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View Full Version : [ubuntu] $500 Ubuntu Computer, advice:



caprice
June 16th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Hi, I am a disenfranchised Apple user. I became such after becoming a disenfranchised Windows user. Linux is the way of the future. With that said I'm ready to start making the switch.
I need to start building a computer. I built computers in latter middle school early high school and used to game on a lot of them. I found my old rig I built freshman year and have already looked into finishing it but the hardware is over 5 years old! To give you an idea of my old rig, it uses DDR400, Pentium 4 478pin 800MHz FSB, AGP8x, and IDE drives, although I can install some SATA drives but they would be the first generation of such, 1.5GBs transfer rate I believe.

All my computer building stopped after I bought a Powerbook those 5 years ago and have used it ever since, forgetting about gaming and computer building and focusing on making music and using the Mac for Garageband and the internet. Well, Apple has become a cult in my opinion, and they are currently under investigation for anti-trust laws with their new iAd business and cutting Flash out of the picture. Dissatisfaction and Disenfranchised.

I've been out of the computer building game for a looong time obviously and have some ideas on how to start building a new rig, but not-so-much when it comes to Linux, Ubuntu obviously. I remember that back when Redhat and Fedora was popular I used them some but they didn't have a lot of the necessary drivers for the equipment I had at the time, and I didn't have the patience to search them out if they existed at all.

What I need help on though:

I want to build a $500 Ubuntu rig. The most intensive things to be done on it will be music creation (I'm already trying to get to know Jokosher :p) and maybe gaming. But I'm an old gamer, I'm talking CS and RTCW, maybe enemy territory but even that was too new for me. I would like to do video editing also but that will be further down the road.

I don't know the best hardware to choose to go with Ubuntu, that's why I'm posting here asking for help. i.e. I used to be an ATI fan but I've read so far Nvidia chips are more compatible - issues like that.

so any and all help is much appreciated!

thank you

Linuxforall
June 16th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Stick to nvidia for graphics and get a quad core Intel as they are going cheap now and you will be fine, get minimum of 4GB of RAM.

caprice
June 16th, 2010, 04:28 PM
Thank you for the quick response!

What kind of motherboard should I look into?

I'm seeing that the socket types are:

LGA 775
LGA 1156
LGA 1366

or is it personal preference on this one?

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 04:28 PM
I wouldn't worry a lot about hardware compatibility issues stopping you up. I also would be hesitant to immediately cast out AMD/ATI as an option. I have used my onboard video before and it works great. (..it's ATI) .. I also use an Athlon II 240.. my current graphics card is an Nvidia, but the choice was based purely on cost.

Now maybe I wouldn't be saying that if I had just tried to set up my Wacom tablet with ATI running the show, but I just know I see plenty of people happily using every possible combination of Intel/AMD - Nvidia/ATI .. you could be avant garde and get a VIA processor with S3 graphics card.. but that'd just be weird.

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 04:30 PM
775 has been around for a while, but it's perfectly awesome and probably the cheapest route for a good-but-cheap intel system. I built my brother's system with a Q6600 and it's been great.

sorry for the double post.. I suppose I could've tacked this on to my last one.

caprice
June 16th, 2010, 04:34 PM
No, it's fine!

Thank you so much for the posts, im starting to learn again about all this stuff and damn has it all come a long way...

Drenriza
June 16th, 2010, 04:37 PM
forget about Intel.

Get a motherboard with an AM3 socket. 4gb ddr3 ram. Phenom II X6 1055T 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB)).

and that should be quite nice and not to expensive. If not Phenom II X6 get an X4.

An cheap graphic card to satisfy you ATI HD 5450.
NOTE: for the need you have an on-board graphic card should be able to cut it. Example
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 04:38 PM
Why would he get the latest AMD processor when he's on a budget of $500?

caprice
June 16th, 2010, 04:40 PM
well I guess that budget can grow, because it may take a month to get all the stuff together. Let's say:

$500 for just the motherboard, CPU, and RAM.


then I'll worry about video card and hard drives later...

cascade9
June 16th, 2010, 04:41 PM
I would assume $500 US, and you are in the US. I would also assuem that you need a whole box (case, power supply, motherboard, CPU, RAM, video, HDD, DVD, video card, and possibly keyboard/mouse). If you dont want a monitor out of the $500, you should be able to build a nice system for that.

AMD is generally better in the 'bang for buck' stakes. AFAIK ATI is currently a little ahead in bang for buck as well, but the whole GPU scene changes so fast it can be hard to keep up. With your stated use, you arent going to need an expensive video card anyway ;)

If you have a preference for AMD or Intel, its best to get that out of the way at the beginning IMO.


Stick to nvidia for graphics and get a quad core Intel as they are going cheap now and you will be fine, get minimum of 4GB of RAM.

nVidia is generally better for long term support, but the newer ATI GPUs are good (but its always a good idea to check before you go buying them). By the time that ATI discontinues support for the newer GPUs, the opensource drivers should be stable and at least decent.

As for 'quad core intel being cheap now'- what, on a $500 budget? The cheapest Intel quad I can see is a Q8300 ($150at newegg), and that is a lot more than the AMD options. Its also a socket that is already 'obsolete' (LGA 775).

4GB of RAM might be pushing things as well, even 'obsolete' 2x2GB DDR2 800 is $85 at newegg. Better off with DDR3, its faster, cooler (temprature) and only a few $$$ more. as time goes on DDR3 will get cheaper, while DDR2 will probably rise.

LGA 775 Core2Quad + 4GB DDR2 800 + a decent motherboard will add up to about $275-300. Doesnt leave much for HDD, DVD, case, power supply and a video card......($50 minimum for 500Gb, which is as small as I would go for the OPs uses, $20 minimum for a DVD burner). Do-able, but something is going to be junk IMO.

*edit-


forget about Intel.

Get a motherboard with an AM3 socket. 4gb ddr3 ram. Phenom II X6 1055T 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB)).

and that should be quite nice and not to expensive. If not Phenom II X6 get an X4.

An cheap graphic card to satisfy you ATI HD 5450.

X6 is $200, minimum. 4GB DDR3 is near enough to $100. Sorry, bad idea on a $500 budget.

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 04:48 PM
The system I'm typing this with has:

AMD II X2 240
GIGABYTE MA785GM-US2H
GIGABYTE 512MB GDDR3 - NVIDIA 9600GT
8GB of Corsair XMS2 (DDR2 800)
two 640GB Western Digital HDD
Sony Optiarc DVD-RW (cheapest one I could get at the time, I think)

I started with 4GB and later upgraded to 8 when I found the same sticks, used, on Ebay.
I could pull up the receipts or otherwise try to remember how much I spent, but initially, it was very cheap. I think I ended up racking up costs in excess of a grand, but I bought a new monitor, wall mount, case, better fans, etc.. Though I normally try to build it all once and upgrade as little as possible, it turned out to be very cost effective for me to wait on the memory upgrade, for instance.. (got the same sticks for like half retail.. hardly used at all)

caprice
June 16th, 2010, 04:49 PM
I would assume $500 US, and you are in the US. I would also assuem that you need a whole box (case, power supply, motherboard, CPU, RAM, video, HDD, DVD, video card, and possibly keyboard/mouse). If you dont want a monitor out of the $500, you should be able to build a nice system for that.

AMD is generally better in the 'bang for buck' stakes. AFAIK ATI is currently a little ahead in bang for buck as well, but the whole GPU scene changes so fast it can be hard to keep up. With your stated use, you arent going to need an expensive video card anyway ;)

If you have a preference for AMD or Intel, its best to get that out of the way at the beginning IMO.



nVidia is generally better for long term support, but the newer ATI GPUs are good (but its always a good idea to check before you go buying them). By the time that ATI discontinues support for the newer GPUs, the opensource drivers should be stable and at least decent.

As for 'quad core intel being cheap now'- what, on a $500 budget? The cheapest Intel quad I can see is a Q8300 ($150at newegg), and that is a lot more than the AMD options. Its also a socket that is already 'obsolete' (LGA 775).

4GB of RAM might be pushing things as well, even 'obsolete' 2x2GB DDR2 800 is $85 at newegg. Better off with DDR3, its faster, cooler (temprature) and only a few $$$ more. as time goes on DDR3 will get cheaper, while DDR2 will probably rise.

LGA 775 Core2Quad + 4GB DDR2 800 + a decent motherboard will add up to about $275-300. Doesnt leave much for HDD, DVD, case, power supply and a video card......($50 minimum for 500Gb, which is as small as I would go for the OPs uses, $20 minimum for a DVD burner). Do-able, but something is going to be junk IMO.

*edit-



X6 is $200, minimum. 4GB DDR3 is near enough to $100. Sorry, bad idea on a $500 budget.

Fantastic Post! Thank you!

I still have my Lanboy case from back in the day with two fans in it, an old DVD drive that connects through IDE cable and a 350W PSU (even though I imagine 350W is not enough for todays standard?)
I have a VGA monitor, mouse, and keyboard. So I'm covered in those departments.
And yes $500 US.
So I should go for DDR3, alright done. Go for Intel, as opposed to AMD, God its still the same battle, haha. I'm not sure on this one but I'm gonna say AMD because I used to be an Intel guy, but lately I'm for the little guy much much more..

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 04:51 PM
If you have a preference for AMD or Intel, its best to get that out of the way at the beginning.Wise words.:KS
I would try to buy a good power supply. That's the foundation of your system. (no generally 350w will not cut it, especially if you have a graphics card)

Drenriza
June 16th, 2010, 04:58 PM
Kingston HyperX 2 x 2 GB ddr3
Phenom II X6 1055T 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB))
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

393 $.

Phenom II X4 925 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB))
Kingston HyperX 2 x 2 GB ddr3
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

327 $

i dont see this unrealistic. And then he dont need an graphic-card.

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 05:06 PM
it's not completely unrealistic, it's just overkill in the wrong areas, at the wrong time. I would say 6 cores is a bit excessive and while I would normally agree with your assessment that he does not need a graphics card, one might note the price difference between an X6 and an X2-4 could pay for the better part of a graphics card. It's never budget friendly to buy a processor that was just released.

Drenriza
June 16th, 2010, 05:12 PM
the X6 is not just released. But anyways i also showed the price with an X4.

But if your gonna buy an graphic-card instead of an onboard one then you also want to change the MB that i have showed. To an motherboard with newer chip set.

and then i would suggest ATI HD 5450

cascade9
June 16th, 2010, 05:13 PM
well I guess that budget can grow, because it may take a month to get all the stuff together. Let's say:

$500 for just the motherboard, CPU, and RAM.


then I'll worry about video card and hard drives later...

That changes things. For AMD, this is what I would do-

Gigabyte 870A (SATA3, USB3)- $100.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128443

OCZ DDR3 2000, 2x2GB- $130-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227569

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T- $200

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103851

or X4 965- $180

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

The X6 will be faster on multithreaded programs (well, ones that use all the cores anyway) and the X4 faster on single threaded programs. Choice is yours, depending on what you think is better.

BTW, I know that doesnt come to $500, you could get the X6 1090T. Which is faster, but not worth the extra $100, 10% clock speed increase for 50% increase in price. Well,t hats teh top of the line pricing for you....


Fantastic Post! Thank you!

:biggrin: Thanks.


I still have my Lanboy case from back in the day with two fans in it, an old DVD drive that connects through IDE cable and a 350W PSU (even though I imagine 350W is not enough for todays standard?)
I have a VGA monitor, mouse, and keyboard. So I'm covered in those departments.
And yes $500 US.

Ah, the classic 'lanboy' case. Still great after all these years. :) The IDE DVD wont be a problem (almost everything still has an IDE port).

Yeah, a 350 isnt quiet enough. It should work, but really not recommended. 500 is as small as I would go, and 600 or so is a good choice.

For sound work, this is expensive, but amazing power supplies-

Seasonic X650 gold- $150 (ouch!)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151088

Amazing though, check this review-

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Seasonic_X650


So I should go for DDR3, alright done. Go for Intel, as opposed to AMD, God its still the same battle, haha. I'm not sure on this one but I'm gonna say AMD because I used to be an Intel guy, but lately I'm for the little guy much much more..

Yep, the same battle :lolflag: At least its not Intel vs AMD vs Cyrix vs IDT anymore :)

djinnkeeper
June 16th, 2010, 05:14 PM
ah so you did, my mistake.. but it was so "just" released. ;) "Just" like, it's their latest desktop processor. I suppose it was what like 2 months ago now?

cascade9
June 16th, 2010, 05:28 PM
Kingston HyperX 2 x 2 GB ddr3
Phenom II X6 1055T 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB))
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

393 $.

Phenom II X4 925 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB))
Kingston HyperX 2 x 2 GB ddr3
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

327 $

i dont see this unrealistic. And then he dont need an graphic-card.

I would go for a AMD 8XX chipset with a SB850 southbridge over a 7XX chipset/SB7XX southbridge these days. SB 7XX- SATA 2. SB 850- SATA3. Not that it matters a huge amount now, but aleady some SSDs are saturating the bandwidth for SATA2, and SDDs are going to just get cheaper, and faster over the next few years.

If onboard video is OK with the OP (perosnally, I perfer a standalone video card, but thats my preference) then this either of these are my choices-

GA 880GMA- $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128445

GA-890GPA- $140.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435

I'd rather have the 890GPA, as I perfer 'full' ATX motherboards not microATX, and its got a slight faster video card. But for the $40 extra its already more than the cost of a (low end) video card. Choices, choices.....

BTW, not all the 8XX chipset motheboards have a SB850 southbridge. There are some with the older SB7XX southbridge.


ah so you did, my mistake.. but it was so "just" released. ;) "Just" like, it's their latest desktop processor. I suppose it was what like 2 months ago now?

Not even that. Late april release for the X6 ;)

caprice
June 16th, 2010, 06:28 PM
wow! guys this is perfect! Just the information I need to get started ordering stuff.

I'll probably go with the 6 core AMD (un-imaginable 5 years ago:-o)
A motherboard without on-board video (i still wanna game some:P)
2x2GB DDR3 RAM

I'll start ordering the stuff and get it all thrown into the Lanboy then figure out which hard drives and video card to get.

I'll probably go with the Seasonic PSU since it looks sick! :p

thank you everyone for the info! can't wait to get started with Ubuntu :)

caprice
June 16th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Almost forgot! (sorry to double post)

A good heatsink for the CPU? (cant stand factory heatsinks)

cascade9
June 17th, 2010, 09:45 AM
The manufacturer heatsinks have got a lot better over the years, and I mostly dont bother with aftermarket coolers unless the CPU is getting a major overclcock or for quietness.

Probably a good choice would be the classic coolermaster 'V8' but most of the aftermaket coolers are pretty similar.

caprice
June 22nd, 2010, 09:29 PM
ugh, ok, bought to buy some parts and my car ends up dying on me and i've had to allocate some money for it.

i need to downgrade everything so its actually $500 (US) for:

Motherboard
CPU
RAM
Videocard
PSU
Harddrive


so that should be it. Really sorry to everyone who contributed on this thread, damn cars. Maybe if i make bonus at work I can stick to the original plan :)

OGpmpdog
July 20th, 2010, 11:42 PM
Hi Caprice, I hope you are rollin' now after taking your car to the doctor...as far as coming within budget, the previous posters are great at spendin your money:D

Below are some ideas to keep your new PC within budget...fyi, I'm a little older - I remember the 1st time VANS became popular, in 1982 - and probably more practical than some of these guys insisting on the newest hardware available.

i need to downgrade everything so its actually $500 (US) for:

Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130240
$110
CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115222
$115
RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227582
$86
Videocard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127366
$45
PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016
$60
Harddrive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007603%2050001305%20600003459%20600003274&IsNodeId=1&name=400GB%20-%20800GB
$60

SATA CABLES = $6

You can go $8 over budget and get this DVD burner (owned by yours truly- a little loud but that's what headphones are for :) FYI...I'm not a Blu-ray guy, so I apologize if I'm insulting you with this "primitive" format.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151216

$508 bucks for an 1156 Socket mobo, decent i series CPU, reliable RAM & DVD burner, awesome videocard for the value, quality PSU, and reliable HD.
Yeah, there's better hardware out there - but I can assure you that all the listed hardware is VERY ubuntu friendly...