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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 03-09-2011, 11:58 PM   #1
anctop
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seeking for upgrade advices


Hi,

I'm planning to replace my computer, of which the current config is -
CPU : Intel P4-3.0GHz
mainboard : ASUS P4C800
RAM : 2GB DDR
SCSI : Adaptec 29320A
HD : 147GB SCSI + 80GB IDE (for backup)
peripherals : USB mouse and flash drives, a parallel-port printer and an external 56K dial-up modem

My first problem is, as I search for mainboards (e.g. in Intel's site), I find that most of the recent models don't have a COM port, but I really want to keep my modem. Somebody has told me that there are PCI/PCIe serial port expansion boards manufactured by SIIG (http://www.siig.com). From their site I also find a USB-to-serial adaptor, which seems to be the best solution for me. However, I'm not sure if such PCI/PCIe/USB products will work under Linux. The SIIG technical support can't answer either. Could someone here provide more info ?

My second question is about HD connectivity. I'm inclined to get an Intel mainboard, but I know that some models (e.g. the legacy DG965RY) have very poor support for IDE/PATA (e.g. even under Windows, one can't use Ghost to clone a SATA disk to/from an IDE disk). I'd like to ask : what features to look for if I want better IDE/PATA backward compatibility ?


Regards,
anctop
 
Old 03-10-2011, 03:03 AM   #2
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anctop View Post
My first problem is, as I search for mainboards (e.g. in Intel's site), I find that most of the recent models don't have a COM port, but I really want to keep my modem. Somebody has told me that there are PCI/PCIe serial port expansion boards manufactured by SIIG (http://www.siig.com). From their site I also find a USB-to-serial adaptor, which seems to be the best solution for me. However, I'm not sure if such PCI/PCIe/USB products will work under Linux. The SIIG technical support can't answer either. Could someone here provide more info ?
I cant speak with any authority on this, I dont use serial ports, and apart from a mouse a long time ago I never really have. Even when I was on dial-up I had a USB modem. Big mistake there, but anyway...

With bits and pieces like USB-> anything adapters, quality of manufacture and more importantly drivers/device ID varies. A huge amount. It is very hard to get solid, reliable information on how they will go with linux... When technical support from a company cant tell you (typical) then you are left scouring the net hoping to find bits of information.

Pretty much anyone who has used linux for a while and tried to get information this way will have seen 'gotchas' even if they have never been caught. Things like people saying "ohh, that works fine with linux" without mentioning that you need to use the company provided drivers, the only work with kernel version 2.4, and they never bothered making drivers that work with kernel 2.6.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by anctop View Post
My second question is about HD connectivity. I'm inclined to get an Intel mainboard, but I know that some models (e.g. the legacy DG965RY) have very poor support for IDE/PATA (e.g. even under Windows, one can't use Ghost to clone a SATA disk to/from an IDE disk). I'd like to ask : what features to look for if I want better IDE/PATA backward compatibility ?
Native Intel ICHX, or AMD SBXXX support for PATA.Itnel and AMD native support is reliable, works, and doesnt have any of the issues that the add-on chips for PATA support can have.

I havent gone checking exact models yet (you'll see why) I can say that intel has, a well, confusing naming/features scheme. You can see the ICHX support levels, and chipset/ICHX details here-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_chipsets

Lots of people make nasty comments about wikipedia, but I've found that for computer hardware overviews, etc, wikipedia can not be beaten. I use the site for that all the time. Its a lot easier than using the manufactuers website IMO

Are you set on intel CPUs and motherboards?

I could go into a general criticism of intel here, but I'll leave that out. I will say that intel makes very solid Intel motherboards (not 'chipset by', but actual intel gear). A bit low on 'features' like overclocking/voltage options, and added junk like RAID chips, etc but if you just want solid without tweaking thats not a problem (and in a lot of cases, its advantage. Who wants oliver the office worker overclocking the work computer? Yes, I've seen that happen)

I'd think about going AMD. The newer SB850 southbridge has no PATA support, so its from add-on chips and far more likely to cause problems. SB7XX has 1 x PATA port (for a maximum of 2 PATA devices) but that should be OK (I'd really recommend that you consolidate and move the data over to a SATA drive if you have multiple PATA devices, if only for the extra speed from newer SATA drives, and future compatibility).

At least some of the SB7XX chipsets have serial and parallel port as well. I do, but I've never tried using mine, I dont have a serial device apart from maybe a 1990s mouse in my box of bits, and I might have a printer with using a parallel port port somewhere...

If I was you, I'd probably get a gigabyte 770/SB7XX chipset board, IMO gigabyte makes the most solid AMD boards now. You should get a PATA port, which I know works well with linux, and serial/parallel ports that I cant be sure about being totally honest. The 770 is the best of the 7XX chipsets for 'normal' use as well (790X and 790FX are more tweaking/gamers boards, the , and the best priced of the 7XX chipsets without video. The models with video (740, 760, 780X, 785, and some 880) might come in a little cheaper, not as much as you would guess though. Its worth the not very much at all extra to get a 770 + video card.

I dont know what country you are in, or what availability there is on the boards, so I wont go saying "I'd get a gigabyte model GA-770XXXXX". I also dont know if you consider AMD to even be an option. If you need checking the exact specification for any model, just ask again, I'm sure I can help.

Last edited by cascade9; 03-10-2011 at 03:13 AM.
 
Old 03-10-2011, 03:43 AM   #3
aus9
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hi

not sure why you need to upgrade, Linux can handle most hardware old and new.

I have a very cheap motherboard which has onboard LAN, com port etc by ECS

It might be an idea to see if your country has a online store that will put linux on the hardware, because,
you can then check the specs of the hardware at this site for HCL link above

eg

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/dsintro.html

and better

http://www.pugetsystems.com/configure.php?app_type=h
 
  


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