[olug] Mobo/Video recommendations

Sam Tetherow tetherow at shwisp.net
Thu Feb 7 05:27:27 UTC 2008

Obi-Wan wrote:
> OK, so my 7-yr-old dual P3 motherboard has finally breathed its last
> -- at least for production environments.  I'm now in the market for a
> new mobo/CPU/RAM/video/power combination.  Not bleeding edge, but maybe
> one or two notches below it.  Do any of you have any combos that you
> have had unusually good or bad (especially bad) luck with under Linux?
> Finding a combo that meets my specs is easy, but determining Linux
> compatibility is always difficult (or at least time consuming).
Horrible luck with an Abit ATI motherboard, incredibly unstable with 
nvidia vid cards (see below for how bad ATI vid cards suck).  I've 
actually had decent luck with biostars recently.  But then again, the 
last MB I bought was a socket 939 :)
> This will run Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10).  I want a single socket, dual core
> AMD mobo with at least 2 IDE ports (4 drives), onboard audio, 8GB RAM,
> and as many PCI(-X) slots as possible. Onboard fireware (1394) would
> be nice.  I don't play games or watch movies on my computer, but while
> I can live without it, I have grown fond of Compiz here at work.
One nice thing, Gutsy has excellent amd64 support and things like flash 
will work under an x64 install of gutsy without all the fiddling with 
32bit firefox stuff.

> I know that nVidia vid cards have had a good reputation for Linux
> support over the years.  With AMD buying ATI, has Linux support for
> their cards improved any, or should I still avoid ATI?
Last time I checked (less than a year ago) ATI still sucked hard under 
linux, especially if you want to run multi-head and completely if you 
want to run multi-head compiz.  Twinview was the only xinerama like 
compiz evironment that works last time I set stuff up.

My advice would be any twin DVI out pci-xpress nvidia card which will 
probably mean a 7600 or better.  You should be able to get them fairly 
inexpensively.  I suggest the twin DVI because considering how long you 
had the last one you might as well get something decent ;)

> Is there a particular north/south bridge chipset that I should get
> or avoid on the mobo?
> How big a power supply do I really need to power a fast Athlon 64x2,
> a decent vid card, and a half dozen hard drives?  Is 400W enough?
6 drives dual core I would atleast get a 600W
> I also want to make sure that the mobo BIOS supports returning to the
> previous power state (on) after recovering from a power failure.  My
> current (dying) mobo can't do that, which is annoying when we get a
> power outage while I'm on vacation, since I run all my email through
> this machine.
Haven't had a problem with this on a MB in quite some time.
> Anyway, thanks in advance for your opinions.

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