Re: Any barebones system recommendation?
- From: General Schvantzkoph <schvantzkoph@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 21 Jan 2007 04:28:46 GMT
On Sat, 20 Jan 2007 09:27:20 -0500, Neil Jones wrote:
I have a old PII system and plan to upgrade my hardware. The Fedora FC6
will not even install on this system. I am interested in buying a
barebones system preferably a dual-core system (Intel or AMD). The 2
HDs from the old computer will be used in the new system.
I am totally lost with the CPU language. Are there any barebone systems
that are reliable and inexpensive?
Any recommendations and advice greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
The best performing systems are Intel Core2, the most Linux compatible
are Athlon 64s. The Nvidia Nforce motherboards (for AMD) are 100%
compatible, the Intel 965 motherboards for the Core2 mostly work but there
are some issues that you have to be careful about. The 965 issues are,
PATA support. The 965 chipset supports SATA only, it has no support for
PATA. To handle this the 965 motherboards are all using a JMicron chip
which isn't supported in by the kernels used in the installers but is
supported in the most recent Linux kernels. However even with
kernel support the Jmicron has only 1 PATA port so it's not a lot of use.
The SATA ports on the Jmicron chip are also unreliable in my limited
experience (I have an ABit AB9 Pro). The best thing to do is to not use
it. I have a $29 Liteon SATA DVD ROM that works fine for installing Linux
(I'm using FC6). What this means is that you won't be able to use your old
drives unless you add a PCI PATA card to a 965 based Core2 system. A new
320G SATA II drive costs $94 so buying a PATA controller isn't really
worth it, on the other hand if you have an old Promise card laying around
you could plug it in and use your old drives.
Ethernet. The 965 doesn't have built in Ethernet either so all of the
motherboard manufacturers add a third party chip. I don't think any of
these chips is supported in any current installer. However the Realtek
controller is well supported in the 2.6.19 kernel. What you need to do is
to do the install and then either use a USB FLASH key or a PCI Ethernet
card to put a 2.6.19.x kernel on the box. Fedora Core 6 is now using the
220.127.116.11 kernel so if you use FC6 and temporarily add an Ethernet card or
use a USB FLASH key to install the 2.6.19.x RPM you'll have the onboard
LM Sensors. On my Abit AB9 Pro motherboard LM-Sensors can't read my CPU
temperature. It looks like the next release of LM-Sensors will have
support for the Abit AB9 Pro but I don't know if it will fix all of the
problems. I also don't know if this is a problem on other 965 motherboards.
ON Demand CPU Performance Governor doesn't work on my system. When I use
the On Demand governor my system crashes. When I use the Performance
governor, my system is completely stable. I don't know if this is an Abit
AB9 Pro problem or a general 965 motherboard problem.
The pluses of the Core2 are that it's about 30% faster on a clock for
clock basis then Athlon 64 X2 with 1M caches. AMD has reduced the cache
size on most socket AM2 chips to 1/2M cache so the advantage of the Core2
over the A64 X2 with the small caches is even greater. I did my
measurements on my E6700 Core2 vs my 939 A64 4400+ (1M caches), both
systems have 4G of RAM. The other advantage of the Core 2 is that they are
incredibly overclockable. I've been running my system under heavy load at
3GHz for several weeks, it's been completely stable since I switched to
the Performance speed governor. I have a system stress tester available
that you can use to check out any new system that you get,
One more thing. On Core2 systems the memory bottleneck is the front side
bus, not the RAM itself. Anything more than DDR2 533 is useless. I have
DDR2 800 RAMs on my system. I've compared the performance of the system
running at 533, 667 and 800. The difference between 533 and 800 is about
1%. Faster memory will give you more timing margin (assuming you
underclock it) so if the price difference is small you could buy the faster
memory, but don't assume your system will be faster. The Athlon 64s have
on chip memory controllers so this advice doesn't apply to them. The A64s
can take advantage of faster memory so it's money well spent on them. BTW
I'm using the GSkill 2G DIMMs on my system. I paid $500 for a pair of 2G
GSKILL DIMMs on NewEgg. At $500 that's the same price/gigabyte as the
smaller 1G DIMMs. If you have any desire to put 8G in your system at some
point then you'll want 2G DIMMs. If you don't think you'll ever need 8G
then you should get 1G DIMMs because they have shorter CAS latencies.
Although the Core2s can't take advantage of faster RAM clocks, they will
benefit from shorter CAS latencies.
- Any barebones system recommendation?
- From: Neil Jones
- Any barebones system recommendation?
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