[olug] Mobo/Video recommendations

Phil Brutsche phil at brutsche.us
Thu Feb 7 06:55:22 UTC 2008

I will be up front: I think AMD motherboards suck. I think it's a lot
easier to find very very stable and well-designed motherboards for Intel
processors than it is AMD processors.

BTW, I have found that the latest releases of end-user oriented
distributions (Ubuntu 7.10 or Fedora Core 8) Just Works, even with the
latest bleeding-edge hardware for Intel-CPU machines.

I have no idea how good Linux compatibility is among AMD motherboards,
but I can't imagine them being far behind.

What I would get is this:

CPU -> Intel E6600:

Motherboard -> Intel DP965LTCK:

Power -> Antec True Power Trio TP3-550:

Video -> MSI NX8400GS  yes it's an entry-level card but if you're not
going to play video games you might be surprised how powerful this stuff
has gotten:

Memory -> Crucial 2GB DDR2-667, Quantity 4:

Obi-Wan wrote:
> This will run Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10).  I want a single socket, dual core
> AMD mobo with at least 2 IDE ports (4 drives)

The days of IDE going the way of the dodo have come and gone, it will be
far easier finding something with 4 or 6 SATA ports and 1 IDE port (or
even no IDE ports at all).

If you're lucky you might find something with a really crappy
third-party chipset, but anything event remotely current (ie Intel 945
and newer - that's 1 generation ago) has almost completely done away
with PATA, and the latest stuff has no PATA period (save the
previously-mentioned crappy third party PATA).

Stuff that's more than 1 generation old has almost completely
disappeared from the market.

> onboard audio, 8GB RAM, and as many PCI(-X) slots as possible.

(Warning: I'm showing my Intel bias here)

<falls on floor laughing>

A desktop AMD board with PCI-X slots?

Oh, wait, you mean PCI-E.

> 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?

The OS that will be used on the machine is irrelevant, ATI = teh sux0rs
and nVidia = teh r0x0rs, and has been that way for a while now.

Personally, I'm happy with integrated video.

> Is there a particular north/south bridge chipset that I should get
> or avoid on the mobo?

Regardless of the CPU avoid VIA and SiS like the plague. Period, end of

Intel CPU -> Intel chipset

AMD CPU -> nVidia chipset

> 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?

It should be, but I would err on the side of caution - we're talking
about a price difference of less than 25$ between a 400W and a 550W PSU.

One of the machines I've had come through my office doors had dual Xeon
E5410 CPUs and a 8600GTS video card happily running with a 465W PSU.

> 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.

You shouldn't have any trouble finding something like that with modern


Phil Brutsche
phil at brutsche.us

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