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Old 03-31-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Is Biostar A880G+ a good Mobo for first Linux Build?

Hello All--

By way of context, I'm looking to build a small, relatively inexpensive Linux box with my brother while he visits for a week. Under other circumstances I'd just figure it all out as I go (I've built Windows machines in the past), but in this case if I buy the wrong hardware we'll just spend the whole week ordering new parts and waiting for them to ship, so I need to get this right the first time.

I am hoping to make this something my brother can take with him, and perform hardware upgrades later if he so desires. It's a learning tool (perhaps a file and/or web server later on), not a gaming rig. Poking around Newegg, I'm considering the following:

-Motherboard: BIOSTAR A880G+[/URL] (AM3 Socket supports later upgrades, Micro ATX form)
---Video Chipset: ATI Radeon HD 4250
---Audio Chipset: Realtek ALC662
---LAN Chipset: Realtek8111DL

-CPU: AMD Sempron 145 (45W, Single-Core, Comes with fan/heatsink)

-Memory: G.SKILL DDR3 1333 (Single 4GB Stick)

-Case: Rosewill MicroATX Slim (300W Power Supply Included, might be kinda tight, but should fit in a backpack)

-Hard Drive: Western Digital 80GB SATA 3Gb/s (already on hand)

-CD-ROM: None (I can pull on off my computer if needed for installation purposes)

-Wireless Card: EDIMAX EW-7128Gn (nice bonus if we get it working)

-Linux Version: Ubuntu, latest stable (I get the impression that's the easiest place to start)

-Total Estimated Cost: $192

Sorry if that's more information than necessary, but I would appreciate hearing from anyone if you see any pitfalls lurking in this build, or have other recommendations or just general advice.

Thanks a bunch everyone, and have a great day.

Last edited by colucix; 04-01-2012 at 02:54 AM. Reason: Removed links to commercial site
Old 04-01-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Seems like a nice little machine. I have just one recommendation: Forget that integrated PSU, it is not worth your money. Go for a case without power supply and then buy a PSU from a known good brand, like Thermaltake, Corsair, BeQuiet, ... . This will be a little bit more expensive, but will be a good thing in the long term.
Old 04-09-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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I do see what you're saying about the PSU. For the moment I have gone ahead and ordered the parts as listed, but I'm keeping the case/psu high on the list of future upgrades if the machine sees much use past our initial tinkering sessions. I figure the biggest limiting factor in it's performance up front will be our (lack of) linux know-how.

In any case, I'll try and keep some notes on how the build goes, and post back here in a week or two on the results. If the drivers/hardware all works out okay, perhaps that knowledge would be useful to others.

Thanks a bunch.

Old 04-09-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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It seems to be highly rated on newegg and tigerdirect. I couldn't find which bios it uses. Favorite mobo's for Linux users tend to be Asus and Gigabyte, but I see no reason why this won't work for you.

Old 04-09-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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Last time I heard nVidia was friendlier to Linux than ATI, but this may have changed. Are you guys looking to clock the system up at all?
Old 04-17-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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Hi guys--

Just wanted to update this thread with the results we got. I ended up buying a different wireless card from that in my first post: "Rosewill RNX-N300", and I added in a "Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400". We used Ubuntu 11.10.

The results: It was almost too easy. I expected we would need to get down and dirty with all the drivers, but everything worked right out of the box. I'm sure proprietary drivers would extend the performance in some areas, but all video, sound, networking, etc. ran just fine with the drivers Ubuntu provided automatically.

We did not buy a monitor for the system. Including the the keyboard/mouse and the estimated cost of the hard drive I had on hand, we still came in under $300 for a good practical computer, which could later on be upgraded to a pretty beefy machine if so desired.

Thanks everyone for your time. Be well.



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