This page is for user AugustinMa. I wish to purchase a new computer, and I will put some notes here about suitable hardware. I could do this on a notepad on my own computer, but the interest of doing this publicly on a wiki is that this page may end up showing the thoughtprocess behind such or such hardware decision. The content of this page may later be rewritten into another more general page that will be useful to other users later. If you feel this page in inappropriate on this wiki, contact http:/www.masquilier.org/contact and I'll delete the page myself. Thanks.
Only Debian will be used on this computer
A Guide to Computer Hardware http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=26
I want a AMD CPU: they are cheap, performant, and I find it healthy that Intel has a worthy competitor. Actually, if you look at the history of AMD, the company was created precisely to be a competitor of INTEL under an agreement between the latter and IBM.
Socket AM2 seem to be the mainstream and the only sane choice.
The socket AM2 family of CPUs is very large.
- We have single core and dual core CPUs.
- We have 32 bits and 64 bits CPUs.
Question: The choice of CPU will affect the choice of kernel, no? What if I start with a cheap 32 bit / single core CPU but later upgrade to a 64 bit / Dual core CPU? Will I be able to boot into my system or I would have to install a new kernel?
Dual Core Linux Performance: Two Penguins are Better than One http://www.anandtech.com/linux/showdoc.aspx?i=2463
list all the features to look at in a mainboard.
Do we need to pay attention to the chipset for linux kernel compatibility? If so what should we be looking at and how can we know beforehand if it is supported?
- Do they have integrated graphic card?
- Which chipset? (see below).
- an anandtech article mentions board what are dual core ready ("Core 2 Duo ready"). Does this mean that an AM2 board may not support AM2 cpus with dual core?
Are there any AM2+ mainboard yet? Prices?
AM3 is still for the future.
AMD Compatible Motherboard Buying Guide http://www.newegg.com/Product/CategoryIntelligenceArticle.aspx?articleId=193
AMD Compatible Desktop Chipset Guide http://www.newegg.com/Product/CategoryIntelligenceArticle.aspx?articleId=135
I enquired 2 months ago about a low cost computer, and I was advised this board. Anandatech: "The K9VGM-V leads MSI's entry level products for AMD AM2 by combining the VIA ?K8M890 and VT8237R+ chipsets".
- I could afford to pay more, but see if I actually need more.
- Are all the inboard chips supported by linux?
- S3 Chrome9 IGP (Integrated Graphic Processor).
http://www.ciao.co.uk/MSI_K9VGM_V__Review_5654322 We have stocked this MSI K9VGM-V motherboard for over 3 months now. And, to its credit, considering it's more of a budget board, we haven't had one failure with them. Considering the number we sell, that is very good! Good Points: Reliable Motherboard, Nicely laid out for keeping the inside of the PC clear of trailing cables, Cheap to buy, Simple BIOS & MSI offer what is called a 'Live Update' for its motherboards which works much better than some other manufacturers. Bad Point: Only two SATA controllers onboard, Onboard Sound & Graphics not quite as good as those offered by its competitors in the same catergory. All in all we'd say that this board is great for system builders who are putting together a home/budget type package but is probably unsuitable for the more adventurous computer user.
Only two SATA controllers onboard, => Why would I need more?
Onboard Sound & Graphics not quite as good
The VIA ?K8M890 graphics on this board is adequate for most business users, but may not be suitable for multi-media, games, or graphic design work.
You may want to consider a motherboard with an available AGP or PCI-X slot if you plan to upgrade or have already invested in a graphics card. => I was advised this board when I enquired about a low end computer where graphic applications were not important. Now I am considering this for my new main computer, and I'd like to be able to upgrade the video by purchasing a video card, so this might not be adequate after all. To think about. But what's the difference between APG and PCI-E video cards?
VIA ?K8M890+VT8237A Chipset: The VIA ?K8M890 incorporates the VIA Chrome9 IGP (integrated graphics processor) to deliver DirectX 9 graphics with hardware pixel shaders and extensive support for high definition video. Support for the latest PCI Express graphics cards and high speed peripheral devices is made available via the integrated VT8237A Southbridge for an ultra-satisfying multimedia platform for mainstream users.
PCI Express x16 Graphics Interface: The latest PCI Express x16 graphics interface delivers over 3.5 times the bandwidth of AGP 8X to support the latest high-performance graphics cards. => This review negates the one above.
1G DD2 800Mhz memory seem mainstream. Would 2G be too much for a desktop computer (development, personal web and SQL server, internet browsing, mail, no game, but some video and picture editing is planned).
What's the difference between DIMM and SO-DIMM. Does it matter?
Many mainboard come with an integrated graphic chipset, so we don't need an extra card. But are they good enough?
I want to run:
- compiz fusion (ex Beryl)
- video editing...
What is the video chipset on the mainboard?
If I need an external video card, I'll go with nvidia for its good linux drivers (albeit proprietary ones).
Anything worth paying attention to, beside the form factor (ATX?), the price... and the look ?
- How much power do I need? 250W? 350W? 500W?
Calculate here: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
- Accordingly, I will go with a 550W which would allow for plenty of planned growth.
- If I have a 500W power unit but my system really needs 300W only, does this mean that while powered on, the computer will always consume 500W/h or the consumption will adapt to the needs and be lower (i.e. closer to the 300W that I really need)? This is important for energy conservation and the environment. If the power units adapts the power generated, then I may buy a more powerful power unit to allow for hardware upgrades...
The Dummy's Guide to Power Supplies http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=34
== Backups ==
I need to be able to backup the full system. I am thinking to use hard drives for backup instead of DVD. -> do I need to consider a RAID system? see for basic description of RAID: http://www.newegg.com/Product/CategoryIntelligenceArticle.aspx?articleId=193
Why RAID is (usually) a Terrible Idea http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles?id=29
Cloud Computing will make RAID at home obsolete http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12694-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=32215&messageID=594929&start=-9973
Desktop RAID is a bad idea http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=116
RAID Explained http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=24