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Ground up Linux PC build

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John B:
I think it's time to move away from Windows, as I've had no interest in updating from windows 8.1

My needs for a PC have become pretty low, mainly internet, media, and tools like KiCAD, FreeCAD, Libre office, simulators etc. Not much gaming anymore, so thankfully I don't have to worry too much about a GPU. Occasional retro gaming. I figure I'll still want some CPU power to do windows emulation to make up for the inefficiency.

So I've been mulling over a Linux build. The main question on the hardware front is compatibility and stability, rather than outright performance.

1) For the CPU, would you pick Intel or AMD? Perhaps a 5000 series AMD?

2) For the GPU I understand AMD Radeon is the way to go?

3) Are there any compatibility/performance benefits to pairing an AMD CPU and GPU?

Then to the distro, I'm fairly sure it's going to be some Debian based one for simplicity and reliability. I was thinking of going with Ubuntu as the easiest choice (plus I see that AMD Radeon has a driver package for them) but I'm open to other suggestions, vanilla Debian even?

While the topic is certainly welcome here, you might have better results from a more dedicated linux/workstation/PC hardware forum. The last time I built a PC was back in 2015 but I found a recipe somewhere that was all stuff known to work well together. There have got to be lists of Linux friendly hardware, although in practice I've found that just about any random desktop PC works just fine. Laptops are a bit more fiddly since they are so tightly integrated.

I m on a 4th gen i3 and linux mint debian works fine, did a lot of distro hopping at the past, just tired to have frequent updates, YMMV of course, I don't have any extreme gaming requirements, retrogaming mainly on real systems (c64+amiga) but emulators of them are working without any issues even on my -low spec- setup.

BTW, make sure your CPU has virtualisation extensions eg Intel VT-x , just in case you will need VirtualBox/VMware. Sometimes is cheaper to get a ex-company/refurbished system that build one by yourself.

Whatever you do, don't select anything from nvidia!
Intel (CPU & GPU) and AMD (CPU & GPU) works fine with Linux.
In your case a CPU with builtin GPU should be fine and saves you the extra cost of a graphics card.

recently build a bench pc with a  pentium gold 6405 and 8 g of ram running ubuntu and it  deals with the tasks youve listed just fine, win 10 on a virtual box also seems to be ok,although i aint tested that in anger.No graphics card,just the internal.Total build cost including case and ssd drive was under £200


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