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A question for the machine-builders


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Hi, it's me again. HDD dying, unable to upgrade Chromium or Chrome past 34 (just had the same problem trying to go to Chromium 35 - monitor gets destroyed, good thing I backed up 34 :) ), same old crap here.

Anyway, here's my question. Rather than buy a refurb HDD to get some more life out of this old box, I'm now thinking of just running this one into its death and then buying a completely new machine.

I'm no gamer, I don't need the state-of-the-art mega 3D graphics capability - I just want a box with 2 gigs of RAM, a nice big flat monitor (I've still got the type that looks like old school TVs), and a DVD drive that can read and write. Also, of course, everything has to work in Linux, and capably display Chrome-type browsers better than 34 without looking like my monitor is tripping on mushrooms.

How much money am I looking at?


Thanks, you gurus always have the answers up in here.



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well he doesn't need anything special from the sounds of it so just linked cheapest dual core i could find.

nothing wrong with a dell optiplex even if it is "refurbished" either, ok not a pc we'd use but plenty good enough for surfing the net and listening to tunes. ;)


personally i wouldn't go with anything that didn't have usb3.


really for best advice tho, it works the other way round they tell us what they can afford then we go find something under that price. :mrgreen:



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Wow, ain't I out of touch. :mrgreen: So an 80 gig HDD is too small and obsolete now? They have PCs with 4 gigs of RAM?

You can get a decent PC for around $500 and it has some Window$ installed? Remember, I'm looking to have one built - and I won't need any software installed - I'll do a clean install from my openSUSE 13.1 DVD.


Thanks for the responses, always good to see a little action in Linux Forum, even if I started it. :)

Let me break things down a bit: An 80GB HDD would be double what I have now, so it would be good enough for me. I need the DVD writing capability not because I save and burn mad video, but it's so much quicker to do a clean install of a SUSE upgrade from the full DVD burn than from the CD ISO which then needs to d/l most of it from online repos. Clue me in a bit about graphics cards. My problem with any Chrome-ish browser over 34 must be because my graphics capability is obsolete. Is it NVIDIA cards you don't want with Linux? And of course, I need an Ethernet card that will be recognized by the kernel. Remember the problems I had when I tried to get Linux through a dongle?


I'm starting to think I can get a decent box built for less than $500. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

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I've just put a PC together for a mate cost me £200 (about $340).


120 gb SSD (Over clockers) £78

8gb memory (ebay) £40

Gigabyte MoB with integrated graphics (ebay) £27

i5 cpu (ebay) £45 inc stock cooler.


Used his existing case, PSU and DVD drive.


Loaded Mint onto it and it's rockin'!


$500 should get you all you need.

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Total Cost: $488 (as of June 2, 2014)


(1) Processor: Intel Core i3-4130 ($120)

(2) Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H85M-DS3H ($74)

(3) Video Card (optional, not in total): EVGA GeForce GTX 750 ($110)

(4) Memory: Crucial 4GB DDR3-1600 ($43)

(5) Solid-State Drive (optional, not in total): Crucial MX100 128GB ($80)

(6) Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue 1TB ($59)

(7) Case: Silverstone PS08B ($37)

(8) Power Supply: Corsair CX430 ($40)

(9) Optical Drive: LG 24x DVD Burner ($20)

(10) Operating System: Windows 8.1 ($95)



and of course you can instantly knock off the win 8.1 os cost and include that optional ssd which would give you a very quick pc.


so yes you can build a pc for under $500 easily.


nvidia graphics cards are fine with linux, and what i like to use because they have a repo so i don't have to manually install drivers when the kernel gets updated like i used to with ati cards, saying that tho i believe the open source amd drivers are now almost as good as the proprietary driver so you don't need to install any drivers for amd cards anymore.



Edited by terry1966
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"Phoronix last week tested 65 graphics cards on open source drivers under Linux and the best result was generally with the open source AMD Radeon drivers. This week they put out a 35-graphics-card comparison using the proprietary AMD/NVIDIA drivers (with the other 30 cards being too old for the latest main drivers) under Ubuntu 14.04. The winner for proprietary GPU driver support on Linux was NVIDIA, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise given that Valve and other Linux game developers are frequently recommending NVIDIA graphics for their game titles while AMD Catalyst support doesn't usually come to games until later. The Radeon OpenGL performance with Catalyst had some problems, but at least its performance per Watt was respectable. Open-source fans are encouraged to use AMD hardware on Linux while those just wanting the best performance and overall experience should see NVIDIA with their binary driver."




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Based on what you will be using the rig for, I think you can put together a nice budget rig that you'll be proud to own.

Budget build for $376.00.

Less if you utilize the rebates available on some of the components.

I took brownhornet's recommendation on this case and other components listed and have put together several builds with it now. It's a solid case, choice of colors, with great airflow and design.

Saves you some bucks to get a nice LCD with some screen real-estate.

:) Y

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Thanks, brothers, you know you are the best. Just a couple of questions, mainly directed to Terry across the pond, but anyone could answer. Terry, you have in your sample rig a 1TB HDD (is that a freaking terabyte?) and/or a 128GB SSD.

The SSD is faster than the standard HDD? I think I'd choose that one - it's triple the size of what I have now.

Also, the GeForce graphics cards. (Wow, never mind - I just Googled the answer to my question. :mrgreen: ) When I go into YaST to add repos, it says if you have a legacy nvidia card you do NOT want to do it, but legacy means old, like me. The newer cards should be cool, no?

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SSD is a lot faster than a standard hard drive....my system boots from SSD in seconds. So if 120gb fits the bill capacity wise; stick with it. You can always add additional storage if required later. 1 - 2 even 3TB drives are so cheap at the moment that it just makes sense to get one. Or go for a smaller SSD and a decent 1tb HD. My setup is:


120gb SSD which has /boot and /

1tb HD for /home and another 1tb drive for additional storage.


This makes upgrading the OS a breeze as you are only dealing with the SSD.



Unless you do any gaming you probably aren't going to need a dedicated graphics card the onboard should be fine. So take out the cost of the OS and the cost of the graphics card and put it towards a decent monitor.

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think nigsy answered your questions, the good thing about having the 1 tb drive is you can put all your music cd's and even your video dvd's onto it, so it makes listening/watching your stuff so much less hassle than to keep swapping them in the optical drive.



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That setup seems really cool, Nigel. But now I have to go study up hard, because I have absolutely zero clue how to divide partitions up onto different drives. Thanks, lads, now I do have some sort of clue about what I'm looking for to build a machine.


Just one more question: Do any of you watch YouTube videos, and do you watch them on any browser other than Chrome/Chromium? They don't work at all in Firefox. I think it's because Adobe doesn't support Linux any more, so I have to use Chrome because they have pepperflash. The reason I'm concerned about a graphics card is because I can't upgrade higher than 34 in Chrome/Chromium because the entire display is whack, never mind videos, just a blank browser page is all mutli-colored and psychedelic looking.

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Kurt - You don't need to divide the partitions; when you run the SUSE installer it will guide you through the process. When you are ready to take the plunge open another thread a one of us will take you through it. No worries.


As for youtube - I have Chrome 31 - Not sure why mine hasn't gone to 34 yet?? But I do have pepperpot installed. Firefox is running VLC extension for Flash - So maybe search for that. Must have installed itself as part of adding VLC and the Packman repository - I don't remember adding the extensions to FF manually.

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personally i watch youtube videos without any problems in firefox, so no idea why you can't.

you probably just need to install flash, chrome has it built into the browser i believe.

by default suse automatically drags in flash if i remember correctly when you install and update it,

so no idea why you wouldn't have it installed.

that's the only reason off the top of my head i can think of why you can't watch youtube videos in firefox.


come to think on it, you could always try htlm5 and see if you can watch them :- http://www.youtube.com/html5



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Ah, where to begin? :)

Nigel, Chrome is up to 35 stable. If you still have 31, maybe you need the Google repo. Here's the URL I have to add it in YaST: dl.ssl.google.com/linux/rpm/stable/i386 (Add the http:// in front of that)


Terry, it is inexplicable indeed. I do have Flash installed, in fact it just got updated with my last zypper up. As far as HTML5 goes, I can play those vids in Firefox, like the one in our Friday Night Videos thread. But Flash vids ain't happening. FF has Adobe Flash 11.x while Chromium has 14.x. Oh well, whatever, nevermind - I'm getting a new box anyway.


I'm probably about a month away from taking the plunge. I'm willing to spend around $750 for a good enough quality machine.
This is what I'm thinking of at the moment:
32x CD/DVD R+W
3 something GB CPU
21" flat monitor

Would that fit in my budget?

Edited by KurtBleach
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cpu+motherboard combo $203.98 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1690246

optical drive $19.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

case $39.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811124150

psu $49.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139049

1tb drive $59.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339

ssd $79.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148819

24inch monitor $179.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236153&leaderboard=1


total $633.92 without any of the offers.


(optional but definitely worth the money.) graphics card $119.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487027


total $753.91


no idea what the cost would be if you used all the promo offers, and you might be able to find the same parts cheaper elsewhere anyway.


that machine could do anything you wanted especially with the graphics card.




oops silly me, forgot ram $42.99 :- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231718

Edited by terry1966
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In all honesty I would skip the SSD and bump the ram to 8gigabytes.


For daily use, and better performance you would get more out of more memory than an SSD.


What I came up with is.


MSI N650-MD1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 650 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card $109



HyperX Fury Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $69.99



NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $39.99



ASUS 24X DVD Burner $19.99



Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $59.99



Acer G6 Series G246HLAbd Black 24" 5ms Widescreen $139.99



AMD FX-6300 Vishera 6-Core 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Desktop Processor $119.99



EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750 B 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified 750W $79.99



ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $96.99



Total cost $736.41 There were also rebates available on some items that I did not subtract from total price.


Outstanding, fully compatible Linux hardware quick breakdown.


6 core processor 3.5 - 4.1 GHZ

8gigs of ram

1 terrabyte drive

24 inch LCD

24X DVD burner

750w modular Power Supply

Brushed aluminum case

Nvidia 650ti video card

Asrock motherboard with outstanding features


Could be built for you, with your Linux distribution of choice installed, configured and fully tested no charge for labor, you just pay shipping from Mass to your location.

Edited by Bruce
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if you ever start doing proper backups or moving large data files to external sources, you'll soon learn what usb3 is and wish you had a handy front port instead of having to rely on the usb2 port or pull the pc out to gain access to the rear usb3 ports.


usb3 is 10x faster than usb2.


not a big deal really, especially for you and i like nzxt cases, last build for daughter was with one, but i'd still recommend at least 1 usb3 front port with any new build. preferably i'd have both esata and usb3 front ports for my builds.



Edited by terry1966
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