[ubuntu-za] New PC

Craig A. Adams craigaa at karg.co.za
Wed Sep 16 10:06:47 BST 2009

Hi Andre,

2009/9/16 Andre Hugo <cortexhugo at mac.com>:
> Could you guys give me guidance on what motherboards and video card
> (Available in RSA) to use that will support Compiz.

Well, your choice depends on the overall performance you want out of
the system, there are also considerations wrt 32 vs 64 bit.

I would build a relatively inexpensive reasonable 32 bit performer as follows...


Unless you have specific needs, going Quad Core will largely be a waste.

     Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.80Ghz (3Mb Cache) - Good Performance
     Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0Ghz (6Mb Cache) - Better Performance


As you are looking for a dedicated video adapter to push Compiz, you
would look at a board without integrated graphics. I have always
preferred the Px5 Intel chipsets for this, but on a budget you could
go for an Px3 chipset. I have listed Intel boards, but you can get
equivalent Asus, Gigabyte, MSI etc. depending upon the feature set you
are looking for.

     Intel BLKDP43TF "Top Field" - Intel P43 Chipset
     Intel BLKDP45SG "Skyberg" - Intel P45 Chipset


Memory is cheap, put in a minimum of 4Gb. Going overboard on "high
performance" memory is really a waste of money. What is important is
to buy memory in pairs.

     Transcend 2Gb DDR2 800Mhz x 2

Video Adapter:

Unless you are into gaming, you should not need anything really better
than an nVidia GeForce 9500GT or an AMD ATI Radeon HD4650. Check
compatibility for the specific chipset and model you would like. The
Ubuntu Forums are an excellent resource for this.


Personal preference and mainboard size rules here. Just ensure that
you get a quality 450W+ power supply with enough SATA power
connectors. Be careful of some on the expensive chassis (eg Gigabtye
iSolo), some look good but are actually terrible to work with.

Optical Drive:

Depending on your needs, virtually any SATA DVD-RW will do. I
personally like two drives in my desktop.

Removable Storage:

The floppy is dead. Get a good internal 3.5" multi-card bay. Mecer
actually stock a pretty good one. This is useful for SD, MMC and a
bunch of other card types. The external ones just get in the way and
clutter up the desk.

Hard Drive:

Choose your capacity and quantity as you like. Just ensure that the
drive is SATA-II and has at least 32Mb cache. If you feel rich, you
can also buy yourself an SSD. Everybody has a brand preference, but
you are likely to end up with a Western Digital or Seagate drive.

Keyboard / Mouse:

Choose what you like. Just check to see if the mainboard has PS/2 if
you want PS/2 devices.


An LCD 19" or better works the best. If I was choosing, either a BenQ
HD2200 or a Samsung P2250.


This is a must. Get yourself a 1KVa Line Interactive or better.


Choose your printer using the Open Printing website as your guide.


Get a set of powered speakers as per your needs. Just ensure that they
are not USB powered.

Other Accessories:

Go wild, most accessories are supported, but a quick Google search is
recommended to check.

Sound Card:

You have to be careful here. Most on board sound chipsets work fine,
but if you want to buy a separate card you must check current

Kindest Regards

Craig A. Adams

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