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Old 10-14-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
sandgroper
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PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Combos


Hi People.

I am intending to build a new system , the first time in quite a few years.

I want to get a Asus mobo , but the problem that I have encountered is that the newer mid/high range mobos only have a PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port at the rear instead of a PS/2 keyboard port and a PS/2 mouse port.

I have always used PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse , particularly for Linux and in particular so that I can access the BIOS , which you can't really do if you have a USB keybord.

The mobos that I am interested in are :

P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP
P5Q Deluxe

P5Q Pro

Out of these 3 mobos , only the P5Q Pro has both the keyboard and mouse PS/2 ports.

So my question is :
Can these PS/2 keybord/mouse combo ports work under Linux ( Fedora ) and can they be set up to be used with a KVM switch ?

Even though Asus is suppose to support Linux , I still don't even know if the integrated audio ( realtek , ADI ) and the NIC ( Marvell ) will work under Linux.

Has anybody has any experience with these mobos or have a opinion on them ?

Thanks.

.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 12:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgroper View Post
Hi People.

I am intending to build a new system , the first time in quite a few years.

I want to get a Asus mobo , but the problem that I have encountered is that the newer mid/high range mobos only have a PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port at the rear instead of a PS/2 keyboard port and a PS/2 mouse port.

I have always used PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse , particularly for Linux and in particular so that I can access the BIOS , which you can't really do if you have a USB keybord.


.
I have no problems accessing BIOS on a variety of systems using USB keyboards. If you want to, you can always get a Logitech wireless keyboard, which has one USB and one PS/2 plug on it, and plug it in.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 12:35 PM   #3
sandgroper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
I have no problems accessing BIOS on a variety of systems using USB keyboards. If you want to, you can always get a Logitech wireless keyboard, which has one USB and one PS/2 plug on it, and plug it in.
Gee , that was a quick reply.


I am a bit wary of USB keyboards and have not used them under linux , so I though I would find out about them from other linux users.

I prefer PS/2 , but if others have had no problems with USB connections , the they should be OK.

Thanks for the reply.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
Total-MAdMaN
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I don't have any problem accessing the BIOS with a USB keyboard on my computer, which has a 5 year old motherboard.

If the motherboard only has USB ports, then the BIOS would have to be made accessible using a USB keyboard, or there'd be a lot of complaints from computer builders and overclockers.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgroper View Post
Gee , that was a quick reply.


I am a bit wary of USB keyboards and have not used them under linux , so I though I would find out about them from other linux users.

I prefer PS/2 , but if others have had no problems with USB connections , the they should be OK.

Thanks for the reply.
Getting into BIOS is well before any OS loads...at the POST/BIOS screens, the system usually has no idea if it even HAS an OS yet. USB has been around for years, and I actually use a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard/mouse, with a single USB bluetooth dongle, and can easily get into BIOS, and it works great under both Linux and Windows.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
sandgroper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
Getting into BIOS is well before any OS loads...at the POST/BIOS screens, the system usually has no idea if it even HAS an OS yet.
Yeah , that is the point that I was worried about , usually you need drivers to use a USB keyboard/mouse and if you haven't loaded the OS , then the USB drivers are not loaded , so the keyboard/mouse won't work and you couldn't get in the BIOS.

Maybe the newer keyboards have changed and have a basic USB driver built into the mobo.

Thanks for the reply.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 02:51 AM   #7
Electro
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USB keyboard and USB mouse have been included in the BIOS for several years. My ABIT TH7II-RAID has it and that board came out in 2002. The BIOS will emulate those USB input devices to be used in DOS or Linux.

My opinion is do not buy a motherboard with a lot of bells and whistles. WiFi on a motherboard is just asking for a lot of trouble such as hardware conflicts from interference. Crossfire is not supported in Linux, so do not spend your money on it.

I suggest if there is only one PS/2 connector, use it for the keyboard unless you can find a PS/2 splitter.

ASUS does not support Linux or they do not plan on supporting it because of the hardware that they include in their motherboards. Over the years from reading, ASUS BIOS and their software are poor. I doubt audio will work. Though the P5Q has been out for a year (I think), so the BIOS should be mature enough.

I suggest the following motherboard if you do not mind going with AMD.

MSI DKA790GX Platinum

It comes with on-board video that has its own video memory, so you do not have to get one and the CPU will not loose performance compared to other on-board video. From all the reviews at Phoronix, on-board Radeon HD 3000 series works fine. The MSI board is as far as I would go for bells and whistles. Any further, price and getting all hardware supported/working becomes costly on your wallet and your time.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 03:31 AM   #8
sandgroper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
USB keyboard and USB mouse have been included in the BIOS for several years. My ABIT TH7II-RAID has it and that board came out in 2002. The BIOS will emulate those USB input devices to be used in DOS or Linux.
That is good to hear.
I am a little bit behind the times , the 2 systems that I have are around the 2000 vintage and both have Asus TUSL2-C mobos.


Quote:
My opinion is do not buy a motherboard with a lot of bells and whistles. WiFi on a motherboard is just asking for a lot of trouble such as hardware conflicts from interference. Crossfire is not supported in Linux, so do not spend your money on it.
I wasn't really going to use the WiFi on the mobo , I was interested in some of the other things on the mobo like 16 phase and the type of capacitators and a few other odds and ends.

Quote:
I suggest if there is only one PS/2 connector, use it for the keyboard unless you can find a PS/2 splitter.
Yeah , that was my though as well , most of the time you don't use the mouse in the BIOS , only the keyboard , so I would put the keyboard on the PS/2 port.

Quote:
ASUS does not support Linux or they do not plan on supporting it because of the hardware that they include in their motherboards. Over the years from reading, ASUS BIOS and their software are poor. I doubt audio will work. Though the P5Q has been out for a year (I think), so the BIOS should be mature enough.
From what I have known , Asus has been more linux compatiable than most of the other mobos , the worst mobo for linux is Foxconn.
The only thing that I am a bit unsure about the Asus mobos is the on-board Realtek audio and the Marvell NIC

Quote:
I suggest the following motherboard if you do not mind going with AMD.

MSI DKA790GX Platinum

It comes with on-board video that has its own video memory, so you do not have to get one and the CPU will not loose performance compared to other on-board video. From all the reviews at Phoronix, on-board Radeon HD 3000 series works fine. The MSI board is as far as I would go for bells and whistles. Any further, price and getting all hardware supported/working becomes costly on your wallet and your time.
Thanks for the suggestion , but I think I would like to stick with a Asus mobo and an Intel CPU without any on-board video., out of the three Asus mobos that I have mentioned , the one with the less bells and whistles is the PQ5 Pro and it has a good reputation and is very compatiable with linux.

The Gigabyte mobos look good , but I don't know anything about their compatibility with Linux and in fact they seem to have better options and specs than the Asus mobo.

Thanks for your reply.

 
Old 10-15-2008, 06:10 AM   #9
Total-MAdMaN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
ASUS does not support Linux or they do not plan on supporting it because of the hardware that they include in their motherboards.
ASUS created the EeePC and originally it only ran Linux. They also have motherboards which have Linux onboard.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #10
Electro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Total-MAdMaN View Post
ASUS created the EeePC and originally it only ran Linux. They also have motherboards which have Linux onboard.
They have their own version of Linux and it seems they wrote their own modules for it. I do not see any source code or pre-compiled modules on their site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgroper View Post
I wasn't really going to use the WiFi on the mobo , I was interested in some of the other things on the mobo like 16 phase and the type of capacitators and a few other odds and ends.
All motherboards have their power supply to further regulate the voltage and filter the power. The type of power supply is a switch-mode (computer power supply). A 16 phase power supply is very, very complex, but can handle a lot of current since the power is spread out over all sixteen pairs MOSFET. A 16 phase reduces efficiency and in some cases decreases the selection of power supplies.

The so called solid-state capacitors just minimizes the chances for the capacitors to leak. Electrolyte capacitors can not handle high frequencies, so using them in a 16 phase power supply will reduce their life span. This is because electrolyte capacitors are meant to be used with frequencies lower than 10 KHz.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgroper View Post
From what I have known , Asus has been more linux compatiable than most of the other mobos , the worst mobo for linux is Foxconn.
The only thing that I am a bit unsure about the Asus mobos is the on-board Realtek audio and the Marvell NIC



Thanks for the suggestion , but I think I would like to stick with a Asus mobo and an Intel CPU without any on-board video., out of the three Asus mobos that I have mentioned , the one with the less bells and whistles is the PQ5 Pro and it has a good reputation and is very compatiable with linux.

The Gigabyte mobos look good , but I don't know anything about their compatibility with Linux and in fact they seem to have better options and specs than the Asus mobo.

Thanks for your reply.

All motherboard brands are compatible in Linux. It depends what hardware they contain. If they contain a Marvell NIC, PATA, SATA chips, the latest stable 2.6.x kernel have to be used. I have no problems using Linux on my Quantex Pentium II computer which contains an MSI end-user motherboard. Also my ABIT KA7-100 has no problems in Linux. It is the same with my ABIT TH7II-RAID which has no problems.

On-board video from nVidia or AMD/ATI works just fine in Linux from what I read. Even nVidia states they support their IGP in Linux. You will have to select a PCIe video card With any motherboard that you choose, so you have to figure that in the cost of the build.

IMHO, ASUS does not provide the quality that you had for years. They make too many motherboard models to provide sufficient support. Quality beats quantity.

What has changed is the dependence of the quality of the power supply. I suggest Seasonic and Enermax. Xbitlabs have very thorough reviews on power supplies. Though ASUS has a history of not being compatible with Seasonic power supplies.

I suggest find a local computer store or e-store that tests the motherboard, processor, and memory. It it is better to pay more for a working setup than paying less for a setup that is just dead on arrival.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:56 PM   #11
sandgroper
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[QUOTE=Electro;3311305]


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
All motherboards have their power supply to further regulate the voltage and filter the power. The type of power supply is a switch-mode (computer power supply). A 16 phase power supply is very, very complex, but can handle a lot of current since the power is spread out over all sixteen pairs MOSFET. A 16 phase reduces efficiency and in some cases decreases the selection of power supplies.

The so called solid-state capacitors just minimizes the chances for the capacitors to leak. Electrolyte capacitors can not handle high frequencies, so using them in a 16 phase power supply will reduce their life span. This is because electrolyte capacitors are meant to be used with frequencies lower than 10 KHz.
Thanks for the explanation about the 16 phase power , the only thing that I have read about it is that it is suppose to be more stable and it is bit of a marketing ploy by Asus in response to the Gigabyte 12 phase power supply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
All motherboard brands are compatible in Linux. It depends what hardware they contain. If they contain a Marvell NIC, PATA, SATA chips, the latest stable 2.6.x kernel have to be used. I have no problems using Linux on my Quantex Pentium II computer which contains an MSI end-user motherboard. Also my ABIT KA7-100 has no problems in Linux. It is the same with my ABIT TH7II-RAID which has no problems.
Yeah , most mobos are compatiable with linux except the Foxconn ones.
Here is a link to describe what is wrong with the latest Foxconn mobos.
Apparently there is a badly written ACPI configuration table in the BIOS that stops linux from running by corrupting the hardware support.

A possible bug in Foxconn boards BIOS affects Linux ACPI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
IMHO, ASUS does not provide the quality that you had for years. They make too many motherboard models to provide sufficient support. Quality beats quantity.
Yeah , the older Asus mobos worked really good with linux , but these newer mobos seem to be a bit dodgy because have added non compatiable on-board components like realtek audio and Marvell NICs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
I suggest find a local computer store or e-store that tests the motherboard, processor, and memory. It it is better to pay more for a working setup than paying less for a setup that is just dead on arrival.
These newer Asus mobos seem to have problems with the on-board audio and NICs , what I intend on doing is to disable the on-board audio and NIC and install linux compatiable audio and NICs , it may cost a bit more , but it is a more sure way of getting things to work out of the box on a new system.

Thanks for your reply

.
 
Old 10-16-2008, 08:42 AM   #12
farslayer
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Never had an issue with a USB Keyboard and mouse accessing the BIOS, but....

I have an iogear USB KVM hooked up to my Computers here at work. the system fails to detect it's connection as a keyboard on boot. I think it has something to do with a single USB connection from the KVM to the PC to handle both keyboard and mouse functions. I sometimes have to plug a USB keyboard directly into the PC to get it to boot successfully or access the BIOS.

So while this isn't directly related to your question I just wanted to point out a minor issue when using USB KVM's.
I've never had this problem with ps/2 KVM's or with directly connected USB Keyboards/Mice
 
Old 10-16-2008, 10:05 AM   #13
sandgroper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
Never had an issue with a USB Keyboard and mouse accessing the BIOS, but....

So while this isn't directly related to your question I just wanted to point out a minor issue when using USB KVM's.
I've never had this problem with ps/2 KVM's or with directly connected USB Keyboards/Mice
Thanks for that about the KVMs,

That's interesting because I have been planning to set up a KVM with my older system because I don't have the room for 3 monitors on my desk.

I will keep it in mind and try and get a KVM with with PS/2 ports.

Thanks.
 
Old 10-16-2008, 09:59 PM   #14
farslayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgroper View Post
I will keep it in mind and try and get a KVM with with PS/2 ports.
That's trying to think ahead, but my issue came up because the PC's we bought for work don't have ps/2 ports !!

I just leave a keyboard in front of the PC's and plug it into the USB port on the front of any machine I'm restarting.. once it's up it's a non-issue.

The iogear unit I'm using works great other than that minor issue, I restart so infrequently it's not much of a hassle.
http://www.provantage.com/iogear-gcs634u~7IOGR088.htm
4 ports with all the cables and audio support for $65.00 not a bad deal
 
Old 10-19-2008, 07:25 PM   #15
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ACPI has always been a problem in any operating system. It is supposedly to be better than APM, but a lot of manufactures have gone outside the specifications because they think they have better ways. The programmer have to write code that will suit specifications in a 600+ pages of ACPI and including unlimited unknowns. This is hard for anybody to write, so kernel developers have included boot parameters to turn off ACPI to get around issues. There is also APIC problems too, so manufactures are not complying to specifications. All manufactures should be tested for anti-trust practices. Also all motherboards should be tested to run just any operating system that supports the processor. I picked Abit in the past because they are known to test their motherboards in many operating systems.

Using KVM switches has always been a problem with input devices. I suggest try as many keyboards and mice that you will use. If the chosen KVM switch, keyboard, and mouse does not have problems, then you can use them together. I have the following KVM switch, keyboard, and mouse.

IOGEAR 4-port PS/2 & VGA (GCS14)
Microsoft Natural 104 key
Logitech MX300

I also have a Ziotek Mouse and keyboard PS/2 to USB device. It is not always reliable with the KVM switch. If it does screw up, I disconnect it and quickly connect it. I have to have the usbhid module loaded before inserting it.

When using KVM switch, it best to set "Halt On" to disk and key in the BIOS. This should make the computer resume booting.
 
  


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