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jcr1
10-11-2005, 09:18 AM
I've had this thought for quite a while now, that I'd like to put together my own PC (dedicated to Linux - most likely Gentoo).
I've looked at bits & pieces on PriceSpy etc. and the sort of machine I envisage would not be too expensive (don't need high end gamers' etc. and Linux runs real well on more conservative specs anyway but loves lots of ram - or so I've been told).
There are many fishhooks :confused: - what's best compatibility with Linux?
Mother Board, CPU and case must be compatible.
Athlon 64 gets good reports?
etc. etc.
I feel like I would be flying blind getting parts on-line, those who have attempted this, what would be your advice?

FoxyMX
10-11-2005, 10:45 AM
An AMD 64 would be my recommendation because Linux can utilise the 64 bit processor better than Windows can. Other than that the latest distros should be able to handle all the other hardware without any problems.

Just decide on what components you want, throw them into Google with "Linux" to check whether anyone has had any negative experiences with them and go for it.

As far as the buying is concerned, check out Pricespy by all means to get a feel for the prices but I would stick to one well-known/reputable dealer as far as possible and buy all you can from them. If they are in your town/city, all the better. Remember, cheapest is not always best.

bob_doe_nz
10-11-2005, 10:55 AM
Yeah, avoid SuperCheapPC. many people have had bad experiences with them. Then again many have had good ones too.

heni72847
10-11-2005, 04:55 PM
um.. you can always get a piece of hardware which doesn't seem to work too well..
then try to get it work~

just for extra time wasting and enjoyment of the satisfaction when it finally works~

jcr1
10-11-2005, 05:47 PM
um.. you can always get a piece of hardware which doesn't seem to work too well..
then try to get it work~

just for extra time wasting and enjoyment of the satisfaction when it finally works~
Don't quite get your drift; should I be cautious when buying hardware or am I going to be totally wasting my time on an exercise like this?
As regards the former, thankyou, one of the reasons I made the post, was just to get a bit of a handle on compatibility etc.
For the latter, well it could be considered that people waste time with all sorts of things associated with computers for all sorts of reasons; games, for example, not everyone's cup of tea, but I say, good on them, if that's what they want to do for an interest. Mucking around with graphics, same, but could even be called creative, fair enough.
Tweaking for performance same again, is it necessary? I don't know, but it's interesting. And so it goes on.
I've been involved with farming for nigh on 30 years now. There's not much that could be as practical or as productive in a tangible way as that. So, hey, at the latter end of my career I don't have too many problems with an indulgence.

dolby digital
10-11-2005, 06:16 PM
Actually Xwindows needs more ram and if you want to run lots of applications as well, more ram. Linux itself running without Xwindows needs alot less although you can run the minimal window managers if you are short on ram. I'd get as much as you can afford balanced with the speed of the processor. If you buy more common hardware, chances are it will work with Linux but not the latest and greatest and the Linux guys take a bit of time to get the new hardware working.

Myth
10-11-2005, 06:26 PM
The only hardware I would recommmend you to avoid is a winmodem, and ATi graphics cards (personally I dislike there driver setup - tried it on laptop). Have nVidia on this comp and it works a breeze :)

As an idea (in addition to the above idea of googling to see what issues certain types of hardware have with Linux) I would have a look through the kernel and have a lookie at what devices are supported by it ... most will be

Linux isnt RAM happy lol, I have full working desktop with only 128 meg (shared). Stage 2 would make it even quicker :) (did one on laptop; although it had a similar sized Celeron to my desktop P4, it was slightly quicker)

Jen
10-11-2005, 06:28 PM
I am sure you will enjoy building a PC. It gives you the same buzz that compiling your own OS does. :)

As for compatibility, as already mentioned most motherboards should be fine. Go for a brand with a history of producing good boards (such as ASUS, Gigabyte etc). You might wish to check out local computer shops and get most of your components from the same shop as it saves having to deal with a variety of people.

I would favour nVidia graphic cards as they generally support Linux very well with drivers and updates.

Any CPU flavour would be fine, however AMD 64-bit is well supported under Linux including with Gentoo (please check out Chill's signature for an important message with this :p).

One thing I would watch out for is s-ATA controllers. Check what controller the motherboard uses and google for Linux issues. Can't remember off the top of my head which one, but one type can be problematic.

Stuff 1024 MB's of whatever flavour RAM in the machine, as Linux utilises RAM very well and will shows its appreciation.

If you will be compiling Gentoo on the machine first off, then I would fire it up using a LiveCD initially to make sure everything feels happy before starting on the long compilation. You can even use the LiveCD to generate a text report of all your hardware and what modules it has loaded for it (eg NIC, Audio, other controllers). Might come in handy during installation and kernel building.

Remember, read all instructions twice and have fun while assembling it. :D

heni72847
10-11-2005, 06:30 PM
just to give some more ..er..helpful comment..

i use enlightenment e16 on my gentoo box
and i have to say that it doesn't use up that much ram
even if i do run serveral programs

just to give an example
right now it's running the usual rss reader liferea, firefox, gaim, and torsmo
got two desktops with 2 virtual desktops each
and ram usage not even up to 175mb yet
i got 384mb ram and never ran out yet..not during compiling stuff too

JJJJJ
10-11-2005, 08:51 PM
Build your own by oll means. My greatest thrill was putting one together, then switching on and IT WORKED!!!!!
Amazing. It made me want to build another.

But be prepared. I stuffed up two CPU's and three mother boards before I succeeded.

Myth
10-11-2005, 09:00 PM
You remember the feeling of anticipation you get when installing Gentoo?
You get the same feeling when building a computer for the first time

Metla
10-11-2005, 09:14 PM
The feeling I would be getting is "why did I waste all this brand new hardware on linux?"

Muhahahahaha.

I know where there is a near brand new P4 system going cheap with no OS.......

jcr1
10-11-2005, 10:59 PM
Thanks everyone.
A bit more research is needed on my part. Although I'm pretty sure I'll settle on AMD 64, for one and get lots of ram. Asus or Gigabyte for the MB. I won't worry about a modem as I'd just go straight to my broadband router.
I think I'm going to Auckland next week (Wife, her sister & my daughter want to go to Ellerslie Flower Show); can anyone recommend a good one stop computer parts shop I could browse.
Hey, any Auckland PF1'rs want to go shopping :D

JJJJJ
11-11-2005, 05:51 AM
Just one question.
Why go to the trouble of building a good computer just to run Linux on?

If you want to play with Linux there's plenty of cheap comps. You could look for a reject one from a primary school.

Jen
11-11-2005, 06:42 AM
If you want to play with Linux there's plenty of cheap comps. Ah, but jcr1 is not playing with Linux - he uses it. Why not have a nice computer to run your preferred OS on. :)

Jen
11-11-2005, 06:45 AM
I think I'm going to Auckland next week (Wife, her sister & my daughter want to go to Ellerslie Flower Show); can anyone recommend a good one stop computer parts shop I could browse.I would recommend you check out PB Technologies (http://www.pbtech.co.nz/), located in Penrose, as they have a very large retail store with heaps of products on display. Lots of smaller shops carry minimum stock on display, keeping most of it in the storeroom.

jcr1
11-11-2005, 06:54 AM
Just one question.
Why go to the trouble of building a good computer just to run Linux on?

If you want to play with Linux there's plenty of cheap comps. You could look for a reject one from a primary school.

Jen's right. I use Linux; not exclusively, as my scanner is not compatible (I checked online & it is not). Some software I need for the business will only work in windows.
But anyway, for a long time I've had it in mind I would like to put together a PC, knowing that there are plenty of cheap boxes out there. So why not build one, out of interest and use it for Linux (it's a free OS and it would be nice to have it on a good dedicated machine for once).

JJJJJ
11-11-2005, 07:25 AM
Jen's right. I use Linux; not exclusively, as my scanner is not compatible (I checked online & it is not). Some software I need for the business will only work in windows.
But anyway, for a long time I've had it in mind I would like to put together a PC, knowing that there are plenty of cheap boxes out there. So why not build one, out of interest and use it for Linux (it's a free OS and it would be nice to have it on a good dedicated machine for once).

You're quite right of course.
My problem is that whenever someone mentions Linux I star to fume.
I have bought ,and paid for, two versions of the so called FREE OS.
No problem installing it, and it even works after a fashion.

BUT, mouse works only sometimes, scanner never worked, printer worked with SUSE but not Mandrake, modem never worked.
MS Word would not even load.

Think I will stick with windows.

jcr1
11-11-2005, 09:58 PM
Well, did I get the message about this today.
I had to go into town (Stratford) this afternoon and I thought while there I would call into a computer shop on the main street thats just opened - you know, look after the local business's.
I mentioned to the guy what I am aiming to do and when he heard the word Linux, he just started and went on & on & on. Linux developers are just jealous of the money that Bill Gates makes. Anyway Linux just does the same things Windows does, so they must be a bunch of hypocrites. Open source is a dog of an idea. I couldn't get a word in edge wise. Then he went on about the cost of what I want to do. AMD 64, nah that's not the way to go; Sempron is more practical.
And they say shop in your own town :rolleyes: Well I know someone who has lost a customer for life.
I think Jen's info about PB Technology might be the place to go and its not far from my daughter's place either.

Metla
11-11-2005, 11:13 PM
Sounds like he has no idea how to encourage people to spend money :rolleyes:

I have a bunch of Linux clients, True, some are plain nuts but most are interesting and lifelong tinkerers, As much as I can't give them the solid direction they need (or not as the case may be) I always make a point of enquiring about their hardware and current distro of choice....

Myth
12-11-2005, 08:47 AM
You live in Stratty ... as in the Naki?? :stare:

Man, if I had known that I would have had your box round here (Waitara) when you were having Gentoo issues.

I think us Naki-ites need to get together and utilise each others skills (not just Linux either). I know theres a few of us in ere from NP and surrounding areas

PM me if interested

jcr1
12-11-2005, 09:41 AM
Thanks Tazz :D , I should've clicked on to YTARA.
I thought there must've been a few around the province that used Linux.
But generally if I mentioned it, all I got was a blank stare or a bit of a lecture like the one I posted before.