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  1. #1
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    18

    Post Linux friendly mainboards

    There is so little information a about mainboard compatibility that the selection of a such important component is very dificult.

    I hope this post will be helpfull when you choose to upgrade your motherboard.. All the data was collected from replies to my post in several forums (with limited success), the Tomshardware article and the web sites of some manufacturers, I believe that is correct but I am not completly sure that it is. So do your homework before you buy.

    Thoroughbread support means that the board can provide the 1.5 to 1.65 volts that the new chips will need ---not all is lost, with higher speeds higher voltages will be required, specialy with Barton, so with a little of more patience, any of these boards will be able to run the new chips with a BIOS update, obvioulsy I am speculating. Another thing, looks like some brands can regulate lower voltages than the ones stated by the reviewers on the WEB, have this in mind when you read this post, Actual support will be known when the board manufacturers release the proper BIOS updates and PRs or when you try it and works.
    Recent logs on the stable kernell shows that software raid is or will be supported for Promise, High Point and other brands, just be patient.

    1)MSI 745 no info yet, the onboard sound is a realtek that I do not know the model. It has some problems related to the FSB- multipler settings. Update: A beta BIOS has been released that apears to resolve this problem. For the OCrs this thing can run at more than 170 MHz.


    2)MSI kt3 ultra aru is functional under MDK 8.2 [aparently the onboard sound under RH 7.3 does not work, however, the promise raid could work ...Warren has a post about this, and Promise has posted the driver in their website] except for the promise raid --maesus thanks for your input. The onboard sound is a Realtek ALC650 that seems to perform quite well. Thorougbred is supported . USB NEC 2.0 .

    3)Gigabyte &VXRP; the Promise raid has to be disabled?. the VIA USB 2.0 has not been reported as tested. The board works under MDK 8.2, thanks TitanMan.. Voltage range 1.725 to 1.925 no thorougbread support??. Sound is Creative 5880? and it is supported.

    4)Epox kt3+ works at list, under MDK 8.2. The only quirk is the lack of a USB 2.0; Voltage range 1.1 to 2.0. Audio Realtek ALC650. Raid High Point. You will need a very good PSU, watch specialy the 5+ volt line.


    5)ASUS
    a. A7S333 (unknown) It must work, as with the rest of the SIS 745 based boards it has a two phase voltage regulator that allows higher fluctuations in voltage, IMO no cheap PSUs here.

    b. A7V333 must work, except for the raid, but I have read that, lately, this brand has been particularily problematic, some hackers where trying to fix this but I do not know the status... Moreover, some early adopters under Windows (no necesarily to do with Linux support) have had stability problems that hopefully, Asus will resolve soon. Sound Cmedia C3DX6 (8378?). Voltage Range 1.675 to 1.85 Thorougbread is supported.. Raid is Promise.

    6)Shuttle ak35gt2 and ak35gt2r works (I have one), the onboard sound is the Cmedia 8378? --that performs very well--. Raid is High Point 372 Voltage range 1.1 to 1.85 Thorougbread is supported (I received an e-mail from Shuttle stating this, and MS from Lost Circuits, says that they told him that the 0.13 micron chip is recognized as a 1800 (its true MHz speed). 6 PCI, no acr or cnr. A recent beta BIOS (look at Lost Circuits forums) allows PCI dividers of 1/5 and 1/6 but no one has been able to run this board at 200 FSB.

    7)Soyo Dragon kt333 (must work, the kt266a series is totally supported). Voltage range 1.1 to 1.85, High Point, Cmedia sound.. thor.. ready, etc.

    8)Soltek ..DRV5.. Sound is VIA1611A (not tested). Voltage range 1.1 to 1.825,, Status probably works, the sound is a big ?...

    9) ABIT KX7-333R Must work, High Point Raid, USB 1.1..

    10)ECS KTS6A, SIS 745. everything Works, but you will need a recent distribution (tested under Winlin2000 and SUSE), othewise you will need a recent ALSA driver (late 0.9.x or kernel >=2.5.5). Anyway, the sound doesn't sound all that great. Thanks Alvaro (linuxdoc.org), Amstel78 and ShadowDrake of the ECS Ocworkbench forum. Looks like a very decent price-performance solution. From what I read there you can love or hate this board, depending on your luck, memory brand and PSU.

    IMHO the Linux friendly AMD XP boards are:
    {1}SOYO Dragon (I believe is fully funtional and possibly upgradeable to a xp2300 or more);
    {2}Msi KT3+ Ultra aru, USB 2.0 works, it has the best price-features- performance you can buy;
    {3) AK35gt2r, great sound, high point raid, 6 pci, low cost --gt2+-$73, gt2r+- 95;
    {4} Gigabyte 7VXRP, best performance, second in price-features... to the MSI;
    {5}ASUS A7V333;
    {6}Epox KT3+ great overcloker;
    {7}ABIT KX7-333R the best for the overclocker (205 Mhz achieved, I don't remember the review but is recent)


    Other brands with same components must work without problems, perhaps with better features, stability and or price, if you test one, please let us know..

    The KT400 based boards are almost in the market, while the Thorougbread FSB will remain at 133(2) the new features of the board can be very atractive and cost effective.

    Some boards use sound chips from Realtek but there are at list 3 models used, please verify the model before you buy.

    Is important to remember that AMD said that from june 10 all the boards must have onboard thermal diode monitoring (shutdown) a la ASUS.

    If Raid is important choose High Point not only because is supported but because you can use it as an independent ide controller --at list under windows = )~

    Several boards have USB chips that are 1.1 compliant so be carefull if this is important to you.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a shutout of kt333 mainboards by Toms.hardware there is a table of features that will be very helpfull --didn't post the link because I do not know if it is allowed.

    Update: in the Via arena forum there is a post on ALSA support for the integrated sound in the 8233a south bridge (not necessarily related to these boards but interesting).

    Also, in the via hardware forum there is a thread about High point drivers and successfull experiences and how to.

    Probably NVIDIA chipsets will be better supported by the distros soon. These boards could be the core of a cheap efficient system. The integrated NIC and sound of the 420s are very, very good. Look for cheap Nforce or the new Nforce2 based boards.

    ________In retospective: Linux developers, VIA and the boards manufacturers had done a very good job with the kt333 and the features incorporated on the Mainboards. .
    ________
    Last edited by biomet; 07-17-2002 at 01:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Joined
    May 2000
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    5,298
    biomet, this a nice idea. Please all linux players tell here as much info on compatibilty as you can.

    Asus A7V 1.02 (Promise 20265) - kernel > 2.1 with some tweakings, kernel > 2.4 out of the box
    Asus K7M 1.04
    Asus A7M266-D 1.04 - USB 2.0 works with kernel > 2.4.18
    Last edited by OldFrog; 02-11-2003 at 03:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Age
    39
    Posts
    3,369
    My Epox 8KHA+ works fine in linux.
    i code therefore i am

  4. #4
    Joined
    May 2000
    Location
    Montreal
    Age
    38
    Posts
    1,516
    I've been using a Gigabyte GA-7ZXR 1.0 (VIA KT133) with no issues whatsoever. And it's really rock solid.

    Update: I now run an MSI KT3-Ultra2-RAID motherboard. I've a couple of issues installing Slackware 8.1 on it. In fact, the 2.4.18 kernel does NOT support the VIA VT8235 chip found on the KT333's SouthBridge; neither 2.4.19 does without proper patching. Odds are that we might have to wait for 2.4.20 to get official kernel support for this southbridge (and maybe future ones).

    The RAID version of this board integrates a Promise PDC-20276 onboard IDE RAID chip. The kernel cannot recognize it without proper patching as well. I tried a patch I found while Google'ing but it didn't work. At least, ATA-100 works (ATA-133 might, but I don't have any ATA-133 compliant drive here to test it).
    Last edited by Annakonda; 09-03-2002 at 04:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    875
    The nVIdia nForce 420 chipset motherboards do not work "out of the box" with Red Hat Linux 7.3, but high quality drivers are available from nVidia to get the video, networking and sound working properly. Once those are installed, it works great!

  6. #6
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cardiff UK
    Posts
    107
    There are sound drivers for that Realtek, just google them

    The 8KHA+ works fine here to, and so does the Tyan TigerMP and the PCChips 810LMR (only modem driver needs compilation). By working I mean all features of the boards including sensors and audio/video/lan if present.


  7. #7
    Joined
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Iasi, Romania
    Posts
    53
    I don't know if this helps....

    My A7V133 (KT133A) (Promise 20265) works fine with Re Hat 7.2. I didn't try yet 7.3, but I guess it won't be a problem...

    Regards...
    Atre

    A7V133 (BIOS 1009)
    T-B @ 900 MHZ,
    80Gb Seagate Baracuda IV, ATA 100, 7200,
    384 Mb PC133 (1x256, 1x128)
    Voodoo3 2000, 16Mb, AGP
    >>>SONY 24X CD-ROM (still working great )<<< (well... just died... )
    TEAC 40X CD-ROM
    Creative Sound Blaster PCI128
    WayJet TV tunner with FM radio
    Genius Ethernet Adapter
    OS: Win98se/WinXP Prof/Linux

  8. #8
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    18

    Thanks for your input

    I am concentrating in the new KT333 and sis 745, but I believe that any information no matter how old (AMD761, KT133 and AL1) is welcomed, but I will only actualize the first post with up to day chipsets..

    I have read several posts of Annakonda, OldFrog and Warren and I know that you are the heavy weigths on Linux here, thanks for your support.

    To Warren, I did nort contemplate Nforce because I saw many messages about the inability (extreme) difficulty to make it work with Linux -myself I am a rookie with Linux and I tryied on several computers some of them without a success even after a long and considerable effort, so, personaly I want compatibility and easy of installation--, if you have a post or a link to the detailed procedure please post it and I will include the "Nvidia" boards too. BTW you have post the first favourable comment on this that I have seen.

    Fernando.
    Last edited by biomet; 05-29-2002 at 11:01 AM.

  9. #9
    Joined
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    875

    Re: Thanks for your input

    Originally posted by biomet

    To Warren, I did nort contemplate Nforce because I saw many messages about the inability (extreme) difficulty to make it work with Linux -myself I am a rookie with Linux and I tryied on several computers some of them without a success even after a long and considerable effort, so personaly I want compatibility--, if you have a post or a link to the detailed procedure please post it and I will include the "Nvidia" boards too. BTW you have post the first favourable comment on this that I have seen.

    Fernando.
    Hi, sorry I should have made it more clear that for the most part it is NOT easy to install the nVidia drivers for nForce. Last I checked a few days ago they still didn't have updated packages for Red Hat 7.3 available for download, so installation would require some SRPM compilation that is not easy to explain. If nVidia does release official packages for Red Hat 7.3 then installation will be fairly easy and straightforward.

    I personally don't own an nForce motherboard but my friend bought one 2 weeks ago. Hopefully I'll be able to recheck the current driver situation and write a guide in the future.... but no guarantees.

    In the mean time, I would recommend staying away from nVidia if you want an easy installation that works "out of the box".

  10. #10
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Central Florida
    Age
    34
    Posts
    3,052
    I can confirm the 7VRXP. It works great. (Mandrake 8.2)

  11. #11
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    18

    Re, Gigabyte VXRP

    TITAN thanks,
    can you post the brand of the Raid and USB chips, it looks like MDK 8.2 is the only one tested so far.. I hope to see post from SUSE, Red Hat and other distros soon.

  12. #12
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Central Florida
    Age
    34
    Posts
    3,052
    The RAID chip is a Promise PDC20276 ATA133. But I have it disabled in my BIOS, so I can't prove compatibility either way. I thought the USB 1.1 was built in to the SB, and the VIA USB 2.0 chip is also disabled.

  13. #13
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Central Florida
    Age
    34
    Posts
    3,052
    Hey, I have a small question. When a drivers is listed as i586 or ixxx. Is that for Intel only?

  14. #14
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    1,096
    Originally posted by TitanMan
    When a drivers is listed as i586 or ixxx. Is that for Intel only?
    No, the iXXX specifies the minimum instruction set level required to use the software. Athlons are fully compatible with i686 and everything below that.

  15. #15
    This board is probably cheaper and uses and older chipset (KT133A) but it works 100% under Linux. MSI K7T Turbo2. This revision of the board supports Athlon XP procs.

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