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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 05-04-2004, 08:48 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: mandrake
Posts: 23

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recommendations regarding home-built machine

I'm gonna put together a new machine real soon. I'm currently using a win2k box for daily work - web browsing, burning CDs, burning DVDs, college assignments. I have the win2k box as little "MS" as possible - I use mozilla firefox, open office 1.1, thunderbird email, and recently Money Dance replaced Quicken.

Anyway, I have an older machine (PIII-1Ghz, 256 RAM, 40 Gb H-D) that I formerly had RH 9 on, and now have FC1 on - just to learn linux with.

I want to put together a new box as my "main machine" - linux only. Will put one of the new 2.6 final releases on it - mandrake 10, or suse 9.1 pro, or whatever.

I'm worried about buying the components (I'm not a hardware geek, but I have put a couple of boxes together) - I want to put something together pretty decent - but I don't want to buy stuff that linux possibly has issues with, since I want everything to mostly work ok right off.

Here's the wish list:

motherboard - I don't know - can I get some recommendations? I want on-board sound (I'm deaf in one ear - so don't need an expensive sound card), and maybe SATA, and for an AMD proc

proc - AMD xp2800+, barton core - good enough for me

H-D - SATA if works ok with linux - any brand recommendations? I like maxtor, but the shop I buy from sells IBM & Seagate

RAM - probably 512 Mb is enough for me.

Video - I don't know. I am not a gamer, so I suppose an upper mid-level card would be enough. I like to have TV on my computer (I have the ati a-i-w 9000 Pro on my win2k machine). For linux, is it better to have an all-in-wonder card for video & TV, or better to have say an nVidia card for video, and say a Hauppauge card for TV...?

Floppy - don't want one. Want one of those usb pen drive thingies that plug right in for backups. I already know they work automatically with the newer kernels.

Cordless mouse & keyboard.

Sorry about the long-winded post. So basically, the questions are: can I get some motherboard recommendations, does SATA work without probs with the newest linux releases, is it better to use an ati a-i-w card for video/TV or better to use separate cards, and any other comments or warnings about buying components for a new machine.

Old 05-04-2004, 08:56 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2: Who needs exmmpkg when you have emerge?
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i have:
mobo: iwill xp333 w/ onboard cmedia 8738 soundcard, works quite well for an onboard
video: go with nVidia, they have the best drivers. try something like a geforce4.
RAM: 512 looks fine for your uses.
cpu: amd, they have high-quality cpus.
about those pen drives: i dont know how well those work, ive been trying to get my mp3 player to be seen as a mass-storage device in usb-storage module without luck.
Old 05-04-2004, 09:12 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: mandrake
Posts: 23

Original Poster
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regarding those usb backup drive things, whatever they are called, - I was looking at one at CompUSA (brand was Pen Drive) and it actually said on the package "windoze ME, 2000, XP - works automatically (without drivers) AND linux kernel 1.4.? - works automatically (without drivers). I remember this, cuz I was impressed seeing linux mentioned on a hardware item box.

here's the website of the thing I was looking at:

notice the linux mention.

Last edited by snafu; 05-04-2004 at 10:02 PM.
Old 05-04-2004, 09:27 PM   #4
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Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2: Who needs exmmpkg when you have emerge?
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i would to if i saw such a box, but, regardless, im still trying to get that usb mp3 player to work. just be careful about usb mass storage.

ps: if you want to know, linux sees my mp3 player, but it doesnt recognize it as a mass storage device, which it should be recognized as.
Old 05-05-2004, 02:44 AM   #5
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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Dude - you are definitely making an EXCELLENT decision by building your own. That's what I did, and whatever your budget might be, the system you can put together for "$X" will beat a comparably priced prebuilt system hands down. A few general comments:

1. The most important thing I think is to be sure your CPU, your mobo, and your memory all run at compatible speeds. Since it sounds like you've settled on your CPU, which has an FSB (front side bus) running at 333Mz you will then need to match it to a mobo that supports a 333 FSB. The mobo you choose will then in turn determine what kind of memory you should get, for example, perhaps DDR400. The reason all this is so important is that unmatched components do not make for a solid system.

2. Brand choices are fairly subjective, but I'd recommend the following:

RAM - Kingston, get the fastest your mobo will support, it's money well spent
Hard Drive - Western Digital
CD-RW and/or DVD-RW - Lite On
Power Supply - Antec
Case - Antec
Video - ATI, but if you have an nVidia nforce chipset and plan on using the 2.6 kernel you may run into issues (search the LQ boards for more on this topic)

I don't really have any comments on the TV or SATA, as I don't use either of those.

Anyway, congrats on your decision and good luck with the new machine -- J.W.


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