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Originally Posted by Ethyriel You're going to get components built on lower quality PCB's and bare minimum/low quality power supplies. Also, the sound cards will usually have low sound quality, ...
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethyriel
    You're going to get components built on lower quality PCB's and bare minimum/low quality power supplies. Also, the sound cards will usually have low sound quality, the speakers might as well not exist, and the monitors, in my opinion, are generally a joke. That's not to say they don't have some nicer systems, but you pay for it, and the quality still isn't what it could be.
    I found everything you said to be true- The dvd/cd roms are bound to fail, maybe within the warranty period if you're lucky. Hard drives will always fail sooner or later- I would prefer later. Cooling fans go pretty quickly and memory and processor upgrades are always a big question mark.

    I don't mind spending a little up front in order to get upgradeability, reliability and overall quality that you don't get for $200-300. If you take a look at an HP with goodies you are looking at $750-1000 easily. I figure I can codge together a machine of similar quality for much less than half that. I'm just not sure about things like whether the bios is on the processor and whatever else would be new to me.

  2. #12
    Linux Guru sdousley's Avatar
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    Re: The Perfect Home-Brew Computer for Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Windwood
    I'm pretty sure that a better Linux box can be built for the same money rather that one can be purchased (new) since you don't have the overhead of paying for M$ OS, no warranty (except for individual components) and no outside labor.

    I realize that there are systems out there that come w/out M$ installed but I still feel that I can build one equal or better than the mass market, with better components.
    What you can do actually is if u buy a computer with windows on, you can effectively sell Windows back to the shop, they will delete win off the comp and sell the puter a little cheaper


    Would anyone like to relate what they have done as to a build from scratch or what they feel would be a good composite of the necessities?
    I have built various computers for firnds/family.

    I tend to go with a decent Socket A motherboard, with Athlon Processor, nvidia graphics cards all the way hehe. Decent amount of RAM (256/512, depending on what they are going to do) Then whatever extras they want/need.
    "I am not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings"
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    Let me know how much you're looking to spend, and I can throw together a quick configuration for you. And if you have any questions about new techs, just post them. Even if nobody can answer yet, it will at least get the question out there and contemplated.
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethyriel
    Let me know how much you're looking to spend, and I can throw together a quick configuration for you. And if you have any questions about new techs, just post them. Even if nobody can answer yet, it will at least get the question out there and contemplated.
    Hi, Michael-
    Here goes:
    I would like to see a box with these attributes:
    Reliability is the key-
    HD- 100G Possibly RAID or other back-up configuration,
    possibly SCSI- external HD? Can you totally replicate
    the internal HD with an external?
    DVD/RW plus DVD ROM
    Front USB Plug & Play (4?) for camera, ZIP drive, audio input,
    specialized scanner,photo printer, usb stick or whatever.
    Also 4 in back.
    Power protection w/shutdown software- run for 15 minutes.
    1Gig memory (minimum)
    2.8-MHZ (min) processor (Don't care if it's Athlon or Intel)
    I am not a gamer. Is bios an issue when doing a configuration?
    Are there options??
    Monitor nor keyboard needed
    Good cooling capacity a must.
    Decent sound capability- Speakers not needed.
    Good video card.
    I have a couple of good size cases but since cases usually come
    with a power supply I would figure on that as well.

    Just for the excercise let's figure $550 and see where that gets us.I'll bet a lot of people will be following your configuration closely!

    Thanks!

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    What I Found

    I configured one (I think I got everything) for about $550. Below are the parts and where to buy them:

    ASRock K7VT4A AMD DDR MB with AMD Sempron 3000+ (2.0Ghz)~$110
    http://www.partspc.com/store/product2338.html

    VGA APOLLO Geforce FX5200 8X 128MB~$50
    http://www.gameve.com/gve/store/prod...u=VC-APOL-0005

    Sound Blaster 16 PCI Digital Sound card. Model CT4730. OEM.~$20
    http://www.pcdirectsource.com/Item.cfm?ID=458

    Western Digital WD800JD 80GB 7200RPM SATA HDD 8MB~$90
    http://www.portatech.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?ID=11970

    CORSAIR 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM System Memory~$90
    http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Produ...=System+Memory

    ATX Case w/400 watt PSU, tons of cooling, a Sony floppy drive, and more~$135
    http://www.edazz.com/stalalusmito.html

    Lite-On DVD Burner~$45
    http://www.ikonpc.com/pmoreinfo.asp?iid=1060

    You can modifiy to your liking, but that should do exactly what you need.

  6. #16
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    Re: What I Found

    Quote Originally Posted by Zardokk
    I configured one (I think I got everything) for about $550. Below are the parts and where to buy them:

    You can modifiy to your liking, but that should do exactly what you need.
    Pretty Cool!!!
    Are there any issues w/drivers for Linux? I noted that many of the products don't mention Linux.

    In any event you got under the $550 threshold and it looks like you did that with some pretty good components!

    Thanks much!

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    This is all from Newegg
    Let's start off with a standard sweet spot suggestion:

    Case/PSU:
    Antec SL1650B w/ 350w - $56
    Antec makes solid cases with decently rounded edges, plus some of the best power supplies out there. Most cases that come with a PSU (but not all), include a bottom of the line unit with practically non-existent cooling and horrible voltage regulation. Not so with Antec, and Enermax too, they make some of the best supplies out there.

    Motherboard:
    Epox EP-8HDAIPRO - $68
    I've never actually used an Epox board, but I've heard not much but good about them since those who helped introduced me to hardware sung their praises in the SS7 era. They make solid minimalistic boards, thus good low cost boards. This is a K8T800 Pro model with Realtek 10/100 and a second Gigabit (it seems, from Epox's site), so everything should work well with Linux.
    Here are Epox's specs

    CPU:
    Athlon 64 2800+ - $112
    It's a Sempron 3100+ with twice the L2 and the option to run 64bit code for $1 less, why not?

    Memory:
    Mushkin 1GB PC3200 - $81
    2 x 512MB, CL 2.5

    Hard Drive:
    Seagate 7200.7 160GB - $84
    You could get an external enclosure and boot by USB for a few bucks more, but it's really not worth the extra money considering the physical clutter and extra CPU utilization of USB. You could go external SCSI, but not for $550. I wouldn't put anything but Seagate in my computer right now, but WD is reliable too. Stay away from Maxtor, I'm not sure about Samsung or Hitachi, they need to prove themselves some more in my opinion.

    Optical:
    Plextor PX-712SA/SW Black - $106
    You could find a drive for less, but I'm a huge fan of Plextor. They're quiet, they're fast, they're reliable, and they run cool. They're build with an attention to detail, like how the ejection mechanism slows at the end of it's movement.

    Video:
    Chaintech GF6200 AGP - $102
    It's Nvidia and it's not a complete dog. You could easily get cheaper if you have no need for 3D.

    Sound:
    M-Audio Revolution 5.1 - $75
    Consumer VIA/ICE Envy from one of the top low-mid level pro sound card manufacturers.

    subtotal: $684

    So where can we go from here to knock off a bill and change? The first thing that jumps out is the DVD+/-RW, I'd go with a Plextor 52x32x52 for $51, a savings of $55 bringing us down to $629.

    Next up sound, the Revolution will sound amazing, but most people won't complain about a lower quality card, especially if they don't have very good speakers/cans. By moving to the Envy HT-S based Chaintech AV-710 you'll save another $50, at it's price of $25. It actually has a very good Wolfson DAC on the rear channels, so if you have only two speakers, use those!. You're down to $579. There are reports of Linux compatability in Newegg's comments, though you might have to turn the clock down to 44.1hz manually.

    From here it's easy, but the choices really open up. You could go down to an 80GB hard drive to save about $15, moving down to 120GB is only about $4 or $5. You could move down to a last gen video card to save up to $50 or so. You could also move down to a slower clocked Sempron, which also has less L2 cache. I'd probably go down to a Sempron 3000+ (which is actually clocked slower than the Athlon64 2800+) and move down to the 80GB hard drive. Of course, if you don't need a fast video card, you'll see more benefit in the hard drive space and especially with the extra L2 on the CPU.
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
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    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    I've seen a good few people mention Celeron and Sempron CPUs. While these are decent processors in theory and are quite fast on paper it's important to note that they have much smaller caches which means they tend to take in data slower (more reliance on FSB because less data is being held by the CPU). These processors are fine for most things but when it comes to multitasking - and especially these days with ripping MP3s/DVDs and burning discs you'll find an Athlon or Pentium will serve you much better.
    I work in IT and I have seen extensive use of all flavours of these chips and have been fortunate to see two identical PCs running the same OS build - identical ecept for Pentium one side, Celeron the other. I tell you there's a noticeable difference.

    Net surfing and Word processing won't suffer at all...

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    Linux Engineer rong's Avatar
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    Re: The Perfect Home-Brew Computer for Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Windwood

    Would anyone like to relate what they have done as to a build from scratch or what they feel would be a good composite of the necessities?
    Check out tigerdirect.com > barebones section. For around $500 you can get ASUS or ABIT mbo with AMD 64 3200+, SATA, RAID capable, hefty PSupply, 512M RAM, plenty of slots, case,..... No OS, HD, moitor or other stuff you already have. Worth considering.

  10. #20
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    TomRodney

    You're exactly right about that, but luckily, the smaller cache isn't as big of an issue on the Sempron thanks to the low latency of the onboard memory controller. I'd still rather have the extra 256k of L2 myself, but it's not as big a deal as with the Celeron.

    $550 isn't a lot to work with. A quality system can easily be built in that range, but you're not deciding what you can fit into your budget, but what you can cut back on.
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
    --Goethe

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