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Help evaluating these builds: Pure stripped down Linux box, vs big system with multiple OS

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  • Linux
  • linux build
  • windows/linux build
Last response: in Open Source Software
April 25, 2014 4:42:21 PM

Been getting a lot of good advice on this forum. Was interested in playing with Linux and was talked into Linux Mint a while ago by some very helpful people. I still have a need for a windows system or two for my software, but wanted to try Linux mint on a cheap build for my wife and kids needs. I’ll eventually need four systems when I’m done.

I will not build a system where windows is more than 20% of the system cost. It is much cheaper to buy a system at that point.

So I came up with two possible approaches:

Option 1:

Build an iddy bitty Linux box only. I tried to make the cheapest system I could based on Mint's system requirements

I came up with this http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3y25W

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD 5150 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($52.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI AM1I Mini ITX AM1 Motherboard ($40.50 @ Vuugo)
Memory: Crucial 2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($22.50 @ Vuugo)
Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP600 32GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($44.17 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Antec ISK 310-150 Mini ITX Desktop Case w/150W Power Supply ($84.50 @ Vuugo)
Total: $244.66

Question 1: Will this run linux mint? I’m told Linux needs little to run, but I think some are exaggerating when they insist even a slide rule or abacus can run linux.
Should I buy a Zotac box instead if I want it really small?

Option 2

Build a full fledged mini itx system, install windows, partition the drive and play with Mint, Ubuntu and other suggestions I was given. I put this system together for that.

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3rnOr

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G3220 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($65.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $112
Memory: Corsair 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($38.65 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.75 @ Vuugo)
Case: Thermaltake VL52021N2U Mini ITX Desktop Case w/200W Power Supply ($68.50 @ Vuugo)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($17.82 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($98.79 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $466.50
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-25 18:55 EDT-0400)



Explaining Computers Built this similar one

Afterwards I was delighted to find a professional on “explaining computers” building virtually the identical system on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV55san63yQ



My Question

Would it be safest to build my first system as a windows machine and fiddle with linux afterwards. Or build the mini linux system (if it is satisfactory) and dive right in.

I guess what I’m asking is: How long will it realistically take to install Linux Mint and get my wife and kids surfing the internet, playing online kids game with flash/java/javascript, checking gmail? Real light duty stuff.

And will I find it easier to build a pure linux system vs a dual boot, possibly quad boot system!

Thanks in advance

More about : evaluating builds pure stripped linux box big system multiple

Best solution

April 25, 2014 4:48:21 PM

An APU based system is much better for the money, unless you're just hell bent on piddling around with processors weaker than an iPhone's?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard ($88.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($67.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Mwave)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $506.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-25 20:55 EDT-0400)
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April 25, 2014 5:11:58 PM

huskersforever said:
An APU based system is much better for the money, unless you're just hell bent on piddling around with processors weaker than an iPhone's?


Still not sure what constitutes an APU. Does it mean AMD processors or any higher one like i3-4130 etc.? I'll be doing no gaming, and my current system is an ancient athlon x2 64 5000+ with 2gb ram and it does everything well, but is now choking on internet content more and more.

What would you suggest as a processor?

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April 25, 2014 5:57:10 PM

mgjacc said:
huskersforever said:
An APU based system is much better for the money, unless you're just hell bent on piddling around with processors weaker than an iPhone's?


Still not sure what constitutes an APU. Does it mean AMD processors or any higher one like i3-4130 etc.? I'll be doing no gaming, and my current system is an ancient athlon x2 64 5000+ with 2gb ram and it does everything well, but is now choking on internet content more and more.

What would you suggest as a processor?



An APU is a processor with a very good gpu all on the same die. It is perfect for your uses.
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