My 2004 dual Opteron is showing it's age. I need a quad with more RAM
and better video. This is strictly an Ubuntu Linux machine.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in the next few weeks
BUDGET RANGE: $500-$1000 for parts listed
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Software development, video
transcoding and watching video. No games.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I like Newegg, but I'm open. If I
didn't have to pay California tax it would be a plus.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: i5/i7 CPU. I prefer nVidia video because of better
OVERCLOCKING: Probably, if it is not too much trouble. I sometimes
run software that runs for hours or even days, so less time waiting is
a good thing.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: initially I will use my existing 1600x1200, but
expect to upgrade to 1920x1200 soon. Also it would be nice if it
could also drive an HDTV monitor (hopefully simultaneously).
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Don't care about bling or lights. I do care
Parts currently considered:
Prefer i7 but might back down to i5 if whole system price is excessive
but I expect the motherboard will handle either.
I like the quality of Intel motherboards, so I am looking at Intel
BOXDP55SB LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard Also looking
at something in the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD* family. I'd appreciate
hearing from someone who knows about these.
I would like 2 Ethernet ports, but I can add a card if I have to; at
least 1 eSATA; enough PCI slots to do some expansion (not sure what
yet); 2 PATA, at least 6 SATA, 8 would be nice; 6+ USB 2.0
P55 I assume due to CPU, at least 8GB. I'm leaning towards G.Skill
because of nice warranty. As fast as possible without breaking the
bank as some of my code is RAM-intensive. I could use a little advice
on interpreting those timings.
Also very important is to actually be able to use the whole RAM. I
have 4GB in my current system and can only use 3.2G of it. If I put
8GB in this, I obviously don't want a memory hole holding me back.
Nothing fancy, no gaming, no SLI. HD video support.
Right now I watch some 720p videos and there's a few dropped frames at
times, but I cannot play 1080 reliably. One goal of this build is to
support 1080 and I would like it to use the GPU ability to decode
(should be VDPAU compatible), so I hope there are Linux-knowledgeable
I have no specific video boards selected.
Quiet, cool, big enough for whatever heatsink I put on the CPU, 6-8
hard drives, 1-2 DVD.
With the case above, I might get away without the fan on the heatsink,
if it's one of those big ones, but then again with overclocking I may
need it. Quiet would be nice. Most important it needs to fit with
the MB, CPU, RAM, case, etc. Greatly appreciate advice here.
I didn't know power supplies could be so quiet until I got a new
computer at work that was virtually silent, so yeah, I want one of
those. That one is a Silencer 500 EPS12V, but I'm open to any
suggestions. I should have enough power for 8 drives if I go that
have 4GB in my current system and can only use 3.2G of it.
That sounds more like a software (32bit?) issue than a hardware issue.
Anyways, +1 for dagg's build.
I suppose firmware actually. It is a Tyan 2885 mobo and there is a setting in the BIOS to "move" the memory hole but it has no effect. I am running 64-bit Kubuntu so I don't think it is that. You can see it skip over the 3.2G point in the BIOS memory test.
Thanks, overshocks, but I prefer nVidia. It's better supported in Linux.
for the meantime, nvidia are better, but now that the new official ati supports xvba and the oss driver supports 3d acc and a medium level (using kernel 2.6.32 and svn mesa or svn mesa and drm) it is changing, hopefully in about 2-3 months the oss driver will outperform the official driver in 2d/3d deparment and maybe amd will finally release docs for the xvba api (now that the official driver supports it, I think it wont take long...) so it can be implemented into the oss driver and then it will be worthwhile to get ati cards.
Do I really need 1GB video card if all I do is watch HD videos?
I thought those high-end boards were for video games?
I wasn't sure which nvidia card support vdpau, so I went to wikipedia, there I looked at a bit old list, the best there was 250 so I've went with the 260 just to be safe