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Linux or Vista ?

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September 14, 2007 2:53:53 AM

I've been thinking about building new computer in Q1 2008 that would have quad AMD (on am2+ board or better) or Intels Quad (on X38 or better) with 2x2Gb of ram and i already own geforce 8800GTS. I heard XP ( which im happily using atm) cant handle more than 2 cores so i was going to go with Vista 64 bit. My buddy told me about Fedora 7 that is a way better OS than Windows. I heard its has everything i need in it incuding internet security, basic office tools and that its being updated very frequently with fixing all bugs and improving the OS, like once or twice a year.

I have few questions on my mind now:

1. Is fedora the best or ubuntu and are there other good for newbs ( not much typing codes cuz im not an IT) versions of OS ?
2. Am i going to be able to use it as OS on Quad core with 4Gb ram and 64 bit same as on Vista ?
3. Is there going to be a difference in performance between Linux and Vista using my new rig of course?
4. How good is that internet security ? Im surfing at many adult sites :ange:  and Norton System Works prevents me doing amazing job everyday. For last 2 years I didnt have any viruses although i have few infos a day about viruses blocked.
5. I also heard i can download it for free instead of paying 400$ for Vista retail and then wait for SP1 to come out hoping it will speed Win up and fix bugs.
6. What about using high end graphic cards ( i mean my DX10 card here ). I understand there is a way to install drivers but what about DirectX 10 or OpenGL? What about the difference in FPS or 3D games, are there any
benchmarks ?

Im using computer for gaming and surfing web. I dont listen to the music nor edit/watch movies on it.

Can you help me telling me more about that OS ?

Thanks

More about : linux vista

September 14, 2007 5:48:04 AM

Most of that depends on what you intend to do with the rig?

If it's just web surfing, you are spending a LOT of money on high-end kit that won't be used.
If it's gaming. Linux probably isn't for you unless you intend to dual-boot.

Also the PC market will probably change a lot between now and Q1 next year; so whatever you decide now may not be relevant then.
September 15, 2007 2:24:21 PM

I agree with gent with a twist :) 

I would suggest Linux for everything but stubborn windows only games and, reluctantly, XP for games ( not Vista ).

Linux can run some windows games using WINE, Cedega, DOSBox, etc.

Dual booting is actually a pretty good option if you don't mind the reboots so much :) 

Virtual machines such as VMWare, QEMU and others may also be an option and would allow you to run windows under Linux and vice versa. Virtual machines are not well suited for games however they do allow you to have a 95-99% fully functional windows OS running under Linux, that way you can avoid annoying reboots if all you need to do is run a windows only program.

By the way there are native Linux versions of some popular games, check it out:

http://www.tuxgames.com/

Unfortunately many games do not have a linux version at all but some will run ok under WINE or Cedega.

http://appdb.winehq.org/appbrowse.php

http://games.cedega.com/gamesdb/

GL :) 
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September 15, 2007 3:43:02 PM

Thanks, so i guess im gonna buy windows :/ 
September 15, 2007 4:11:50 PM

What games and applications are you planning to run on this thing?

Linux is a free download away, it's worth at least trying it before you spend $400+ for Vista Premium and whatever else.

By the way Linux has no limitations on the amount of memory or the number of CPUs it supports like windows does.

Also while security on Linux is certainly not perfect, if configured correctly it can be a hell of a lot more secure than windows. You would be 100% safe against any windows hack that's for sure.

In fact if you use a Live CD or DVD or a Virtual Machine to surf the net you will be 99.9% protected from any security threat. If they do manage to crack your Live CD or DVD distribution you just reboot. If someone breaks into your Virtual Machine you just restore the Virtual Machine disk image from backup, problem solved :) 
September 15, 2007 6:40:19 PM

To answer your question succinctly: Linux and NEVER vista.

If you are going to go the windows route, you might as well get a 64bit version of WinXP. As for the whole xp not taking more than 2 cores, that is only true if you are not using winXP pro. I am currently dual booting xp pro / linux and both are able to handle 4 cores. Also, the reason for the 64bit version is because if you get 32bit, the extra ram will be wasted as windows sets aside part of the 2^32 -1 addresses for memory-mapped I/O. Meaning that effectively your 4GB ram becomes something like 2.5GB.

XP will serve you better for games as there is less bloat and the same level of functionality and security as vista.

If you really want all the nice effects and the added 'security' of vista, go with GNU/Linux because in my experience, vista is just an incredibly half-assed attempt by MS to make a piss-poor version of a Unix system. GNU/Linux will give you good security, freedom from virii/spyware, and all of the visual eye candy that MacOS and vista have AND THEN SOME. And don't forget that about 95% of the linux distros out there are given to you FREE OF CHARGE.

As for which version of GNU/Linux you pick, there are several good ones like Ubuntu, zenwalk, SimplyMepis, Linux Mint, Xandros, and PCLinuxOS. Fedora Core was the first Linux distribution i tried and it still holds a special place in my heart (even though i am on ubuntu right now i still prefer Fedora). I have also heard that people seem to like OpenSUSE, although when i tried it i didn't like it much myself.

In any case, the moral of the story here is try any or all of these versions of GNU/Linux and see what strikes your fancy. They should all come in 64bit versions so they should work just fine for your system. If you really want to use windows, stick with XP pro in a 64bit flavor.

Best of luck to you.

-Zorak
September 15, 2007 10:34:04 PM

Thanks for that guys, its what i wanted to read :) 
I like how Linux looks like but im not very computer smart so i guess i will stay with Windows. I will get the xp pro 64 bit version as you said. One question though.. After installing Xp pro64 do i need to install anything else so windows can use all cores and all memory ? Or is it already seeying it and using it from the moment i install win? Do you think there is going to be a possibility for Win xp to run DX10 or newer versions or they will make Dx9 versions of all new games for next few years or always?
Thanks
September 16, 2007 7:54:00 AM

You don't need to install anything extra to have the OS access all your cores and all memory. The only catch to that statement is that if you want to use more than 2GB of ram, you need a 64bit OS.

Seriously though, installing Linux on a computer is actually EASIER than installing windows. You don't even have to install it to give it a try. Just download a liveCD for whatever distribution you want to try out and pop it in and boot into linux. Sure it'll be a bit slow b/c it has to read from a CD or DVD, but it is a fully functional OS! At least this way you can give it a try without having to install if you are a bit apprehensive about trying to make a dual boot setup (but even that isn't very difficult).

Go ahead and give it a shot man, you really have nothing to lose.

-Zorak
September 16, 2007 3:19:11 PM

857967,1,121214 said:
I've been thinking about building new computer in Q1 2008 that would have quad AMD (on am2+ board or better) or Intels Quad (on X38 or better) with 2x2Gb of ram and i already own geforce 8800GTS. I heard XP ( which im happily using atm) cant handle more than 2 cores so i was going to go with Vista 64 bit. My buddy told me about Fedora 7 that is a way better OS than Windows. I heard its has everything i need in it incuding internet security, basic office tools and that its being updated very frequently with fixing all bugs and improving the OS, like once or twice a year.

Linux distributions like Fedora do tend to have everything a user needs installed, as well as having all drivers bundled in on the install disk. Most do update every six months or thereabouts.

[quote[I have few questions on my mind now:

1. Is fedora the best or ubuntu and are there other good for newbs ( not much typing codes cuz im not an IT) versions of OS ?

Either will work well for you. Download both as Live CDs and try them out and see which one you like better. It's not like it costs much money to do so (a CD-R or DVD-R is all).

Quote:
2. Am i going to be able to use it as OS on Quad core with 4Gb ram and 64 bit same as on Vista ?


Yes! You can use many more CPU cores with Linux than you can with Windows. An unmodified version of Linux can support 256 processor cores, no matter how they are arranged (256 1-core chips, 64 quads, etc.) Windows can support 32 cores in either one or two sockets, depending on what version you buy. 32 cores is a hard limit as that is as many CPUs as the OS can address, but the one or two socket thing is a "soft" limit and is used to prompt people to buy a more expensive version with the limits increased.

64-bit Linux works very well with 4 GB RAM- in fact, that's what I run on my machine. You can run up to 64 GB RAM on an Intel 64-bit chip (36 bits) and 1 TB on an AMD K8 (40 bits) without resorting to virtual address space, which is 256 TB (48 bits) on either type of chip. The OS supports the full 16 EB address range either in hardware RAM or in virtual-memory mapping space.

Quote:
3. Is there going to be a difference in performance between Linux and Vista using my new rig of course?


Yes and no. 4 GB RAM is enough to give 64-bit Vista enough room to run at full speed, so your hardware will be the main limiting factor for most things. The difference at this point is how well the machine handles being heavily loaded. I've not spent much butt time with Vista, but it appears to be somewhat better than XP at handling heavy loads. XP absolutely sucked at being loaded up heavily. It would allocate the resources to whatever wanted them first and wouldn't take them back until the process gave them up. Linux distributes the resources much more evenly between processes and the machine is much nicer to work on when it's heavily loaded.

Quote:
4. How good is that internet security ? Im surfing at many adult sites :ange:  and Norton System Works prevents me doing amazing job everyday. For last 2 years I didnt have any viruses although i have few infos a day about viruses blocked.


Linux can't catch Windows viruses just surfing on the Internet. Linux machines are not invulnerable, but almost all of them get attacked through Internet-facing services on a static IP like web servers, SSH remote login, and e-mail servers getting their passwords brute-forced. So if you sit behind a router and don't forward ports (this is default behavior), you'll be fine. There are a couple of Linux viruses, but I haven't heard of any new ones in about five years. They generally happen when somebody cracked into a distribution's update server and put malware there instead of files. The distributors then started signing packages with GPG and that stuff went away as your computer would say that the file was tampered with and not install it.

Quote:
5. I also heard i can download it for free instead of paying 400$ for Vista retail and then wait for SP1 to come out hoping it will speed Win up and fix bugs.


Yes, you can download almost every Linux distribution for free.

Quote:
6. What about using high end graphic cards ( i mean my DX10 card here ). I understand there is a way to install drivers but what about DirectX 10 or OpenGL? What about the difference in FPS or 3D games, are there any
benchmarks ?


Overall, graphics card performance is somewhat comparable on Linux and Windows, except that there is no Direct3D on Linux but there is OpenGL. OpenGL works very well on Linux. Your NVIDIA G80 or ATi R6xx card will work well on Linux after you install the vendor's drivers. AMD just released the Linux drivers for the R6xx generation, by the way. If you want benchies, I suggest looking here: http://www.phoronix.com

Quote:
Im using computer for gaming and surfing web. I dont listen to the music nor edit/watch movies on it.


Web surfing is much safer on Linux than on Windows, but the game selection on Linux tends towards the classics- Pacman, Breakout, etc. If it was on an NES, it's probably available for Linux. There are a few big-dollar games like Quake, Doom, and Unreal Tournament, but mostly the gaming tends to be simpler. That's fine if you want to play any game that might be entertaining, but if you want to play games that are very popular, you're best off with Windows.

Quote:
Can you help me telling me more about that OS ?


LinuxQuestions.org ( http://linuxquestions.org ) might be what you're looking for. Either that or go to the distributor's web site (Fedora, Ubuntu, etc.) and you'll find information there, too.
[/quote][/quote]
September 16, 2007 10:13:49 PM

Wow thats a nice reply, thanks MU_Engineer :D  I still have few months until my build so i will study what OS to choose.
Thanks
!