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$800 - $1000 Linux Gaming PC

mikejerome
  • 56 months ago

Hey Guys I'm a total noob and really don't know which parts to choose with so many options to choose from.

Budget: $800 but I could stretch to 1k

Location: USA

Use: Gaming and web development. I mainly want to play iRacing at high settings, but also would like to be able to play other games.

Peripherals: I need to be able to use a 3 monitor setup. I've used eyefinity in the past but I haven't tried it with linux yet so whatever would give me 3 monitors on linux. I'm pretty sure eyefinity will work on ubuntu. I don't need anything but the PC build I can get monitors later and I already have KB/Mouse/Wheel. I also do not need a hard drive. I would like to game in 1080p I don't need 4k. I don't need wireless. Bluetooth would be nice so I can use a gamepad.

OS: Ubuntu linux. No windows in my house XD

Notes: I like the intel i5 processor and am familiar with eyefinity. I don't care too much about the case. I'm not really into overclocking, it scares me a bit because I have burned up a gpu before but that was quite a few years ago. I would like at least 4 preferably more USB3 ports. If you need more info let me know like I said I'm a noob.

Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

I've been using nothing but linux for about 5 years now and do some casual gaming on it. The only time I touch windows is when fixing other peoples computers. Most of the time, their computers are broken because windows is always 1 click away from being hijacked.

In my experience gaming in linux, I have not run across many games that were all that demanding on GPU's. Most performance related issues are CPU related more than GPU related as a lot of games on linux are still being developed with poorly threaded engines. There are some exceptions to the GPU rule; heavily modded minecraft (shader mod and high resolution texture packs) for example, (which could make use of a modern middle tier GPU pretty well).

For up-to 4 monitors on the same Xscreen, I would advise Nvidia Kepler/Maxwell for linux. The control panel and kernel modules and various supporting libraries are generally more mature (assuming you'll be using the non-free drivers, which is more or less a requirement for decent performance from GPU's in linux). This isn't to say that AMD doesn't work, or can't work (I have my Wife's computer setup with an AMD APU and linux, works fine up to 2 monitors, haven't tested with more), I just don't think it's worth messing with AMD for more than 2 monitors in linux at this time. AMD's documentation on connectivity requirements for multi-monitor is extraordinarily obfuscated and/or nonexistent at this time. Furthermore, eyefinity does't support mixed monitors of different types very well. I can tell you that some AMD GPU's can connect 3 monitors passively, but some require the use of active displayport adapters or native displayport monitors, precisely which AMD GPU's require what at this time is an unknown, as AMD has not updated their website yet to reflect this information for the new 300 series. Very nearly any Nvidia Kepler or Maxwell architecture GPU with 3-4+ outputs will run 3-4 monitors passively, and will even support different resolutions on each monitor and allow total flexibility in Xscreen layout. (how well your choice desktop environment and window manager play with complex screens is another story... lol).

I would advise a strong i3 or i5, and a GTX650Ti 2GB or better with an appropriate set of connections for your monitors. Given your intentions to use multiple monitors while gaming, 2GB or more VRAM is a must. As you probably know, modern desktop environments, window managers, compositors, etc, are eating VRAM in linux. Across 3 1080P monitors filled with open applications you can expect ~500MB+ of VRAM usage before even launching a game. Minecraft with shader mods and texture packs can use quite a bit ;) I'm sure there are other VRAM hogs too.

I wish I could advise Skylake but support for skylake is limited to very bleeding edge kernel release's. It'll probably be 3-6 months before there are any nice clean live distro installer iso's ready to run on Skylake platforms, so I guess we'll settle for Haswell ;)


The following represents a nice healthy overkill in all areas for your budget and is well balanced (more or less equally overkill on all fronts) for linux gaming at 1080P:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $212.95 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Arctic Cooling ACFZ11-LP Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler $17.39 @ Amazon
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $108.30 @ B&H
Memory Mushkin Stealth 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $72.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sandisk Ultra II 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $153.98 @ Amazon
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 4GB Video Card $222.98 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake Core V1 Mini ITX Tower Case $49.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $67.96 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $906.54
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-03 02:56 EDT-0400

I have experience with Gigabyte ITX boards and the Intel WiFi adapters they come with in linux; they work!

I like Gigabyte brand GeForce cards for this application, as Gigabyte has an interesting vendor specific feature they seem to have contracted exclusively, and that is, they are including more flexible display connectivity options on pretty much all of their cards than competitors. You'll find 5 monitor outputs, 2 of them DVI on this GTX960 where nobody else has this (it's still limited to 4 monitors, just have more physical ways to hook up). This isn't a requirement for this build, but may reduce the number of adapters required to connect whatever monitors you wind up finding.

Best of luck with the build!

Regards,

Eric

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

hey dude.. why not a ddr4 skylake -- http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4s32yc ?? I think this'll be better, no??

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

If you read my very long winded reply there is a very good reason to avoid skylake for this build. The platform and CPU's are only properly supported at this time by bleeding edge unstable kernels.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh.. Okay.. I thought the local i/o might be better.. is all

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I was under the impression that to get a triple monitor (3 screens acting as 1) setup to work with nvidia cards I would need to have two of the same cards to achieve it. Is this no longer the case? If so I can update my post to not lean so heavily towards amd gpus. The card you posted looks like it would be perfectly capable.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I was under the impression that to get a triple monitor (3 screens acting as 1) setup to work with nvidia cards I would need to have two of the same cards to achieve it.

Well, there are 2 errors in that statement...

Prior to kepler architecture, up to 4 monitors with nvidia could be accomplished with any 2 GPU's. As you probably already know, the problem with this is that Xorg does not have any well supported or well developed ways of combining those monitors into the same Xscreen, so 2 Xscreens must be configured to accomplish the 3+ monitor configuration, and the only interface element that can migrate across Xscreens is the cursor. This is fine for some setups, but a pain for others. (Technically, for what you plan to do it would probably be alright, as you cold dedicate a budget GPU to dealing with your non-gaming monitors, and a nicer GPU to an Xscreen for gaming).

I actually used to have both a GTX460 and GT520 in the same rig, with that sort of idea in mind.

Kepler brought about support for up to 4 monitors from a single GPU. I actually have a GTX650Ti that I have connected 4 monitors to and configured them all to the same Xscreen. (I often run 3, sometimes 4 on this rig). We're now onto Maxwell architecture, the way Maxwell handles multiple monitors is the same as Kepler.

I'm not super familiar with eyefinity, but I'm under the impression that to use more than 2 monitors on AMD, eyefinity effectively forces the configuration of no more than 2 logical "screens" each of which can span multiple monitors. Monitors shared within the same logical screen must all be the same. Even though this supports up to 6 monitors, in many ways, I believe it to be far less flexible than the way Nvidia is handling up to 4 monitors (they can be anything, you can mix 4K, 720P, vertical, horizontal, 1600x1200, whatever, arrange them however you want).

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I've just ordered the parts for this build, I'll let you know how it goes, thanks!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent! It should be great!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Intel i5 and R9 390 GPU. Plus ready to add a second R9 390 down the road for an upgrade.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $192.89 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $96.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory PNY Anarchy 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $42.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sandisk SSD PLUS 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $44.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R9 390 8GB Nitro Video Card $334.98 @ Newegg
Case Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply EVGA 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $94.99 @ SuperBiiz
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $937.71
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-02 15:42 EDT-0400
  • 56 months ago
  • 0 points

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xfFfbv

heres the rundown, the e3 has hyperthreading (pretty much an i7 but cheaper &locked) a very fancy motherboard with tons of usb 3&3.1, a 390 (upgrade to a 390x if you think you need more power) pretty modest deepcool case, nice 650w gold+ power supply

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