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Hello list, A first post from a Linux-user-to-be. It was about time to come forward and ask community for help and advice, after countless sleepless nights of research and visiting ...
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  1. #1
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    SUSE 10.0 - Workstation graphic card


    Hello list,

    A first post from a Linux-user-to-be. It was about time to come forward and ask community for help and advice, after countless sleepless nights of research and visiting god knows how many linux forums (including this one) to get some informations I will need shortly. I'll try to be as brief as possible;

    I'm buying a new desktop machine, where I intend to run, reluctantly though (cursing the day when Windows were born), double OS WinXP 32 and .. based on what I learned so far and heard from people who know Linux SUSE 10.0 (32-bit version), novice friendly distribution, hope so . I have no luxury to run SUSE only for the time being, since I'll be using machine for bread and butter prepress, graphic design, photo editing, desktop publishing .. I live for the day when tools needed, namely CorelDraw (commercial Linux version extinct?), Photoshop, InDesign etc. will ALL be available in Linux versions, but for now...I have to work to live.

    I painstakingly chose Linux freindly AND silent/cool running HW components that I sincerely hope will be a breeze to install under 10.0. I have no idea what individual SUSE ingredients (kernel, X,...) will say about my selection, but most of hardware on the list are supposed to work. I'm only listing those that have potential to argue with SUSE:

    - AOPEN XC-CUBE barebone with SIS 761FX+965 chipset, Socket 754 with Athlon64 3000+
    - Linksys WLAN WMP54G V4.x Ralink chipset + WRT54GL router
    - Seagate 7200.0 SATA 80 or 160GB SATA drive
    - Kensington Expert Mouse PS/2,Ser. trackball (scared already about Linux install)
    - Happy Hacking Lite2 keyboard
    - Plextor PX-230A CD burner
    - NEC LCD1770NX or EIZO L565 (second display will be added later on)

    ... and a quality decent 2D workstation graphic card to work hand in hand with TFT LCD. This is where Im lost, not with the choice of PCIe cards, but trying to figure out which (if any) one I will be able to install without headaches .. chances are, none of my preferences will be trouble free:

    - Matrox G550 PCIe 32MB DUAL DVI: trouble free, except one minor trouble in order to be able to use DVI with LCD, I have to install this HAL MGA library. Ill be ... if I know how am I gonna do that, but at least I know it can be done.

    - PNY_NVIDIA Quadro FX-330 64MB PCIe: some sources on the net say no sweat, other users (first installation) sweat a lot. Beats me if I know, but Im cautious about problems with higer resolutions that I read about, as well as dual DVI setup.

    Novell/SUSE site says no trouble (full support for Athlon64 and SUSE 10.0) for both cards, but in real life things are obviously different. Obviously I will have to make my decision upon best 2D quality criteria (Matrox) against a few other graphic design consideration, like occasional 3D usage (FX-330) for web site layout design, but would like to hear your recommendations based on behaviour, possible complications and ease of installation of these two cards under SUSE, using dual DVI outputs.

    Comments and recommendations about the rest of listed HW in Linux/SUSE context would be appreciated as well. If there are any HW-SUSE 10.0 related traps (OpenGL with Quadro FX-330), please point them out and recommend some trouble-free previous version (9.3?).

    Thank you all in advance, Im sure lots of questions will follow once the hard work of installation is done and Ill start using Linux...Im hardly waiting.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    SUSE should detect both the nvidia and matrox cards during the install. For some people configuring the 3d drivers can be tricky, but there are plenty of good guides out there on howto do it and people on the forums would be willing to help you out with the problem.

    Now, a quick overview of the hardware looks fine, but in my experience, a motherboard with an nforce chipset works much better under linux. If you could, I'd suggest you get a mobo with an nforce chipset. The wireless card can be another problem, but cards with raelink or atheros chips seem to work out of the box with some distros. Other than that, I don't see any other problems hardware wise.

    Now for the graphics card, i'd say go with the nvidia.
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

  3. #3
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    WLAN under Linux

    Hi !

    This post may earn "boohs" from all the Experts, but I am none. I got DSL and I am too old to spend weeks getting a WLAN card to work ... or routing ethernet cables through my living room ... tried the D-Link W 122.. USB WLAN stick (reportedly works with MacOS, should work with Linux) did not get it to work, asked an expert... he destroyed his system.... so I sold the USB stick.

    I asked at a computer store and got a very simple solution (however only good for desktops..) : I bought a D-link wireless access point for 65 Euros. Mine is the DWL-2000AP+. I configured it as "wireless client", connected the ethernet cable to my 3Com ethernet card.. configured the encryption settings according to the manual.. and bingo...

    This device is too big and heavy to be carried along with a laptop, also it needs a separate power plug. For Desktops however this is no problem.


    One thing to add though if you go for this solution: if you get the DWL-2000AP+ check the firmware version. If the firmware is older than March 2006 update it to the latest version. The previous one was not so stable and would give up on longer downloads. After the update it works like a swiss watch....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexK
    SUSE should detect both the nvidia and matrox cards during the install. For some people configuring the 3d drivers can be tricky, but there are plenty of good guides out there on howto do it and people on the forums would be willing to help you out with the problem.

    Now, a quick overview of the hardware looks fine, but in my experience, a motherboard with an nforce chipset works much better under linux. If you could, I'd suggest you get a mobo with an nforce chipset. The wireless card can be another problem, but cards with raelink or atheros chips seem to work out of the box with some distros. Other than that, I don't see any other problems hardware wise.

    Now for the graphics card, i'd say go with the nvidia.

    I got a new NVIDIA card (from MSI). Worked fine using the analog output. (Old one was an ATI Rage.. autodetection worked starting with Suse 7.1 ) However I did not yet get the DVI output for the TFT Monitor to go. This second part may take some time, however the analog quality suffices for my purposes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexK
    SUSE should detect both the nvidia and matrox cards during the install. For some people configuring the 3d drivers can be tricky, but there are plenty of good guides out there on howto do it and people on the forums would be willing to help you out with the problem.

    Now, a quick overview of the hardware looks fine, but in my experience, a motherboard with an nforce chipset works much better under linux. If you could, I'd suggest you get a mobo with an nforce chipset. The wireless card can be another problem, but cards with raelink or atheros chips seem to work out of the box with some distros. Other than that, I don't see any other problems hardware wise.

    Now for the graphics card, i'd say go with the nvidia.
    Thanks and sorry for being so late with respond. Further readings strenghtened my decision for Matrox, there's just no other passively cooled card for that money and so reputable 2D quality.

    Aopen XC Cube was abandoned in the meantime, so as for the motherboard, it's almost certainly MSI K8NGM2 with Nvidia chipset.

    Thanks for everything

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quixada
    Hi !

    This post may earn "boohs" from all the Experts, but I am none. I got DSL and I am too old to spend weeks getting a WLAN card to work ... or routing ethernet cables through my living room ... tried the D-Link W 122.. USB WLAN stick (reportedly works with MacOS, should work with Linux) did not get it to work, asked an expert... he destroyed his system.... so I sold the USB stick.

    I asked at a computer store and got a very simple solution (however only good for desktops..) : I bought a D-link wireless access point for 65 Euros. Mine is the DWL-2000AP+. I configured it as "wireless client", connected the ethernet cable to my 3Com ethernet card.. configured the encryption settings according to the manual.. and bingo...

    This device is too big and heavy to be carried along with a laptop, also it needs a separate power plug. For Desktops however this is no problem.


    One thing to add though if you go for this solution: if you get the DWL-2000AP+ check the firmware version. If the firmware is older than March 2006 update it to the latest version. The previous one was not so stable and would give up on longer downloads. After the update it works like a swiss watch....
    WLAN is the only route available to me, that's why I took so long to learn about Linux friendly PCI cards and AP/routers. Not too old for fiddling with PCs, but time is precious

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quixada
    I got a new NVIDIA card (from MSI). Worked fine using the analog output. (Old one was an ATI Rage.. autodetection worked starting with Suse 7.1 ) However I did not yet get the DVI output for the TFT Monitor to go. This second part may take some time, however the analog quality suffices for my purposes.
    Thanks ! I specifically need a workstation card, regardless all the talk about the only difference between them and fast 3D gaming cards being FW. I don't think it's as simple as that. Matrox G550 with 32MB costs 100+ EUROs, it's very popular among designers and desktop publishers for it's 2D quality, dual display and stable operation. For that money they could easily buy 3rd party card with 128MB RAM and all the wistles and bells, but they prefer to use "an outdated" card.

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