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Old 07-14-2004, 12:37 AM   #1
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recommendations for a linux based computer system

Hey everyone!

I am looking to purchase a new computer and Suse 9.1 to use as its main operating system. I would like to ask the community for their recommendations on an optimal configuration (e.g. processor type/speed, RAM, etc.). I've heard that linux can operate more efficiently than windows with less powerful hardware; if so, i'd like to make sure that I don't buy too much unnessary power (ideally i'd like to spend about $600-$800 with an LCD monitor). I won't be using the computer for high-end gaming and such, basically just internet, digital media/ burning audio CDs, and downloading/file transfer (basically i'm looking for a college student computer to use next fall; light to medium use)

I've done research and have concluded that linux is a more efficient and stable system than windows. I've been getting infuriated with software crashes and lockups with windows.

Also, tell me your opinion on a celeron processor using linux. good/bad idea? why?

Thanks alot for your help! lm looking forward to migrating to linux and abandon windows
Old 07-14-2004, 01:14 AM   #2
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For different hardware, you can browse through the Hardware Compatibility List.

Personally, I shy away from Celerons and would rather spend a little more for a regular Pentium. But for your uses, it should be fine. Alternately, you could get an AMD Athlon. They tend to be cheaper and perform just as well as Pentiums. Couple that with an nForce2 motherboard that has integrated video, audio, and network card and you can build a very good system for $300-400 bucks.
Old 07-14-2004, 01:29 AM   #3
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Yeah, I also would steer very clear of Celeron. I have a Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz that tremendously outperforms my friends Celeron 2.4. They are simply cheap, shitty processors.

I don't have much experience with AMD, but my friend has one, and I had one a few years back. It seems to work as well/better than my own despite the 'ghz' being lower. From my experience, AMD is less expensive and more powerful.

Personally, I recommend a non-on-board video card though. Pretty much anything will do.

Also, I'm not a big fan of SuSE. On my box it wouldn't let me install things easily if I felt like using something other than the software included on the CD =P.
Old 07-14-2004, 01:44 AM   #4
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Alright! I like this input!

So stay away from Celerons. I was curious about AMDs; they seem faster to me. well, athlon or pentium 4 should be fine right?

Any recommendations on ram? I'm thinking 512mb max...

i don't want to "kill an ant with an army" so to speak...I don't want to buy too sophisticated hardware...what would be the max processor speed I should look for (does it matter past a certain speed?)

also i was worried about software compatibility...OneInThreeWaves says that some programs don't work with Suse. I've heard of other distributions Red hat, linspire, are these better?

And I know there are websites than can custom configure systems for you...are there any in particular that I should look at?

Last edited by wmanzoul; 07-14-2004 at 01:52 AM.
Old 07-14-2004, 02:18 AM   #5
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i never had anything but celeron and celeron is not very good...compared to amd. I've been using linux as main os when i was doing my 1st grade(from drake,deadrat, many others to bsd), 2nd grade(mainly debian), i am running it at work on a d***** celeron (funny people still asking me why i do not use windows like them, still laughing at the sysadmin). I use gnome at work not to be bothered by what kind of gui is there in linux at work(~370MB RAM, 20GB, ~800-900MHZ). I use fvwm at home.
Old 07-14-2004, 02:45 AM   #6
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I have purchased and installed SuSE 9 & 9.1 Pro on 4 of the cheapie macchines from WalMart. At $200 bucks U.S. it's a bargain. They use an AMD duron at 1500 or so, 30 gig HD, nic, video , usb are buitl in and so far have worked beautifully on each machine. 9.1 has a little gotcha in that when it tries to do its first Online Update it goes for the Los Angeles mirror which aint there so you have to skip it and come back to Yast at the completion of the install, then you can do the Online Updaate.

Anyway, Three of the machines are being used in a business running 24/7 since last August/Sept. One is a server for three others including two window machines. and another is also a server for a second windows machine. A 15 inch LCD runs around $280 to 350 so you can have a few bucks leftover to play with.

I just installed 9.1 on another of the WalMart machines yesterday. Setup is a snap. Beats XP anyway you try it.

And you cant beat WalMart's guarantee. Dont like it?, simply call them and they will send someone to pick it up, no questions, no hassle. We had a bad LCD so had to use the service.

I've done bunches of installs of win from 3.0 to xp and SuSE 9.1 pro has been less of a hassle that any of the others.

Be sure you use SuSE 9.1 Pro. The personal version is shy a bunch of things you need to compile and install other programs. You can get the pro upgrade for about 60 bucks which comes without all the printed books, but they are included in electronic form ao you get them anyway. Get it directly from SuSE store.

BTW, you probably wont be able to tell the difference between any of the various CPU's unles you're doing a lot of video or cad stuff. My main machine is still just running at 950megs with a gig of ram and I can t see any diffeentce from my 2.5g laptop.

Looking for programs that work on suse? There are a lot of places that compile just for suse so that's a sensless worry. Regardless of what distro you use there will be some things that play funny but I havent found anything that cant be made to work on suse so far. You just have to learn where to go to get what you want/need. Help is abundant on any one you decide to use. I settled on suse cause YAST made installation and upgrading a snap.

Old 07-14-2004, 02:54 AM   #7
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From what I've read in the past, the AMD chips are supposed to perform better at number crunching type tasks. Also, AMD does a better job at cache prediction (I hope I stated the term correctly) which improves performance because the bottle neck on todays cpu chips is transferring programs and data from memory to the chip. So a chunk is loaded into the cache ahead of time, predicting what will be needed in the future.

The Intel M series used in portables is supposed to perform well, again from what I've read.

One interesting thing, if you are looking to get a 64 bit, is that Intel threw in the towel on there latest endeaver and purchased the rights to produce the Athlon64. Of cource there chip will be called something else.
Old 07-14-2004, 03:53 AM   #8
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be sure to get an nvidia video card - they work quite well in linux
Old 07-14-2004, 06:48 PM   #9
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So no major diff. in which distro of linux, correct (for my purposes, anyway)?

THanks alot for the help! any final words of advice that didn't get mentioned b4?
Old 07-14-2004, 07:35 PM   #10
Registered: Jun 2003
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The positive things said in one of the threads above about SuSE 9.1 is prop all true as Ive read only positive reviews of 9.1 ... runing 9.0 ... nice and easy ... Yast2 does it all for ye ... .

My guess ...
x invest in a fast hard-drive as this will certainly speed up ur system ....
as most time is taken up by reading stuff from the drive and not processing it ..
so drive and file-system performance are most important for speed methinks but might be wrong ..
x could try or on another partition as well & see what U think of it ..... havent tried them but they sound very interesting ....& fast ......
x if you have the choice of using reiser4 then guess try it ..
x as Linux GUI like KDE & GNOME are SLOW compared to Windows .....
xcept maybe Xfce ..... or windowmanagers like fvwm ,windowmaker etc. and others ....

so C what ye like ..... useful one > .... ..... .

Old 07-15-2004, 12:48 AM   #11
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If i were to build it from scratch, i'd spend a good amount on a LCD, something with a higher resolution than 1024x768. then use the remaining amount on a decent motherboard that has integrated sound, ethernet, etc. If it has integrated video, then google around for hardware compatibility. Make sure the motherboard is good enough to handle one upgrade of a CPU. Get a cheap non-celeron, non-duron CPU, one large HD (160 gig minimum). 256-512 RAM. Decent power/case with good price.

you can upgrade your CPU, RAM after you make some money at college. You wouln't want to buy a new LCD though. They tend to be pricy, so just get a good one from the start. Your eyes will thank you.

If this turns out to be too expensive, check for good dell deals.


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