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Upgrade Home Desktop Computer, Still Running Linux

  • Monday, July 01 2013 @ 11:02 PM UTC
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I've been musing about getting a faster computer ever since Steam for Linux was released. As mentioned previously, TF2 (Team Fortress 2) was playable on my old computer... but I had to run at a reduced resolution. At about the same time, I was doing some intensive graphics editing in GIMP and Inkscape and for the first time in a while (ever?) I had a productivity (rather than gaming) need for a faster processor. I also edit video from time to time which always wants more compute power.

I last blogged about my desktop computer in 2010. Some of that has not changed (mouse, keyboard, computer case, ...), but I finished upgrading motherboard, CPU, memory, hard drive, and graphics card and WOW this machine is BLAZING FAST! The SATA3 SSD helps my system boot to the login screen in under 10 seconds! I'm pleased that I got so much use out of those old components but now I will hand them down to another Linux user.

The nVidia GTX650 Ti BOOST graphics card that I bought from NewEgg was new enough that the standard drivers available for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS did not support it. After some struggle, the driver package nvidia-319 from "Edgers" PPA did the trick and I have amazing graphics for gaming. Here are some screenshots of Linux gaming, all running natively...

Portal:



Dungeon Defenders:



Serious Sam 3 BFE:




These screenshots of the nVidia control panel (nvidia-settings) show some details of the graphics card and drivers:





System Info:

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2400 CPU @ 3.10GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
Heatsink / Cooler: Rosewill RCX-Z300 92mm Ball CPU Cooler
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1608DT1TX0
Boot Hard Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive)
Second Hard Drive: Western Digital WD3200AAJS 320 GB
Video Card: MSI N650ti-1GD5/OC BE GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16
Optical Drive: ASUS generic DVD Burner
Power Supply: Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power 80 PLUS
Operating System: Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS Precise Pangolin (64-bit)

The case is a Rosewill RZS06 ATX Mid Tower, long since discontinued. I still like the design with the bottom / sideways mounted power supply. This case also has USB, audio, and Firewire ports on the front side of the case, exactly where I want them for the placement on my desk.

More detail of the hardware as Linux sees it, for those interested...

lspci:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200/2nd Generation Core Processor Family PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 05)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 05)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev b5)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 5 (rev b5)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6 (rev b5)
00:1c.6 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 7 (rev b5)
00:1c.7 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 8 (rev b5)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 05)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Z68 Express Chipset Family LPC Controller (rev 05)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller (rev 05)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 05)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 11c2 (rev a1)
01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation Device 0e0b (rev a1)
03:00.0 IDE interface: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88SE91A0 SATA 6Gb/s Controller (rev 12)
04:00.0 USB controller: Etron Technology, Inc. EJ168 USB 3.0 Host Controller (rev 01)
05:00.0 USB controller: Etron Technology, Inc. EJ168 USB 3.0 Host Controller (rev 01)
06:00.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:01.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:04.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:05.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:06.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:07.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:08.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
07:09.0 PCI bridge: PLX Technology, Inc. PEX 8608 8-lane, 8-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (rev ba)
09:00.0 PCI bridge: ASMedia Technology Inc. ASM1083/1085 PCIe to PCI Bridge (rev 01)
0b:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6315 Series Firewire Controller (rev 01)
0c:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM57781 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe (rev 10)


cpuinfo for the first core:

processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 42
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2400 CPU @ 3.10GHz
stepping : 7
microcode : 0x14
cpu MHz : 1600.000
cache size : 6144 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 4
core id : 0
cpu cores : 4
apicid : 0
initial apicid : 0
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 13
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx lahf_lm ida arat epb xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid
bogomips : 6186.15
clflush size : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:
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