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Compatible new pc hardware

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June 18, 2008 4:48:21 AM

Hi there, first post and couldn't find anything by the way of searching so here goes...

I'm looking to build a new pc and am interested in giving Linux a try, most likely with just Linux on it (no dual boot I mean). Basically just want to know if the following components would work with any of the main Linux (Ubuntu, Red hat, other) platforms:

M/b: Asus p5kc (Net seems to indicate p5k is compatible, do I take this to mean all p5kx are ok?)

CPU: Intel Pentium dual core E2180

RAM: Team Elite 2G (I've seen Crucial said to be supported by Linux, but these are a touch cheaper, and I'm not into o/cing so unless they aren't supported I'd prefer to go cheaper ram)

HDD: Samsung 160gb 8mb cache, 7200rpm

GPU: MSI 2600XT

DVD: Samsung (SH-S223F/BEBN)

Side note: While any constructive criticism will be well received on my hardware choices, what I'm mainly looking for is a cheap (sub AUD500) build for light gaming, capable of word processing/spreadsheet, web browsing/any other basic pc use, that can use Linux as an OS. Naturally if it proves not for me this build could easily run Windows and accomplish my basic needs with that.

EDIT: Been browsing around, any comments on how AMD compares to Intel when running Linux? Main reason I've chosen Intel is because of familiarity, if there are better reasons to go AMD it won't take me long to research and have a better understanding of them.

More about : compatible hardware

a b 5 Linux
June 18, 2008 12:07:46 PM

Either intel or AMD will run just fine.

AMD is quite Linux friendly and 64bit Linux runs 64bit on AMD great!

ATI support is improving fast but nvidia is still a bit better as far as Linux drivers go.

GL :) 
a b 5 Linux
June 18, 2008 12:15:51 PM

^ didn't AMD relese those proprietory drivers?

^OP: If you just want really basic stuff just go with an Athlon X2 + [6150 chipset?] If your just using it for internet try a Celeron + GMA 950 or something... something alot of people use... will/should get better support than I get w/ my 690G

BTW: Were do you live OP? If you live in Sydney check out North Rocks Computer Market on Sundays...
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a b 5 Linux
June 18, 2008 12:22:58 PM

remember the most important things about compatiblity are the graphics card and the chipset, okay
a b 5 Linux
June 18, 2008 7:19:28 PM

Mobo: According to various sites (including Linux-questions and Phoronix), the chipset (P35 + ICH9) is well supported in newer kernels. You should be fine with any of the newer distros

CPU: Not an issue. Try x86_64, if some of the sticking points are too annoying (no Java web plugin, flash is annoying to setup, a few others), go with x86.

RAM: If the mobo recognizes it, you're golden. Linux doesn't discriminate.

HDD: Same as the RAM

GPU: Looks like the latest AMD binary drivers support it.

DVDROM: Same as RAM and HDD. If you want to watch DVD's, you may need to install some additional packages, dependent on what distro you pick

This setup will most certainly meet your needs, in my opinion.

Really, AMD vs Intel is very much a personal choice. Both run Linux without issue. AMD's 64bit extensions previously ran better than Intel's EMT64, but that gap is non-existent nowadays. In order to stay competitive, AMD offers some great price/performance options (a return to the late 90's, eh?) while Intel offers the highest-performing options (at a premium)
a b 5 Linux
June 18, 2008 9:18:26 PM

Excellent detailed explanation from bmouring as always :) 

Just to point out x86_64 can run both 32bit and 64bit code just fine so you can run a 32bit Firefox with the 32bit flash player and 32bit Java on a 64bit distribution.

I run Firefox 3.0 32bit on Linux2.6.25.4-10.fc8 SMP x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
a b 5 Linux
June 18, 2008 9:40:57 PM

True enough, linux_0. There was a time when the dual-libraries issue was a headache (and I imagine, with sufficient work, it could become a headache in newer installs) but that has been largely solved. Sage advice.
June 19, 2008 12:44:46 PM

Thanks for the replies guys, just finishing off my uni semester so I'll delve into it all properly shortly, till then though, a few follow up questions:

-"x86_64" This just refers the basically the version of Linux I download/buy right? Just meaning 64bit (so AM2+ and newer Intel dual core CPUs?)

- Perhaps a Nvideo card might be more beneficial (eg 8600 range) then I guess?

- Over my brief readings the other night, it seems sound/modems can cause issues, if they are onboard (eg Intel p35 chipset) then I should be ok if the motherboard in general is ok right?

@amdfan girl: From Brisbane, we have similar markets here, but in all honesty I tend to buy a new pc only about every 4 years, so prefer to get close to newish stuff as it lasts a while, so I don't worry too much about tracking down every cent saved.

Also, while I've thought about AMD, I also want to cover my bases in case I stick with Windows/get back into gaming so don't want to limit my potential performance by heading with AMD. Obviously with hardware I've detailed it makes little difference Intel/AMD, but considering upgrading in the future, at this stage it makes more sense to me to buy with Intel so if I do get back into gaming I can go with stronger CPU as opposed to AMD, if that rambling makes any sense!

Thanks again all, will no doubt be back in the near future once I can dedicate a bit more time to research. Looking at Ubuntu at this stage, but will be in touch!
a b 5 Linux
June 19, 2008 9:20:28 PM

dbs27 said:
Thanks for the replies guys, just finishing off my uni semester so I'll delve into it all properly shortly, till then though, a few follow up questions:

-"x86_64" This just refers the basically the version of Linux I download/buy right? Just meaning 64bit (so AM2+ and newer Intel dual core CPUs?)

- Perhaps a Nvideo card might be more beneficial (eg 8600 range) then I guess?

- Over my brief readings the other night, it seems sound/modems can cause issues, if they are onboard (eg Intel p35 chipset) then I should be ok if the motherboard in general is ok right?

@amdfan girl: From Brisbane, we have similar markets here, but in all honesty I tend to buy a new pc only about every 4 years, so prefer to get close to newish stuff as it lasts a while, so I don't worry too much about tracking down every cent saved.

Also, while I've thought about AMD, I also want to cover my bases in case I stick with Windows/get back into gaming so don't want to limit my potential performance by heading with AMD. Obviously with hardware I've detailed it makes little difference Intel/AMD, but considering upgrading in the future, at this stage it makes more sense to me to buy with Intel so if I do get back into gaming I can go with stronger CPU as opposed to AMD, if that rambling makes any sense!

Thanks again all, will no doubt be back in the near future once I can dedicate a bit more time to research. Looking at Ubuntu at this stage, but will be in touch!




x86_64 also known as amd64 in Debian / Ubuntu land will work on any 64bit AMD CPU ( Athlon 64 = old socket 940, new socket 940, socket 939, socket AM2, AM2+, socket F ( 1207 ), socket S1, etc )

A few very late model P4s are 64bit capable but run 64bit much slower ( mostly socket 775 )

Most newer Intel desktop CPUs are 64bit capable ( socket 775 and up )

Lower end Intel CPUs are usually not 64bit, check before you buy. The Intel CPUs in ASUS eee PCs for example are not 64bit.



A 8600GT will work just fine with the proprietary nvidia drivers ( livna for Fedora, mostly automatic on ubuntu ) :) 



Most onboard modems are trash and should be avoided. An unused / unrecognized modem will not normally cause any harm though as long as there aren't any hardware conflicts.

AC97 sound usually works, if it doesn't an SB Live or Audigy or any decent Linux friendly sound card ( check specs carefully ) should work fine.

The Creative X-Fi did not work last time I checked but Creative was working on drivers, this may have changed by now.

You can always dual boot if you have to, you can use Linux for almost anything except for stubborn windows-only games ( XP takes care of those, avoid vista like the plague ).


GL :) 
!