New Linux Box

Ok, old man oxman has been scrounging his pennies. I’ve got $1000 to put into a new amd linux box dedicated to 3d graphics/video/sound etc.

I know what I am leaning toward but I’d like some community input.
Strictly the box. I have a screen, speakers and keyboard already. I definitely want a dvd/cd/rw and nvidia card. It will be running fedora core and ubuntu.

Do you think full tower is a good option?

How big of a power supply is really needed? (I’ve got a 450 watt sitting on the floor next to me but a friend said I should go with 750 watts - even though I am not a gamer)

Can I hear some input on what and where to get the best deals? I’m scanning newegg at the moment.

why fedora AND ubuntu?


Definently newegg. Also look around Ive gotten some good deals from them.

you wont need 750 watts you probably wont even use 450 watts. just make sure that your 450 next to you will support the things you need. is it a good name psu?

id go dual core amd probably a x2 3800+ or higher. as for video, you can get a 6800gs from most places now. mid range, good for graphics. if thats too high, look at something like a 7600. since it wont be a gaming box look at the a8n-vm series of motherboards. not much to look at but they get the job done. pretty much any dvd burner & hard drive will work. pick one thats to your likeing storage wise & price wise. imo full tower is pretty big unless you have tons of hdds and cd drives. (then you would want a 550+ watt psu)

basse: this may be one of those ‘because i can’ things:)

450 watt psu should do fine.

I would suggest you go for a 64-bit processor. As in the near future many programs will be moving over to it. So best to get a 64-bit now rather than having to waste more money getting one later.

Oxman for $1000 bucks you can buy any computer you want. Get one of those fancy cases, the type with clear see through side, neon lights and a fan on the side. Nice eye candy. But don’t get the one with the fan on top of the case or you get dust build up.

My brother got one of those custom gaming computers and he said they were the best. He got the lastest CPU and a real good motherboard, no sense having the latest CPU if your motherboard is crap.

He saved money by getting a CRT screen rather than a flat screen. he said those flat screens were crap, they don’t last too long and at work (help desk) he’s always replacing them.

Don’t know too much about video cards, but have noticed new motherboards are using PCI-Express cards rather than AGP.

Any major Linux distro is good in my opinion. My pick Mandriva, but I notice here everyone is going for Ubuntu, Fedora or Suse. Suse was good too, it had all the multimedia stuff already installed.

What makes you believe that? My computer has 2 fans on the top, compaired to my old PC dust build has been a lot less. Theres actualy more dust on the front fan than my top fans…

For Fans to work you need to blow hot air out and replace it with cold air… That cold air come from the outside of the case somewhere… such as as second fan or air holes. I’d say dust build up was equal.

but I notice here everyone is going for Ubuntu, Fedora or Suse. Suse was good too, it had all the multimedia stuff already installed.

Dont forget Gentoo.

If your waanting to do alot of rendering, I suggest you compile Gentoo, and get best performance from your new machine

Lukus, that’s what the sales guy told us, that’s why my bro got the one fan version. But by what you’re saying the the two fan version works just fine. The two fan version looks better anyhow.

Kit89, I was going to say Gentoo but I forgot how to spell it.:slight_smile:

Well, I assuming the “AND” is questioning why two distros? FC because I am an old codger stick in the mud that is stuck with red hat. I started with rh 5.2 and so it goes.
I like Ubuntu because it also uses the gnome and because it is Debian based. I have a lot of respect for the Debian community. I think they hold up the highest linux standards technically and ideally. Their light years ahead of FC with regard to compliance to standards. I see them as two prongs of the movement that I would like to keep track of.
To be honest Gentoo still seems like it is a hasle to deal with. I may be wrong since I haven’t looked real close to it.

I’m hoping to be able to network my boxes (three at the moment) and have them do the rendering while I play on the new box.

tigerdirect burned me many years ago and I’ve never forgiven them. They pulled a bait and switch on some ram I wanted. They instead only sent one stick of the wrong kind and kept the difference in cash. Phewy on 'em. I had them on the phone and they gave me the run around.

how about SLI?

how about sound?

I don’t understand this Gentoo obsession, some time ago there was similar Debian obsession. You can custom setup your system distro independently. Well, here are some brenchmarks and as you can see from results the most important thing is hardware and not distribution…

i dont get gentoo.
i spent 8 hours messing with it, trying to install. i almost got to the end, then grub wouldnt install :(. then 4 hours with ubuntu it froze at the login screen. back to fedora core for me (1 am)

flat screens are not crap. i have used flat screens since about a year after they came out. the are just not crap. unless you buy some cheap acer thing from bobs hardware store that also sells gardening supplies you will be fine (not a knock on acer but a knock on low quality stuff). agp has been dead for over a year imo. all high end cards use pcie. highest agp is a 7800gs and its killed by the slowness of agp. as for 64 bit, i doubt there are many procs out there that dont support it. intel stole amd64 and called it em64t so they both have 64 bit support.
seems to me your more bling kinda guy. with the neon lights & all. ill post a pic of my case once i get my digi cam to work in linux. its ‘blinged’ out i guess you could say. liquid cooled cpu and chipset with uv coolant.

if you have cash left over, get an a8n sli series motherboard. higher end and more features. the vanilla a8n sli is good but spend the extra $30 or so and get a deluxe.
it all adds up fast though. my cpu was 424 and videocard was around 450 so thats most of your budget right there.
try to find a balance. 7800gt’s should be going cheap now ~270-325. if you wait a few months amds new socket will be out, so 939 stuff will be cheaper.
dont skimp on your ram too. ill admit i bought high end stuff and paid a price for it. about 220. but hey it does 2-2-2-5 and gets 7gb/s of bandwidth. try and get something with at least 2-3-3-6 timings.

dust buildup will happen anyway. its inevitable. like death, dust will come. the fan creates suction that draws the dust in and gets clogged. even my system gets dust. live with it or buy filters. a good case shoudl have filters.

ok enough of this long winded post its past my bedtime and im tired.
if anyone knows why gentoo didnt work id like to know. it seemed liek a cool distro.

Sounds like you installed Gentoo fine. Just not the Grub loader :o, try lilo instead see if that makes a difference. Or go on the Gentoo forums and see if anyone else has had your problem.

here’s my .02 cents…:wink:

if you have the ability to select parts, go for a quiet power supply and cpu cooler

I have a seasonic power supply, and cpu cooler by arctic:D

I only know its on because the green light is on in the front;)

yes, I kind of understand… I was running old redhats too(5.2->8).
but when I finally did my switch to debian, I really wanted to get a fresh start, so to speak, so I didnt keep old distros.
I just think, that all that dualbootin is so much hassle. and I just don’t really see the reason, why to have two distros. I mean, it’s not that they are SO much different anyway. you just end up having same programs installed twice… or if not, then you will sometimes need something “from the other distro” and you have to reboot…

anyway, I was just interested…
I run debian on my and my son’s boxes at home.
one kubuntu at workplace, and we ofcourse had kubuntu/ubuntu boxes at the orange studio too… so that is nice new userfriendly distro. I recommend it for sure. just wondering about the need of keeping old distros too :slight_smile:


I’ve never understood the urge to fill your desktop with annoying little lights, but suit yourselves.

>>> I suggest you compile Gentoo, and get best performance from your new machine

easy way would be recompiling vanilla kernel, graphic driver and blender - on debian-like system. probably won’t squeeze every atom of power out of your cpu, but close enough.

lilo wont work with gentoo or so im told.

ive got fedora core now and no windows not sure if its good or bad.
havent played any games recently so linux can fufill my needs atm. ill look on gentoo but unless i can find a solution i really dont want to try that all over again

The mystique of blue lights emanating from my new box won’t help me much. Our little forest cottage is such that every inch of space is important. Presently the box will be located in a place that will not actually be visible save for the front end. It will have two other computers on each side of it about 4 feet off the ground.

Thanks for the encouragement. Currently, I have 3 EIDE hard drives in my box. One for each distro. Some of my clients use only proprietary software so I keep a drive for that. I would really like to make the final break with RH “Real Soon Now” but the momentum of current projects contained on the FC drive keeps me distracted.

My current box sounds like it has a giant air vortex inside rattling the bolts. I really hate the noise. Thanks for the “heads up”. I’m going to lift the whole system up off the floor. We have many sources of dust out here in Umpqua National Forest. Mud(everywhere all Winter), dog hair(I have 6 large dogs), goat hair(we have 60 to 80 angora goats at any given time), pollen(rolls in in waves during Spring), Elf sparkles (very thick accumulations during the night) etc. etc. The first cpu I ever fried was because I didn’t regularly open up the box and clean it of the forests guff.

I’ll let you all know what I finally settle on.

popski, thanks for the URL. Very helpful.

Well here goes. I’m not sure I should get the full tower. My main concern is to keep things cool, have room to expand and easy to work with. Most of the CPU reviews claim the 3800 isn’t much less performance wise than the 4400?? Input is very welcome.

MOBO: A8N-SLI premium (FSB 1000MHz Hyper Transport (2000 MT/s) :eek:)
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Duel Core
(3800=best buy)
(4400=highest I can afford but not a good deal price wise)
GPU: e VGA Geforce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit
RAM: Corsair 2 gigs of ram
HSF: Arctic Freezer 64 Pro
420 watt power supply.