Building cheap linux box


I am building a linux box to run ubuntu/fedora and maybe beryl. I am debating on using a mini atx case? Any suggestions? This will be my secondary computer being used for tinkering and some backup.

Here is what I am thinking
Mini ATX Case/Mid Atx
300-400 PSU
2 gigs of memory (2 1 gig chips)
CPU mid-low range
and an ok vid card

Anyone seen any specs online for similar built systems or would recommend any parts?

6 answers Last reply
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  1. E2140 , $75, or E2180 , $83, CPU

    GA-P35-DS3L mobo, $89

    Corsair 2x2048-6400C4 (2x1GB=2GB) RAM (picked this ram because it is cheap at $34 after rebate, and listed on the approved memory list for mobo)

    Case/PSU combo: Antec Sonata II + Earthwatts 500W PSU - the case is nice, the PSU is tier1 (very good) according to, $114

    EVGA 256MB NVidia 8600 video card, $69 after rebate, or XFX 512MB NVidia 8600 video card, $89 after rebate.

    any HDD - something cheap with perpendicular recording; SATA is preferred over IDE
    any cheap optical drive - SATA again is preferred over IDE

    one other thought which i am sure others might want to comment on - for low end systems such as something to run linux on, dell and gateway can put together a low end system for less than you can build it for. i'm not saying you should or should not build it yourself, i'm just saying it might be worth looking at what dell or gateway has to offer for the same level of power and see what their price is on it. if you go that route, i think gateway's customer service dept has a much better reputation than dell's, which seems to have gone downhill in a big way since they outsourced it out of the US. the dell horror stories on the web would be funny if they were not so sad.

    lastly, the above parts list likely will overclock quite well if you ever decide you want to learn to OC. (if you know in advance you want to OC it for some reason, there are better ventilated cases than what is listed and an aftermarket cooler such as a Zalman, which is reasonably priced, would serve you better than the stock cooler, but even with the stock cooler you can OC quite a bit).
  2. wow. a $9 PSU. wow.
  3. Coolmax PSU=POS

    For a cheap GNU/Linux box I would buy one of the micro atx boards with the video on the board, and one Gig of ram will be all you really need even with Beryl.
    Get one of the new Seagate 32mb cache hard drives and stay with an ide optical drive.
    I would splurge on a good PSU though, like the PCPower silencer
  4. The MB that I posted does have an onboard video, and regardless the coolmax is still better than the one that comes with the case.
  5. My list

    Not a big fan of ECS, but they make ok stuff and the ATI video on the motherboard is a plus.
    If you want to go the AMD route.

    About $350 with shipping included.
    I tried to pick products that I know from use have a good reputation and with most items on the list the shipping is free.
    When you buy a case look at the fan vent holes, the best type of vent hole pattern is a honey comb shape, less noise. The best size of fans are 12cm, they too make less noise.
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