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First of all, thanks for reading this. I'm a complete newbie to the world of PC and Linux. Have never owned PC hardware, in fact. I'm proficient in Mac OS ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Which of these two configurations should I choose?


    First of all, thanks for reading this.

    I'm a complete newbie to the world of PC and Linux. Have never owned PC hardware, in fact. I'm proficient in Mac OS X.

    I am to buy a new PC, where I intend to run Linux, but on the first partition I'd install Win2000 or XP because of two damn programs I need, and I don't know if Wine will cope with them.

    Anyway, I have to choose between the following two configurations. Which one is the most linux compatible?

    Configuration A:
    * AMD 64 3000+ S-754
    * MB: AMD GigaByte GA-K8NS S-754

    Configuration B:
    * Pentium 4 3GHz S-478
    * MB: ASUS P4P800 I685PE S-478

    Common hardware for both of them :
    * 2 x 512 MB DDR400 Kingston
    * S-ATA 160 GB Seagate (serial ATA)
    * GeForce FX5200 128 MB
    * DVD Writer LG GSA-4160B

    I'm mainly interested in knowing if there's a recognized incompatibility between any of the above components and Linux. As distros, I intend to install Mepis, Gentoo and Fedora in the S-ATA drive, to have apt-get, portage and rpm.

    The first question that comes to my mind is: are the two motherboards fully Linux compatible? I/O connectors, chipsets, BIOS, network ports and so on...

    Another one: is it worth going for a SATA drive, or the regular ATA version won't make any noticeable difference?

    I don't mind if Linux does not take advantage yet from a 64-bit processor. Instead, is a 64-bit processor gonna give me headaches, or will it work as a perfectly regular 32-bit?

    I've looked in www.tlpd.org, but I can't find either MoBo on it, nor any of the other components.

    Thanks very much in advance. I don't want to buy anything without the expert advice of the very talented people in this forum.

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
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    Three Oaks, Michigan
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    First off: I have NEVER had any problems with motherboard compatability, As long as the motherboard doesn't have the "Bleeding Edge" Alpha version of the new chipset only available to 2 people, then you are fine. The only thing that has me worried is the SATA.. I have motherboard SATA on my other system, and I haven't been able to install Slackware in the past [v. 9], but I haven't tried with v. 10, all because of the SATA, but I had a PCI RAID SATA card, that worked flawlessly. The SATA is 150mb/s, and EIDE Ultra 133, is 133mb/s, and if you have more than one device connected to that EIDE string, it will just bring the max speed down. I have two drives in my main system, one being an Ultra Ata 133 HDD, and a SATA HDD, the SATA is MUCH faster, between the high rpm [7200], and the super fast data transfer, it works like a dream.

    Onto the 64 Bit processing. I have never screwed around with 64Bit, whatsoever.. why? Can't afford it. So, first off, I will say you are very lucky to be able to afford a 64bit processor. Now, onto the compatability. I know the majority of Linux Distrobutions have 64Bit versions.. this will be what you want, however not all software is compatable with this archetecture. So, I don't know how much software won't install, because of this [i'll let someone else, who has used 64Bit processors chime in].

    Other than that.. that looks very close to my system.. loL. Anyways.. you should be fine, be sure to check out the "compatability" page on your favorite distrobution's website. And, try to find one with the 2.6.x Kernel, you will have much more hardware support like that.


    -justin

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
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    Nov 2004
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    7
    Thanks for your kind help.

    I was also suspecting the hard drive could be most problematic component, since it's the one with the newest technology.

    SATA drives are completely new to me. In fact, I knew they existed when I was quoted the system. The regular ATA-100 7200 160 GB Seagate (8 MB buffer) is around $15 cheaper. Is the SATA worth the extra money, or will it cause me more headaches than benefits? Besides, I don't know whether it is a real SATA or an IDE converted to SATA (I've read elsewhere that most cheap SATA are really tricked IDE).

    Also regarding the hard drive, this time its size. Will I have any problem due to its 160 GB's? In other words, will it be perfectly recognized, or will linux think it's a, let's say, 120 GB drive?

    On the other hand, I'm glad to hear the remaining parts don't seem to be problematic.

    I was also told by the seller that, in the past, nVidia graphic cards and some MoBos didn't get along very well. But, since the GA-K8NS uses the nVidia nForce3 250 chipset, I think there will be no misunderstanding between them, since the producer is the same. Am I right, or am I missing something?

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