The actual use of good hardware.

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Shibblet
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The actual use of good hardware.

Post by Shibblet » Mon May 21, 2012 5:11 pm

I'm an avid Linux user, and I am a gamer. But I run Steam in Windows for my games, and Linux Mint for everything else.

I have an AMD Phenom 9750 (Quad Core), and an Nvidia GTX260 for Graphics, 8-G of DDR3 Ram. Don't worry about HDD Space, that's irrelevant for performance.

This hardware option comes in really handy when I am in Windows running Mass Effect 3. However, the only portion of this that comes in handy in Linux Mint is the quad-core processor when I am running Handbrake to encode my DVD's.

So, my mother wanted a new computer. I know she's not a gamer, or a video encoder, so I picked one out with very modest specs, and she loves it. She is also running Linux Mint (as of now), and loves it much more than Windows. She also never has any computer problems or issues because all she does is Pictures, Web-Browsing, Email, and Libre-Office Writer and Calc.

If I didn't play games, or encoded my own video (and that one is kind of changable), I'd be happy with netbook specs.

My questions for you are, What on earth do you use your bad-ass hardware for in Linux? And do you find it necessary?
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cwwgateway
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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by cwwgateway » Mon May 21, 2012 9:35 pm

Shibblet wrote:I'm an avid Linux user, and I am a gamer. But I run Steam in Windows for my games, and Linux Mint for everything else.

I have an AMD Phenom 9750 (Quad Core), and an Nvidia GTX260 for Graphics, 8-G of DDR3 Ram. Don't worry about HDD Space, that's irrelevant for performance.

This hardware option comes in really handy when I am in Windows running Mass Effect 3. However, the only portion of this that comes in handy in Linux Mint is the quad-core processor when I am running Handbrake to encode my DVD's.

So, my mother wanted a new computer. I know she's not a gamer, or a video encoder, so I picked one out with very modest specs, and she loves it. She is also running Linux Mint (as of now), and loves it much more than Windows. She also never has any computer problems or issues because all she does is Pictures, Web-Browsing, Email, and Libre-Office Writer and Calc.

If I didn't play games, or encoded my own video (and that one is kind of changable), I'd be happy with netbook specs.

My questions for you are, What on earth do you use your bad-ass hardware for in Linux? And do you find it necessary?
I use my hardware for video games (on Windows and Linux), but I don't find that it's really necessary. It's kind of just a nice thing to have (I know that's not the best answer). I guess if you're doing intense work (video editing, gaming, compiling, etc), it's helpful.
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Shibblet
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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by Shibblet » Tue May 22, 2012 3:58 pm

cwwgateway wrote:I use my hardware for video games (on Windows and Linux), but I don't find that it's really necessary. It's kind of just a nice thing to have (I know that's not the best answer). I guess if you're doing intense work (video editing, gaming, compiling, etc), it's helpful.
Actually, that is more of the answer I was expecting. But I see most computer users to be simplistic. I'm not making judgements against character, simple computer use is a GOOD THING. However, most gamers rock the X-Box or PS3. Most computer users use their Web-Browser, listen to music, save pictures, etc. Most of these things can be done on a tablet PC now-a-days. Realistically leaving the desktop and laptop as nothing more than a glorified typewriter. Unless of course you are a gamer. I am of course referring to the "Home PC" and not the "Workstation".

But I'd love to hear from other people on what they use their hardware for. Even if it seems superficial. No judgement here. ;)
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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by DrHu » Tue May 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Scientific applications or larger DTP (desktop publishing) projects, or any application that needs lots of processor speed or RAM would benefit
  • Media servers (or MythTV etc..)and Gaming servers could also be a good platform for Linux
  • I can see if you were a Scientist (genetics, maybe) and wanted to do a lot of gene/dns searching or testin via computer models, or you run a weather station or did a lot of geo-mapping or even Ham radio,, where you wanted to use computer controlled radio DXing
    --all would benefit form faster hardware on a Linux OS
    Assuming you want and need to multitask with your OS: cehck you favorite web site, while backgrounding the main process that needs all that computer horsepower..
Games are out, since most gaming companies develop only for windows OS, and therefor will use DirectX in preference to OpenGL

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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by xenopeek » Wed May 23, 2012 7:44 am

Users with accessibility needs (vision, hearing or mobility impaired) aren't serviced well with tablets, I think. Other common tasks for average users, like keeping track of your personal finances, doing homework assignments, editing photos or movies, and other such family related tasks are I think easier done on a desktop or laptop. Might be that I'm overlooking what tablets can do, but I see tablets mostly as an addition to desktop/laptop.

Even so, I fully agree that nobody should need a supercomputer just to browse the web 8) My machine has 16 GiB system memory and a SSD instead of a HDD, but home built on a budget (increased cost offset by not buying a discrete graphics card). I use that daily while supporting on the forums or working on bugs, to easily run different versions of Linux Mint, or other distros, in parallel on virtual machines.
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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by Shibblet » Wed May 23, 2012 6:05 pm

I have a friend who has an old Dell Dimension 2400. 2.0 Celeron Processor, 512M PC2100 Memory, 250G HD. Nothing special. She only used it to browse the web.

Well, she was having problems with it, becoming slow and such, so she asked me to take a look at it. It was DOG SLOW. Slower than molasses crawling uphill in December. It took a good 5-7 minutes to boot. Then you'd go to open Firefox, and it'd take a solid 30 seconds before the window would even draw on the screen, and another 15 seconds before you could type in your URL.

So I told her I'd throw a copy of Linux Mint on there and see how it functioned instead. It's NIGHT AND DAY. I went with the older Isadora ISO 10.04.

The computer boots in about 45 seconds now, and only takes after login to actually work. When she goes to open Firefox, the whole thing is open and ready to roll in under 5 seconds. So, needless to say, she's quite happy.

Anyway, my point here is that Linux works great with lower machine specs, and many of the specs I see in forum-user's signatures are for hard-core gaming or power machines. None of which are truly utilized in the home-use Linux environment. My own machine included. Heck, the only reason I have an Nvidia GTX260 is so I can play games, in Windows (Steam).

But I keep saying to myself "There has got to be a reason why people buy "beefcake" computers, and run Linux on them."

What is that reason?
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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by xenopeek » Thu May 24, 2012 2:24 am

To put it into perspective, your friend sounds like an average computer user, that has a task in mind for which you happen to need a computer. Sure, booting taking minutes is too long, but if just under a minute it is acceptable. I think your friend would perhaps be hard pressed to list the computer's specs without first having to look them up (if the average user even knows where to find those).

In contrast, you compare your friend with those that are clearly computer enthusiasts on this forum :D They know the specs of their computer by heart, and are, well, enthusiastic about it! Now I don't stare myself blind on boot time (6 seconds here) or Firefox loading time (less than 0.5 seconds here), but I clearly use a lot more applications per day than your friend. So what is perfectly acceptable to one person, is seen as a challenge for improvement by another (as it will save time / annoyance throughout the day :wink:).

For some it is just a hobby to tinker with the innards of their computer. And you don't ask a professional or enthusiast athlete why he would buy such extremely expensive gear, while you have a (clearly not professional nor enthusiast athlete) friend whom is perfectly fine with taking a run (stroll) on cheap trainers and that old stained training suit :wink:
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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by tomast » Thu May 24, 2012 1:15 pm

I can tell you for sure that you can use Linux for FAR more than just surfing the Internet. ;-)
I am running on an i7 990x CPU -- 12 GB RAM -- AMD HD7970 video card (upgraded since after the screen-shot was made)
I use it for Distributed computing , CAD , Video encoding and much more. I wish my hardware was twice a powerful.
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By the way this is all on Mint 7 Gloria. She might be a few years old but she is still as beautiful as ever.

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Re: The actual use of good hardware.

Post by Suo_Eno » Fri May 25, 2012 5:12 am

If you're an EX-overclocker, hardcore gamer or HW enthusiast, chances are you just build or order a badass system for future proofing. People with specialized professional needs such as high level CAD or distributed computing are of course exempt but for those aforementioned, we're just done with the cyclical costs of system refreshes because it's highly dependent on the total setup.

E.g a user might just be OK with a full 5k dollars command center like config while relying on just a smartphone or tablet these days for otg needs. Some are just fine lugging around DTR sized laptops but this doesn't apply broadly because let's face it for every top end laptop money can buy, the speakers just literally suck and good 1080p screened ones aren't really cost effective for media buffs ergo rounding up work and play into a setup.

Me? I'm in the middle of figuring out how to balance desktop space and mentally arguing about a tablet. I don't game as hard anymore but good hardware are a nice hedge because I'm to lazy to wait out for those weekly/year end specials and/or I'm done keeping up with SW/OS changes that doesn't apply to me.

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