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Re: Advice on system purchase

On 10/28/2012 4:38 AM, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
On Sb, 27 oct 12, 22:27:30, Stan Hoeppner wrote:

Coming from a 2800+ which is a ~60 watt CPU, and given the fact you'll
never make use of more than 2 of those 8 cores, I recommend a dual core
AthlonII X2 @ 3.4GHz.  I have the 3GHz model and the 2nd core is pretty
much always idle, with primary core being idle most of the time as well,
as is everyone's.

Any opinion on a Core i3 (Ivy Bridge)?

Kind regards,
P.S. your hardware prices make me drool. Here we have higher numbers and
in EUR for the same stuff :(

My own opinion on i3 is that it;s a bit underpowered for a modern system, even a Linux system. If i7 seems like overkill to you, then the obvious compromise is i5, which is what i recommend to most non-technical people. But yeah. Go Ivy bridge no matter which model you go with.

Motherboards are many, and there's way too much choice. For desktop/workstation applications, I personally go for "pro-sumer" grade, but for a more reasonable amount of money, I recommend midrange ASUS boards, because I've had very good luck with them. The goal for me is an adequate number of SATA, USB, and other ports, and reliability. I won't recommend a specific model. Instead I suggest the the buyer read as many reviews and reports on the various tech blogs as he can find, and also pay attention to feedback and comments on said blogs as well as on the online retailers' web sites. Avoid certain i/o chips like extra hd controllers or USB 3.0 chips that are known to be duds. I won't be specific here either, but some of those third-party chips are notorious enough to have plenty of warnings about them. Look out for those *everywhere*.

Video: It's hard to recommend anything other than Intel for Linux. Get the Ivy Bridge i5 CPU with the onboard GPU .

Memory: Get more than you think you'll need. It's usually worth it. Don't bother about high speed memory; get the standard stuff that your MB+CPU supports.

Case: the cheaper Lian Li cases have been giving me good service.

Power supply: Don't skimp. Buy a good one. Again, look for reviews of current models. Buy *slightly* more wattage capacity than you think you need, but don't get carried away with it. My last purchase was for a gaming machine with a single Nvidia GPU; it was a Seasonic 800W. A more modest system probably doesn't need more than 500W.

HDD: Buy two large capacity (2TB or larger) and RAID 1 them for /home and swap. For /, RAID 1 is optional, capacity 500GB - 1TB. I don't bother with SSDs on Linux machines for personal use. Windows machines benefit more from them. Whether you really need them depends on application.

Optical drive: whatever works, I try to avoid LITE-ON drives. DVD-plus-or-minus-R/RW. I have multi- Blu-Ray on my machines, but I have never used the Blu-Ray capability on them.

Also: get a recently manufactured card reader with USB 3.0. Get a UPS/battery backup. A USB 3.0 add-in card for extra 3.0 ports would not be an extravagance.

I recommend avoiding AMD. Much as I want them to be successful, they just can't compete. There is much more support and experience out there to draw on if you have a problem, if you go with Intel. It's too bad, AMD is cheaper.

Buy soon.  "Trusted Boot" is coming.  Avoid the pain, if you can.

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