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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 ...
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  1. #1
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    The Perfect Home-Brew Computer for Linux


    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.

    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?

    In the same vein does anyone know of a current paper, article etc. on the subject of brewing your own 'puter especially for Linux?

    Thanks be to all!

  2. #2
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    I'm finding some awesome deals out there on systems that I know I couldn't touch for the same price if I were to build it myself. With prices coming down everytime you turn around, the "do it yourself" crowd is going to find it difficult to compete.
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    Vector Linux SOHO 7

  3. #3
    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    My best advice would be to look up individual parts that might be difficult in Linux in Google and see what brands people have had success with.

    Bryan
    Looking for a distro? Look here.
    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
    Queen's University - Arts and Science 2008 (Sociology)
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  4. #4
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    Make sure you get an nVidia card.
    You dont need a pocket protector or thick glasses to be a geek.

  5. #5
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    I built my own pc for $450 My specs are
    P2PE/800 pro
    2.8 Ghz Celeron proc
    1 GB of 3200 ddr sdram(2 512 chips)
    Dvd-rw(Pioneer)
    Cd/rw(Phillips)
    450 watt Echor star power supply
    SiS6236 pci video card(pulled it out of an old pc)
    How to know if you are a geek.
    when you respond to "get a life!" with "what's the URL?"
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by budman7
    I built my own pc for $450 My specs are
    P2PE/800 pro
    2.8 Ghz Celeron proc
    What was the criteria that you used to select the motherboard/processor?
    Did you have any issues with the install?

    I've got a mini-tower box w/a good 80G hd and DVD R/W. The box has a blown power supply. It ran W$ on a 800MHZ chip. I figure I can salvage a lot from the old system and put FC3 on it.

  7. #7
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    If the power supply is all you need, those can be picked up very cheap.
    Registered Linux user #384279
    Vector Linux SOHO 7

  8. #8
    Linux Newbie deek's Avatar
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    Its tough as a computer builder for my own usage. I say this because I can hop on dell.com and by a dimension 2400 with monitor and printer for $299...when it comes to just needing "a" PC, that is just too tough to beat.

    Now, when it comes to building a higher-end gaming-type machine, give me $1000 and I can put together something that retails for over $2500:)

    Still, its tough...

  9. #9
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    My considerations were PRICE. I got it for $150. The proc and mobo were a package deal.

    And that Dell, shouldn't be a bad machine, if they will give it to you for $299, you can just wipe the Windows off and install whatever you want
    How to know if you are a geek.
    when you respond to "get a life!" with "what's the URL?"
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  10. #10
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    Be careful with majory builders like Dell and Gateway. No matter some will try to deny it, these companies do cut corners wherever possible. 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. Oh, and Linux compatability is hit and miss. My parents have a Dell L933r with an Intel i815e motherboard, and as hard as I try, I just can't get this motherboard to play well with Linux (not like it's much better in Windows). Usually Intel chipsets work flawlessly, this thing is just trash.

    Now I've put a lot of thought into Linux friendly builds, not because I build myself a ton of rigs, but because I enjoy following the hardware scene, and have been considering starting a free OS friendly system build business. Here are some things I've come up with, though it's certainly not all inclusive, nor is it free of personal opinion.

    Motherboards:
    Intel and VIA motherboards are pretty failsafe, but if you're looking at a new technology like SATA2 or PCIE you should always do research first no matter who's chipset you choose. SiS and ALi are hit and miss, sometimes they work sometimes they don't, it seems to depend more on board level design decisions. Nvidia's Nforce boards are fine, but you should read their driver readme, not everything is functional, and even fewer things without drivers.

    Video:
    Obviously Nvidia has superior drivers, but VIA and XGI (SiS spinoff) recently opened their driver source, so watch for them despite the lacking 3D power (if it's enough). If you don't need 3D or transparency, Matrox is a good bet as well since you don't need their drivers, and even ATI is fine (but kind of pointless, imo). The one thing I'd avoid is onboard video unless it's mini-ITX or an ultraportable laptop, you will notice faster desktop rendering with dedicated VRAM.

    Sound:
    alsa-project.org
    VIA Envy has great sound quality and has good compatability. Check the database both for the chipset and the specific card, as a board design can cause problems no matter how good the chip's compatability is.
    I'm using a CS46xx card right now and it works great, but I don't see much point to buy anything besides Envy, unless you're on an extremely tight budget.
    Creative Labs... eh... I'm not going to start that argument, do a search regarding their business practices.

    CPU:
    Just make sure it can handle the instructions the distro you use compiles with. This isn't really an issue, except maybe with VIA chips.

    Drives:
    This really doesn't matter, just make sure the controller on your motherboard is supported, google.com/linux is your friend.

    USB, Firewire:
    Again, make sure what's on the motherboard is supported if you need it, or just buy an addon card with kernel support.

    LAN:
    Most integrated LAN is compatible, especially from VIA and Intel (Nvidia has some issues, last I checked). By integrated, I mean into the south bridge, not a 3rd party chip on the motherboard. Just google.com/linux the model number. Marvell/3com gigabit is well supported, if you happen to want higher quality..

    Modem:
    Just make sure it has a hardware controller, or you're in for a lot of struggling. I think all external modems should have one, or get a hardware USR PCI modem. The only problem with the hardware PCI modems is they typically aren't detected by most distributions, and you can't set the IRQ/com with jumpers, so you may have to find the tty with trial and error.

    Keyboard:
    Get rid of the evil keys, and get mechanical keys while you're at it! You don't have to settle for Logitech and Microsoft, Unicomp is just one alternative.
    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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