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General Hardware Discussion Hard drives, CD, DVD Monitors, All hardware questions not better served by our other Topics


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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 17th October, 2006, 12:57 AM
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I just hate that. Best of luck, Staz!
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 17th October, 2006, 04:03 AM
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Got the same Mobo from MWave.com for same price but higher shipping. Got everything else from Newegg. Also upgraded to the Sempron 3100+

All total came out to $276 shipped. If I were to throw on a copy of Win XP OEM for $90 that would still leave me with $34 for a case with cheap power suply and come in at my $400 mark. Now granted this computer doesn't have the same exact specs as the $436 computer from Dell, but it will fill the same purpose. If I were to build the same computer as the Dell it would have come out to around $310 shipped for the same core components minus a case and PSU and OS. That would have left me about the same amount of money as my set up for those pieces.

So did I beat Dell? Well yes and no. No I didn't beat them because I am going to try to use a Flex ATX mini desktop case that I have that fits in my travel trailer (where space is at a premium) and I didn't purchase an OS. But if I would have, then I still would not have beaten Dell, I would have tied Dell.

However in a way I did beat Dell also. I know what I need and that's what I got. I also did not choose the cheapest components I could find. I paid slightly more for better quality components. If I had gone with the cheapest components I could have beaten Dell on price alone. But if you are building it for yourself you are not going to skimp because you know you are going to tweak it and squeze the most you can out of it. If you are building it for someone else, the money you saved would not be worth being able to ask who ever you built it for "I am not sure, have you called Dell and asked them for tech suport?"

Bottom line is I am putting Linux on this box. By building it myself I save about $90 that would otherwise be spent on Windows. Plus if Linux does not work out the way I want it too I can always spend the extra cash and purchase Windows.

Once the parts show up I will let you know how it goes together.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 17th October, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Between cheap computers, the one laptop per child scheme, and enterprise expansion, in the next 5 years we could see a frighteningly sharp increase in linux's userbase.

The more users there are, the more developers there will be and the faster things will progress. Really is an interesting time. If you're interested, I've got AIGLX / Beryl 3D desktop sorted out, and if you choose Ubuntu or Fedora, its very easy to have an amazing desktop environment far beyond Vista or OSX.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2006, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
If you're interested, I've got AIGLX / Beryl 3D desktop sorted out, and if you choose Ubuntu or Fedora, its very easy to have an amazing desktop environment far beyond Vista or OSX.
Yes I am interested. I have Ubuntu installed on 3 computers now and plan to install it as the only OS on this one. Hany help would be apreciated. I really need to find a good guide to explain to me what programs are best at certain task. I know that is subjective. But I am looking for feature rich easy to use programs to do everyday things, such as rip CD's to hard disk and store them, arange them in playlist by album, play them, and burn them back to disk, you know, your basic all in one musice package. Also what can be used to view .WMV videos and such. Just a basic "If you are a total noob these are the programs you are going to want to use to do these task" type of guide.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Just make a list of everything you want, all the functionality you want, and every program type you think you would need (or name its windows equivilant) in a new thread, and I'll try to find some solutions.

Beryl / AIGLX is frighteningly easy to do, and is far faster than XGL, and .WMV can be handled easily by both Mplayer and Xine (using whichever frontend for the two you wish) under either gnome or KDE, once the required codecs are dropped in.

If you're after a CD ripping, storing, albumizing, and burn back program, banshee http://www.banshee-project.org/Main_Page comes very close. Banshee basically does everything that Apple iTunes does, including ripping, burning, ipod/mp3 player functionality, and everything else.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 25th October, 2006, 06:03 PM
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Well I have gotten all the parts and pieces and put them together. My case worked, myPSU didn't. Well the case almost works, there is only about 1/4" clearance between top of case and HSF. I will have to cut a blow hole to feed the CPU HSF some air to breathe. Now I have to wait until the new PSU shows up to power everything up. I have 4 PSU's lying around and none of them have the 12v 4 pin conector for the CPU. It is a tight tight fit.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 29th October, 2006, 09:13 PM
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When I said tight tight fit I wasn't kidding. I got the PSU in on Friday and tried to put it together Friday night. I hooked it up to my granddaughters 19" Envison CRT (the only piece I didn't buy new with the exception of the case). It didn't quite work. PSU has a fan that extrudes out and came into contact with MoBo. When powered on Fan would spin for half a second then shut down and not restart until PSU was unplugged.

http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggIma...103-143-04.jpg

I pulled the PSU out and it ran fine. So I had to break out the dremel and void the warrenty on the PSU. I removed the fan grill and cut off the flanges on the lower half of where the grill screwed to. Then I slid the PSU back in place and tried again. Fired right up and gave me "No operationg system installed. Insert boot media and press any key to continue" So I put in my newly downloaded and burned copy of Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgey Eft) and pressed the space bar. Away it went. Booted to the live CD. Everything was a little jumpy and slow, I had some visual tearing when I scrolled a screen. I was hoping it was just a video driver problem. I hit the install and held my breath. Lots of people had reported not being able to install on a GeForce chipset to an SATA drive while others said they had no problems. A couple of work arounds were to install on an ATA HDD or to install it on a SATA drive on a computer with an Intel chipset then transfer the drive over to the new system. It turned out to be a non issue as Edgey Eft was only offically released on Oct 26, 2006 and they must have figured that out, cuase it installed perfectly. About as easy as installing Windows. Then once it was installed I booted from the HDD. Started just fine, still jumppy with tearing though. I then went to http://getautomatix.com/wiki/index.p...d64_.28Edgy.29 and followed the instructions to install Automatix 2. After it was installed I used Automatix to install nVidia drivers (much easier than Windows) and all of my video problems were solved. Then I installed some plugins and codecs and apps. Browsed the internet for a while and made sure everything worked.

Next I set my granddaughters Dell back up and pulled out my 15" Scepter LCD and went about setting it up so my 2year 9 month old grandson could play on it. This is where I ran into my first problem. Ubuntu doesn't reconize the monitor. It shows up as Generic CRT-0 and will only run at 640x480 and 60MHz. I went ahead and just swapped over the monitors, now the Dell is hooked up to the LCD and the new one is on the 19" CRT. So the Dell reconizes the LCD and runs it at it's native resolution of 1024x768 and the Ubuntu system gives me all the resolutions I could ask for on the 19" CRT. This is OK for not but a new LCD will have to be purchased to go with the Ubuntu system before I need to drag it out to my RV, as I am not taking a CRT on vacation with me.

I can't really write a full review yet as I haven't used it enough. I want to make sure it does everything I ask of it. When I get a chance to do that I will report back.

So far the score card is $210.80 to newegg for CPU, RAM, HDD, DVD burner, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. $63.xx to Mwave for a MoBo. And another $31.76 to newegg for a PSU. That's $305.56 for a complete system minus the case and monitor.

I did not include a case, I was going to but I couldn't find a suitible one. I use the computer (or atleast the one it is replacing) in my travel trailer while on vacation. I had a slimeline desktop FlexATX case that is tine and doesn't take up much space (and it you have ever gone RVing you know what a premium space is at). If I had bought a new case I would have opted for an ECS mobo which is almost identicle in specs and $8 cheaper but is 9.6"x9.6" which would not fit in my case. With the $8 from the MoBo and the $32 for the PSU I'm sure you could find a mATX case with PSU for that price.

I also left out a monitor. That is the one place I sugest you do not skimp.

I think I did pretty good. Once I have played with it some more I will tell you of any quirks I can find. Truthfully I think Ubuntu is just as if not more user friendly that Windows XP. This machine can do everything the average non gamer can do and then some. Chances are, someone into games is not going to be running such low cost hardware anyway. For a colledge student this would be a great low cost solution. Much lower than the cost of a Windows machine and all the software that you have to buy to make it function.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 29th October, 2006, 09:51 PM
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Sounds like a pretty good deal you got there! It's as shame about the monitor detection though.

Can we get some pix?
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 30th October, 2006, 05:45 AM
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Ehhh, monitor detection, shmonitor detection. Set it yourself, my friend!

Trust me, when there's a will, there's a way in Linux. I had issues with monitors in Fedora, and again in Ubuntu. It happens. I had an issue with WinXP that made my CRT's image about 5 mm to skinny, and could not be resolved. However, once configured it was the perfect width in Fedora.

You never know what'll happen. Join the Ubuntu forum, since I haven't used it recently enough to help you.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 30th October, 2006, 05:57 AM
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I have joined the Ubuntu forum just today. I fixed 2 problems (with other machines) just by doing a search and reading others post. I haven't looked for the monitor problem yet though. Seems to me there is enough suport out there for Linux.

I kinda want an excuse to get a better monitor though.

As for pix..... I knew someone would ask. I'll have to dig out my camera when I get home. I was in a hurry to get it set up before I had to go offshore last night.
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Old 30th October, 2006, 09:37 AM
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