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Topic: Tips for computer builders (Read 18121 times)

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #50
If a distro doesn't do something similar I'd probably avoid it as deeply user-unfriendly. We're talking hundreds of kilobytes here, megabytes at most.
Sure, if your user experience involves graphics cards. Mine didn't until now.

Besides, Manjaro does do something similar. I had the vesa driver. The boot got stuck, as far as I could see, at NetworkManager, which should not be related, but occurred specifically when I inserted/removed the graphics card. I reinstalled because it was the fastest option I could figure out, I had the settings backed up already, and I had to run somewhere else the same evening.

There are very different Manjaros and, for this particular system, I had gone through, for example, changing the init from systemd to openrc, just for fun. I cannot generalise that Manjaro always fails when you add/change the graphics card. This is my first experience ever with a graphics card. I did no research prior (except checking that the card fits the motherboard), no research afterwards, and the whole operation took an hour. Good enough, I'd say, even though of course I'd want it to be smoother. For that I need more experience and research to know what precautions to take.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #51
It always involves GPUs in the sense that you want things to be painted on the screen smoothly. Without the right drivers it can take seconds for a window to show up.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #52
Right, I'm not on my phone. You didn't have floppies? How did you save your documents?

I had no need to save things to take them elsewhere. I saved it and reopened it on the same computer. When ready, I e-mailed it for whom it was designated. Occasionally, but rarely I indeed needed to move things for myself between computers, and then I e-mailed stuff to myself. From this you can deduce that I had nothing to do with computers prior to e-mail era and for a long while I treated them like a static writing desk, not a mobile multi-tool on the run the way it is now.

Back to computer building. The machine I started in the beginning of this thread came out excellent and was in good use with myself first and now at someone else. Meanwhile I bought another used machine, but this turned out pretty unfortunate. Once I get rid of that purchase, I will be ready to build a permanent machine for myself, finally. Now I know what I want and how to achieve it.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #53
E-mail, how fancy. :) (Although I've always thought of mailing to yourself as less elegant than simply carrying a floppy/USB stick around except as a kind of backup.)

Now I know what I want and how to achieve it.
Excellent! What do you want? :P

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #54
Now I know what I want and how to achieve it.
Excellent! What do you want? :P
A computer with a graphics card that can run three displays, with a processor that can handle a 4K video while a graphical webbrowser (or two or more) are up at the same time. This way buying a 4K monitor would make sense.

I currently have a 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Not 4K, but better than FullHD. Quite good for watching the movies of the golden era. It's also great for examining Google maps and having three-four docs side by side. So I basically have everything I need, but I want it a bit more updated/upgraded, because right now it's sometimes a bit of a burden on the hardware. It would be nicer without hiccups.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #55
A computer with a graphics card that can run three displays, with a processor that can handle a 4K video while a graphical webbrowser (or two or more) are up at the same time. This way buying a 4K monitor would make sense.
I'd say every halfway-decent CPU from the past five years should be capable of that. The admittedly slightly overclocked '09 AMD Phenom II X4 955BE I ran for about a year before acquiring my current computer could almost deal with a high quality UHD video — at least in mpv.[1] In VLC it couldn't manage at all. Anyway, point being if you get something sensible like an Intel Core i5-4590 (admittedly that's slightly older now, so the successor) or one of those nice new Zen CPUs you should be set (given enough RAM, which is currently at some kind of record high).

The GPU part of that is a lot more complicated.
That means smooth video at times, too slow but watchable at others. And we're not talking silly YouTube "4k"; every computer can handle that nonsense. :P

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #56
The admittedly slightly overclocked '09 AMD Phenom II X4 955BE I ran for about a year before acquiring my current computer could almost deal with a high quality UHD video -- at least in mpv.
I happen to be stuck with the exact same processor (or maybe X2, I cannot check right now). Unfortunately the box (bought used) has given me troubles - not the processor, but some other part or combination of parts that I cannot identify - and I am doomed to sell it at some point somehow. That would be a good moment to make the next acquisition so that everything would be cool for a very long time.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #57
The playback codecs also increase in efficiency, even without GPU involvement. Back in '07 my Core 2 Duo E6600 could barely deal with HD video, whereas by '14 it was a breeze. I never had a GPU that did video decoding in that machine.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #58
I know little about the chemistry of video. I know that intensive processes require muscle and that's CPU and RAM. Whereas when buying a GPU you have to observe how many monitors it can take in at the same time (often it's limited to two, despite the number of available holes) and the greatest resolution and framerate sometimes depends on how many monitors are plugged in.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #59
Most GPUs can offload H.264 decoding to the GPU now. It's how something puny like a Raspberry Pi or slower cellphones can still playback video well in spite of their slowness. But even on a proper computer it's still helpful because it saves your CPU for other tasks. The same built-in chip can often help encoding video, but unfortunately such hardware decoding is often rather limited in scope.


Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #61
It's unclear to me from the post how much of that has to do with Linux. Someone who works at Red Hat is probably sufficiently knowledgeable, but it should be obvious that to use a brand-spanking new CPU you should also use a brand-spanking new kernel and such.[1] Or as one of the comments says: use Gentoo, not Fedora 25 from November of 2016.

My Debian Stretch, for example ­— that's a no-go.

Code: [Select]
$ uname -a
Linux frenzie-desktop 4.9.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.51-1 (2017-09-28) x86_64 GNU/Linux

I'm pretty sure you need at least 4.11 for Ryzen. For such purposes you can get 4.12 from stretch-backports.

Or maybe you get that standard in Fedora?
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Fedora-Linux-4.12
Although to be fair I would only expect gross inefficiencies, like not throttling up or down. Not crashes.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #62
It's unclear to me from the post how much of that has to do with Linux.
It's to do with Linux because Linux was the first OS to be installed on the hardware and ended up with the described problems.

Or as one of the comments says: use Gentoo, not Fedora 25 from November of 2016.
Since works for Red Hat and with Red Hat, Gentoo is out of the question. But I assume he knows how to install the newest kernels for Red Hat.

My own (first lengthy) experience with an oldish AMD was about as frustrating. Being a noob, I was unable to figure out the problem and wasted a lot of money changing RAM and the graphics card, which were pointless expenses. The problem affected all Linuxes I tried, but I most definitely wanted Manjaro. Eventually, either Manjaro's kernel updates and modifications fixed the problem (because I complained on the forums too) or some other miracle happened and I am free of freezes now.[1]

My box originally came with Windows, which was probably unaffected (I looked into Windows too briefly to be certain). The end of the article says that Ryzen is not smooth even with Windows. 
Incidentally, when I was having these woes, I noticed that Arch guys had made custom kernels tweaked specifically for that AMD CPU. So I grabbed them and installed them, but it turned out that Manjaro does not play well at all with those kernels. Manjaro and Arch are not too close for all purposes.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #63
Since works for Red Hat and with Red Hat, Gentoo is out of the question. But I assume he knows how to install the newest kernels for Red Hat.
I wouldn't be inclined to use Gentoo over precompiled alternatives like Arch, Debian, Fedora, Manjaro, Ubuntu, etc. anyway,[1] but I wasn't quite able to glean from the text to what extent AMD is to blame. I actually got more of an "Intel didn't bother testing their stupidly expensive SSD" and "ASUS messed up their motherboard" out of it. Which to be sure isn't good for AMD — they should be on that ASUS thing like hawks — but who knows. :)
It's pretty much just a waste of electricity and time at best if you ask me.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #64
wasn't quite able to glean from the text to what extent AMD is to blame. I actually got more of an "Intel didn't bother testing their stupidly expensive SSD" and "ASUS messed up their motherboard" out of it. Which to be sure isn't good for AMD -- they should be on that ASUS thing like hawks -- but who knows.
Well, here's what I gleaned: After the (Intel) SSD issue was identified and bypassed, the CPU problems (AMD's Ryzen) became evident and were deemed unsolvable. As he was waiting for a replacement CPU, he tried lots of different settings with the (ASUS) mobo.

After getting the replacement CPU, another set of problems became evident (earlier there were freezes on load, then freezes when idle). This is similar to the issues I used to have with my AMD computer, and even though I am not competent in debugging and identifying the source of problems very well, I can say that the issue must have been CPU most likely, because the HDD did not pose problems when installing/booting, and changing RAM and graphics card had no effect on the user experience. Until everything became okay after a certain update from Manjaro. So there was something in the relationship of CPU with the kernel.

The quality of hardware can be random and extremely hard to solve.

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #65
the CPU problems (AMD's Ryzen) became evident and were deemed unsolvable. As he was waiting for a replacement CPU, he tried lots of different settings with the (ASUS) mobo.
Of course, but hardware failure has nothing to do with Linux. The title of the post is "Ryzen and Linux is a disaster". But the post itself is "Ryzen had a bad hardware revision, Intel SSD underperforms for price, and ASUS mobo needs BIOS updates." The "and Linux" part feels needlessly restrictive. :P

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #66
Hmm, I guess you are right. It should be "Building a computer is a disaster".

Re: Tips for computer builders

Reply #67
Maybe so. :lol:

I've been lucky overall, except on my/my wife's ASUS motherboards I think the way they did the RAM is really confusing.

On the old '09 board, also DDR3 (an early one), you still have the two clicky things on both sides so you know exactly when it's in properly and when it's not.

On the '14 motherboards, only one side has that. Because — motherboard maker logic I suppose — that's all you need to get it out. But seating it was a lot harder than it always used to be.