[olug] Mobo/Video recommendations

Phil Brutsche phil at brutsche.us
Thu Feb 7 20:00:17 UTC 2008

Obi-Wan wrote:
> Of course, if stability really was a problem, I'd rethink that, but
> I've not heard of any specific examples of AMD reliability problems.

It more that 99.99999% of all AMD motherboards are geared towards
enthusiasts that will abuse their systems by overclocking the dickens
out of them.

I'll prefer equipment that's designed for consistency and reliability
any day.

There's also the *platform* stability issue - if I build a machine with
an Intel or Supermicro motherboard, and suddenly find I need to drop in
a replacement 2 or 3 years down the road, you better believe I can get a
perfect drop-in replacement off eBay.

I've had horrible problems with that with AMD boards - the manuf. will
change the MB revision, and will change the ethernet and audio
controllers at the same time!

> Onboard firewire is nice.  I worry about the future expandability
> of a board with only one PCI-e x16 slot, especially with no onboard
> video.
> What's the availability like for PCI-e x1 cards?  I'd never even
> heard of those little things until I started looking at mobos lately.

A year or 2 ago there were very few options, but that's changing quickly.

These days you can get single-lane video cards, SATA JBOD/fakeraid
cards, SATA RAID (real hardware raid) cards, ethernet cards, sound
cards, wireless cards, TV capture cards for Windows MCE or MythTV...

> I understand what you're saying, and if I were starting from scratch,
> I'd agree with you.  However, I've got four (perhaps three now) IDE
> drives worth over 1 TB, and I'm not inclined to replace them until
> they die or fill up.  Therefore, I still need a mobo with good IDE
> support.

Unfortunately such boards no longer exist.

There are boards out there with PATA ports provided by an additional
on-motherboard controller, but the add-in controller is hardly any
better than the Promise cards.

One example:

> I do have a PCI IDE card (Promise brand, which has flaky support in
> Feisty, unknown with Gutsy) that I suppose I could use for my drives
> if it's supported.

You should be able to get an older 3ware 7000-series PATA PCI card;
they've been well-supported under Linux for nearly a decade, work in
JBOD mode and are pretty cheap on eBay.

One example: http://search.ebay.com/110222119557


Phil Brutsche
phil at brutsche.us

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