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Old 18th January 2009
DrJ DrJ is offline
ISO Quartermaster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gold Country, CA
Posts: 507

Originally Posted by Broodjegehaktmetmayo View Post
So does that mean an ATI card will allow for X64? And what is 'a binary blob'?
The ATI driver should work for 64 bit. The "nv" driver does. That's an advantage of open-source code. A "binary blob" is a binary driver provided by a manufacturer. One has no real idea what goes on inside of it, since there is no code available to audit. Some people, particularly those who use Open, really dislike them for a number of valid reasons. I personally use the nVidia driver, and it has been great.
As little [$$] as possible But money is not the main concern (within reasonable boundaries of course). No, I am not overclocking.
As little as possible is not really that helpful. You can get quite a powerful computer for about $1000.

Overclocking with Intel chips is almost a no-brainer these days. I took a Q6600 from 2.4 GHz to 3 GHz easily; one did not even require a voltage change, the other one required only a modest voltage bump. If you do overclock, then you would be well-advised to get an aftermarket cooler. There are a number of good ones.

That's one real advantage of building your own -- you can squeeze a lot more performance out of your computer. Otherwise, you might be better off buying a pre-assembled computer, particularly as the price goes down. A home builder really can't compete on price in the $500 range (give or take), though you can make sure that you get everything you want (slots, memory, various compatible chips).
So what should I do with the mainboard/chipset? Is the one I selected a good one? Or should I insist on Q35?
The only reason to get the Q35 is to use the on-board video that is supported by an open-source Intel driver. If you want a gaming computer, that won't really be an option. In that case go with a mainstream P35 or P45 board. I've used both Abit (RIP) and Gigabyte P35 boards, and they are fine. If you go with ASUS, be careful about the Ethernet chip they use. On some, there is no FreeBSD support. Sorry, I don't know the ASUS line well enough to know which ones those are.

Again, if quiet computing is something you seek, look carefully at how you can control the various fans from the BIOS. That's where Abit excelled -- the GB board had only one controllable fan header, and you could not adjust that one much.

And the CPU: still core duo, or quad?
That really depends on your work load. If you *really* do a lot of multiprocessing, then by all means go for the quad core. Most people don't do as much multiprocessing as they think, so two cores may be enough. For the same price, the dual cores are usually clocked higher, and clock speed does matter.

This is particularly true on FreeBSD if you compile from ports. That is still a single task, though work to parallelize it is proceeding. For ports, raw CPU and disk speed matter more than number of cores. The OS world compilation is parallelized, so cores matter, but for most people compiling ports consumes a lot more time.

Also note the various chip options. The newer generation are made using 45nm technology; they tend to run cooler, which is a good thing. On the other hand, keep an eye out for the virtualization features of the chip. The low-end ones usually don't have capabilities for hardware virtualization. You probably won't need that, since virtualization on FreeBSD is pretty terrible, and you did not mention any virtualization needs on the XP box.
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