Help Building a Linux Gaming PC

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Help Building a Linux Gaming PC

Postby JMerithew on Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:48 pm

Hello everyone, in a few short weeks I will (finally) be making my first attempt at using Linux. I've wanted to give it a shot for a long time, but to be honest I've always been a little intimidated. I've built a few computers in the past, but from the bit of research I've done I've noticed some things work better than others with Linux.

The only concrete decision I've made so far is to use Mint. I want to be able to use the Steam Client, and Mint seems more my style than Ubuntu. My budget is between 500 and 600 dollars. I'm not looking as much for a specific build, though that would be very helpful, as I am general tips. Usually on this type of budget I'd consider using SLI or crossfire with some lower end cards to get better performance, but I'm not sure if that's how it works in Linux. Also I've seen some debates between ATI and Nvidia. I've always been an ATI fan myself, but from what I've read is Nvidia performs better, but ATI has open sourced drivers. Are there any big advantages to open sourced drivers that would make it worth using ATI and hoping they improve the drivers as time goes on?

As for specific games I'm not super picky so I'll probably pick from whatever's available on Steam. The one exception would be World of Warcraft. I haven't fully decided if I will play it again, but if I do I'll have to use Wine for that. Though I read that Blizzard is working on a Linux port of one of there games, so hopefully it's WoW.

My last question would be does anyone have any general tips for someone using Linux for the first time?

Thank you all in advance. I can't wait to get my computer built so I can finally check out Linux!
JMerithew
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Re: Help Building a Linux Gaming PC

Postby mfluder on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:09 pm

Great post. I have been using Linux Mint for over a year. I am also interested in gaming on the platform. I have had success using linux native emulators, windows emulators in wine, windows games in wine, and native linux games. I've never used Steam. I have a digital storm for my PC and an ATI Radeon 5770 for my video card. As far as the video drivers are concerned, I always use the latest proprietary drivers provided in the repository. I do the same for nvidia drivers on another laptop that I use. They both work fairly well, though I have experienced minor problems at times. The issue is NOT with Linux but with the minimal amount of support those manufacturers provide for linux users. I have never used the open source drivers so I cannot comment on those. Great thing is there much support on forums like these.
Decide which version on Linux Mint you want to use. I use Linux Mint 13 cinnamon 64-bit. Mint 13 is a long term release which is perfect for a new user. If you are gaming, then 64-bit is the way to go. Also, cinnamon is quite an easy desktop to use.
Learn terminal commands. Often, you can solve problems through the terminal that can't be solved otherwise.
Have patience. Sometimes issues happen that take time to work through. Don't give up on linux. Mint is a great gaming platform and support is growing daily.
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Re: Help Building a Linux Gaming PC

Postby JMerithew on Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:19 pm

mfluder wrote:Great post. I have been using Linux Mint for over a year. I am also interested in gaming on the platform. I have had success using linux native emulators, windows emulators in wine, windows games in wine, and native linux games. I've never used Steam. I have a digital storm for my PC and an ATI Radeon 5770 for my video card. As far as the video drivers are concerned, I always use the latest proprietary drivers provided in the repository. I do the same for nvidia drivers on another laptop that I use. They both work fairly well, though I have experienced minor problems at times. The issue is NOT with Linux but with the minimal amount of support those manufacturers provide for linux users. I have never used the open source drivers so I cannot comment on those. Great thing is there much support on forums like these.
Decide which version on Linux Mint you want to use. I use Linux Mint 13 cinnamon 64-bit. Mint 13 is a long term release which is perfect for a new user. If you are gaming, then 64-bit is the way to go. Also, cinnamon is quite an easy desktop to use.
Learn terminal commands. Often, you can solve problems through the terminal that can't be solved otherwise.
Have patience. Sometimes issues happen that take time to work through. Don't give up on linux. Mint is a great gaming platform and support is growing daily.

I'm definitely planning on going with Cinnamon 64, it looks very intuitive and straightforward. I wasn't sure if I should go with Mint 13 or Mint 14 though. Terminal commands is where I'm a bit nervous, though I'm pretty good at memorizing things, so I'm hoping that will help.
JMerithew
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Re: Help Building a Linux Gaming PC

Postby mfluder on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:28 pm

Mint 13 is a long term release which is great for entry level users. It will be supported for 5 years and it is already very stable. Also, you don't need to be afraid of the terminal window. You can start with very basic but essential commands such as installing updates or elevating user permissions on files.
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