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View Full Version : An Ubuntu PC from Scratch



lukjad007
June 30th, 2008, 04:57 PM
This is NOT A CROSS THREAD. Yes, I do have another post asking about PCs (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=845217). That post is about the more fun aspects of computers (software, games...). I am now looking for some information about hardware. I need a computer that is powerful enough to run most programs without problems. This will not be a gaming machine. First and foremost it will be a testing machine for my course in computers. I will be learning how to be a tech support agent and I need a decent PC. (Mine has had it's day, and mine, and yours, and his, and... you get the picture.) What I really want to find out is what pieces work well with Ubuntu (that will be my main OS) and Linux in general. The more open source, the better.
I wish to minimize the hassle of finding restricted drivers here and there and cobbling them all together while still having a decent amount of power. I will either build it myself or have a store build it (MicroBytes for example).

Anyway, that's about it.

See you around the forums!

wolfen69
June 30th, 2008, 06:04 PM
This (http://www.psystar.com/index.php?&page=shop.product_details&category_id=13&flypage=flypage_images.tpl&product_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=72) looks real good to me. you can install any OS on it.

frrobert
June 30th, 2008, 06:20 PM
This (http://www.psystar.com/index.php?&page=shop.product_details&category_id=13&flypage=flypage_images.tpl&product_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=72) looks real good to me. you can install any OS on it.

I'm not sure I would use that company without looking further into it

http://gizmodo.com/380488/psystar-exposed-looks-like-a-hoax

TwiceOver
June 30th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Go to Dell's outlet section. Wait for a good Inspiron scratch and dent.

My inspiron 530 AMD X2 2gb 250gb DVDRW cost me $204 shipped. Add ubuntu, ooo, etc and I'm still at $204. Now if only I would have been smart enough to disagree to the Vista EULA and tried to get money back from that.

Next time maybe...

mips
June 30th, 2008, 08:50 PM
Get an Intel Dual or Quad core cpu.
Get a Gigabyte MB
Get a nVidia GFX card
Get a Seagate HD
Get a Lite-On DVD writer
Get a Antec case
Get a LG LCD
Get lots of RAM

lukjad007
July 1st, 2008, 01:29 AM
Get an Intel Dual or Quad core cpu.
Get a Gigabyte MB
Get a nVidia GFX card
Get a Seagate HD
Get a Lite-On DVD writer
Get a Antec case
Get a LG LCD
Get lots of RAM

My respects to all who have posted here. This is the type of info I am looking for. I don't want to buy online if possible, it's hard to make a return. Thank you mips for the list of pieces. And thanks to frrobert for the link. I just wish to remind you that I want to be able to build the PC from scratch or at least have it built from scratch. The more detailed the better. I have very little trust in online buying, you almost never know what is in the PC.

smartboyathome
July 1st, 2008, 01:34 AM
My respects to all who have posted here. This is the type of info I am looking for. I don't want to buy online if possible, it's hard to make a return. Thank you mips for the list of pieces. And thanks to frrobert for the link. I just wish to remind you that I want to be able to build the PC from scratch or at least have it built from scratch. The more detailed the better. I have very little trust in online buying, you almost never know what is in the PC.

I have heard good things about Newegg's return process, I would say go with them if you are buying parts (I know I will).

tamoneya
July 1st, 2008, 01:38 AM
Get an Intel Dual or Quad core cpu.
Get a Gigabyte MB
Get a nVidia GFX card
Get a Seagate HD
Get a Lite-On DVD writer
Get a Antec case
Get a LG LCD
Get lots of RAM

I agree with most of the choices. A couple of additions of my own. I really like the centurion 5 Cooler Master Case. It is dead simple but satisfies all my needs. I highly recommend it. As for ram its cheap so like the above poster said buy a lot of it. Also I have taken a liking to gskill. It seems to always be a nice price (on newegg) and work with zero issue. I recently had a lot of trouble with some other sticks and it will take me a while to stray away from gskill again.

EDIT: If you want real specifics here is the computer that I plan on building for my parents in the near future:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=6854985&WishListTitle=parents.

I realize that you said no online shopping but I second what smartboyathome says and I have had nothing but good experiences with newegg. If you still dont want to buy online it still doesnt hurt to have the specific components so you can look for them in retail stores.

tubasoldier
July 1st, 2008, 01:53 AM
I would respectfully disagree with the motherboard. Personally I would stick with an Intel motherboard. They support their hardware in Linux rather well. More so than other hardware manufacturers. Their motherboards aren't flashy but you will also get the benefit of having a low end graphics card that can do Compiz and simple 3D effects. Intel releases their drivers as open source. So consider supporting those who support us. :)

wolfen69
July 1st, 2008, 02:21 AM
I really like the centurion 5 Cooler Master Case. It is dead simple but satisfies all my needs. I highly recommend it.

i have the same case. awesome.

mips
July 1st, 2008, 10:41 AM
I would respectfully disagree with the motherboard. Personally I would stick with an Intel motherboard. They support their hardware in Linux rather well. More so than other hardware manufacturers. Their motherboards aren't flashy but you will also get the benefit of having a low end graphics card that can do Compiz and simple 3D effects. Intel releases their drivers as open source. So consider supporting those who support us. :)

I will try and back up my recommendation with some information.

Gigabyte motherboards are extremely well built.
Their warranty swap out (if it dies) is much better than that of intel, at least over here.
You have the option of different chipset vendors. My current gigabyte board uses an intel chipset + onboard intel gfx although i use nvidia.
They have more features.
I spoke to the biggest online vendor in the country and according to them when it comes to reliability the least returns they have are for gigabyte. If they do have a return the swapout & return policy is much faster than for any other manufacturer they stock. And no I did not buy from them in case you are wondering.

mips
July 1st, 2008, 10:52 AM
I don't want to buy online if possible, it's hard to make a return.


Newegg is a class A business and I would not hesitate to buy from them except they dont ship internationally. Dunno about Canada though.

Once you have compiled a list of components post the list here with links to the web and we will help ensure that everything will work together fine or recommend better products.

mips
July 1st, 2008, 10:57 AM
EDIT: If you want real specifics here is the computer that I plan on building for my parents in the near future:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=6854985&WishListTitle=parents.


That is so similair to the pc I got 2weeks ago it is scary!
I have the exact same MB, CPU, HD and amount of ram(different brand here).
I carried my gfx card & optical writers over from my old pc.

artir
July 1st, 2008, 11:15 AM
Get this:
-Quad Core Q6600
- 2 GB RAM
-300 GB HD
-8600GT NVIDIA(or intel if you want to be open)
-LG 17" monitor widescreen
-An ASUS P5KSE
-And a 3com 3CRUSB10075 USB wifi adaptor(It works flawlessly)
-A case, a fan, etc..
830 euros all the above things.This is my PC, btw.

tamoneya
July 1st, 2008, 01:59 PM
That is so similair to the pc I got 2weeks ago it is scary!
I have the exact same MB, CPU, HD and amount of ram(different brand here).
I carried my gfx card & optical writers over from my old pc.

I know it rocks. Q6600 is where its at.

mips
July 1st, 2008, 04:09 PM
I know it rocks. Q6600 is where its at.

Have you overclocked yours? I heard you can run them at over 3GHz.

EDIT: Oops, did not see your signature.

lukjad007
July 1st, 2008, 08:10 PM
I agree with most of the choices. A couple of additions of my own. I really like the centurion 5 Cooler Master Case. It is dead simple but satisfies all my needs. I highly recommend it. As for ram its cheap so like the above poster said buy a lot of it. Also I have taken a liking to gskill. It seems to always be a nice price (on newegg) and work with zero issue. I recently had a lot of trouble with some other sticks and it will take me a while to stray away from gskill again.

EDIT: If you want real specifics here is the computer that I plan on building for my parents in the near future:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=6854985&WishListTitle=parents.

I realize that you said no online shopping but I second what smartboyathome says and I have had nothing but good experiences with newegg. If you still dont want to buy online it still doesnt hurt to have the specific components so you can look for them in retail stores.

We don't live in a world of absolutes. I may be tempted to buy online for a few of the pieces but partially because of my credit card limit ($500); my aversion to loosing money on scams, shipping costs, return shipping costs, etc.; and the time factor ("Sorry sir, your PC is being held up in customs in Peru") I usually prefer to buy somewhere where I can yell at someone if something goes wrong.;)

However, like you said, I can still look for the pieces in retail stores if I choose to buy near "offline".

I will look into newegg and take it under advisement.

(I just took a peek at the prices and am now VERY interested. ;))

Newegg only ships to the USA and Puerto Rico. :(

collinp
July 1st, 2008, 09:10 PM
Well, I can't name specifics off the top of my head but i can make some suggestions:

You don't need a high end graphics card, so spend that money on more memory and a faster cpu. Probably the max you would need for a graphics card is a Geforce 7000 series, a Geforce 6200 does fine for me. You will probably want a Dual core or better processor, try to stick to Intel, they have the best bang for the buck. Try to get at least 3GB of ram or more for alot of testing. As others have said, stick to Intel for motherboards. I prefer the Ceturon 5 case for size. Get a Lite-ON DVD-RW drive and if you still own floppy disks (like me), get a floppy drive. Stay with Western Digital or Seagate for hard drives, i own a Western Digital Caviar from back when 1GB was huge and it still works. That is about as much I can offer right now, I tried to leave some room for you to make your own decisions about what is best.

EDIT: Also, if Newegg starts shipping internationally anytime soon, I would recommend them, I have ordered several things from them and they all arrived in perfect condition.

tamoneya
July 2nd, 2008, 03:07 AM
going down to a 7 series graphics card isnt going to save you that much money. It will gain you very little in the CPU market because the Q6600 is such a good deal for the money. I dont think I will buy anything else but a Q6600 until they phase it out (i think they plan for another 6 months-ish)

lukjad007
July 3rd, 2008, 12:16 PM
I have found a list of prices at a store near my home.
http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/pub/mbparts.pdf?mBqSiD=c7e8f482c30856536093fa71d8c8970 0 These are the parts that are the most accessible to me. I was thinking that the INTEL CORE 2 QUAD Q6700 2.66G/1066/8M/S775 looked good. In addition the KINGSTON KVR 800MHZ DDR2 NO-ECC 2048MO KIT looks good too. I was wondering, could I install 2 of these on my PC or not? For the hard drives I thought that I would install two SATA2 500.0 W.D 7200 16M WD5000AAKS. For the video card, I thought a BFG PCIE GF8 8800GT OC2 512M BTE might work. I am not sure which power supply I need so I will not even guess. In addition, which Network card do I need to install? The case I will choose later. As for the cooling system, does anyone have a preference between liquid cooling and fan cooling? I have a 17" or a 19" monitor already and will keep it. I think I remembered everything, but don't go by me, I broke a shoelace this morning. (Sorry if that made no sense. I like to quote movies and books all the time.)

mips
July 4th, 2008, 12:28 PM
I was wondering, could I install 2 of these on my PC or not?

In addition, which Network card do I need to install?

As for the cooling system, does anyone have a preference between liquid cooling and fan cooling?

Depends on the MB I would say. Check the specs but I see no reason why you cant have 2x2GB modules.

I don't think you need a network card as most(if not all) MBs already have onboard LAN these days.

If you are into serious over clocking then go liquid otherwise I would stick with some nice quiet fans.

The shop should also be able to tell you if all those components will work fine together.

lukjad007
July 4th, 2008, 12:43 PM
If you are into serious over clocking then go liquid otherwise I would stick with some nice quiet fans.


Nice QUIET fans? Isn't that an oxymoron? So is there any real difference between the two? I heard that the liquid cooling was quieter but could do damage if it leaks. The fans are noisier and cheaper.
Hard to choose.

mips
July 4th, 2008, 01:22 PM
Nice QUIET fans? Isn't that an oxymoron? So is there any real difference between the two? I heard that the liquid cooling was quieter but could do damage if it leaks. The fans are noisier and cheaper.
Hard to choose.

You get fans and then you get fans, you just have to buy the right ones. They are not silent but better than your run of the mill noisy fans.

I have no interest in liquid cooling. Expensive and leaks could be fatal. At least with a dead fan you have a warning.

tamoneya
July 5th, 2008, 12:47 AM
I have a set of these fans:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103022

They are nice and silent without any modification. Im not a big fan of the blue leds and I have considered just disabling them but ive been a bit lazy and havent gotten around to it.

ixus_123
July 5th, 2008, 04:12 AM
I've just built a PC for the what seems to be more or less the same needs as you.


My goals were to consolidate a NAS / personal webserver / and general testing box.

I don't really need CPU power or good graphics but do need RAM.

I bought:

* Asustek barebones with intel G33 motherboard (onboard graphics)
* 4GB RAM (2x2GB - mobo has space for 4 sticks and will address 8GB max)
* Samsung 400GB sata disk
* Cheapest DVD-ROM drive I could find.
* a 1600Mhz Celeron Core2 duo (yes they exist :P )
* A massive heat sink for the CPU as the intel one was a bit noisy. Replacemtn has a larger slower fan
* A pci GB NIC - in addition to the onboard GB nic

all this was less than 200.

I plan to set up a samba server on it to share files on my jome network, then run the webserver inside a virtual machine. I'll also be running a number of test virtual machines for testing such as Windows 2003 / 2008 server, RHES4/5, etc.

It's more than enough machine for me although I might max out the RAM just becuase I can :)

lukjad007
July 7th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the stats. I really appreciate the help.