Motherboard questions (for Linux)

Shadowknight

Diamond Member
May 4, 2001
3,959
3
81
I purchased a p55a-g55 MSI motherboard, but I have to return it as the onboard NIC died. I've decided to get a different motherboard that supports SLI, I was wondering if I would need to reinstall Linux due to the change in motherboards, or if I can swap the motherboard without any changes? Also, can someone recommend an ATX motherboard with socket 1156 that supports SLI, and compatibility with Linux Sensors for under $200?. The MSI board was apparently incompatible with Sensors, as I could only get info on the hard drive and GPU temps. As for other specs, I'm not looking for hard-core gaming, just HTPC use, but USB 3.0 would be a plus
 

joetekubi

Member
Nov 6, 2009
176
0
71
I can answer part of your questions.
I recently moved from an Asus MB with AMD X2 chip to a MSI X58 MB with 1366 and an Intel i7. No reinstall or adjustments were needed!
So I feel confident your move will be smooth in that regard.
I AM surprised you had a problem with Linux sensors. The recent distros have really improved in this regard.
 

sourceninja

Diamond Member
Mar 8, 2005
8,805
65
91
As long as you are using a stock kernel from any major distro you should never need to reinstall simply for switching hardware like a motherboard.
 

LCTSI

Member
Aug 17, 2010
93
0
66
As long as you are using a stock kernel from any major distro you should never need to reinstall simply for switching hardware like a motherboard.

This.

Linux distributions these days tend to run a generic kernel and dynamically add everything on boot.
 

Shadowknight

Diamond Member
May 4, 2001
3,959
3
81
Okay, but can anyone recommend an SLI motherboard that is completely compatible with Sensors?
 
Last edited:

electroju

Member
Jun 16, 2010
182
0
0
Any motherboard can be used with lm-sensors although if you use a good heat sink then using lm-sensors is not needed. Using lm-sensors with any motherboard will not provide correct data. The kernel version matters what sensors are supported. Update the kernel if lm-sensors is not showing the CPU temperature and voltage.

SLI in Linux does not always work correctly. It is best to use a high end video card like a GeForce GT280 or GeForce GT480 instead of using low-end models in SLI. Linux depends on the video card for performance compared to Windows. Using SLI for a HTPC is pointless.

Yes, you can change to a completely different motherboard that uses different hardware like the NIC, but not a different storage controller. Some kernels may not have the storage controller set as built-in during compile time, so a new initrd file with the require modules or drivers will have to be created before booting with the new motherboard.

You could go AMD. AMD is cheaper and better for HTPC than Intel. Using Athon II X4 605e or 610e will be good for a HTPC running Linux. If you are going to be use Flash a lot, I suggest Athlon II X4 630. The motherboard I would select is GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
30,672
0
0
Any motherboard can be used with lm-sensors although if you use a good heat sink then using lm-sensors is not needed. Using lm-sensors with any motherboard will not provide correct data. The kernel version matters what sensors are supported. Update the kernel if lm-sensors is not showing the CPU temperature and voltage.

Using lm-sensors will provide whatever information the driver and hardware provide. If the data is incorrect it's a bug in the drivers or hardware.

Linux depends on the video card for performance compared to Windows. Using SLI for a HTPC is pointless.

Windows depends on the video cards for performance as well, otherwise video cards wouldn't be necessary. But yea, I'd say SLI is pointless for a HTPC. But having 2 monitors is nice so 2 or more video cards isn't always a bad idea.

Yes, you can change to a completely different motherboard that uses different hardware like the NIC, but not a different storage controller. Some kernels may not have the storage controller set as built-in during compile time, so a new initrd file with the require modules or drivers will have to be created before booting with the new motherboard.

99% of the time it'll work fine since most distributions build their initrds with all available storage modules. Any distro still using statically built kernels should be avoided like XP.
 

electroju

Member
Jun 16, 2010
182
0
0
Using lm-sensors will provide whatever information the driver and hardware provide. If the data is incorrect it's a bug in the drivers or hardware.
This is not true because lm-sensors have to be configured for the setup and it is never is out of the box. The voltage and the RPM reading have to be tweaked. If lm-sensors have to be configured, it is not a bug. None of the motherboard manufactures uses the same pins for reading the voltage, temperature, and RPM.

These days it is best to use ACPI to get the readings of temperature, RPM, and maybe voltage. ACPI can be access using sysfs or procfs. Depending on the system hald could be used to gather all the information about the systems health. Though the information gathered from ACPI depends on the manufacture if they are passing the system health through ACPI.


Windows depends on the video cards for performance as well, otherwise video cards wouldn't be necessary. But yea, I'd say SLI is pointless for a HTPC. But having 2 monitors is nice so 2 or more video cards isn't always a bad idea.
You miss-understood my previous post like everybody. Windows uses DirectX. DirectX uses the video card, CPU, and main memory to handle 3D graphics and other graphics tasks. In Linux, OpenGL is used. OpenGL only uses the video card, so a high performance graphics is require to get good performance for graphics. Though in Linux 2D graphics is still handled by the CPU in Linux, so the video card just becomes the dumb devices for 2D graphics.

Yes it is nice to use two monitors and it could be nice to have more. Though could easily use a graphics card that has for outputs instead of just two like the following video card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814133255


99% of the time it'll work fine since most distributions build their initrds with all available storage modules. Any distro still using statically built kernels should be avoided like XP.
This is mostly true. When I used Mandrake 9 a long time ago, it specially created an intrd file with modules for my setup. I know this for a fact because I dissected the initrd file. For my Abit KA7-100, Mandrake 9.0 include the xfs and hpt370 modules because I used XFS for the file system and my second storage controller is Highpoint 370. I did not boot off of the Highpoint controller, but it add it anyway.

Windows XP is a different operating system. You can change the hardware, but it will complain that it can not find the old hardware. I would say it is a fixed operating system because what ever hardware that you used Windows XP for the first time, it is there for life of the operating system. For me the life of Windows only lasts a month before I have to do a clean install or re-image my setup. One of the reasons why I move over to Linux. I have not done a clean install of Linux thanks to Gentoo's rolling releases.
 

Crusty

Lifer
Sep 30, 2001
12,684
2
81
Windows XP is a different operating system. You can change the hardware, but it will complain that it can not find the old hardware. I would say it is a fixed operating system because what ever hardware that you used Windows XP for the first time, it is there for life of the operating system. For me the life of Windows only lasts a month before I have to do a clean install or re-image my setup. One of the reasons why I move over to Linux. I have not done a clean install of Linux thanks to Gentoo's rolling releases.


If you have to reinstall windows every month you are doing something really wrong. Changing hardware on XP is also relatively simple, yes even a motherboard swap. It's definitely not as smooth as doing it with Linux and there are certainly more problems that can arise, but saying that XP is a 'fixed OS' is completely wrong.
 

VinDSL

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2006
4,869
1
81
www.lenon.com
If you have to reinstall windows every month you are doing something really wrong. Changing hardware on XP is also relatively simple[...]
I think this is the qualifier...

[...] I would say it is a fixed operating system because what ever hardware that you used Windows XP for the first time, it is there for life of the operating system.[...]
I've noticed Winders uses a shotgun approach to installing drivers (especially on a fresh build).

If I understand what he's saying...

When you do a fresh install, Winders will look at your video card (for instance) and install not just one driver, but a handful of drivers -- maybe drivers for 20-30 video cards that use a similar chipset.

If you swap out your video card for something else, Winders doesn't remove these old drivers -- they persist for the "life of the operating system." Winders just installs more drivers, when it finds the new hardware -- and you add even more, from the vendor's installation disk.

This also applies to nics, printers, and so forth and so on.

After a while, Winders gets slower n' slower -- video cards start acting flaky -- printers don't print correctly, et cetera.

Anyway, I *think* that's what he's referring to... not that you can't add new hardware (thus new drivers), but rather that the old ones don't go away.
 
Last edited:

Colt45

Lifer
Apr 18, 2001
19,721
1
0
If you're running a generic kernel, it's almost flawless. I mean you can't change architecture, but everything up to that has been fine in my experience.
 

KeypoX

Diamond Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,655
0
71
I just switched mobos and it was pretty flawless. Just needed to sensor-detect again. And thats all i have noticed so far... everything else is the same.