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Thread: Need recommendations on Linux friendly PC parts for new rig

  1. #1
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    Default Need recommendations on Linux friendly PC parts for new rig

    Hi all, this is Lord Raiden from Raiden's Realm. I'm hunting for some parts for a new PC, and I'm looking for some information on what parts are most Linux friendly, as well as the best quality. My preferred distro is Linux Mint, and I prefer AMD chips, but the rest is up for grabs. I'm after mostly midline stuff, not bleeding edge or ultra budget. Just stuff that would make a good, reliable desktop solution, with a minimal slant towards gaming. Anywho, here's the basic list of parts I am after.

    Processor (Amd II, Phenom, etc)
    Video Card (ATI or Nvidia)
    Motherboard (No preference)
    Ram (up to 8gb.)

    The rest I already either have, or have already decided on. Since I'm a software guy, I figure the hardware gurus here can help me find the best parts that will work with Linux. Since I've got a limited budget for these parts ($500 prefered, $650 max), I want to get it right the first try. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

  2. #2
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    "Linux friendly" as in "Linux friendly" or as in "works for you with linux"?

    CPUs are all fine, they will work. Heck, pick an ARM if you like, Linux will take it AMD and Intel are both generally linux friendly companies, no remorse for giving money to either.

    Same for RAM. If it works on your mobo, it works on linux.

    ATI HD 4650 or HD 4770 are good mid-level GPUs, depending on the power you need. Both working fine with open source drivers for desktop usage and simple games.
    nvidia is only good if you use their proprietary closed source drivers, which isn't "linux friendly" by my definition. They're also a bunch of lying bastards, if that's part of your purchase decisions.

    Motherboard is a little difficult because there are so many custom chips that need drivers. IDE/SATA should work fine, LAN too, USB ports dito. I don't know of any consumer mobo having trouble with these. Onboard sound may be a problem, so may more exotic features (bluetooth, onboard WLAN etc). The easiest way is to pick a motherboard with the right features/price, then google "modelname linux" and see what happens. Also google for the specific names of sound chip etc. That should do it.
    Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a "linux friendly" company for mobos, since none I've seen actually attest linux compatibility.

  3. #3
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    Budget-midrange AMD cpu would be the Athlon II x4 630 - $99 quad core.

    Midrange: Phenom II X4 945 - $159 quad.

  4. #4
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    Well, by "Linux Friendly", I'm thinking more like "linux runs on it without too many issues."

    Also, curaga, what's the performance difference between the AthlonXP 3000 (my current chip) and the Athlon II X2 245? That's one of the chips I looked at.

  5. #5
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    Hard to give numbers, but single threaded 32bit performance should be over 2x.
    You can also bring a second thread, 64bits, SSE2,3,4 optimizations, virtualization.

    That said, the price difference between X2 245 and X4 630 is so small, why not get a quad?

  6. #6
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    Eh, I guess I've never seen the need for 4 processors. Two I can see, as my laptop has that, but four just seems overkill to me. Then again, in five years I'll likely be hating myself if I didn't go quad. lol.

  7. #7
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    Nvidia is best for Linux.

    Intel is good as they write Linux drivers for all of their hardware and are very good about that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raiden View Post
    Well, by "Linux Friendly", I'm thinking more like "linux runs on it without too many issues."

    Also, curaga, what's the performance difference between the AthlonXP 3000 (my current chip) and the Athlon II X2 245? That's one of the chips I looked at.
    Easiest and fastest way, imho, is to look at the wiki for the comparison of AMD processors. The Athlon II X2 245 is a newer architecture and requires new mobo and might require new RAM, too. If you go with a DDR3 mobo, then you need new RAM.

    The Athlon II X2 245 also runs cooler and some of those have even cooler running chips like 245e. The hardware with the most issues will be the video card and wireless hardware.

    Nvidia - binary and closed but usually works well - fewer issues
    intel - open source but limited, graphics wise, also some contend there are driver issues in linux sometimes
    ATI - OS and binary choices - constant catchup wrt drivers - open source has potential but limited 3D for now, binary driver not up to par to windows right now afaik

    wifi chipset to get (imho) - atheros, intel, zydas, ralink, realtek
    desktop wifi card - atheros, realtek,

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