Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Motherboard Upgrade HOWTO

Filed under
Hardware
HowTos

When considering a motherboard upgrade, the first question to ask is if the upgrade makes financial sense. If you made a list of what goes into a local dealer's white box PC clone and then priced out what those component parts cost on their own, you usually would discover that the individual parts cost significantly more that the clone PC. If your PC has a lot of issues that need to be addressed and you aren't happy with much in your current PC, you may be better off buying a basic PC clone. Then, you simply could move the parts you consider to be of value over to the new system.

Another point to consider is that many name brand PCs--Dell, HP and others--are infamous for using not quite standard cases and/or power supplies. So, even if you are happy with your current case and/or power supply, you may need to replace them as part of a motherboard upgrade.

The first choice to be made concerned the CPU chip. Current motherboards are keyed to certain CPUs, so you cannot use an Intel CPU in a motherboard designed for an AMD CPU and vice versa. That explains why I picked the CPU first. Because of the things I wanted to re-use, I decided to go with an x86-compatible CPU. The current AMD CPUs seem to be offering slightly better bang-for-the-buck than the Intel CPUs, so I focused on AMD. When it comes to CPU speed, keep in mind that, as of this writing, the latest AMD Athlon CPU costs about seven times as much as the cheapest current AMD Sempron CPU. In the Intel world, the latest Pentium 4 costs about four times as much as the slowest current Celeron. The question here is, will you get a machine that is 7 or 4 times faster for your money? The answer is no. On most benchmarks, you are likely to see less than a doubling of speed. Although it's nice to have bragging rights at the local user group, you are paying an absurd premium for extra performance that isn't worth the money in any normal situation. Having settled on a low-end Sempron 2400+ CPU chip, which came with a heat sink and fan, I now was ready to look at motherboards.

I wanted a motherboard that didn't have on-board video. It may seem odd that I was willing to pay a little bit more not to get a certain feature in a motherboard. And, yes, a separate video card does add a few dollars to the total cost of the system, but it also bypasses some hassles. In my experience, on-board video motherboards tend to cut too many corners, resulting in lousy X performance and/or trouble with support under X. I ended up going with an Asus model A7V8X-X motherboard. It was about the least expensive motherboard that had everything I wanted--AGP slot and six expansion slots--and none of the stuff I didn't want--on-board video. The only small oddity with this Asus motherboard is the audio, which was not supported until the 2.6 series Linux kernels. This would be an issue, however, only if I planned to install an old Linux distribution.

Once the CPU and motherboard were decided, I was able to decide on the memory, which is a choice that depends on the CPU and motherboard components.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Games: Ostriv, Back to Bed, EVERSPACE, Hiveswap: Act 1

Openwashing and Microsoft FUD

BlueBorne Vulnerability Is Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases, Update Now

Canonical released today new kernel updates for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases, patching recently discovered security vulnerabilities, including the infamous BlueBorne that exposes billions of Bluetooth devices. The BlueBorne vulnerability (CVE-2017-1000251) appears to affect all supported Ubuntu versions, including Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) up to 16.04.3, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) up to 14.04.5, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) up to 12.04.5. Read more

Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS