[Techtalk] Buying a machine without Windows

David Merrill david at lupercalia.net
Mon Oct 29 23:08:43 EST 2001

On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 03:03:10PM -0800, Nicole Zimmerman wrote:
> > That's a good point.  I'd love to hear people's experience with
> > the newest AMD processors for Linux.  
> I use an AMD Athlon 850 and my husband has an Athlon 1.1 GHz and we have
> had no problems with them in linux. I use the hardware sensors on my
> motherboard with some neato linux software to monitor temp and voltage.

I have a nice new Compaq Presario, with an Athlon 1.1 GHz. Got it
for a steal from CompUSA because they lost the documentation and the
software. Microsoft software, so no loss to me! It was on sale for
half price, and even though I wasn't shopping for a new computer, I put
it under my arm and took it home on the subway. :-)

> There is a hardware debate to be had about what motherboard to choose,
> though. Some people strongly dislike Via and ALI chipsets, I could really
> care less. I use the Asus A7V and my husband uses the Asus A7A266 and
> neither of us have had issues except his brief experience with DDR RAM (an
> RTFM). Admittedly I have not played with my Ultra ATA 100 Promise
> controller.
> If you want to put together your own box, I think the biggest things to
> watch out for are video, sound, and network cards. I use a Soundblaster
> Live with no issues on the sound front. Video... my husband uses the
> Matrox G400 and it works great, but is getting a little slow for massive
> gaming. It is a great card for occasional game-playing workstations. I use
> a Radeon 64MB DDR, which is now no longer a bitch to set up but still not
> as happy go-lucky as the G400. Better video quality, though. I have heard
> decent things about the nVidia cards, but never used one in a linux box (I
> opted for the open-development Radeon). Networking-wise, I always use 3com
> cards with no issues. The Intel eepro cards are also good.

I also have a SBLive audio card, which is very well supported in
Linux, with newer kernels that has gotten even better. I highly
recommend it. IIRC they reworked the driver in 2.4.8 but had some bugs
that were fixed in 2.4.9, but check Kernel Traffic for those releases
if you need to know for sure. My memory is not always reliable.

> I guess if you use a modem, that would be an issue, but I have no
> experience here. Best advice is stay away from winmodems ;o)

IMO it's worth the small extra cost for an external modem.

> Another thing to watch out for as far as hardware goes is hard drives.
> Don't buy an IBM 75GXP, they are being RMAd left and right and there is
> much word of a class action suit. I have had bad experiences with Maxtor
> drives but others have had no trouble. Currently my husband and I both use
> IBM 60GXP drives.

I have the IBM 60GXP and it has performed well.

Dr. David C. Merrill                     http://www.lupercalia.net
Linux Documentation Project                   david at lupercalia.net
Collection Editor & Coordinator            http://www.linuxdoc.org

We all worship the black bean
Homage to our God Caffeine
Where there is life there is coffee
Where there is coffee there is life

Kenya, Sumatra, Mocha Java, French Roast, Colombian

More information about the Techtalk mailing list