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Thread: Linux PC - check me spec

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    Smile Linux PC - check me spec

    I have some PC parts going spare so I've been thinking for a while about putting them together to make a spare PC that I'll run Linux on (either Ubuntu or Linux Mint). Going for Linux to learn how to use it and it'll be cheaper than getting XP or something on there.

    I'll begin with what components I have:

    AMD 3200+ - 2000 MHz - 512 KiB - 1000 MHz - 10x - 1.35/1.40 V - 67 W - Socket 939 - ADA3200DAA4BP (E3) (given to me by a mate as payment for tickets to see Jimmy Carr at the Manchester Apollo!)

    Orion MS-7168 motherboard has onboard gfx so I won't need a graphics card especially since its Ubuntu/Linux Mint (bought for £20 from eBay)

    Corsair 2Gb RAM DDR400 2 x 1Gb sticks

    Plenty of old Western Digital IDE HDDs covering a range of capacities.

    And what I need to get:

    Case - Currently eyeing up the Antec 4480B 380W. Will probably also get an Akasa 120mm fan so I have a quieter fan than the supplied Antec jobby.

    DVD-RW - Any Samsung DVD-RW SATA. Mobo has SATA sockets so no probs there.

    CPU Cooler? I have the default AMD cooler and I reckon I'd do better with the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro. Only about £10-15 and would be quieter and cooler than this one here.

    And on to the boring thinking bit!

    So far the case (£51.73), DVD-RW (£15.98), 120mm fan (£7.76) and CPU cooler (£13.02) are costing me £88.49 from Ebuyer. I'd like to go with one shop for all this to make it easier to track and cheaper in terms of delivery. Scan don't have the case I want and Ebuyer are about £8-£10 cheaper than Dabs and Overclockers so I can't see any logic in buying each component individually from different stores tbh.

    So what I'd like to ask ye lot is how does the spec stand up? And perhaps more important should I get a keyboard and mouse? Well I already have a spare mouse I could use. Getting another keyboard would be cheaper, I think, that getting a decent KVM.

    Which would I be better off doing? One of these? I already have one and love it. But seeing as I'll be placing this spare PC on top of my existing PC case I'd rather not waste space on my desk with another keyboard and mouse. I also have a Dell 20 inch monitor connected atm to my PC by the DVI connection. So if I got a KVM I could connect the Linux PC to the monitor using the VGA connection and share the keyboard and mouse (Logitech MX Revolution)?

    Or could I use this Synergy program I've read about on Lifehacker? Synergy is free and cross-platform so I could use it on this PC with XP and the new PC with Linux. However would Synergy take up lots of RAM/CPU power and would I notice any lag when using it for desktop stuff or gaming?

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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    From the important bits - that processor will be fine - as will the standard cooler and the 2 GB RAM. And the onboard graphics.

    As for the case - that is a matter of personal preference, but you could use a much cheaper one as its a learning tool - coolermster 532 or 534 for example.

    You could get a cheap KVM switch and sitch the whole lot - I think plugging two devices into the Dell would work - but you then have two keyboards and two mice (and when two mice get together....

    Can't comment on Synergy - could be a memory hog - on the KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid) two keyboards and mice with one monitor is the simplest - closely followed by a KVM switch (which you could get with the savings on the case)
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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    Cheers peterb.

    Forgot to mention I'm going for the 4480B as it has the PSU pre-supplied. Can't find any decent cases without PSUs and PSUs for the case that cost same or less than the 4480.

    And what Dell is this?

    I could get another keyboard, use the spare mouse and just keep them hidden when I'm not using them. And it would be easy to just switch my monitor from DVI to VGA mode.

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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLister View Post

    And what Dell is this?
    Sorry - meant the DVI inputs - brain registered as Dell (note to self - get new keyboard - or brain!! )
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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    Ah right. Cheers. So I think I'll go down the route of a new keyboard and hook the Linux box up to the monitor on the VGA connection.

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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    I have used Synergy a fair bit over the years, and I can recommend it. I have never noticed it hogging memory, but I don't actually know how much it uses. Probably not much seeing as it has been around for ages and supports fairly low end hardware.

    The main difference is that you will need one monitor for each computer in your setup, compared with a KVM switch where everything shares one monitor. This can be both an advantage as you can keep an eye on all your computers, and a disadvantage as you need more desk space.

    There are a couple of gotchas to be aware of. One is that you will still need some sort of keyboard attached to each computer, to log in as Synergy only becomes active after you have logged in. The other potential issue is with keyboard layouts. Synergy appears to send fairly low level keyscan codes between computers rather than higher level ASCII chars. This means that if you have different keymaps on different computers in your setup, some will get the wrong keystrokes. This might happen if you have a laptop you imported from the states for example.

    Other than that, Synergy is great. It works with almost any system, and without any noticeable latency. I once saw a college operate six computers (running different operating systems) from the same keyboard & mouse arranged around him in a semicircle like the bridge of a Si-Fi starship.

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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    Well I do have an LG 17 inch monitor I could use. And I probably have an old PS/2 keyboard somewhere.

    I think I'll have to think about this.

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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    I just had a look on the web and i just saw that the chipset is a radeon xpress 200. you may have problems. but ATI drivers for linux has improved recently.
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    Re: Linux PC - check me spec

    Quote Originally Posted by alsenior View Post
    I just had a look on the web and i just saw that the chipset is a radeon xpress 200. you may have problems. but ATI drivers for linux has improved recently.
    Shouldn't be a problem with Ubuntu: w w w . ubuntuhcl.org/browse/product+ATI_bXpressb_200m?id=160
    I can also recommend Synergy

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