help with Comps specs for OS programming lab


Jul 25, 2003
Our computer science chair at college asked me and some other ppl to build 8 new comps for a special Linux OS programming class/lab they are going to make. Those comps are going to used by ppl write (or rather try to) thier own version of Linux OS and test it out. The computer is going used heavily for compling the OS. Also the comp will probably reformated alot, probably every 2 or 4 weeks. The budget for each comp is $1000 including monitor. Here my thoughs in things I need, any suggestion would be help:

CPU: very fast CPU, not sure whether amd or intel will best for this
MB: any realiable one, depending on CPU
HD: Probably very good once, since it will be reformed alot
video: CHEAPEST one should do since will displaying only simple stuff, no games
memory: I thinking about 512 MB cosair value select should do
Case and PS: Not sure what to get, something is reliable
optical drive: Probably get DVD/CD-RW drive or just CD-RW
Monitor: budget 17' CTR should do

Any suggestion what specs have would be helpful.


Former Staff
You might get by cheaper buying the cheapest Dell with the best available CPU!

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Jun 26, 2002
Athlon64s are the best CPU for compiling.

I recommend:

CPU: Athlon64 3400+ (2.4 GHz, 512k L2 cache) or 3200+ (2.2 GHz, 512k L2 cache) or 3000+

Mobo: MSI K8N Neo-FISR (nForce3 250)
Optical Drive: LiteOn SOHW-812S DVD burner
Monitor: Samsung 753DFX

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Feb 6, 2004
>Athlon64s are the best CPU for compiling.

Actually P4 is quite competitive in most benchmarks I've seen for Linux kernel compile times. hyperthreading helps a lot here.

To the OP: which ever cpu you get, get as much L2 cache as you can, so if you decide for an A64, try and find one with 1 Mb, if you opt for a P4, well.. hmm.. oh well, get a prescott if you don't mind the machines to do double duty as space heaters. The P4EE is the fastest cpu for this if I remember correctly, but no way its gonna fit the budget.

For harddisks, get one with 3 year warranty (is it Quantum that still gives 3 years ?) and do'nt go for the cheapest. If you could cram SCSI disk in your budget, I would reommend it. For video, use whatever cheap adaptor you can find, or use onboard video if its an option.

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