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I7 Linux machine

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November 9, 2009 4:32:31 AM

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
Linux support.

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
about quiet.

Parts currently considered:

CPU:

Prefer i7 but might back down to i5 if whole system price is excessive
but I expect the motherboard will handle either.

MB:

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

RAM:

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.

VIDEO BOARD:

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
people here.

I have no specific video boards selected.

CASE:

Quiet, cool, big enough for whatever heatsink I put on the CPU, 6-8
hard drives, 1-2 DVD.

Looking at XCLIO Windtunnel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't care if it's big and heavy.

COOLER:

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.

POWER SUPPLY:

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
way.

Thanks in advance for your help.

More about : linux machine

Best solution

November 9, 2009 5:19:51 AM

here, i7 based.
cpu+mb+ram combo, http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... at $598.97 after mir and discounts.
gpu: nvidia http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at $122.99 after mir
case+psu: antec http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... at $124.94 after discount
your missing a hd in the list, so here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at $79.99 (notice it is out of stock)
total $926.89.
I'm not sure if that psu can support 8 drives, if not, look for another one.
notice that that i7 is a beast, just go to gentoo forums and look for the i7 thread, watch it on compilation times and you will understand.
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November 9, 2009 11:49:07 AM

Right now i'm running Ubuntu 9.04 on a I7-920 overclocked at 3.6 ghz with 6gb on a Gigabyte EX58-UD3R folding a EL WU with no problems at all 24/7 using a CoolerMaster Hyper N520 hsf.
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November 10, 2009 12:17:57 AM

Quote:
I
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.
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November 10, 2009 4:12:14 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
I
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.
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November 10, 2009 4:16:06 AM

daggs said:
here, i7 based.
cpu+mb+ram combo, http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... at $598.97 after mir and discounts.
gpu: nvidia http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at $122.99 after mir
case+psu: antec http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... at $124.94 after discount
your missing a hd in the list, so here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at $79.99 (notice it is out of stock)
total $926.89.
I'm not sure if that psu can support 8 drives, if not, look for another one.
notice that that i7 is a beast, just go to gentoo forums and look for the i7 thread, watch it on compilation times and you will understand.


good build, just change the video card to say 4850 1GB it's about same price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 10, 2009 4:31:01 AM

overshocks said:
good build, just change the video card to say 4850 1GB it's about same price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks, overshocks, but I prefer nVidia. It's better supported in Linux.

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?
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November 10, 2009 4:38:02 AM

jtgd said:
Thanks, overshocks, but I prefer nVidia. It's better supported in Linux.

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?


well getting the 4670 is around the same price, so just get the 1gb 250gts if you like nvidia so much
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November 10, 2009 4:51:19 AM

jtgd said:
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.
jtgd said:
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
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