I said I would follow up. Who knew I actually would?
I love my new PC. It’s been a few years since I did a build for myself, so I took my time lovingly feeling every piece for the tactile joy of it, and completely ignoring any printed material that came with the parts. Well, I did read the bit about the front panel connectors, that one is kind of a must when it’s not printed on the board.
For the record it consists of an ASUS M3A78-EM with an AMD Athlon 64X2 7750 Black Box. I was on a budget so I could not go for the quad core as yet, so I made sure I got a mobo that would stand some upgrades when the price-point drops. Check out the ports on the mobo, it has everything. Check out the cache on the CPU (1MB L2, 2MB L3). I am sticking with the on-board video for now; I prefer NVidia to ATI, but for the moment it will do. It fit the price.
All of that has nothing to do with Kubuntu. Since I got the parts together late, I did not have as much time to play as I would have liked, but I do know that it boots very quickly. I will time it this weekend, but it was around 15 seconds from GRUB to KDM. I did some installs of apps that were not shipped with the default desktop, such as Firefox, mplayer, fglrx, and a few other choice bits I like (which I will mention by name in a follow-up). I was fairly impressed so far.
Now for the bad news. From the get-go KDE 4.2 let me down. When 4.0 arrived with Kubuntu 8.10, I tried it for a day or two, and was very unimpressed. This time I thought it must have had some improvements, it’s now two minor revisions beyond the dreaded .0 version. While it is slightly more stable, within minutes I had had my first crash on the panel. I had several more, not hardware-related. Now these could be the fault of the applet developers and not KDE itself, but it certainly soured my first look. I will probably nuke this install and reinstall with the KDE3 remix over the weekend.
One I got fglrx running, I just had to install Nexuiz. I did buy faster hardware and lots more RAM, how else was I to see it in action? I gotta say it ran smoothly. So what if I can’t hit anything or bunny-hop my way out of danger.
Till next time, keep your clock multiplier high and your temperature low.
I’ve always been impressed with the quality of Asus motherboards and notebooks. They’ve been at the base of all my systems since the 90s. My private notebook is still a PIII Asus that simply won’t stop being useful!
Thanks for the heads-up, I’m starting to investigate a pure 64-bit system and this is a good candidate.