Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
 
The sweet sound of superfluous gigahertz.

The sweet sound of superfluous gigahertz.

Yesterday I received one of these. Fedora 11 installed beautifully on it, without a hiccup — I used the process I outlined in my last post, in fact.  The results speak for themselves:

I may be a bit gushing about it, but it’s the first truly performance-oriented, new computer I’ve had in a long time, after many years of hand-me-downs and Frankenboxes assembled from spare pieces. The first computer I ever bought for myself, as opposed to gifts, or things I used at the office, was a Dell. Nowadays my main laptop is a Dell XPS M1330, which is no slouch but definitely has to make a few compromises for size. So I’m happy to keep up the tradition with this (admittedly gargantuan) box.

The inside layout is incredibly clean and neat, and well-lit too, with a built-in LED lamp so you can see what you’re doing. For extra scratch, you get the case with the clear inserts so you can see the innards of the behemoth, which I didn’t particularly need. When you first turn it on it’s like an SR-71 warming up, but it quickly becomes surprisingly quiet for such a powerhouse. It is incredibly large though, so big that I can’t actually fit it on the raised platform under my desk. It’s now living to the side, and my mixer had to scootch back into the corner a bit to make room.

Nice extras: Came with a standard PCI 33MHz slot that accommodated my Echo Audio Layla24 PCI card quite handily. Also, as my wife noted, “the darn thing’s got wings” — extra supports that fold out at the rear to keep the box well balanced. And a umpteen-way media reader that reads, well, everything from SmartMedia to MemoryStick Duo Pro. Scary extra: Emits an unearthly glow from a set of front-mounted headlights when turned on, useful for distracting enemy ninjas but otherwise puzzling. I guess it’s designed to be a gamer’s system after all, but still.

It may dwarf every other box I own, but it’s a lot of fun to use, and of course Fedora is an incredible joy to use on such a performance monster. Time to go put it to good use!

8 Comments

  1. Jef Spaleta

    did you giggle at some point while setting it up? I bet you did.

    So…what are you going to do with this beastie….other than write blog entries?

    -jef

  2. Stephen Smoogen

    Oh that is so pretty. I have been wanting something like this.. The plan for myself is to run a mini-fedora infrastructure there for the house.. sort of how to build an Infrastructure in a box for schools, small businesses etc. One box would be a cobbler, another an authentication system, some builders, etc.

  3. oh, BTW – I roll with a Core 2 Quad Q6600 on Asus P5Q motherboard, overclocked to 3.36GHz. Probably comes close to the performance of your box 🙂 if you want to feel less like you’re wasting all that power, offer to help people do openoffice.org scratch builds 😛

  4. @Adam: The video card works, using the radeon driver, which is what’s automatically installed. The radeonhd driver, not so much. (Screen blanks on X startup and I can’t get video back at all at that point.) Any hints on how I might be able to make it work?

  5. paul: honestly, no – we don’t really care a lot about radeonhd, radeon is the driver which Fedora’s resources are committed to (Dave Airlie and Jerome Glisse are the lead developers on it). radeonhd is more of a SUSE thing. there is icky politics / history going on there. If it works with radeon, we’re happy 🙂

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