I finally have a bit of cash to spend. Not a big chunk right now, but
it looks like i'll have some money to spare every week for the next
few weeks. I've decided I'm going to spend it on starting my dream
desktop computer. Now, while I am familiar with Linux (familiar, not
an expert, and can hassle with the nitty gritty for only so long
before i snap), I'm what I call "a software person". I don't have a
slightest clue about hardware. I know, many are probably shaking your
head, but it's true. Here, I'll prove it: Because I know nothing about
hardware, and only buy stuff I understand about, I'm still running a
Cyrix 166 (really an overclocked 133) with 2Gig hard drive. The only
good thing is the 64Meg RAM. It's funny to say the only real reason I
got into Linux three years ago is because the latest Windows (98)
would no longer run on this box.. :-) And I'd heard Linux ran well on
dated hardware, so here I am, and am now a convert :-)
Anyway, I'm lloking for pointers from the group here. I don't expect
complete answers, but I would like suggestions (with explanations,
remember I'm a *complete* clueless about hardware) and pointers on
good resources for learning. Also, I would not mind other people's
specs on their own Dream Machines. It could help me put mine into
I am also looking for a Dream Machine that I can slowly and steadily
build together over time, with the final product being a
knock-your-socks-off wonder, while being able to add bits and pieces
of it over the next few months while still running it now (don't want
to stick it off to the side collecting dust until it's done). So I
need a plan. Was hoping you folks here could help with that, too.
Now, my needs:
I don't care about games. I'm not a gamer at all, in the slightest. So
3D graphics are not needed (I don't even do CAD or graphics design).
But I will need *excellent* video support. the best video possible.
Both for running TV signals on it, for streaming video, DVDs, video
conferencing over the Net, etc...
What kind of video card(s) should i get for the above?
what kind of monitor? this can come later, and probably near last,
since i have a 17" CRT that will work fine for now. but i eventually
want to get a large plasma screen. you know, the ones that run
$7,000+? like i said, this will likely be last.
also audio. I would like a kick-ass sound system. for music, but also
excellent voice-quality support, also for DVDs and conferencing over
what kind of sound card should i get for the above?
and what about audio input? i am not going to be creating any music,
so that's not needed. but i will want to do speech recognition
what about speaker system? this will come later. i have some basic
speakers that will do for now.
I run Linux, and will always run linux, so what the OS supports is a
big issue. I don't need to worry about Windows or Mac, I'm never going
to run them, I'm sure.
What about hard drive space? I suppose I could get dozens of Gigs of
space if it's cheap now. Why not, eh? But I want it to be fast and
most important by far: reliable and stable.
What about expansion slots? I'll be needing plenty of these for the
video card, sound card, ethernet card, and whatever else I decide
(with your help) to put in there...
i'm thinking of trying a dual-processor system. i'd like AMD, since
i've heard lots of great stuff about their chips. what do i need to
know for dual-processing under linux?
what motherboard should i look into for dual processing under linux
with AMD chips?
what kind of AMD chips should i look into for linux and
dual-processing? i've heard lots of talk, and seen chip prices have
absolutely plummetted in the past 3 ears (geez, i just found a 600Mhz
processor for $25!!!! who'd have thunk it 3 years ago, huh?).
what other considerations should i take into account?
thank you all. i know that with your help i'm going to be a very happy
geek soon :-)