Need help assembling a complete AMD system for Linux--please help the clueless

Pete

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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I haven't really followed the AMD scene, as I'm not going to update my PC for a while, but I'm helpng a friend build a Linux machine, and AMD seems the best route. Could you help me spec out a ~800MHz system for under $1000, including 17" monitor? The less the better. He'll be using it mainly for programming, and he won't be overclocking. He just needs a solid, reliable system that'll run under Linux. I'd really appreciate any help you can give me.

I'm hung up on what mobo to get with which Tbird/Duron. 200 or 266MHz FSB? Onboard audio would be nice if it saves him the hassle of having to find a sound card with drivers for Linux, as I'm assuming most onboard sound is a SB chip of some kind. How's the MSI K7T Turbo?

BTW, is a Thunderbird worth the extra $ for programming? Is it significantly faster in compiling?

So, the plan:
~800MHz
256MB PC133 CL2
MB (w/RAID? onboard audio?)
any decent supported vid card
and decent supported sound card (if MB has none built-in)
great 17" monitor

Thanks in advance.
 

Buddha Bart

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
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My knowledge of linux-compatable hardware is quite weak, so double-check me on these, but here's a shot.

These prices are from Mwave.com a vendor many of us here use. You can always find better prices on pricewatch, but I don't trust those people. Plus its a good idea to get as many of your parts as you can from one place.

Asus A7V133
128mb PC133 (generic)
Duron 800
(this is a bundle from mwave.com)
251

Enlight 7237 w/300w PSU 62
Teac 1.44mb Floppy 14.50
Acer 52x CD-ROM 35
IBM 15gb 7200 ata/100 102
Aopen keyboard 9
Logitech Optical mouse 25ish (i couldn't find it on mwave, but any staples has it
Samsung 700nf 285
Creative SB16 OEM 21
Cheapest ATI card you can find drivers for 35-60
------------
815

Of course, there's plenty of flexibility here. For instance, that motherboard is a lot more than he needs, but can offer him an upgrade path to at least a 1.2ghz in the future. You can probably find a better deal on the case, just make sure its a good AMD-approved powersupply (and try to keep it at or above 300w). The hard drive is 15 gig.. which is plenty for some people, and no where near enough for others... your call. Things like the mouse and keyboard can be gotten anywhere for just about the same price.. it would be better to just go to staples and see which he likes the feel of best. The monitor is a very nice one, I try never to skimp on the monitor. The sound card I chose because I'm almost certian it has linux-drivers, check to make sure it fits your requirements though. And the same with the video card.

Here's the link to the shopping card I came up with, I'm not sure how long mwave keeps these alive on the server.

http://direct.mwave.com/mwave/ViewBag.hmx?UID=XX-8578675-23681&CID=&UpDepts=VID&DName=%3Cb%3EVideo+Cards%3C%2Fb%3E&Back=ProdVID-ATI.hmx?

bart
 

XeonTux

Golden Member
Dec 4, 2000
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For the given use, I'd go with a Matrox card. Spend any remaining $ on a good monitor. Something that does high res at a high refresh, and I'm sure he'd love a 19" if you can find a deal (maybe OM?) Keep in mind that X is great at very high res. Maybe an athlon instead of a duron? I know Tiger has a POS soyo mobo + athlon 950 combo for $200, don't know about linux compatibility tho...but it prob works...check around. As far as IDE harddrives go, you cant go wrong with a IBM 75GXP. If you have extra cash bump the mem to 256.
 

Priit

Golden Member
Nov 2, 2000
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I recommend not to use on-board audio with linux, mostly it really sucks ! Typical on-board AC97 codec works as 8-bit 22Khz SB (at least I couldn't find the way to get that work any better) and that really sound bad ! You better get mobo without on-board sound and buy some cheap sndcard (e.g SB128). Much less head-fck, belive me :)
 

Pete

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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Thanks for the replies, everyone--much appreciated. Well, he already has a stick of 256MB CL2 Crucial and a 40GB Quantum on the way, so the next major step is the motherboard and processor. I'm debating between a retail Duron or an OEM Thunderbird. He's not going to overclock, at least for now, so I suggested a retail Duron 750 from Buy.com for $75; but if I can find a Tbird plus good HSF for not much more than, say, $125, then he might as well go that way. How's Taisol for a HSF? I'm looking for low noise, here. As for the MB, should he go with a KT133 or a KT133A--which processors go with which?
 

SerraYX

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2001
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"Tbird plus good HSF for not much more than, say, $125, then he might as well go that way. How's Taisol for a HSF?"

Upgrade Planet has the Thunderbird 750 for $76 plus shipping, and Inflow Direct has tons of coolers. Taisol's CGK492xxxx is great

"As for the MB, should he go with a KT133 or a KT133A--which processors go with which?"

Go with KT133A, includes KT7A, KK266, A7v133, MSI K7T Turbo, Epox KTA3+. I'd go for the iwill or abit personally.
 

Pete

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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Thanks, SerraVX. How do KT133A MBs differ from KT133? Does the CPU run at 100MHz FSB, and the memory at 133, like on a KT133? Do they both run at 133, so I'd have to change the multiplier on the 800 myself, or is that automatic? Basically, do all Socket A Athlons work with KT133A MBs--if not, which ones and why not?
 

Sugadaddy

Banned
May 12, 2000
6,495
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kt133 only supports 200mhz bus while kt133a supports both 200 and 266mhz. You can change the multiplier if you want, but you'll have to unlock the CPU. Both chipsets support pc100 and pc133 sdram and it doesn't have to be the same as the CPU fsb.
 

Snoop

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
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I have heard that nvidias support for linux is the best in the video card biz, so maybe you should look at a geforce 2mx :)
 

Pete

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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SugaDaddy--nice, so KT133A is the way to go.

Snoop--I know, but as he won't be playing games, and he'll value 2D image quality over all else, I think an ATi card would be better. Matrox, of course, but if he can get an ATi a half price, that's the way he should go.