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Thread: Alienware with Unix?

  1. #1
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    Question Alienware with Unix?

    I'm a complete noob when it comes to Unix, Linux, what have you: This is a fact. I've recently installed Ubuntu onto an HP laptop of mine, and I really love it. I wanted to install Ubuntu on my current PC but I couldn't get it working quite right, something about my graphics card if I recall.

    But that's all just some rambling before the question, I will soon find myself in possession of a Alienware Area-51 Desktop, probably higher end than lower end, and I was wondering if you good folks think it would be a good idea to run Ubuntu on it.

    I am a pretty nonstop gamer, that's why I want the Alienware, and I once thought it was impossible to game and use Unix, but I know that's just not true. I'm more worried about the operating system inhibiting the hardware, as that hardware is fantastic. I also just hate being under Microsoft's dominion, even though windows is included with the purchase, I just don't like it.

    tl;dr: Alienware + Ubuntu = Good Fit?

  2. #2
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    As long as everything works then there's no reason not to. I wouldn't say the hardware would be inhibited by Ubuntu. If anything I find that Linux runs better than Windows on powerful hardware. When you get the desktop, check everything works properly with a Live CD session.

    However, if you want to use this desktop exclusively to run Windows games, then you should probably just use Windows. It'll be easier overall and in that case it WILL run better on the hardware. A native Windows game will almost always run better in Windows than when using Wine and Linux. (Incidentally, there are some great Linux native games around if you look for them.)

    I dual boot my computers so if I want to play a game I just have to reboot. I don't play a lot of games though and Windows doesn't get used very often.

    If you have a choice for the graphics card, I would personally get Nvidia over ATI. Some will say that ATI drivers are improving a lot, but I've used both ATI and Nvidia with Linux and generally have had better performance with Nvidia (this is with the proprietary drivers installed, can't really comment on the open source ones). Hopefully some others will chime in with experiences though because I only used the ATI card for a short period of time a few months ago.

  3. #3
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    That depends on the chip.

    Some Nvidia cards do not work with Ubuntu, such as the new Optimus.

    Do your homework and ask around before you start making any purchases first.

    And seriously, if you're a hardcore gamer, you will probably have a smoother time with things if you stick with Windows or dual boot. Most games can be made to work on Linux, but it will not always be easy, and they won't necessarily always work right either.

    Whenever I get a new computer, I always play starcraft for a month or two before I wipe Windows, just cause I'm not willing to go through the nonsense involved in getting it to work under WINE.

    This question probably belongs on one of the support boards.

  4. #4
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjaaron View Post
    That depends on the chip.

    Some Nvidia cards do not work with Ubuntu, such as the new Optimus.
    That's true, but it doesn't look like the Alienware Area 51 desktop comes with Optimus. I think it's only for laptops at the moment. You can also disable Optimus in the BIOS on some laptops, which I do on my Thinkpad.

  5. #5
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    I originally built my desktop last year to play some games through Steam at medium to high quality. I got an ATI Radeon HD 5700 series. 5770 I think to be exact. My gaming started to slow down a bit and I wanted to pick back up exploring Ubuntu. So I went out and got an extra 500GB HDD and put Ubuntu on it and dual-booted it with Windows 7. I RARELY go into Windows 7 now since most of my friends are playing PS3 games at the moment. Eventually we will make it back to the PC though.

    My ATI card with the ATI drivers have been flawless. Actually, just yesterday I had an update for them and ran it. No hiccups or anything. Back with 10.10 I had a problem getting sound running through the HDMI, and I tried nearly everything. But now with 11.04, all I had to do was just change the audio output in the System Settings and it's been running great. I love surfing the web from my 52" TV now!

    I think it's perfectly acceptable running Ubuntu on your gaming rig. My advice is to do what I did...get two separate HDDs and dual-boot them. That's the ultimate gaming rig in my opinion. And Ubuntu responds and works faster on my high end hardware rather than Windows 7, so I don't think you'll have a problem there.

  6. #6
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    What games are you going to be playing...? That should determine your choice of OS.


    404

  7. #7
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    Make a couple of partitions and dual-boot. There's no reason not to take advantage of windows when you'll have them preinstalled anyway. Besides gaming in linux might not be impossible but most modern games will not work or will suffer in terms of performance if you use wine.
    Ubuntu user #20092 || I can't sing.

  8. #8
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    If you are getting an Alienware, I'm assuming that you are planning on using it to play the most recent and demanding games. In that's case, I see no need to use Ubuntu on that machine.
    The games available for Linux are not very demanding.

    There are people who use powerful gaming machines to run simulations for research purposes, and in that case, they might use Linux. But it does not seem the case.

    Cheers


  9. #9
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    Why buy a PC when you can build one that looks better and is probably cheaper... just saying

    www.newegg.com
    Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

  10. #10
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    Re: Alienware with Unix?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmette View Post
    My ATI card with the ATI drivers have been flawless. Actually, just yesterday I had an update for them and ran it. No hiccups or anything.
    Proprietary or open drivers?

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