Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
can new BIOS be updated, if you don't have windows?
Of course it can. Just the idea of allowing Windows to update the BIOS gives me chills. Plonk the file on a USB stick, boot into the BIOS, hit the update button.

Many motherboards don't even need a CPU to be able to update the BIOS, and for the specific case of AMD chipsets not being able to boot with a new CPU they'll lend you one so that you can do the update.

but to build one yourself you would need to know the motherboard compatibility (since now motherboards have network chips and audio chips.
Intel network devices are generally completely painless. They win both sides: their devices tend to comply with standards, and they're heavily involved with drivers in the kernel, too, if there were any quirks.

For audio, if they just say that it's got some then it will probably be fine. It's when they make a big song-and-dance about it that means they've monkeyed around with it as a "value add" and you'll need to check the ALSA compatibility matrix.

External devices are pretty much the same: boring standards-compliant stuff will probably work; stuff where they've messed with things might not. My network printer, USB sound card, Bluetooth headphones, and Steam controller all work out of the box because they just behave according to standards.