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Author Topic: hardware questions for new vectorlinux machine...  (Read 1683 times)
haywire
Vectorian
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Posts: 507


« on: March 27, 2009, 11:35:07 pm »

I found vectorlinux some time ago, then I have been using it for some time, mostly for audio production and music
tracking, writing songs, mp3's and so on.

The more I use it the more I feel at home and I'm thinking of finally building a decent machine to run vectorlinux 6.0 and ardour. For my linuxbox to become my main system for work, I need some things I am used to, so in building a new computer, here are my concerns :

1) My windows digital audio workstation has 3 monitors, which I miss alot sometimes when vectoring. Can someone suggest 3 port multi monitor card that vectorlinux supports well? Ideally, I'd prefer something fast too that can do
compiz fuzion and all the 3d stuff, from what I have seen in screenshots, I love that stuff.

2) Can someone suggest a good 24 bit soundcard that vectorlinux/ardour work with well? A multi in/out card is preferred, for example, an 8 in 8 out card is about the most I would need, for recording real drums sometimes, otherwise just stereo in/out is usually more than enough, on my windows box I have two 8in/8out cards, plus
the motherboard soundcard for system sounds...

3) What about processor, should I go 64 bit or is it too soon to bother? quad core? Will AMD or intel offer the best performance for the buck?

4) How much ram is enough? Yes I know this is a loaded question, but I'm thinkin of getting 2-4 gigs.

5) Does vectorlinux support usb drives well? I haven't even tried that, but I see terrabyte drives for cheap lately...

6) What about media readers? I use one from my digital camera sometimes, will I have alot of problems with that?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions guys. I'm looking for an OLD SCHOOL full tower case for this new build.
I want plenty of room in there for mountains of hard drives...

Steven




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Daniel
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 704


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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 11:51:05 am »

3) 64 bit processor: The 64 bit edition of Vector is still in beta2. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that Vector runs fine on quad core processors.

4) RAM: Yes, 2-4 gigs would be fine.

5) USB Drives: USB flash drives do work on Vector. I am not sure about USB Hard Drives but I would think that they would work too.
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VL 6.0 SOHO KDE-Classic on 2.3 Ghz Dual-core AMD with 3 Gigs of RAM
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 05:09:03 pm »

I don't know what sound cards and  video cards would meet your requirements.

Processor: I don't think they're selling 32-bit processors today. (Some places are, of course, but 64-bit is now standard.) 64-bit has been out for quite a while. A 32-bit operating system works fine on a 64-bit processor, but a 64-bit operating system can't work on a 32-bit processor. I would definitely not get 32-bit for a new build because you'd be way obsolete out the door. Quad core is increasingly coming on new computers, so if the price falls within your range, I'd go with quad-core for future proofing.

To take full advantage of dual-and quad-core, programs have to be written to use their capabilities. Not that many are. I expect that to change rapidly. Even without programs that can take advantage of dual cores, you can get a performance increase because the operating system can split the load when several programs are running.

Intel dual core surpassed the performance of AMD dual core. I don't know how things are with more current processors. You should check sites like Tom's Hardware for performance comparisons.

How much RAM is enough? Well, RAM is cheap now, so I'd go for 4 gigs minimum. I don't think a 32-bit VL will use more than 4 gigs, but a 64-bit OS can use far more. If you can get 2 2-gig sticks and still have empty memory slots, that would allow for future expansion without having to discard the RAM you started with.

VectorLinux does quite well supporting external USB hard drives. I have four USB hard drives and one Firewire hard drive. They all work without problems in VL. If you don't have external drives now, I recommend making sure your motherboard supports eSATA. eSATA external hard drives have a much faster transfer rate then USB2 or Firewire. PATA internal drives are rapidly disappearing from the market and some hard drive manufacturers aren't making PATA drives anymore.

As for card readers, I have two computers with built-in card readers and I have a separate USB2 card reader, too. All have worked fine with VL. With the USB2 card reader I have to put the card in the reader's slot before I plug the reader into a USB port. Then it's recognized just like a thumb drive. I don't know if there are brands that are troublesome with Linux. I have three USB2 thumb drives: PNY, Sandisk, and Kingston. They are all recognized and ready to use as soon as I plug them in.

Other people will probably have different opinions and experiences. Have fun with your build!
--GrannyGeek
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Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 11:25:26 pm »

Thanks for your thoughts guys... I would really like to buy a new motherboard but I've been broke...

I just got a 2400mhz celleron machine handed to me, an hp pavillion with windows xp installed....
A friend upgraded and just gave this to me, so it was like christmas in march for me...

I may throw vector on it and see how it performs before buying a newer motherboard, but it being a celleron makes me nervous about it being underpowered for audio applications... My current vector box is just a 1200mhz amd. It runs okay for the music trackers but ardour laughs at it.

I am going to order a terrabyte usb drive, and some other stuff that I can always use no matter what the computer is. I'm hoping some matching flat panel monitors will also land in my pile of donated stuff, but 
I'm not holding my breath for that so I may buy a pair...

Any suggestions for sound/video cards, I'm all ears...

Steven



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rbistolfi
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2290


« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 06:30:06 am »

About soundcards, the best resource is here: http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Main
Just pick up one from that list that suit your needs.
I have seen a Julia from ESI-PRO working nicely, but the support is still unofficial. I think a good card with the features you are looking for are the provided by M-audio. The Delta66 looks good: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Delta66.html and appears in the matrix.
The Audiophile is also supported and may suit your needs, it is smaller: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496.html
About 64bits, you only would gain performance during encoding, I am not that anxious xD. Keep in mind that real time digitalization is done by the audio card Digital/Analogic converters, so not real gain at recording time, at least you use real time plugins.
A 32 bit kernel can use more than 4gigs of ram using PAE.
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
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