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new h/w build, new to Linux, concerned about compatitibily issues

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  • new h/w build, new to Linux, concerned about compatitibily issues

    I found this site today and spent time reviewing several articles and discussions to get a sense of the current state of driver support for Linux running on various hardware (especially CPU & GPU). I'm still running an ancient XP machine I built in '08 (A8V Deluxe w/Opteron 185). It has served me well and still satisfies nearly my computing needs -- except, notably, browsing. I tend to put off upgrades as long as possible. Upgrades are so damn painful!

    I just finished ordering parts for my new machine... 7700K (which I will be underclocking, but that's another story), ASRock Z270 Extreme4, 32GB DDR4 (2400), 850 EVO, EVGA GeForce GTX-1050.

    This time, I'm done with MS. I'm refuse to jump into the Win10 quagmire. The problem is, I have zero Linux experience. Although I'm an engineer (in grad school 35 years ago, I learned System 360 assembly, Pascal and a bit of Cobol), my programming experience since then has been limited to writing DOS batch files and a few HTML tags. But I've been assured that once I make the transition to Linux, I'll never look back. No doubt. Nevertheless, I'm apprehensive about the transition. To make things smoother, I plan to mount my existing XP installation in VirtualBox and only use Linux to run the VM and for browsing. That way I transition my other apps to Linux gradually, as necessary.

    My immediate concern is hardware compatibility. The last thing I want is to end up spending countless hours chasing down driver issues and having to futz with BIOS and command line settings. I now realize I should have asked questions first, before purchasing my components. For example, it seems that the 850 EVO SSD I purchased is notorious for giving Linux users headaches or heartache. Now, after reading some spirited discussions here, it seems like there are issues with my CPU and video card selections...

    Originally posted by aufkrawall View Post
    ...desktop performance of Nvidia with X is actually partially worse than of Windows XP"
    Originally posted by AdrianBc View Post
    ...with the Linux drivers, when doing complex rendering in OpenGL the visual quality is worse with the Intel GPUs than with NVIDIA, some details may not be displayed at all with Intel
    Originally posted by jaylittle View Post
    Been using Linux on my t460s with Skylake since kernel 4.4 and one thing is certain: 4.9 is the first kernel release that has made me feel free Skylake is 100% good to go.... None of the little glitches and ocassional drm related crashes from before.
    Originally posted by Hibbelharry View Post
    Since there is no 3.0 release for some years, we should all know intel stopped supporting linux at all
    These comments are not at all reassuring. It sounds like 'good to go' is the exception rather than the rule. Makes me wonder how long before my Kaby Lake CPU will be 'solid' in Linux! Although some of this banter is fueled by brand prejudice (AdrianBc defended Nvidia: " I have used various NVIDIA cards during the last 12 years and I have never had any problem with X."), there's enough here to give me a migraine.

    What I want is an OS is that is solid on today's hardware... no tweaks, no issues to research or debate in forums (God bless them all, I'm the admin for a professional forum). An OS should just run, out-of-the-box, without complaint, and without excess baggage. And no futzing. The whole reason I want to dump Windows is I grew tired of all the time I had to spend to whip XP into submission (and WinMe before that). It took years before I felt in control of my work environment. Now I'm told XP won't run on modern HW, at least not directly. In any case, browsing with XP-based browsers is getting more and more challenging. Sigh.

    Sorry for the rant. I'm hoping you guys can provide some reassurance, or guidance, before I dive in to see what's involved in standing up Linux on my new machine. I've been advised to go with Mint + Xfce, although I couldn't tell you why ;-)