Friday, November 8, 2013

LInux - Pimping the old machine

Yes, I am back.  I just got overwhelmed by stupidity.  Sometimes when the whole world goes on a binge, I just post and post my catty remarks and go a bit manic, and lose my humour perspective.  So, I'll start with my project which I did as therapy.

My second Linux machine, which I use mainly as a media server, went tits-up.  The posting beep just went on an on, which indicates a memory failure.  The machine is really old.  Being cheap, I always keep the same case, and just changed the internals.

Here's my list from Tiger Direct

ITEM:  A79-6600
Description:  Amd A-Series APU A8-6600K BLK
Quantity(EA):       1
Price(EA):          99.97
Extended Price:          99.97

ITEM:  K24-5880
Description:  Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB DDR3
Quantity(EA):       1
Price(EA):          49.99
Extended Price:          49.99

ITEM:  K24-0301
Description:  Kingston V300 120GB SATA 3 SSD
Quantity(EA):       1
Price(EA):         114.99
Extended Price:         114.99

Description:  ULTRA LSP550 550W ATX POWER
Quantity(EA):       1
Price(EA):          49.97
Extended Price:          49.97

ITEM:  A455-8503
Quantity(EA):       1
Price(EA):          79.97
Extended Price:          79.97

To that, add the stupid bracket to mount an ssd on a 3.5 inch disk rack.  (Forgot it first time) - $12

It all went together beautiful.  Debian installer screws up the keyboard, so you have to install from Debian Live.  The motherboard has all the graphics, which is what I wanted, since I don't play games on that machine.

Now, the A8 APU is a bit weird.  It has a lot of graphics built-in, but I haven't checked all the Linux drivers.  I only have an old screen.  It's slow, but uses very little power.  On my 1 year old machine, I have a standard Athlon 6, and I run handbrake on it to convert videos, which uses all processors.  When I do a movie, all the emergency fans come on full blast, and the thing heats the room!  The A8 is a bit slower on the movie, but doesn't even get warm.

Update:  Silly me, the A8 is only quad-core.  So my super-hot Athlon 6 core is faster.

Update2:  Do not activate the Radeon drivers in a new kernel.  This graphics arrangement screws up.

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