[sclug] Kinda OT - PC recommendations?

Will Dickson wrd at glaurung.demon.co.uk
Thu Mar 22 23:20:09 UTC 2007

James Wyper wrote:
> Afternoon everyone,
> I am about to replace our family PC after 7 years.  I want something
> with reasonable longevity to replace it, but not necessarily leading
> edge (e.g. it will need to run Windows for the rest of the family, but
> not necessarily Vista).  When it's running Linux it will almost
> certainly be running Ubuntu.
> So.. are there any brands/models of graphics cards to look out
> for/avoid for the best experience with Linux?

My ?0.02: nVidia graphics cards all the way. The one time I went ATI, 
their drivers sucked, and I never did get accelerated 3D working. As far 
as nVidia drivers go, there is a Free one which doesn't have all of the 
3D acceleration (AFAIK), and a closed, kernel-tainting one which works 
fine with Ubuntu, although YMMV with Feisty until it goes gold - I'm 
still running Dapper.

> And.. what's the best value option for buying one these days?  Is PC
> World competitively priced on PCs, 

Unlikely. Their peripherals / upgrades are strictly for rich tourists, 
that much I do know. Also, watch out for proprietary, non-standard 
components, which the likes of Dull tend to use in order to make you buy 
their ludicrously overpriced upgrade options, rather than the generic 
ones everyone else uses.

I've had good experiences with http://www.cclonline.com/ . I always 
build my own machines - it may well not be the cheapest way to do it 
nowadays if you're building the machine from scratch, but it means I can 
specify exactly what I want, and I'm usually recycling components anyway.

Never used Fleabay, but by reputation it's full of scammers; personally 
I'd avoid it.

One final tip: spend the extra if you possibly can, and buy a real power 
supply - if you've got a gaming graphics card, I'd recommend 450W 
minimum. The cheap-and-cheerful ones don't last very long, and round 
here at least transient brownouts (<1 sec) are common. A good PSU 
running comfortably within its rating will stay up though one of these, 
an el-cheapo running near to full power may not do.



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