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Help Me Choose New Hardware


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My current box is over three years old and gets very hot when encoding. Since Hardy is coming out next month, I'm thinking that would be a good time to put together a new (and Windoze-free) computer. After all, the tax rebate is coming soon and I want to do my part to stimulate the economy. Besides, I'm and old lady and don't need an excuse to indulge. :)


I am going to 'recycle' the fairly new 2 250 GB hard drives, USR modem, Pioneer 112D and NIC from my current machine. I'll replace the drives and modem that I removed when I installed Linux back into the old machine where Windoze will continue to reside for a little while longer (and gather dust).


So I'll be needing a QUIET, plain black case, motherboard/power supply, processor, memory and video card. After having my current ASUS P4P800 SE fail not once but TWICE, I'm thinking Intel might be a better choice. Probably need about 500 watt PS. Intel processor too, probably dual-core. nVidia cards work better with Linux than ATI so that's the direction I want to go. I'm thinking maybe 256 MB. I've never had a problem with just 1 GB memory so no need for overkill, I think.


Please offer any suggestions as to reliability, performance and Linux compatibility. Be specific as possible from your own experience or from reviews that have caught your eye. I'm looking at May as the month to put it together.





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First, I'd suggest you also post on the Ubuntu forums as they have a ton of smart guys and gals there answering some of the same questions.

I'm partial to Cooler Master cases because they are cheaper and not as 'gamebox' looking. They usually have enough stock fans to handle adequate cooling and most that I've seen are tooless.

I've read many times about both Intel and ASUS boards being RMA'd so I can't say which way to go. You'll save some $$$ now with AMD procs and from my very little playing with Ubuntu and other Linux distros, I don't think you need to worry about getting the most up to date processor.

As for video, I'm not sure at all. Ubuntu Gutsy's Restricted Drivers have worked for me and my Nvidia card but I expect to see and have read that we should see much better use of video in Hardy.

If you haven't yet, I again suggest posting on their forum as well.

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Start with this---How much is your budget ?? May sound like a dumb question but there are many ways to get what you want, but will depend how much you are willing to spend. Example: Intel Processor---From cheep to sky high.



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I don't want anything bleeding edge or too high-end. Just some good solid, functional hardware. The most taxing use will be for occasional encoding.


I'll check out the CoolerMaster cases. I have also heard about the Antec Sonata as being very quiet.


Budget? Don't want to break the bank. Just want the most bang for my buck. Everybody loves a good bargain, right? ;)





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Look over the branded name PCs such as HP, Dell, Cyberpower, ect. Then do a Goggle search on coupons for each of the brands that you are looking to buy. I found a $400 coupon on my HP laptop but pricing schemes are always changing. HP and Dell both offer coupons as does Cyberpower PC. Others probably do the same.


Don't buy a PC with an internal graphics processor but buy one with a separate video card. That way it can be upgraded in the future.

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Since I will be recycling the hard drives, modem, NIC and CD/DVD_RW from my current computer, a pre-built PC wouldn't work for me. I need recommendation for PARTS - motherboard, processor and video card. Also want a plain black case sans any branding. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got the new computer a little earlier than expected - long story. The power supply in the first case died within minutes and the first motherboard's north bridge was overheating and resetting. After returning and replacing those components it is working perfectly. Bought everything locally at Fry's. Here are the specs:


Antec NSK4480 Black Mid Tower Case

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Socket 775 Motherboard

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6750 - BX80557E6750 - Box CPU - Socket LGA775

EVGA 8400GS Video Card (PCI-Express, 512MB) (not for gamers but fine for what I do)


2 - 250GB WD Sata drives

Pioneer DVD_RW DVR-112D

USRobotics 5610C (serial modem - yeah, still on dialup)


The case is QUIET as advertised, everything is zipping along and the processors are only running at 18C. Have the nVidia driver enabled and got Compiz and the cube going but that screwed up all the Devil's Pie settings so I'll have to work that out. The guys who put it together for me like it a lot too (and wish they had it themselves). :)


I'm going to be having a lot of fun the next few days sorting things out and deciding exactly what to do with the XP partition. It won't boot, of course, but it might be handy to have access to those files. I might just leave it and resize the partition.


More later . . .

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