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chris z

building new computer

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ok, i know this has been done before, but i figured i'd put this out here anyways, just to get some last minute thoughts, ideas, &/or warnings from people with more experience.....

 

i'm finally benching the old Aptiva & building a new computer. i've done research to find as much Linux compatable hardware that i can find. not necessarily "Linux approved" "on the box" hardware, but hardware that's known play nice with Linux, regardless of the manufacturers neglect in that matter. i've asked around a bit in #musb for some advice, so after that & my own research, here's what i've come up with...........

 

AMD Athlon XP2000+ processor, plus packaged heatsink and fan (either 1.6 or 1.8ghz)

ABIT KD7A Motherboard w/ plenty of expansion slots

512MB 2700 DDR SDRAM

Creative 52X CDROM (internal)

Memorex 52x24x52x CDRW (internal)

Sony 1.44MB floppy drive

US Robotics 56K everything external modem (non USB) (just in case i ever need dial up. i have DSL, so this is a backup scenerio)

GeForce4 ti4200 128MB DDR video card

Linksys LNE100TX ethernet controller

Creative Labs soundcard 16 bit SBLive Platinum

160GB ATA100 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda hard disk

an as yet to be determined tower (i'm mulling over several models) but it will have at least a 400w power supply, 4 or more 5.25" bays, 3 or more 3.25" bays, plenty of ventilation, & it's gonna be one of those lovely see through neon lighted side panel jobs. (eye candy, i know, but what they hey?)

 

a couple of notes, before you might ask or make comments.........

 

why not go for a more powerful processor? budgetary restrictions, plain & simple. 1.6-1.8ghz will be more than enough to suit my needs. why no DVD? i have no need for it now. i watch movies on my television. if i ever decide to go the DVD route, there's plenty of power & room for expansion. why not a more powerful vid card &/or sound card? again, no need. i don't game at all. i listen to music on my stereo. and, budget wise, these choices work for me.

 

what i'm planning to do is run Mandrake9.2 with the 2.4.22-28 kernel until 10.0 becomes final/official/stable/rc7 or whatever it's gonna be known as. what i'm hoping for (& why i'm posting this) is that all of the above hardware choices will give me no troubles. my dream is to load MDK9.2, have everything detected, & be able to boot to a fully GUI enabled system with no problems, other than maybe dloading & installing an external driver here or there for fine tuning of things.

 

so, i'm all ears. i've been working on this & saving for this for a while now & i'm just about ready to start spending the $$$$. any & all advice will be appreciated & taken into consideration before i take the plunge.

 

Chris

Edited by chris z

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AMD Athlon XP2000+ processor, plus packaged heatsink and fan (either 1.6 or 1.8ghz)

Good

ABIT KD7A Motherboard w/ plenty of expansion slots

I'd go with an nforce2 based motherboard if you are worried about money. Both work great and have built-in support in the 2.6.X kernel

512MB 2700 DDR SDRAM

Good, I'd get more, but I am a gamer...

Creative 52X CDROM (internal)

Memorex 52x24x52x CDRW (internal)

Both work under linux (both are in my secondary PC)

Sony 1.44MB floppy drive

It's a floppy!

US Robotics 56K everything external modem (non USB) (just in case i ever need dial up. i have DSL, so this is a backup scenerio)

No clue.. just make sure it doesnt require windows

GeForce4 ti4200 128MB DDR video card

It's an OK card. If you can, spluge for a 5600 FX

Linksys LNE100TX ethernet controller

Creative Labs soundcard 16 bit SBLive Platinum

Both work, but if your on a budget, I'd go with the nforce2 based motherboard and axe both of these peices

160GB ATA100 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda hard disk

You can never have too much space

an as yet to be determined tower (i'm mulling over several models) but it will have at least a 400w power supply, 4 or more 5.25" bays, 3 or more 3.25" bays, plenty of ventilation, & it's gonna be one of those lovely see through neon lighted side panel jobs. (eye candy, i know, but what they hey?)

350Watts is more than enough if you are not overclocking.

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Higher wattage is better with amd.

Change the video to at least an fx5200 chip.

I have a blue neon case. It's great!

Everything else looks good and stable!

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i know nobodyever listens to me when I say this, but don't use that ABIT motherboard.

 

 

don't get me wrong, ABIt rocks, but there are better boards. check out http://www.soyo.com

 

I have built numerous systems on soyo mother boards and they kick the crap out of everything else i've ever used. You can OC the fsb 1mhz at a time. The have a great set of features and they even look nice.

 

Soyo also has a company policy of making all their boards fuly support linux, which deserves our support.

 

 

I have nothing bad to say about them, and dollar for dollar, they are a great vaule.

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My cpu runs at a mere 1.53 gHz and the original cooling fan was ---words fail me.

Consider buying hearing protectors.

I now have a Hydrocool water cooling system, can even hear myself think. :D

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FWIW, I'm using a USR 56k modem at the moment, and it gave me no trouble whatsoever. I didn't even have to set it up, I just plugged it in and off it went! :thumbs: BTW, I'm using Mandrake 9.0, just in case something went funny in later versions.

 

Alex

Edited by alexpank

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I built a new system a month ago and my research for that showed the importance of the power supply. The manufacturer is more important than the wattage. A good 300W will beat a mediocre 400W in quality of power and stability for your system.

 

Get a name brand (Antec, Enermax, Thermaltake etc). The Enermax 365 and 465 both have great reviews

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Reconsider the DVD. I buy the power packs on DVD and CD and it is a whole lot more convenient to have it all on one DVD rather than 7 CDs...and a few bucks cheaper to buy just the DVD...(I buy both CD and DVD as I have a system or two without a DVD-ROM)

 

Of course if you plan to use just the DL MDK versions this is a moot point...

 

As for processor cooling, I went with a Thermaltake Volcano 7 on my Athlon 2100+ Win box and the damn thing is a screamer (LOUD) http://www.thermaltake.com/products/heatsink/v7.htm It will be changed to something quiet soon.

 

My new Athlon 2600+ (333MHz FSB) with OEM fan is whisper quiet, the Enlight box fans are all I hear. This is running on an Asus A7N8X-X MOBO, 512 Gig PC 2700 RAM, PNY GF4 MX420 (I sacrificed my old MOBO/processor/RAM to fix a computer where my wife used to work and bail her out, I chose the replacement parts)...not a screaming system...but it seems to like MDK 9.2...good enough for me...

 

I didn't pay for the replacement parts...got a nice upgrade with out being greedy...Old MOBO board was a 900MHz Slot A Athlon on an MSI 6195 (K7 Pro board)...good enough for me also.

Edited by cjc

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I agree about the power suply. Quality is the most important thing. And don't just look at brand names. Get one with dual fans and ball or roller bearings in the fans. NO SLEAVE BEARINGS!!!!

 

The same goes for case and CPU cooling. It's like insurance for your car. It's just stupid to not have it. Get a good cpu cooler, een if you don't overclock, and put a fan in every opening on your case.

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thanks for the input folks! :D

 

VeeDubb..........

 

i did have Soyo on my list for a mobo. (the list isn't 100% final, that's why i posted this) the reason i went with ABIT was a combo of price & function. for what i need & can afford, the ABIT is my front runner right now. as far as overclocking, i don't know the first thing about how to do it, nor do i even want to try. here's a link to the ABIT i'm thinking of. if you can supply a link to a comparable Soyo, i'll check it out & compare pricing. note, i'm getting some very good deals on this stuff due to the fact that my connection in the IT dept. at work is ordering most of these things for me. B)

 

cjc......

 

i know DVDRom prices are becoming more affordable. but........... i still have no use for a DVD at the moment, & the old budget is the deciding factor. as i said, i'll have plenty of room for expansion for a DVD should i ever get the urge in the future. and, yes, i am going to download 10.0 when it becomes stable. maybe one of these days i'll throw money towards a Mandrake (Linux) distro, but not just yet, for several reasons that aren't relevant in this thread.

 

to all that mention power supplies, fans, & cooling........

 

i am aware of the benefits of all of the above. i can't recall the power supply manufacturer right now, but i have faith in my IT guy. and for cooling.......... the case(s) that i've been looking at all have a minimum of 2 fans (power supply & an exhaust) & a few have a third side panel fan, so i'm covered there. same goes for the CPU cooling. i specified i want ample cooling but i also want QUIET. i feel secure that i'll be ok in those departments.

 

the vid card........

 

again, i know there are bigger & better ones out there. and, again, budget & usage wise the GEForce4 suits my needs. i don't game, never have, never will. same goes for using my computer as a television or video/graphics editing station. i'm currently running a 5 year old ATI Rage Pro Mach64 with an 8meg cache & that does everything i need it to, so anything better than that will be a significant enough improvement for me.

 

i'm not gonna start the ordering process until tomorrow at the earliest, next week at the latest, so any more thoughts/comments would still be appreciated.

 

thanks again all..........

 

Chris

Edited by chris z

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You might be better served getting a DVD All In One Burner. I have the NEC ND-2500A 8X and Mandrake loves it. I got mine from www.internetishop.com via eBay. Some people poo poo eBay. I don't. It is my primary shopping source (disabled at home).

 

Check around on eBay before you go with other retailer(s).

 

Oh, I paid $98 + S & H ($116) for my DVD burner (New OEM bulk unit w/Nero 6 OEM Suite 1).

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thanks for all the input, to those that took the time to putin..... :lol:

 

i've had a change of mind about the Mobo. i'm going with This Model Soyo . this was after much debate & hand wringing. it came down to the fact that Soyo at least supplies Linux drivers, as opposed to Abit which doesn't.

 

also, if anyone cares, here's the case i've decided on. El Diablo . a bit overboard, maybe, but i think it's pretty bitchin'.

 

so, the ordering will commence tomorrow. hopefully this beast will be up & running in 2 to 3 weeks. it all depends on how fast all the parts arrive.

 

oh.........and no matter how many people tell me to do so, there won't be any DVD player &/or burner on this machine for now. i'm just not into it, period. B)

 

Chris

Edited by chris z

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I don't use my burner for video. I use it for data. One DVD+RW equals 6-7+ CDRWs in capacity. Something to keep in mind.

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I'm also putting together a new system, and I found this thread - so I am hereby resurrecting it...

 

Here's what I'm leaning towards:

 

CASE: Antec Super LANBoy Aluminum (comes w/o power)

PS: Antec Smart Power 350/w

MOBO: maybe an Abit AT7-Max2, or a Gigabyte 7VAXP

PROC: AMD of course, xp2800+ barton core

 

I don't know if linux uses alot of RAM efficiently - I remember when I had my old win98 machine - most shops told me not to bother putting more than 256Mb or 512Mb RAM into it cuz win98 just slows down with alot of RAM. I have a win2k machine now as my primary daily machine - but its getting replaced with this new linux box I'm working on. Guess I'll buy one module of 512Mb for my new linux box.

 

Also, I'm gonna get one of those Pen Drive USB 2.0 things - probably 128Mb. I saw some at the hardware store I was at, and I checked out their website just a little while ago.... They actually say, under their Requirements: No drivers required for winMe, win2k, winXP. No drivers required for Linux Kernel 1.4.10 or higher. I was impressed seeing linux even mentioned under a hardware company's requirements section.

 

Oh yeah - and a dual-format DVD burner of course - gotta have a DVD - why not have a drive that does everything...? I don't know what brands to lean towards for a linux box. I currently have a Sony DRU-510A dual-format burner in my win2k box, and I like it alot - of course, all the software it comes with is wasted on a linux machine. I've read that Lite-On drives are popular with linux people... any suggestions for a dvd burner under linux..?

 

VIDEO CARD: don't have any idea. on my win2k machine, I had an ati all-in-wonder 8500DV, but it only lasted a little over a year. I just replaced it with an ati all-in-wonder 9000 Pro. Gotta have TV. But on a linux box, maybe its better to have an nVidia card, and a separate TV card, such as hauppauge. I recently had another thread regarding TV cards, so I'll not ask about them again here.

Edited by null

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I agree about the power suply.  Quality is the most important thing.  And don't just look at brand names.  Get one with dual fans and ball or roller bearings in the fans.  NO SLEAVE BEARINGS!!!!

 

The same goes for case and CPU cooling.  It's like insurance for your car.  It's just stupid to not have it.  Get a good cpu cooler, een if you don't overclock, and put a fan in every opening on your case.

YEP YEP YEP....

Is it just me ... but what about an AMD64 ???

 

Surely a better investment for the future. OK so your limited to MDK 9.2 for full 64 bit right now but run 10.0 in 32 bit mode.

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