hardware pitfall opinions needed
Hey folks, I'm looking for some opinions on potential issues, best practices or distro compatibility with my new build. Parts arrive tomorrow. Before I give the specs I am slightly aware of some issues using over 1tb hd's mainly with grub. I also hoped to get some feedback to make sure I use a distro and setup that will take advantage of all the horsepower. Before anyone say's why so much ram let me say the 1 hard drive is going to be used as a xen Dom0 with several appliances running at once for a network test lab scenario. I need a lot of ram since I'll be running 8-16 VM's at once.
-Asus f2a85-m pro (same a v but m means micro tax)
-AMD A10 5600k apu
-32gb corsair vengeance DDR3 1866mhz ram (with the amount of ram I have though I need to dial back to 1333mhz and the memory controller is dual channel if that matters the sticks are quad it obviously won't be used that way)
-coolmax 600w power supply
-seagate 7200 rpm 2tb HD
-(quantity 2) Seagate 7200 rpm 500gb hd's
-NZXT Aperture M 8C-APER000-W0B Internal Card Reader
-asus pce n15 wireless network card
-asus blueray/multi optical burner
-apex vortex 3620 mid tower case
windows on one 500gb HD for gaming on steam
Linux on the other 500gb drive( any recommendations with this much ram. I've used all distros and currently run mint on my laptop)
And the 2tb will be partitioned but will serve as xen Dom0 and storage of the various VM appliances for testing and creating xen contained network setups for testing
Let me know about any potential problems or advice on running this kind of system on Linux.
The HD set up is not in stone. I may fool around with Linux and windows on one disk and use the other in a raid 0 capacity for speed. Have at it ppl
- The mobo:
I have a Gigabyte F2A85X-D3H mobo that seems to be pretty much like the mobo you have there - A85 chipset+ALC892 audio codec.
I run Debian Wheezy on it with the 3.7 kernel from experimental.
The A85 chipset seems to be supported well, but the ALC892 audio codec gave me issues on the stock 3.2 kernel, namely it produces kernel oops right at startup, and audio is pretty much dead (cannot unload/reload the audio kernel module).
The 3.6 and 3.7 kernels (from the experimental repos) however work perfectly fine. Now this is under Debian, maybe it has to do with Debian specific patches, but keep an eye on this.
- The APU:
The above mobo came with an A8-5500 APU (65w) - it works perfectly fine with the fglrx proprietary drivers (now 13.1, from the experimental repos) using Xfce as DE. It doesnt heat up above 55 C even with its tiny default cooler (temp reporting seems to work accurately only if the cpu is really loaded). But you have the 100w part and i heard much whining about the loud fan on those so you might want to address that issue with an aftermarket cooler.
-If you want to install the fglrx driver from the generic Linux installer from AMDs site on a 3.7 or 3.8 kernel, you will have to apply patches (that are included already in the Debian repository version, probably on another distros aswell).
-Also, the APU is capable of real hardware decoding under Linux (native xvba, NOT vaapi!) if used with Xbmc's fernetmenta branch (there are PPAs for Ubuntu only, i compiled it from sources). Performance wise is compared to VDPAU, albeit it has some quirks with some specific HD formats, but it worked for me with all my HD clips i played on it. Another perk using Xbmc is the availability of this decoding for Youtube/Vimeo HD videos (played via optional plugins).
-The radeon open source driver works with the integrated gpu, but dont expect anything 3d related from it (in games that do run with it, the performance difference is 10 times better with fglrx).
RAM speed is essential for the GPU part - there can be quite some performance difference between 1333 and 1866 MHz in games.
Cart reader/wireless - it really depends on the chipset they use internally - card readers tend to work under Linux (at least the ones i have seen so far all worked).
The wireless seems to be supported by the 2.6 kernel at least according to the Asus site. You might be required to install firmware packages for it though, depending on the distro you use.
Thanks gradinaruvasile. That's the kinda info i'm looking for. I won't be gaming so to speak on the Linux OS unless steam for Linux comes out of beta, but I will be watching videos and the like. do you think the blueray will perform equally well on linux with vlc and the fglx driver you referred to? I used to stream to my ps3 to watch downloaded vids on a TV from my laptop. Now I ordered a 1080p 32" TV with 5ms response and 100,000:1 contrast that is directly connected as a monitor for this box. I'm exited. I'll have my computer,ps3 and cablebox all in one spot in a new office set up finally. my other two are 720p and are not going n my new man cave/office
I suppose blueray will work although i never tried it (maybe someone here who did might give more info on that). Just make sure you have a newer vlc (now its at 2.05 i think).
And, as i said, if you want hardware decoding, the only way right now is xbmc's fernetmenta branch (the vaapi stuff that is used by vlc is far inferior and buggy).
Asus F2A85-V Pro
AMD A10-5800K APU
8GB + 8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1600MHz (dual channel)
PSU Corsair GS600 600W
2TB 7200RPM Samsung HDD
250GB Samsung HDD
Slackware Linux 14.0
Well, the default kernel is 3.2.29, and from dmesg alsa has some problems and KMS didn't work. Now I didn't bother to do any testing because I had moved my HDD's from an old machine but left a 3.7.5 kernel in place, which was what I was using.
kernel 3.7.5 - Hardware:
Sound: OK (alsa-1.0.26)
Video: OK (xorg-1.12.3)
kernel 3.8.0 - Hardware:
Sound: OK (alsa-1.0.26)
Video: OK (xorg-1.12.3)
Yes, hardware wise, everything's working with both kernels 3.7.5 and 3.8.0, so you should be fine with any kernel 3.7.x and above, from *my* personal experience.
One thing that doesn't work:
Sorry, no sensors were detected. (this needs more reading on my part to see if it can be solved)
Thanks. I got my build up and running. I am using a more recent kernel from my mint14 install. I beleive its 3.7 but not sure since i haen't used it because i'm waitin for my wireless card. The one issue I did have was with the chip set for the original wireless card because it was a PCI express and the realtek driver for it kept not connecting or dropping connection. It worked fine on my windows partition and from what I read that rlt8188 chip set has issues with recent kernels. So I traded it back for one with a atheros9k chip set and am waiting for that to arrive still.
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