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Ubuntu with AMD

Alternative desktop computing with AMD and Ubuntu: Come take a look at this frugal quad core desktop build. 

The Black Box I 

Photographing a hologram like this can be very difficult. My powerful desktop computer uses a quad core AMD chip and this little 3/4" square hologram came on the box of the CPU as a security verification that the box contained an authentic AMD chip. I scrubbed most of the serial number out of the image using a clone tool for security reasons.

About the Image:
ISO 3200 for 1/15th of a second at F2.0 in Macro Mode : Image cleaned up using GIMP

Background on this subject:
The particular chip that came from the box from which this holographic sticker was extracted is called an AMD Athlon II X4 640 CPU : It was less than half the price of the Intel I7 at the time and had about 75-80% similar performance: I was going for a cost efficient upgrade path, not state of the art expensive. A new motherboard, graphics card and hard-drive were the other upgrade. The case, power supply, optical drives, and ram were all reused. The old CPU and Motherboard became part of a hybrid build that I made for my lovely girlfriend. My soon to be brother in law donated a hard drive and ram and a flat screen 19in monitor  and I got a new case and power supply and speakers for it. I gifted Meg this computer for school as her prior computer (laptop) suffered a catastrophic motherboard failure.

The Black Box I 
Originally assembled by yours truly with retail parts from Harddrives Northwest in September of 2006 for approximately $700. This machine is a Linux only machine. Originally it ran Open Suse, but starting in 2007 Ubuntu became the OS and this is my OS of choice today al 11.04. In 2011 I upgraded the black box and it now operates with the following components.

iCutie Case and Power Supply (reused)  with an Asus M4A785M motherboard (the upgrade) with 4x512GB of Kingston DDR2 (reused) and a quad core AMD Athlon II X4 640 CPU 3.0ghz (the upgrade) dynamically downclocked to 800mhz to save power with a 1TB WD Green HD (upgrade) also selected for lower power consumption, through a NVIDIA GeForce  GT 430 graphics card (upgrade) also selected for lower power consumption, and a pair of optical drives (CD and DVD-Multi-RW) (reused).

Only 2GB, what the heck you might say....  Well very much unlike windblows, ubuntu even with eye candy compbiz fusion fun running only occupies a minuscule 400ish mb of memory: leaving another 1600mb of ram for software. This system actually works really well. I can run dozens of tabs in Chrome, have the Libre Office suite up and running, stream some music with Audacity and still have well over a gig of free ram. Launching second life can get the ram loaded up to 1600-1700mb; but I still have a 300mb buffer to pull up a Chrome ad Libre Writer. I have never seen the system hang or slow on any load I have given it. Works perfect!

My Desktop Workstation: Dell XPS XP + Black Box Ubuntu

On Aug 25, 2011 Happy 20th Birthday Linux!
For everyone who doesn't know, on this day 20 years ago, a Helsinki Grad student named Linus declared he had a little hobby OS to share with everyone. The rest, as they say, is history!

Next up in the collection will be a rasberry pi

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