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Ideal Desktop Hardware

Discussion in 'System Hardware' started by thekayhan, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. thekayhan

    thekayhan New Member

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    I'm planning on building a desktop from scratch and using FreeBSD as the exclusive OS. I have moderate Linux experience, but next to zero BSD experience. I figure that because I get to choose all the hardware, I might as well pick stuff that will work well with minimal configuration. With that in mind:

    Generally: Anything to look out for when buying hardware in general? Is there a comprehensive list of supported hardware? Are some companies generally better than others?

    CPU: Any x86_64 right?
    GPU: In Linux Intel GMA was well supported with open drivers. Is this true for BSD too? Are there any discrete cards with good open drivers, or even quality closed ones?
    Motherboard: Anything to look out for?
    Wireless: Are some companies guaranteed, or do I have to go model by model? Any particular models to avoid/get?

    Anything else?

    Thank you, I'm looking forward to having a rocking Unix box soon!
     
  2. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Pretty much, yes.

    Yes and no. There's a project which has a good start on the KMS Intel drivers. It's not quite ready for general use yet.

    Radeon cards have an open source driver, but only up to the 4xxx series. Later ones need KMS drivers. I've tested various older Radeons and the 4650 seems to be a good balance of performance versus heat generation.

    NVidia has a closed-source driver that should work with almost all of their cards.

    Depending on who you ask, one of those two drivers above is terrible in one way or another, while the other is the best thing ever.

    Hard to say.

    Atheros is generally the best bet. Unlikely they'll be included with a motherboard. Realtek 8187 isn't bad, some of the RALink. Broadcom, some work great, many do not.

    Asus is highly overrated, IMO. Gigabyte is okay. Get polymer ("solid") capacitors if possible.
     
  3. Goose997

    Goose997 New Member

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  4. vermaden

    vermaden Member

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    Only if You want to use ZFS heavily or need more then 3GB RAM, if not and not, i386 is ok.

    I have great experience with Intel GMA 3100, X3100 and X4500, I do not used discrete card for quite long time, so I will not help about them.

    Also do not get i3/i5/i7 Intel CPU until GEM/KMS project is finished.

    If seeking for above cards, then G-likes have X-likes GMAs, and Q-likes have non-X-likes graphics, for example G45 will have X4500 while Q45 has 4500 (without some acceleration).

    I have had Intel models, they worked good, but I have heard that Atheros' on BSD are second to none.

    4K drives are little PITA, I prefer to use 512B ones, but its unavoidable anyway ;)
     
  5. bbzz

    bbzz New Member

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    vermaden,
    I've been doing a little research on this, but I'm still unsure as to what it does/means.
    I got i7/x58 chipset. What is it that is wrong with i7?
    Regards
     
  6. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Nothing, just don't plan on using onboard graphics until the Intel KMS driver work is done. (Actually, it sounds mostly-usable now, but it's not done.)

    Add-on graphics boards should be fine, AFAIK. Untested, although I'd be happy to test an i7 if anybody wants to provide CPU/motherboard/memory.
     
  7. Zhwazi

    Zhwazi New Member

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    For the CPU, anything x86 or x86-64 should work fine. I recommend installing 64-bit unless there's a particular reason you need 32-bit. If you can't think of a specific one, then there probably isn't a reason to use i386.

    For the GPU, I always buy nVidia because that driver works well for me. I have no experience with the Radeon driver, but somebody else in the thread said it works on older Radeon cards. I avoided Intel graphics because of poor performance, I understand the Sandy Bridge GPU sucks less but that will require the KMS stuff that isn't in the OS yet.

    For the motherboard, look at the sound card and NIC to see if they are supported.

    For wireless, I recommend Intel 5000 and 6000 cards. With other manufacturers they may have two "revisions" of a product that are actually two wholly unrelated cards that are usually not going to work nicely. I have nothing good to say about Broadcom wireless cards. A good number of cards can be made to work with ndisgen.
     
  8. bigearsbilly

    bigearsbilly New Member

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    I've never had problems with hardware.
    Everything including sound always seems to work ok.

    I have NVIDIA on board and now you can get NVIDIA drivers so you get OpenGL or whatever it is.

    AMD64 works fine. I have one at home and I just bought a 4 core at work.
     
  9. rabfulton

    rabfulton New Member

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    I like to use a ssd for the base os and 3 sata drives in a raidz for home. I'd also recommend nvidia for the graphics card as you get vdpau as well as good opengl.