[PC-BSD Public] Building a new computer

Sam Lin semin2006 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 2 13:04:49 PDT 2010

Hi Chris -

> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 02:00:59 +0200
> From: Christian Baer <christian.baer at uni-dortmund.de>
> To: public at lists.pcbsd.org
> Subject: [PC-BSD Public] Building a new computer
> Usage/price
> My machine will be used for just about anything where a computer is
> useful - and a few things beside that. :-) Most of my time I spend
> working at my computer. I do a lot of writing (mostly TeX) and some
> programming.

If you are to use TeXLive but not teTeX on PCBSD then this can be a
bit tricky than on FreeBSD at this moment. On FreeBSD you can install
TeXLive from DVD, from its huge iso, or from freebsd-texlive but on
PCBSD. On PCBSD we install applications mainly with a system called
PBI (Push Button Installer) rather than the ports/packages system. To
create a PBI it is preferred that the port is merged into FreeBSD
ports tree. Unfortunately TeXLive is not merged into the ports tree as
of this writing, nor will freebsd-texlive be merged into the tree (in
accordance with the freebsd-texlive project). Currently I am trying to
build up a TeXLive2010 PBI (and probably its ports for FreeBSD) so
that PCBSD user can install it in usual way. But at this stage on
PCBSD you probably need to use the obsolete teTeX.

> I am 99% sure, I will get an AMD CPU, something like a 1075T or 1090T. I
> use disc-encryption, so the additional cores actually do something for
> me. A similar CPU from Intel costs about four times as much and somehow,
> I cannot get myself to pay 800 Euros just for the CPU. Or have I missed
> something here? Does it make a diff to FreeBSD if I use an Intel or AMD CPU?

I would also pick AMD but this is for personal reason. I wouldn't mind
the difference in performance between AMD/Intel nowadays.

> Graphics card
> On my current machine, X just sucks because of my graphics card (AMD
> X1950). The missing 3D acceleration (which also means no Compiz) isn't
> pretty, but when surfing the web or scrolling around in the browser or
> other viewers is sluggish, it just stinks. So this time I want some
> graphics card that really rocks under X, while not missing out on good
> gaming qualities. This is actually the main reason for this post. I know
> that both AMD and nVidia Chips are basicly supported (with both open
> source drivers and drives from AMD and nVidia) but how good are the
> drivers really and what functions do they bring along? My current card
> worked well with a driver from AMD until the X-server went on a version
> number. After that I had to make do with the open source driver which
> had/has the problems I mentioned.
> Has anyone got any good advice on this?

One of the main reasons why the performance/acceleration under X sucks
is because the graphic manufacturers do not disclose their
specification details and it is very hard for FLOSS developers to
unleash the cards' potential. For this reason I guess it's prabably
better to choose NVIDIA's card with its binary driver. Alternatively
you probably also want to consider a commercial driver from XiG
(http://www.xig.com/index.html) which they claim a higher
performance/acceleration/benchmark under X. However be warned that
some demo-users noted that the actual experience is not that
impressive (http://www.mail-archive.com/dri-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg03165.html)
as what their benchmark demonstrated (e.g.

> Maybe it would be a good idea to make a list of suggested hardware for
> PC-BSD. That would be much more convenient than having to search through
> several lists that don't answer the question "How well does it work?".

I agree this would be a useful info for general users. The main
problem is that at this stage we don't have a usership that is huge
enough to test those hardware around in the market and to write a
benchmark/review. Perhaps you can be the first one?  :-)


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