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chris.c.hogan
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 7:24 am    Post subject: New system advice Reply with quote

My wife has promised to allocate some funds for a new to computer to cover my birthday, fathers day, and my daughter's birthday (she gets my old computer). My old system has served me well. It's an AMD AthlonXP 2600+ with 512MB memory on an ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard. I hadn't really planned on replacing it just yet. However, when the wife tells me to go buy a new computer... Unfortunately, my day-to-day work has kept me working with 32-bit architecture. I think I'm getting old. I've largely ignored 64-bit architecture and PCI-X.

With that sin committed, I've been hunting around New Egg to see what is available. I've about settled on an AM2 socket. My mother currently uses my first AMD chip (K6 233MHz) with a Gentoo system. I haven't bought an Intel chip since I purchased that system. I am tempted by the Core 2 and Intel's current commitment to Open Source. However, I've been limiting myself to AMD. Where I'm least sure is PCI-X, chipsets, and Linux compatibility. My understanding is that I need PCI Express x16 for graphics. Does anyone have any recommendations for number of x1, x4, or x8 slots? What kind of hardware makes use of these slots? I like the option to run multiple video cards, though I don't currently have a use for it. Unfortunately, it looks like you have to match your video card to the chipset for this to work. I heard about ATI thinking about open sourcing their drivers. I started looking into the AMD580x/SB600 chipset. However, I then researched the AMD announcement a bit better and realized it was just PR at this point. So now I'm looking at the nforce4 ultra.

Lots of choices and my technology knowledge is out of date. :oops: I do a lot of video encoding and editing, play a few 3D games, pretend I can code, and the basic Internet stuff. I need at least one PCI slot for my TV tuner, 5.1 (or better) surround sound, and a PATA connector for my DVD writer. Can anyone make a good recommendation on a motherboard? Also, pitfalls and compatibility problems am I going to encounter? For example, last I heard, you couldn't compile Firefox as 64-bit if you wanted Flash to work.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Chris
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aidy
l33t
l33t


Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Posts: 915

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can use a fully 64 bit firefox with flash nowadays, there's a wrapper for 32 bit plugins

Why don't you look up some possible combinations and link to them on newegg, we'll tell you if everything fits :)
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floffe
Guru
Guru


Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 414
Location: Linköping, Sweden

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, If you want to use multiple video cards you need two PCI-E x16 slots just to fit them. Would it be for running 3+ displays? If you want to run SLI/Crossfire, only the former works in Linux, but still doesn't give much performance advantage over a single card. It'll be cheaper and easier to get a better, single card instead (plus it'll draw less power = less heat = less cooling needed). The main recommendation for SLI is if you have the fastest single card available but it's still too slow... As for the two PCI-E x16 slots, them actually working on x16 rather than x8 doesn't give that much of a performance advantage with current cards.

When it comes to other cards using PCI-E slots, I don't think there are too many who do, yet. I'd advise looking at mobos with 3 PCI slots.
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