It is absolutely no problem to exchange a kernel. I can provide you for debian/ubuntu systems always the latest precompiled ones. Kanotix gets every new kernel as update. I do not support FC howerver
So far I have had a great experience with my Gigabyte P35-DS3. I think most chips are basically identical on the EP45-DS4. That is the same network chip and such. I have not tried onboard audio, but that should work, too. The only "real" change is the northbridge which is not too much of a change in regards to Linux compatibility. My board worked without any problems with kernel 2.6.24 with AHCI mode active. It is the same ICH10 southbride, that is also used with P45 boards.
It's just that it's not obvious to be sure a given driver works correctly and this can be blocking: I don't care if sound doesn't work now, but if ethernet is broken and I have to wait for a newer module to be released then I will be prisoner of MS gaming OS For instance, it *seems* RTL8111C (found on GB board) was added to the r8169 driver, but if you look at realtek own driver it *seems* much more complete. As you can see, my problem is to get rid of guesssing
It works perfectly with the in kernel driver as of currently kernel 126.96.36.199. Before I was also using with with 2.6.24, no problem at all. Gigabyte themselves do not say which one it is, the website just speaks of a "Gigabit Lan Controller". Though I assume they use the same chip on all boards.Code:04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 01) Subsystem: Giga-byte Technology Device e000 Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16 I/O ports at c000 [size=256] Memory at e7000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K] [virtual] Expansion ROM at e8400000 [disabled] [size=128K] Capabilities:  Power Management version 2 Capabilities:  Vital Product Data <?> Capabilities:  Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/1 Enable- Capabilities:  Express Endpoint, MSI 00 Capabilities:  Vendor Specific Information <?> Capabilities:  Advanced Error Reporting <?> Capabilities: [12c] Virtual Channel <?> Capabilities:  Device Serial Number 68-81-ec-10-00-00-00-00 Capabilities:  Power Budgeting <?> Kernel driver in use: r8169 Kernel modules: r8169
But I have to correct what I wrote about the southbridge. I just have the ICH9 on my board, the EP45-DS4 got the ICH10R. Looks like support is a little different than ICH9, but recent kernels should have it. Cf the phoronix article about a board with x4500hd:
So with a recent distribution you should be fine. Since every distribution that is released this autumn will be using 2.6.26 or higher (several probably even 2.6.27).Originally Posted by http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel_x4500hd&num=8
Last edited by ivanovic; 10-07-2008 at 06:19 AM.
The EP35 Gigabyte boards have the Realtek 8111B LAN chip and the P45 boards have the 8111C chip. I am not sure yet (can't confirm) whether the LAN driver is built into the more recent kernel or whether you have to tweak anything to get wired ethernet working. The people here who reviewed the Gigabyte P45 boards should be able to say?
Edit: I will make a wild guess but the Realtek LAN drivers appear to show more promise than the Marvel LAN drivers. Since, the 8111B/8111C chipset seem to be mentioned together and the P35 Gigabyte boards (with the Realtek 8111B LAN chipset) don't seem to have very many issues with the ethernet LAN. I have a Gigabyte EP35-DS3R board and have yet to have any major ethernet issues and I even have a Windows XP partition and have dual booted with no problems...knock on wood.
As for the Asus P45 boards, the P5Q has the following LAN info:
Marvell 88E8056/88E8001® Gigabit LAN controller
I am not sure if it's working 'out of the box' but from what I've read, there are issues but it's hard to confirm or know what the current situation is because of the different dates the posts/claims show.
This gentoo page has some info on it:
I'm assuming/guessing that what applies to that will also apply to Ubuntu and probably other distros too. At least, in time, it will.
I'm thinking of getting a new board but it needs 6 SATA ports. I was looking at P35 ICH9R boards but they're the same price or even more than entry level P45 ICH10/R boards so I thought I might as well go for the P45 boards. I am not sure about P43 boards. Are they any good? I was looking at Linux compatibility with P45 boards and I'm still unsure about LAN and sound issues. I hope that someone from Phoronix can confirm which board (Asus or Gigabyte) is probably easiest to use based on the different chips. Eventually, the drivers may be built into the kernel but if one is with less issues or has less problems arise, I'd probably go with that. I am not one who likes to build modules or tweak stuff like that. ;-)
Last edited by Panix; 10-10-2008 at 02:41 PM.