Building my own machine and have some questions before I start
I've decided to build my own computer (first time ever), and am getting round to choosing my hardware. Before I committed any of my hard earned money I thought I'd ask your advice.
I'm planning to build a AMD 64 X2 4600+ machine with four 250GB hard drives set up as a RAID0+1. Since the 4600+ can be purchased for a AM2 socket I thought I'd go for two 1GB 800MHz RAM DIMMs. I have no idea about a graphics card or sound card (I'm not much of a gamer)!!
I'll probably install SUSE (or maybe Fedora) first, and then think about making it a dual boot machine with XP. But I might put Gentoo on it before XP -- dunno really.
I'll primarily be using the machine for standard desktop stuff -- email, browsing (youtube!), word processing, etc. -- but I also run a fair amount of memory and hard drive intensive physics code (which is why I want the RAID and the super-fast memory)
1/ With a RAID0+1 is it easy (or even possible) to partition my drive (for root, /home, /usr, /var, NTFS for windows, and a FAT32 for sharing)?? Maybe there's not even a simple yes or no answer to this question, as I could imagine that it depends on the RAID controller on the motherboard. Any advice/wisdom would be welcomed!
2/ Is it true that SATA has been out long enough that it will be well supported by all the major linux distros? Or, once again, is this dependent on the SATA controller on the motherboard?
3/ I'd like to include a wireless NIC -- does anyone have any suggestions for one that works well with linux?
4/ Are there any motherboards or motherboard manufacturers I should avoid due to lack of compatibility with linux, or just because you have found them to be of poor quality?
5/ Any other suggestions before I start spending money?
Thanks for reading this far :D