bit permanently. But it's not the time yet :(


Quote:

Originally Posted by b0uncer (Post 2929626)
Unless you're going to use fluid cooling (circulating some cooling liquid trough the machine, for example), I'd say consider fans -- there are more and less quiet fans available, try to find those that are more quiet.

Liquid cooling systems need more space to mount than traditional radiator with a fan. And are definitely more expensive. But you may protect yourself from overheating when the system breaks down by hardware temperature monitoring, so they are not so dangerous.

bjagee 10-25-2007 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dr_agon (Post 2929608)
That would argue AGAINST passive cooling...

Very true. Dependant on how cramped, you may even consider liquid cooling, although that does significantly increase the cost.


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