New PC

My current PC had been getting a bit elderly, also the case wasn’t in the greatest of conditions. Due to the age it still uses AGP graphics and DDR RAM. So upgrading it wasn’t really very worth while. So I got the following:

Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4

CPU – AMD 3800+ X2

RAM – 1gb Crucial PC6400

Graphics – Asus EN7300GT

Case – Antec P182

PSU – Tagan 480w

I already had the PSU and the CPU was very cheap from a mate. So it didn’t really cost much and it means I’ll be able to upgrade the graphics fairly soon.

The build was quite straightforward really. I was able to route quite a few of the cables along the backplate, so the main compartment is quite tidy really. I only put two of the hard drives back in, the SATA ones. I’m planning on using the IDE drives for backups, so I’ll be putting them in caddies soon.

Here are a few lovely pictures:

AMD 3800+ X2

Crucial RAM

Gigabyte Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4

Otherside of the case

Finished PC
The only part of the build that has really worried me is the clearance between the graphics card and the northbridge. Here’s a nice close up from my shiny new camera:

Macro shot of Graphics Card
As I’ve got two drives, I was planning on going for a dual boot machine. One with some flavour of linux and another with XP. This didn’t quite work out as I’d planned. I installed Ubuntu with out any problems. However so far I’ve not been able to install XP. But as I can do most things I want to on Ubuntu, then I’m not that fussed. Pretty much all the games I want to play work really well. I’ve tried EvE and WoW so far and both are fine.

The Ubuntu install has been fairly plain sailing. The main problem with the installation has been graphics related. Firstly X was sending at a high refresh rate, which my monitor couldn’t cope with. This meant I was flying blind till I could change the resolution. I managed to do this after a while. But it would put most people off. I was then stuck with 640*480 for a while. But I got the proper nvidia drivers installed easily enough. Synaptic is very user friendly. A few X restarts and a bit more fiddling and I had the right resolution, 1024*768. It is just a pity that didn’t hold after a reboot.

Anyway after this, I moved on to sound, which worked fine out of the box and then the printer, which was fine. I didn’t have many problems with setting up the printer for network printing, so my better half can print. It didn’t seem to hold the setting after the reboot, so that is a bit more work.

I’m obviously happy with the new PC. The build has been painless and so far my experience with Ubuntu very good. I’ve used Linux for quite a while now, but so far I’ve never had it as my sole operating system. I currently use Gentoo for my webserver and previously, I’ve used Slackware, Debian and FreeBSD. I’ve been able to do everything I want to with it easily so far. Including WoW and EvE, which is great. There have been a few niggles, but they’ve been easily fixed.

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