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  • How Linux friendly is this build?

    So I am considering buying a new desktop computer, mainly for gaming but I want to be able to install Linux on the thing without any major problems. These are the specs of the latest offer I have gotten. How Linux compatible is this?:

    Asrock B75 PRO3 ATX USB3 SATA6
    Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz 8MB Box S1155
    Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA6 64MB 7200RPM
    OCZ Agility 3 Series SSD 240GB 525/500 M
    Pioneer BDR-207EBK BD-RE DL BD-XL blu-ra
    Enermax NAXN 82+ 750W PSU - 80+ Bronze m
    Enermax Vostok Midi Tower Case Black/Sil
    Kingston Value RAM DDR3 2x8GB 1600MHz CL11
    MSI GeForce GTX670 2GB DDR5 OC 2xDVI/DP/

  • #2
    Blue-ray (yes, I did mean to type it like that, the colour has an 'e') support isn't something I'd like to rely on under linux, but it will be able to deal with CDs and DVDs without batting an eyelid.

    Motherboards can vary in their level of support but I'd be surprised if you had issues, Linux hardware support is pretty good nowadays.

    Support for everything else should be stellar. As a disclaimer, I've not tried SATA6, so I don't know about that.

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    • #3
      What worries me by Googling is that according to the Asrock website the MB supports Windows 8. That would imply that is supports Secureboot but that it can be disabled. But as far as I can tell there isn't the slighest mention of secureboot, much less disabling it in the manual.

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      • #4
        Hello!
        I recommend using either Xeon - either 1155 (dualchannel) or 2011 (quadchannel), or desktop Piledriver CPUs (lower price segment) with unbuffered ECC memory for greatly improved reliability.
        ASRock is not good vendor in terms of support.
        Pioneer drives are ok.
        The PSU quality is very good, but its price/performance is mediocre. I recommend looking at Seasonic or other brands that employ primary / secondary 105C solid Hi-Caps and circuit protections.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input brosis But I am only really interested in Linux compatibility in this thread. I know blu-ray will be an issue but I want everything else to work and if possible to work out of the gate. I live in a country with a very limited selection of goods and services, so I can't get just any CPU or MB or anything really. I am limited by what the shops can get from their(often Danish) suppliers.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kristian Joensen View Post
            Thanks for the input brosis But I am only really interested in Linux compatibility in this thread. I know blu-ray will be an issue but I want everything else to work and if possible to work out of the gate. I live in a country with a very limited selection of goods and services, so I can't get just any CPU or MB or anything really. I am limited by what the shops can get from their(often Danish) suppliers.
            Hello, in case you can not purchase Xeons, please use AMD desktop processors instead with desktop motherboards of reliable brands (ASUS, MSI etc). The only limiting factor would then be the availability of unbuffered ECC memory, which all AMD desktop systems with notable exception of ASRock support. Scientific studies estimate memory corruption probability of non-ECC memory to be around 33% per year.

            Of course, if the data you work with is not important and you don't mind higher crash probability, the best option would be Intel Desktop processors.

            Regarding PSUs, it is advisable to pick affordable 80Plus Silver and higher rating units available and affordable in your area and then do some research on capacitors type from reviews. For example from jonnyguru.
            105c rated japanese Nippon Chemicon, Rubicon are the best ones. The board soldering should also be of good quality, then you will enjoy your efficient and reliable PSU for many years. Enermax have a reputation of not only building elite, but also possessing damaging elitism..

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            • #7
              It's a fine build. Remember that not all disk utilities in Linux properly recognize and format Advanced Format drives, so you will have to adjust your installation process for the HDD accordingly.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
                It's a fine build. Remember that not all disk utilities in Linux properly recognize and format Advanced Format drives, so you will have to adjust your installation process for the HDD accordingly.
                Hello. This is IMHO incorrect, as only parted/gparted are able to map the disks correctly and also create a GPT table. Fdisk and other tools have not been updated for years and their use is IMHO a legacy.
                Also, my experiences are such that Advanced Format harddisks are all falsely marking themselves as "normal 512-kb" drives, even in SMART. Possibly its a workaround for pre-Windows Vista compatibility.
                Eitherway, the reliable way is to check if its AF drive is the disk manufacturer documentation or question on official forums.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by brosis View Post
                  Hello. This is IMHO incorrect, as only parted/gparted are able to map the disks correctly and also create a GPT table. Fdisk and other tools have not been updated for years and their use is IMHO a legacy.
                  Also, my experiences are such that Advanced Format harddisks are all falsely marking themselves as "normal 512-kb" drives, even in SMART. Possibly its a workaround for pre-Windows Vista compatibility.
                  Eitherway, the reliable way is to check if its AF drive is the disk manufacturer documentation or question on official forums.
                  I believe the appropriate wording you are looking for is "unfortunate". By quoting my post and saying "This is IMHO incorrect", you are saying in your post that what I said was incorrect when it is in fact correct and the rest of your post agrees with what I said. As for the drives, all new AF drive models - which are all they make now - now only work as AF drives and no longer have a fall-back mode where a jumper over a pair of pins makes the drive appear to be the same as the older drives by modifying the controller processes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
                    I believe the appropriate wording you are looking for is "unfortunate". By quoting my post and saying "This is IMHO incorrect", you are saying in your post that what I said was incorrect when it is in fact correct and the rest of your post agrees with what I said. As for the drives, all new AF drive models - which are all they make now - now only work as AF drives and no longer have a fall-back mode where a jumper over a pair of pins makes the drive appear to be the same as the older drives by modifying the controller processes.
                    Hello, no, my wording is appropriate. I disagreed with
                    Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
                    Remember that not all disk utilities in Linux properly recognize and format Advanced Format drives
                    by saying that
                    Originally posted by brosis View Post
                    only parted/gparted are able to map the disks correctly and also create a GPT table. Fdisk and other tools have not been updated for years and their use is IMHO a legacy.
                    projected to msdos era, the claims would be
                    "not all disk utilities support ntfs"

                    with my counter claim
                    "all of them support it, just not the legacy stuff which no one should ever use"

                    Also, it has nothing to do with drive switch, they still report themselves as 512-sector size drive. There is eventually a flag in harddisk parameters "AF:true/false", but even there is false information, at least by all Seagate and Samsung drives.

                    I hope that clarifies everything.

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                    • #11
                      This is encouraging. What if any are the major issues to look out for with regard to UEFI support under Linux?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kristian Joensen View Post
                        This is encouraging. What if any are the major issues to look out for with regard to UEFI support under Linux?
                        If you're using integrated graphics, nothing. If you are using an add-in card, which you intend to, disabling UEFI in the BIOS is the only way to use your add-in card unless it's UEFI compatible. There may be problems with other add-in cards as well but only GPUs have been reported at this time.

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                        • #13
                          If you want to try UEFI the most secure way is to have got a backup of your firmware chip. Sometimes you can do that with the integrated flash utility. When you have it you could order in case of problems a correct replacement or the mac adress of your integrated nic will be a default one. If you manage to "kill" a laptop with uefi tests you should probably get a spi flashing device when it is not in warrenty. I needed a chip replacement already last year after some simple tests, so update firmware to latest version and hope that most bugs are already fixed (board used was Asus P8Z68-V with buggy firmware 3203). All Asus boards suffer from another cleanup UEFI entry error but there is a trick to avoid it when you use differnet upper/lowercase for the loader (efibootmgr -l) in case you really want to use different optionsets with one kernel as direct boot entry.

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                          • #14
                            you gotta try it

                            I've put together systems where all of the components individually were right off the RHEL supported list but when assembled together, no go. There are obscure interactions between kernel versions, motherboard chipsets and drive firmwares. Sometimes firmware upgrades fix problems and sometimes they break things. I've spent far too much time debugging these things trying to make a stable system. There is no rhyme or reason, only empirical results.

                            You actually have to plug all of those things together, install the OS and run some torture tests before you can call it "working".

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                            • #15
                              Blue-ray (yes, I did mean to type it like that, the colour has an 'e')
                              The marketing department doesn't always adhere to grammar (or logic). The name is 'Blu-Ray', so trying to convince everyone that it's 'Blue-Ray' is like screaming, "I'm a moron!" and then trying to convince everyone that it's a good thing to be a moron because you use a different definition than the rest of the world uses..

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