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Vakman
September 17th, 2009, 02:20 AM
Hello everyone. I am getting another desktop, it does not need to be able to run Linux well. Most of my parts are already chosen.
I do however, need some help deciding on a motherboard. I had one chosen but I would like to know the benefits of getting this one (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=40122&vpn=Crosshair%20III%20Formula&manufacture=ASUS#CustomerReviews) over this one (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=36174). What would I notice? My current build is a Core i7 920, P6T Motherboard. This is for my second desktop, I would like it to be quick.
Note: Processor is AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4GHz.
Just wondering about the motherboards and if the extra money is worth it. Thanks.
Note: Links are embedded in the word "one". I like the title, Republic of Gamers :P
If it would actually help things I am willing to pay more.

All I can see is, the chipset would allow more GPUs if I had the slots and integrated audio is superior to the Gigabyte board.
Either way not sure if one would be better than the other. So help in this front.

HighlyDubious
October 2nd, 2009, 01:02 AM
Hello everyone. I am getting another desktop, it does not need to be able to run Linux well. Most of my parts are already chosen.
I do however, need some help deciding on a motherboard. I had one chosen but I would like to know the benefits of getting this one (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=40122&vpn=Crosshair%20III%20Formula&manufacture=ASUS#CustomerReviews) over this one (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=36174). What would I notice? My current build is a Core i7 920, P6T Motherboard. This is for my second desktop, I would like it to be quick.
Note: Processor is AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4GHz.
Just wondering about the motherboards and if the extra money is worth it. Thanks.
Note: Links are embedded in the word "one". I like the title, Republic of Gamers :P
If it would actually help things I am willing to pay more.

All I can see is, the chipset would allow more GPUs if I had the slots and integrated audio is superior to the Gigabyte board.
Either way not sure if one would be better than the other. So help in this front.

I'm having a problem building my 2nd pc, so I was searching the forums and came across your post. The reason I wanted to comment is because it looks like we are nearly the same. I also have an i7 920 (ASUS Rampage II Gene Mobo) as my 'main' machine, and am currently building an AMD Phenom II X4 965 (ASUS M4A78T-E) for my 'second' machine.

Oh, and also, same as you, my second machine doesn't absolutely have to be strong with Linux. My i7 is the machine I use mostly, and although it's multi-boot (xp x64, Win7 x64, *buntu x64), I mostly use it under *buntu 9.04 (I say *buntu, because I switch between Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu desktop depending on my mood, so I don't want to say only one enviroment, when I mean any of the above). Anyway, just saying, my second machine will mostly be Win7, and back-up to XP (x64). But I do want *buntu on it, just for the times when I might need it.

Anyway, just wanted to say 'howdy' coz it struck me as interesting to find someone with a similar situation. Hope your build is going better than mine. I'm having all kinds of problems with the *buntu install on my second machine, and at this point I don't know if it's a defective mobo, or some inherent incompatibility with the *buntu and the ATI chips that ASUS uses on these boards.

Best Regards!

Vakman
October 4th, 2009, 12:24 AM
I'm having a problem building my 2nd pc, so I was searching the forums and came across your post. The reason I wanted to comment is because it looks like we are nearly the same. I also have an i7 920 (ASUS Rampage II Gene Mobo) as my 'main' machine, and am currently building an AMD Phenom II X4 965 (ASUS M4A78T-E) for my 'second' machine.

Oh, and also, same as you, my second machine doesn't absolutely have to be strong with Linux. My i7 is the machine I use mostly, and although it's multi-boot (xp x64, Win7 x64, *buntu x64), I mostly use it under *buntu 9.04 (I say *buntu, because I switch between Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu desktop depending on my mood, so I don't want to say only one enviroment, when I mean any of the above). Anyway, just saying, my second machine will mostly be Win7, and back-up to XP (x64). But I do want *buntu on it, just for the times when I might need it.

Anyway, just wanted to say 'howdy' coz it struck me as interesting to find someone with a similar situation. Hope your build is going better than mine. I'm having all kinds of problems with the *buntu install on my second machine, and at this point I don't know if it's a defective mobo, or some inherent incompatibility with the *buntu and the ATI chips that ASUS uses on these boards.

Thanks for commenting. Nobody said anything for the longest time. Now then, my main machine is probably similar to yours. 2x 4850s, i7 920, 6GB DDR3. Anyway, decided on the R.O.G. motherboard. Hopefully will have the new 5870 card :D
Best of luck to you here as well, I will check back here for comments :)

HighlyDubious
October 4th, 2009, 03:54 PM
Thanks for commenting. Nobody said anything for the longest time. Now then, my main machine is probably similar to yours. 2x 4850s, i7 920, 6GB DDR3. Anyway, decided on the R.O.G. motherboard. Hopefully will have the new 5870 card :D
Best of luck to you here as well, I will check back here for comments :)

My i7 has an NVidia GTX 285, but other than that, we sound pretty much the same. I could be mistaken, but I think your P6T is mainly the larger version of my own. My i7 mobo is a R.O.G., but to be honest, I'm not completely sure what that really means when it comes to an item by item comparison between the two mobos.

I am curious if you've had any success installing Linux on your AMD PC? As mentioned above, I'm using the ASUS M4A78T-E mobo for my AMD 965. I won't bore you with the whole long story, but bottom line is, I wish I'd never bought it. It seems to be rock solid for Windows, but totally useless for Ubuntu. Even the Live-CD has random crashes. (I've not yet tried installing another distro, that's my next step.)

So I was wondering if your R.O.G. has worked well for you under Linux? If so, which distro have you had success with? I've looked around and found your R.O.G mobo for $208 (US) after shipping, and am tempted to just toss this M4A78T-E and try yours if it works well with Ubuntu.

Vakman
October 6th, 2009, 01:48 AM
My i7 has an NVidia GTX 285, but other than that, we sound pretty much the same. I could be mistaken, but I think your P6T is mainly the larger version of my own. My i7 mobo is a R.O.G., but to be honest, I'm not completely sure what that really means when it comes to an item by item comparison between the two mobos.

I am curious if you've had any success installing Linux on your AMD PC? As mentioned above, I'm using the ASUS M4A78T-E mobo for my AMD 965. I won't bore you with the whole long story, but bottom line is, I wish I'd never bought it. It seems to be rock solid for Windows, but totally useless for Ubuntu. Even the Live-CD has random crashes. (I've not yet tried installing another distro, that's my next step.)

So I was wondering if your R.O.G. has worked well for you under Linux? If so, which distro have you had success with? I've looked around and found your R.O.G mobo for $208 (US) after shipping, and am tempted to just toss this M4A78T-E and try yours if it works well with Ubuntu.

I actually have not purchased it yet. Should be building it at some point next week. I agree, not sure of the differences on R.O.G. boards. Other than a branding. They don't seem all that superior. Yeah, our graphics are different for sure in our Core i7 rig. Running two 4850s. Odd to run in Linux but always had worked. Will be taking on of them out for new build actually. I am not buying a new one yet because I am waiting to see if nVIDIA will have a competitor to the 5870, if not 5870 it is.

So not at all with Linux with your build eh? :P

HighlyDubious
October 6th, 2009, 12:12 PM
I actually have not purchased it yet. Should be building it at some point next week. I agree, not sure of the differences on R.O.G. boards. Other than a branding. They don't seem all that superior. Yeah, our graphics are different for sure in our Core i7 rig. Running two 4850s. Odd to run in Linux but always had worked. Will be taking on of them out for new build actually. I am not buying a new one yet because I am waiting to see if nVIDIA will have a competitor to the 5870, if not 5870 it is.

So not at all with Linux with your build eh? :P

I've tried out several variants of Ubuntu 9.04, but all of them had major problems and wouldn't even install correctly. I plan to try a different distro (PCLOS 2009), but so far have been to busy. Hopefully this weekend.

I have to admit, I'm not very knowledgeable about the different graphics cards. When I first built the i7 machine, I put an ATI 4650 in it. But then I had major headaches in Linux, and that's when I learned that ATI doesn't really put the effort into supporting Linux the way NVidia does. And since I was going to have to go ahead and get a new GPU, I did a little shopping and decided the GTX 285 offered the most power for the money I could afford to spend. It's not that I have any "loyalty" to either company. But I need something that will work in Linux without giving me a black screen half the time when I reboot.

So, when I built this new AMD machine, I had the 4650 laying around, and decided to go ahead and use it since I won't be using this machine for Linux that much. I don't need it to be uber-great in Linux, so (if I can get it working), I figure its ok for me to use the open source drivers for the 4650 on the AMD machine.

Thing is though, what I'm starting to worry about is that the whole M4A78T-E mobo is geared towards ATI chips, and if Linux and ATI don't play well together, then I may end up discovering that the mobo simply wont be stable with any form of Linux.

I was able to use the latest Parted Magic disk to partition the HD on the AMD machine. I ended up booting the Parted Magic disk about a dozen times for different reasons, and most times every thing was fine. But the last time I ran it, there was some kind of glitch during the partitioning process and the machine froze. Since that time, for some bizarre reason, the Parted Magic CD won't even boot 9 times out of 10. I've even re-burned the CD, and reset all my BIOS back to defaults, and it still won't boot most of the time. It just freezes a few seconds after starting to load.

In truth, I'm more than worried. AMD and ATI are so inter-connected, I worry that any mobo which supports AM3 will be based on ATI chipsets. Which means, maybe perhaps there could be a wide scale problem between AM3 (and thus ATI) and any version of Linux. In other words, maybe Linux won't work for my AMD 965 no matter which mobo I use.

So far that is just a pure guess on my part. But I've Googled around and found lots of people experiencing problems when using the AMD 965 CPU with Linux. It worries me because I've found lots of people saying they have problems, but so far, I haven't found any posts which say "Hey, my AMD 965 works GREAT with Linux". Another thing I found was a post in these forums where the guy said he spent a full week trying to get Ubuntu to work with his M4A78T-E mobo, and finally decided it simply would not work. Period. (he never reposted to say if a different distro worked)

So, bottom line is, for now I don't have the time to try installing different distros on the 965 machine to see if any will work without problems. I'm worried that none will work, because of the ATI chips on this mobo, or because the ATI chips on all AM3 boards are a problem. Even so, when I have time, I'll go ahead and keep plugging away at it until I can prove something one way or the other. And that's why I was hoping you had already built your machine, coz if you had, and if you were running Ubuntu (or any other distro) without problems, then I could just toss this mobo and go buy one like yours.

For what it's worth, I posted twice in this forum asking for anyone's advice or past experience with this mobo or chip. But there are so damn many posts every day, mine just got lost in the flood and never got any replies. So even though there is a nice big Ubuntu community, I feel like I'm all alone here trying to work on this problem. And unfortunately, then next local LUG meeting is not for another 2 weeks.

Anyway, enough of my rambling and complaining. I hope your build goes very well. I just finished Googling the 5870, and it sounds great. Me personally, I'd consider the GTX 300, but since there's no telling when it will be out, and since you aren't very concerned about Linux on this machine, you may not have any problems as long as you're happy with the open source drivers.

Please do keep me posted on how your install goes, especially the Linux part.

Best of Luck to you! :D

Vakman
October 6th, 2009, 09:23 PM
I've tried out several variants of Ubuntu 9.04, but all of them had major problems and wouldn't even install correctly. I plan to try a different distro (PCLOS 2009), but so far have been to busy. Hopefully this weekend.

I have to admit, I'm not very knowledgeable about the different graphics cards. When I first built the i7 machine, I put an ATI 4650 in it. But then I had major headaches in Linux, and that's when I learned that ATI doesn't really put the effort into supporting Linux the way NVidia does. And since I was going to have to go ahead and get a new GPU, I did a little shopping and decided the GTX 285 offered the most power for the money I could afford to spend. It's not that I have any "loyalty" to either company. But I need something that will work in Linux without giving me a black screen half the time when I reboot.

So, when I built this new AMD machine, I had the 4650 laying around, and decided to go ahead and use it since I won't be using this machine for Linux that much. I don't need it to be uber-great in Linux, so (if I can get it working), I figure its ok for me to use the open source drivers for the 4650 on the AMD machine.

Thing is though, what I'm starting to worry about is that the whole M4A78T-E mobo is geared towards ATI chips, and if Linux and ATI don't play well together, then I may end up discovering that the mobo simply wont be stable with any form of Linux.

I was able to use the latest Parted Magic disk to partition the HD on the AMD machine. I ended up booting the Parted Magic disk about a dozen times for different reasons, and most times every thing was fine. But the last time I ran it, there was some kind of glitch during the partitioning process and the machine froze. Since that time, for some bizarre reason, the Parted Magic CD won't even boot 9 times out of 10. I've even re-burned the CD, and reset all my BIOS back to defaults, and it still won't boot most of the time. It just freezes a few seconds after starting to load.

In truth, I'm more than worried. AMD and ATI are so inter-connected, I worry that any mobo which supports AM3 will be based on ATI chipsets. Which means, maybe perhaps there could be a wide scale problem between AM3 (and thus ATI) and any version of Linux. In other words, maybe Linux won't work for my AMD 965 no matter which mobo I use.

So far that is just a pure guess on my part. But I've Googled around and found lots of people experiencing problems when using the AMD 965 CPU with Linux. It worries me because I've found lots of people saying they have problems, but so far, I haven't found any posts which say "Hey, my AMD 965 works GREAT with Linux". Another thing I found was a post in these forums where the guy said he spent a full week trying to get Ubuntu to work with his M4A78T-E mobo, and finally decided it simply would not work. Period. (he never reposted to say if a different distro worked)

So, bottom line is, for now I don't have the time to try installing different distros on the 965 machine to see if any will work without problems. I'm worried that none will work, because of the ATI chips on this mobo, or because the ATI chips on all AM3 boards are a problem. Even so, when I have time, I'll go ahead and keep plugging away at it until I can prove something one way or the other. And that's why I was hoping you had already built your machine, coz if you had, and if you were running Ubuntu (or any other distro) without problems, then I could just toss this mobo and go buy one like yours.

For what it's worth, I posted twice in this forum asking for anyone's advice or past experience with this mobo or chip. But there are so damn many posts every day, mine just got lost in the flood and never got any replies. So even though there is a nice big Ubuntu community, I feel like I'm all alone here trying to work on this problem. And unfortunately, then next local LUG meeting is not for another 2 weeks.

Anyway, enough of my rambling and complaining. I hope your build goes very well. I just finished Googling the 5870, and it sounds great. Me personally, I'd consider the GTX 300, but since there's no telling when it will be out, and since you aren't very concerned about Linux on this machine, you may not have any problems as long as you're happy with the open source drivers.

Please do keep me posted on how your install goes, especially the Linux part.

Best of Luck to you! :D

Hopefully, you have a chance to try another distribution this weekend. Then you will know for sure.

Unlike you, I am a bit loyal to AMD/ATi but it is not a deciding factor for me. Black screens are not fun :(
Have you tried install from the alternate installation disk for Ubuntu and then trying to get the drivers from there?

I agree with you on the AMD-ATi and AM3 boards maybe not as solid and stable with Linux but I have no proof to back this up really. Since AMD owns ATi now; it would make sense. Though I find ATi drivers are getting a lot better. I will certainly post what happens next week. Since will have the money by the end of this week and then with shipping though I will probably have like next day shipping because I am excited :P

There are so many posts each day it is easy to get lost and you don't want to have to bump posts. We don't have a local Linux group here so if I have a problem it is: Google, forums, friends and my own mind. Tough for problems like this though.

I will be waiting to see this 300 series from nVIDIA in case the card itself is in my price range and if it is actually a better card. But why would i need to use the open source drivers by the way? Oh right, not same day support for Linux... shame.
The open source drivers would only be 2D.
I am taking on of the 4850s out of the main machine actually until I now if the 300 series will be good.
Then I will either buy the 5870 or the 300 series card.

All for now :)

HighlyDubious
October 8th, 2009, 07:11 AM
Have you tried install from the alternate installation disk for Ubuntu and then trying to get the drivers from there?

Actually, since I happened to have a Ubuntu Server CD, I tried that, and it did actually make it all the way through the install. But when I did an apt-get for xubuntu-desktop, it crapped out with many errors. So even though the Server version is not the exact same as the alternate install version, I figure they are fairly close, and I don't have much hope for that version. (btw, I did the same exact thing with the server version, then apt-get xubuntu-desktop on a AMD X2 5600+ a few weeks ago, so I know that works without problems.)


I agree with you on the AMD-ATi and AM3 boards maybe not as solid and stable with Linux but I have no proof to back this up really. Since AMD owns ATi now; it would make sense. Though I find ATi drivers are getting a lot better. I will certainly post what happens next week. Since will have the money by the end of this week and then with shipping though I will probably have like next day shipping because I am excited :P

I happened to find several interesting articles today. I won't recite all the details, but bottom line is, according to one review of an Phenom II X3 710, they couldn't get Ubuntu 9.04 to install at all -- which is same as me. But when they tried it under 9.10 Alpha 1 (which has a newer kernel), it installed and worked just fine. So, maybe I just need to be a little patient, and wait for 9.10 to be released in 3 weeks.

For what it's worth, on the same website there were some articles about how AMD/ATI has really worked hard to improve their support for Linux, and that they even have full time employees who are focused exclusively on Linux issues.

There were also a few very technical articles about integrating ATI/NVidia/Intel specific code into the newest versions of the Linux kernel, and how that will make a big difference down the road as those changes stabilize and become more mainstream. I didn't read those articles in extreme detail, mostly just skimmed over the technical parts, but bottom line is, it's beginning to look like 9.10 and future versions of the kernel will do a MUCH better job of supporting ATI, and that includes my mobo.

For what its worth, I'm making an educated guess you will experience similar problems with 9.04 as I did, and will discover that 9.10 solves them.

Anyway, here's the link for the review of the Phenom II X3 710 (link (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_phenom2_x3&num=1)). I don't have the links to the other articles (I was reading them on my blackberry while at the Dr.'s Office), but this (link (http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&client=pub-0253814508491313&channel=7336209522&cof=FORID%3A1%3BGL%3A1%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.phor onix.com%2Fphxcms-css%2Fgoogle_search.jpg%3BLH%3A50%3BLW%3A292%3BLBG C%3A000000%3BLC%3A%232b6b29%3BGALT%3A%232b6b29%3BG FNT%3A%233e3e3e%3BGIMP%3A%233e3e3e%3B&domains=www.phoronix.com&sig=jw6jQQQQaVBZd27M&flav=0000&q=ati+linux&btnG=Search&sitesearch=www.phoronix.com)) might point you in the right general direction if you click through a few pages. One thing to note, there were a few articles that mentioned using the 5870 (and 4850) with Linux. So you might be interested in those articles. (The review of the Phenom II X3 710 used a 4870)


I will be waiting to see this 300 series from nVIDIA in case the card itself is in my price range and if it is actually a better card. But why would i need to use the open source drivers by the way? Oh right, not same day support for Linux... shame.
Actually, according to the articles I skimmed over, ATI is not only beginning to offer same-day support for Linux, they are also putting Tux on the box of newer cards, and including Linux drivers on the CD with the product. In other words, according to the articles, ATI is working very hard to seriously improve their support for Linux.

(That wasn't what I saw when I had the 4650 in this i7 machine, but maybe I just didn't know what I was doing. All I know is that I kept seeing a black and screwed up screen about half the time when I rebooted :( )

Anyway, just wanted to pass those articles along to you. Take care, and keep me posted on your new install.

Vakman
October 8th, 2009, 03:45 PM
I would assume they are close since you can still install a DE from it so it shouldn't make a difference.
9.10 will bring lots of new things and hopefully lots of things will work better.
This (http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Ubuntu_Jaunty_Installation_Guide#Installing_Open_S ource_Edge_Drivers) might help you install drivers. Many different options. Scroll up a bit, I don't know why I put you at the Edge drivers. Might be worth a shot though 9.10 is in beta and from what I have read, it is very stable especially for a beta.

5870 is out and does not have same day support for Linux it seems but I have also heard about them doing that. Will be great when all cards have same day support.

Anyway I will keep you posted. I will be trying a different RAM manufacturer than I usually use. Mushkin this time, should be good. Here is to hoping.

cascade9
October 8th, 2009, 03:47 PM
I do however, need some help deciding on a motherboard. I had one chosen but I would like to know the benefits of getting this one (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=40122&vpn=Crosshair%20III%20Formula&manufacture=ASUS#CustomerReviews) over this one (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=36174). What would I notice?

I'm probably a bit late with this, but as you have already noticed, the only real differences are the sound chip, and is in the PCI-E slots/bandwidth lanes.

The Asus ROG is a 790FX chipset. PCI-E 2x16 or 1x16 + 2x8 (or 4x8 but that doesn't matter as these boards only have 2 16xPCI-E slots) SupremeFX X-fi (creative)

The Gigabyte MA-790XT-UD4P is a 790X chipset. PCI-E 1x16 or 2x8. Realtek ALC889A

With the PCI-E, you would only noctice a difference if you were running 2 cards in crossfire. Even then you would probably need a benchmarking suite to notice. If its your 2nd machine, I guess you would be playing games on your main machine, so thats all kind of pointless.

As for the sound card..the x-fi has the edge on a 889A. I don't think that would be enough to make me get the Asus myself, you could get an X-fi card _and_ a 2nd hdd for the price difference. From my time in windows world, I know that a 2nd hdd can really help performance, but I dont know how much it helps with linux.

I think that the main reasons for the price difference is the 'top of the line' chipsets always charge a premium, and Asus boards seem to be a few % more expensive than the Gigabyte boards (at least they are here, consistantly).

As for the AMD/Ati AM3 chipsets, they are just the 'old' AM2+ chipsets setup to use DDR3. I've been running a 790X chipset (AM2+ DDR2, Athlon dual-core X2) for a fair while now, with no issues. I wopuldnt be suprised if some of the issues reported from Phenom II chips is actually from the BIOS versions, IIRC theres been a few boards that would have all sorts of strange issues with the newer CPUs untill BIOS updated.

http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/News/Phenomenon-Redux-AMD-Phenom-II-in-Linux-Test


The Phenom II Z940 processor is officially clocked at 3 GHz, which the Linux Kernel 2.6.27 recognized, although /proc/cpuinfo reported the model itself as still unknownI would guess that everything from 2.6.27 should work, but that is just a guess from that link.

Good luck on your build ;)

Vakman
October 8th, 2009, 03:54 PM
I'm probably a bit late with this, but as you have already noticed, the only real differences are the sound chip, and is in the PCI-E slots/bandwidth lanes.

Just a bit late :P
Yeah, I knew most of that but originally I didn't notice the chipset difference. It also was not that important to me in the end. Though I am still getting the R.O.G. board. Your information may help someone else though :)

HighlyDubious
October 10th, 2009, 06:50 AM
I would assume they are close since you can still install a DE from it so it shouldn't make a difference.

Yes, that is what I thought also. And as I said, it did make it through the minimal installation process. I don't plan to use that machine for a server, so I didn't actually install any of the server related software. That means the only things that got installed were the bare minimal core functions for Ubuntu. But even though this particular type of minimal install worked, there's no way to know if there were underlying instabilities just waiting to jump out. And, as I said, when I tried to install the xubuntu DE, it failed with many errors.


9.10 will bring lots of new things and hopefully lots of things will work better.
Yes, I'm crossing my fingers for that to be true.

My local LUG meeting is on the 17th, and 9.10 is scheduled for release on the 29th. So I think I'll take the AMD machine to the LUG to see if any of the local guru's can get it working with 9.04. If they can, it will probably teach me some things I really ought to know. Later on, I'll wipe that and do a clean install of 9.10 (or I may edit my GRUB to allow me to choose). This way, just in case 9.10 doesn't work out of the box, then the things I learn at the LUG should enable me to get 9.10 working.

The alternative would be to not go to the LUG, and when 9.10 comes out, if it doesn't work, I'm stuck on my own and will have only online resources for help. So to my mind, it makes more sense to take the machine there, and learn what I can while the penguins are flocking. That way I'm much better prepared when 9.10 comes out.

I know I could easily test drive 9.10 on my own -- especially since we are only about 19 days away from it's release, but for some reason I'm just not feeling that adventurous right now.


This (http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Ubuntu_Jaunty_Installation_Guide#Installing_Open_S ource_Edge_Drivers) might help you install drivers. Many different options. Scroll up a bit, I don't know why I put you at the Edge drivers. Might be worth a shot though 9.10 is in beta and from what I have read, it is very stable especially for a beta.

Thanks for the link. Once I get things up and running I'll be sure to use it so I can be certain I'm do things correctly from the start. Maybe I can even avoid a few of those black screens on re-boot. ;)


5870 is out and does not have same day support for Linux it seems but I have also heard about them doing that. Will be great when all cards have same day support.

Yah, to be honest, I was pretty surprised when I read the articles on that site talking about how AMD/ATI has worked so hard to do much better in the Linux community. Coz it didn't reflect what I was feeling when I tried using the 4650 a few months ago. As I was reading the articles, I almost felt like I must be a complete dummy to have had so many problems if ATI is allegedly doing so much to support Linux. The 4650 is old enough to not need same-day support, but bottom line is, perhaps ATI really is doing alot more now than it did in the past, but it still has a ways to go before it's up to the level a complete newbie expects.


Anyway I will keep you posted. I will be trying a different RAM manufacturer than I usually use. Mushkin this time, should be good. Here is to hoping.

Best of luck to you on that build. I'll probably be busy with other projects this weekend, so I may not get around to trying other distros on the AMD machine. But if I do, I'll be sure to let you know.

Cheers! :guitar:

HighlyDubious
October 10th, 2009, 08:24 AM
As for the AMD/Ati AM3 chipsets, they are just the 'old' AM2+ chipsets setup to use DDR3. I've been running a 790X chipset (AM2+ DDR2, Athlon dual-core X2) for a fair while now, with no issues. I wopuldnt be suprised if some of the issues reported from Phenom II chips is actually from the BIOS versions, IIRC theres been a few boards that would have all sorts of strange issues with the newer CPUs untill BIOS updated.

I realize your post was mainly directed towards helping Thisislaw figure out the difference between his two mobo options, but some of what you said applied to my situation, so I hope you don't mind if I comment also.

You may be right about the BIOS issues. Last week I came across a old thread on some over-clockers forum where several people were discussing numerous problems with getting my model of mobo to work with Windows. Bottom line, they were trying each new BIOS version as it came out, and trying to tweak every setting, and they still had major headaches. So, even though my mobo is stable under Windows (never version of BIOS than they had in that thread), it is definitely possible that the BIOS on that mobo needs more tweaking to work well under Linux.


http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/News/Phenomenon-Redux-AMD-Phenom-II-in-Linux-Test

I would guess that everything from 2.6.27 should work, but that is just a guess from that link.

The mobo (Asus M3A78-EM) in your link is a predecessor of my mobo (M4A78T-E). But there are a number of differences.

Mobo ..... M3A78-EM .... M4A78T-E
CPU ...... 940 ......... 965
Socket ... AM2+ ........ AM3
SB ....... SB700 ....... SB750
NB ....... 780G ........ 790GX
RAM ...... DDR2 ........ DDR3

I confess that I don't know the first thing about the differences between chipsets, but although these mobos share a common lineage, there are clearly enough differences to make it difficult to draw too many conclusions from a review that was done almost 10 months ago using a different processor. The fact that both processors are Phenom II's, is about the only similarity. (BTW, as best I can tell, that site made a small typo. I believe the CPU they tested was a Phenom II X4 940, not a Phenom II Z940, as they stated)

So, all I'm saying is, yes, I agree 100% that I might be dealing with a BIOS related issue. But I'll just have to see what ends up happening at the LUG, and when 9.10 comes out.

One other thing to mention, this is a quote from page 2 of the AM3 review I linked to above (Link (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_phenom2_x3&num=2))


With the AMD Phenom II X3 710 we used an ASRock M3A780GXH/128M motherboard for testing. This ATX motherboard uses the AMD 780G Chipset with the newer AMD SB710 Southbridge. We will have a full review on this AM3 ASRock motherboard in the near future. When it comes to this motherboard and the newer SB710, we were unsuccessful in booting the Ubuntu 9.04 x86_64 LiveCD (as a USB drive) in this configuration. We ran into the problem of being dropped back down to BusyBox. When switching to the Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 1 release that uses the Linux 2.6.30 kernel, Ubuntu had installed without issues on this motherboard.

Let me say again, I truly know virtually nothing about chipsets, but if I made a newbie guess, I'd say the 790GX and SB750 on my mobo might be "newer" than the 780G and SB710 of the review mobo. Since they couldn't get those chips to work with 9.04, I'm not surprised that I have been unsuccessful.

And quoting again:


However, as AMD has yet to support the Linux 2.6.30 kernel with their proprietary Catalyst driver (nor have they even introduced Linux 2.6.29 support yet)....

I understand they are referring to the graphics driver, but if AMD/ATI wasn't supporting 2.6.29 or .30 with their graphics driver at the time of that review, then I would not be totally surprised if there were still a potential for problems with their newer NB and SB chipsets under 9.04.

That's also a reason why I'm closely watching Thisislaw's build, because his ASUS board has 790FX/SB750, while mine has 790GX/SB750. And I *REALLY* don't know what the difference is between the FX -vs- GX on the 790 chips. But if they are that close, then I'm guessing he'll have the same problems I had. (unless, of course, if ASUS has already 'fixed' his BIOS.)

(BTW, I just now looked at the product information of the GX (Link (http://www.amd.com/us-en/0,,3715_15532_15533,00.html)) & FX (Link (http://www.amd.com/us-en/0,,3715_15337_15354_15358,00.html)) chips on AMD's site, but those pages were clearly written by marketing and PR turds, and so it's almost impossible to make any direct comparison between the two chips based on the info on those pages. The only obvious difference is that the GX has support for a GPU on the mobo, but other than that, it's all hype and marketing-speak)

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts though, and I'll be very following closely what happens with Thisislaw's build.

cascade9
October 10th, 2009, 12:04 PM
Well...the SB7xx series was released (to replace the older SB600 which I'm running) at pretty much the same time IIRC. The features differ a little though, but to be simple-

SB710 = All features from SB700 + 'Super I/O' (it can have more SATA ports than the 700), 'Direct communication channel' between the CPU and southbridge, and more overclocking stuff.

SB750 = All features from SB710 but with extra, more advanced overclocking stuff (Overdrive 3.0) and software RAID5.

I would _guess_ that if your going to have an issues from the SB, it would be more likely to happen on the higher numbered, more featured southbridges. I dont have any data to back that up though.

As for the chipsets... the 790FX/790X/770 was 1st, late 2007. 790GX was early/mid 2008.

On the 'z940'- yes, technically it is a x4 940. Its from the chipfreaks looking at the processor number on the chip itself- 'black edition' CPUs (unlocked) have a different numberstring.

HDZ 940 XCJ 4DGI - AMD 940 Black edition.
HDX 945 FBK 4DGI - AMD 945 'standard'

All the black edition CPUs I've seen start with HDZ- and since the HD is on both its redundant. Its totally unneeded as AMD hasnt actually released 'non-black editions' on any of the CPUs (there is no 'standard' X4 940) but if there was it would make sense to call one a different name, Rather than the mildly confusing mess AMD has left us with

Z 940- 3ghz L1 = 2MB L2 = 6MB HT- 1.8GHz TDP- 125 W AM2+ (which will run in AM3 anyway)
X4 945- 3ghz L1 = 2MB L2 = 6MB HT- 2 GHz TDP- 125 W AM3
X4 945- 3ghz L1 = 2MB L2 = 6MB HT- 2 GHz TDP- 95 W AM3
X4 B95- 3ghz L1 = 2MB L2 = 6MB HT- 2 GHz TPD- 95 W AM3

But I spose the confusion is no worse than Intel these days.

I really cant say for sure whats happening with your problems, but (again a pure guess) I doubt its the ATI-AM3 chipsets. ATI video still doesnt play as well with linux as nVidia (IMO anyway), and the added complexity of a intergrated graphcs doesnt make it any easier. That along with some possible BIOS issues could make the whole thing seem far more of a PITA than it should be.

I tend to avoid intergrated graphics boards, partially for this reason. Its not like your giving up a top of the line GPU, and low end video cards are really cheap.

I'm pretty sure I've seen at least 2 reviews where people got a new AM3 motherboard and CPU, and the board didnt have support for the CPU in BIOS, so they needed to beg or borrow a older CPU to just get the BIOS going.

I really, really hope that most/all of the issues with these boards are from older BIOSes from the factory, and from people not quite knowing what they are doing (again, IIRC, the ATI AM3 boards will not use an original phenom, its got to be a phenom II...even though all older AM2+ and AM2 CPUs will run). Hopefully the newer boards will have newer BIOSes and the issues should reduce or dissapear over time.

BTW, if your really that concerned about ATI AM3/DDR3 boards, the nForce 980a is out now. Like the ATI chipsets, its just an older chipset reconfigured to use DDR3

http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,675477/Nforce-780a-SLI-becomes-Nforce-980a-SLI-An-old-Nvidia-Chip-with-a-new-name/News/

HighlyDubious
October 10th, 2009, 11:18 PM
WOW! Cascade9, unlike me, you clearly *KNOW* your chips and chipsets. There's so much good info there, I hardly know where to begin! :lol:

I'd have to agree, if I were to _guess_, it makes sense that the 9.04 Live CD might have more problems with "newer" stuff (mobo's, chipsets, BIOS, etc), than with older ones.

Obviously I didn't know about the processor number on the chip itself. I barely looked at mine when I built my system. About all I did was glance at it to make sure that somewhere on the CPU it said '965', and the rest I just ignored. And truth be told, the last 'z' chip I knew anything about was the old 'z80'! LoL

As for the integrated graphics on my mobo, I disabled the onboard graphics from the BIOS as soon as I turned it on the first time. It's kinda silly really. One of the reasons I bought that particular mobo was because it has DVI and HDMI connectors built in, but if the past is any indication, I'll never ever use the onboard graphics. So I really just threw away the portion of my money that paid for those parts.

The other thing I did right from the start was to update the BIOS (even before installing any OS). Honestly, I did it more as a test, just to see how complicated it is to upgrade by using the built-in options over the internet. (I bought a brand new 1500VA/900W UPS to use with that system, so I wasn't worried about unexpected power failures.) The net result being, I've got the current latest BIOS on that mobo, and my Windows (XP and Win 7, both x64) are both completely stable and solid. But so far no joy on Ubuntu. (I've still haven't tried to install any other distros.)

I wouldn't say that I'm "concerned" about the ATI chips. It's more a case that I'm trying to figure out why my brand new top of the line AM3 computer has random crashes with the Ubuntu/Xubuntu 9.04 Live CD's. If it's not already obvious, I'm really very new at all this. I've read so many links from Google searches that my eyes are spinning, and in the end, all I can do is put together little pieces of info from several sources in the hopes that something will make sense. In other words, I'm really just making a _guess_ as to what is causing my problems. When I built my new i7 920 machine, I didn't have even one single problem. It all worked perfectly from the start (well, except for driver problems with the ATI 4650 under Linux, but after I replaced it with a GTX 285, those problems vanished). So it's frustrating to have these problem with my AMD 965 machine.

I want to thank you for taking the time to explain so much. It's pretty obvious that you know what you're talking about, and if I've learned one thing in my long and mostly wasted life, its that listening to people like you is usually a pretty good idea. :D

HighlyDubious
October 18th, 2009, 05:47 PM
I'm looking forward to finding out how Thisislaw did with his build. I sure hope he was successful in getting some variant of Ubuntu working on his AMD machine.

As for me, the LUG was a total waste. Unfortunately, I got to the installfest 30 mins late, and the person helping me barely knew more than I did. He uses Mandriva, and had never installed Ubuntu before. So he really didn't know anything when it came to why my system was having problems. As a result, by the time I got the machine all plugged in, and ran through the install a couple of times, etc, everything was pretty much over as far as installfest was concerned. I did talk to one guy who seemed to know a little more than anyone else. But his idea was that the failures were due to CPU overheating, which I'm 100% positive is not the case in my situation. (I've run memtest86+ v4.0 for 3 full cycles, and Prime95 for 30 mins, all with no stress or heat failures)

End result, the whole morning was a total waste of time and effort for me.

When I brought the machine back home, I tried to install the beta of 9.10 myself. Based on the review I quoted above, I had hopes that it might work. But it locked up in the exact same random ways during installation. So now I'm starting to be convinced that (with the current BIOS), this mobo simply will not run any flavor of Ubuntu -- past, present, or future. Perhaps some future upgrade to the BIOS will change that, but for now my mobo is seems to be "Windows Only". :( :( :(

Right at this moment, I'm trying an install of PCLOS 2009. I doubt it will do any better, but it can't hurt to try. If that doesn't work, I might try some other distros. In the past I've used PCLOS (on another machine), and briefly played with Puppy and DSL. But I've never used any of the other major distros. Maybe one of them will work.

Or, if Thisislaw was able to get his ASUS mobo to work, I might toss mine in the trash and go buy one like his. Right now I just don't know if it's worth the extra money to save me countless hours of frustration.

So, keep us posted Thisislaw! :)

HighlyDubious
October 18th, 2009, 07:33 PM
Just a quick update:

PCLOS seemed to install just fine, and went through a full update without any visible problems. I'm hoping that means PCLOS will be nice and stable on the AMD machine.

... Which is good, and not so good.

It's good because it means the flaw is not 'Linux' (in the generic sense), and means there is hope for this mobo. And at the very least, I now have some Linux Distro up and running.

It's bad in that I'd prefer to only use one distro on all my machines.

PCLOS was the very first distro I used (way back in early '08 ). And truth be told, I think it's great. Very simple for a Windows user to pick up and start using. But back at that time I ran into a few issues where some things didn't work, and found that the community support was not quite as strong as I needed. That's why I switched to Ubuntu, and pretty much ignored PCLOS ever since.

Now I'm torn, because help for Ubuntu is available everywhere you look on the 'net, while PCLOS help is mainly just within their forums and a few other places. And, to be honest, I've discovered that as I get older, it's getting harder for me to remember stuff. That means it's hard enough for me to learn one distro, and trying to learn two kinda makes my brain ache.

Anyway, the bottom line is, PCLOS seems to be stable on this system. And since this machine will primarily be used for Windows, I guess that will have to be "good enough for now."

Even so, I'm still looking forward to discovering how Thisislaw did with his ASUS mobo and Ubuntu.

CharlesA
October 18th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Maybe try The beta of 9.10 to see if it crashes?

I'm just throwing that out there, since I've not have any problems with the machines I've put Ubuntu on. One had an A-bit mobo with ATI onboard and one was a gigabyte with no onboard video.

I dunno what could be causing the problems you are having.

HighlyDubious
October 18th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Opps, possible storm clouds on the horizon.

In my focus on just trying to get "something that will work", I overlooked the fact that PCLOS is currently only 32-bit. As mentioned, this machine will mainly be used under Windows, but I do plan to use it with Linux. It's got 8GB of RAM, and I was planning to run some type of virtual machine on it as needed. But running Win7 (or even XP) as a client, with only a gig is just not what I had in mind. The machine has tons of memory, and limiting myself to 3GB ain't gonna work. So even though I'm glad to see that some flavor of Linux is working on this mobo, I'm sad to say that PCLOS can't be my final solution. :(

HighlyDubious
October 19th, 2009, 02:21 AM
Maybe try The beta of 9.10 to see if it crashes?

Thanks for trying to help. Unfortunately, that was not a solution. As I said above (in msg #16)


When I brought the machine back home, I tried to install the beta of 9.10 myself. Based on the review I quoted above, I had hopes that it might work. But it locked up in the exact same random ways during installation. So now I'm starting to be convinced that (with the current BIOS), this mobo simply will not run any flavor of Ubuntu -- past, present, or future.

I had been putting my highest hopes on 9.10, but as far as random crashing, it acted exactly like 9.04 on this mobo.


I'm just throwing that out there, since I've not have any problems with the machines I've put Ubuntu on. One had an A-bit mobo with ATI onboard and one was a gigabyte with no onboard video.

I dunno what could be causing the problems you are having.

Sure wish I could be having the luck you've had! And to be honest, I have also had VERY good luck with Ubuntu -- on OTHER machines.

But it's becoming more and more obvious that this mobo is simply not going to work with Ubuntu under the current BIOS. Perhaps I need to start sifting through the forums to figure out which AM3/DDR3 mobo's are known and proven to be fully compatible with Ubuntu 9.xx. I'd hate to throw away the money I spent on this mobo. But at this point it is starting to boil down to either spending a lot of time trying to figure out which other distro might work -- and then having to learn the differences of that new distro. Or accepting defeat and just replace the mobo.




BTW, just as a general comment on this topic. Up until now I've only tried installing the x64 variants of Ubuntu on this mobo. I have thought about testing Ubuntu x32, but even if the x32 version worked, I don't know if I'd care. I've pretty much already decided that I don't want to take the memory penalty of x32. So even if Ubuntu x32 worked, I really doubt I would use it. And if I'm not going to use x32, then what's the point of seeing if it works?

HighlyDubious
October 21st, 2009, 08:28 AM
I posted this in another thread, but since I've been discussing this problem in this thread as well, just wanted to add a quick note here to mention that I might have solved the problem I've been having.

After reading (in the other thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8138640&posted=1#post8138640)) about possible memory speed problems, I started doing some more research and finally decided to go into my BIOS with the intention to reset my speed back to 1333Mhz.

That's when I noticed that I've been lying. I *THOUGHT* I'd upgraded the BIOS when I built the system, but apparently I didn't. There it was, plain as day, telling me that I was using v2001 of the BIOS, when all along I thought I was using v2105.

So, I went ahead and upgraded from v2001 to v2105, and after doing so, I made sure the memory speed was set to 1333Mhz.

At which point, I booted into XP and Win7 just to double check they were still working (they were), and then tried again to install Ubuntu 9.04 (x64)

This time it went PERFECTLY!

Not one single glitch or weirdness. I've been running 9.04 for a few mins, and done a full update of all packages. So far, it feels rock solid. Not even the smallest hint of instability. In addition, I've just now added Xunbuntu-Desktop with Synaptic, and still no hint of weirdness.

So, I'm sorry to admit that I've been lying all along. I *THOUGHT* I'd upgraded to the latest BIOS, but I had not.

At this moment I don't know if the solution was upgrading the BIOS, or dropping back to 1333Mhz. But one way or the other, my system appears to be 100% stable and working great with Ubuntu 9.04 (x64)

Thanks for all the help and comments posted by everyone. And I truly hope this thread will be useful to the next person with the same problems on an ASUS M4A78T-E mobo.

:guitar:

Vakman
November 23rd, 2009, 07:42 AM
So I will read all that I have missed since I have not been on shortly but I have an update.
I am building the desktop finally.
Decided the laptop was overpriced.
So now I need to wait for it to ship and such.
Total: $2400 CAD it should be around.
Went for the new ATI Radeon 5970 ($700 CAD).
Likely no Linux support -_-
We will see.
Ships in 2-8 days but the 5970 will likely ship later since it is out of stock, will speak more here when it is built.
Hopefully the latest I have it by is the 3rd. And hopefully have it built by the 4th.
Bye for now.