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Old Dec 17, 2013, 9:43 PM   #11
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Hi Jim,
I have an Asus p4pe2-x. The chipset is the 1845pe. The cpu is clocked at 3.0 gig ...... 1.5 gig of pc of pc 3200. The video card is a Radeon 9200 .... 128 mb ddr. The core is 320 and the mem is 275 ..... overclocked. All the drives are 40+ gig and run at 7200 RPM. It's old, but it's not a dog. It benchmarks at Mem read 2840 and Mem write 1125, according to Aida32.
My wife's is a little slower. I put them together myself. They boot up in about a minute.
.... john

Last edited by Shinnen; Dec 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM. Reason: correction
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Old Dec 18, 2013, 9:46 AM   #12
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CPU model?

Some distros require a CPU with PAE support and some require one with SSE2 support, depending on the exact linux kernel being used.

So, I'd figure out the exact CPU model you're using for better responses.

With 1.5GB of memory, you can probably run one of the modern, full featured linux distributions OK. Right this minute, I'm using a 6 year old Dell Laptop with only 1GB of memory to run a KDE based distro using a Debian Stable base (using a newer version of Firefox for browsing, LibreOffice for docs and spreadsheets, and it even has Skype installed for video calls. But, 2GB would be a better bet for optimum performance. My desktop broke and I haven't taken the time to setup a new replacement I already have for it yet (and even an older laptop with only 1GB of memory is OK for most uses, although I need to be careful about loading too many apps at the same time with only 1GB available, and more memory would be a really good idea).

As long as your CPU is supported, Linux Mint is a good choice for a new Linux user, as it has things like Adobe Flash Player and browser plugins for playback of popular media formats already installed; along with most applications you'd need to use (Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC, etc.; with thousands more installable with a mouse click or two.
It comes in multiple flavors (different desktops by default, with Cinnamon being the most popular). Chances are, the 32 bit download with Cinnamon as the default desktop would work OK on it. But, you'd have to try it to find out. It suggests 512MB minimum and 1GB for "comfortable use". But, I've seen Firefox alone take close to 1GB by itself with lots of tabs open (especially playing flash based videos, etc.). So, the more memory the better if you want nicer performance without any swapping to disk. 1.5GB is probably plenty. But, I'd consider upgrading to 2GB for even better performance.

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=08187

Note that the 32 bit .iso download (which is what you'll want for a PC with less than 4GB of memory) will require a CPU with PAE support according to it's release announcement. So, let us know your exact CPU model so we can check it.

Here's a new review of Linux Mint 16 that goes into some of it's features:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/l...int-petra.html

1.5GB should be OK for use with a full featured modern distro (versus one of the "leaner" distros). But, 2GB of memory would be even better, and it looks like your motherboard will handle 2GB (2x1GB) in it's two slots.

So you could probably replace it's 512GB DIMM with a 1GB DIMM and end up with 2GB total (2x1GB total), as I'm assuming it's setup with 1x1GB + 1x512MB right this minute). That would give you better performance (bring it up to 2GB total) for around $26. See Crucial's listings for your motherboard here:

http://www.crucial.com/upgrade/ASUS-...-upgrades.html

In any event, it's fairly simple to setup your PC in a dual boot config with XP and a distribution like Linux Mint (that way, you just pick the Operating System you want to boot into each time you restart your PC). You can either burn the .iso to a DVD using a tool that knows how to do that (not the same thing as a data disk), then boot into it; or you can use a tool to burn it to a USB Flash drive (or memory card in a card reader) instead, as most PCs let you boot from USB if you press a function key to bring up a boot choice menu when you restart your PC (or setup boot order to USB first in BIOS Setup). I usually just use a USB Flash drive (so I don't have to waste a DVD). But, you can do it either way (boot into a DVD, boot into a USB Flash drive, or boot into a memory card in a card reader to run it before you install it to your hard drive)

If you want to try it, let me know and I'll give you more specific instructions, along with free tools you can use to burn a downloaded .iso image (and I'd use the 32 bit Cinnamon .iso for Linux Mint 16) to either DVD or USB Flash drive so that they're bootable. Because it works as a "live" distribution, you can actually run it that way to make sure it works OK with your hardware before installing it, too (you can boot into it and "test drive" it without installing it).
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Old Dec 19, 2013, 3:00 PM   #13
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Hi Jim,
The CPU is a Northwood A80532 D1 stepping. (It's running 600 mhz over default, has been for a long time.) CPUID says that it supports PAE; and CPUZ says that it supports MMX, SSE, and SSE2, so I guess we're covered on both fronts.
I've been using SeaMonkey for years, so I'll likely stick with that, if it's possible. You're right ..... I have two sticks of memory, a one gig and a one half gig. I'll have a look around for another 1 gig stick of PC3200, but they're scarce as hen's teeth.
I take it then, that you think I will get most of the functionality from Linux that I currently get from XP, software wise? Basically I use it now for editing pictures, emails, music, some videos, some light surfing, no gaming ..... not much else.
I like the idea of dual booting.
Did I hear you right? Can one actually run Linux from a DVD?
Can you do this on a permanent basis, and save pictures, music, emails, etc to a hard drive, or ??? That way your basic OS could not easily be compromised.
I wanted to do that with XP, but was told that it'll never boot from a DVD, or anything other than a HDD for that matter. Best I could do was BartPE, which is not the same.
..... john
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Old Dec 19, 2013, 5:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinnen View Post
Hi Jim,
The CPU is a Northwood A80532 D1 stepping. (It's running 600 mhz over default, has been for a long time.) CPUID says that it supports PAE; and CPUZ says that it supports MMX, SSE, and SSE2, so I guess we're covered on both fronts.
I've been using SeaMonkey for years, so I'll likely stick with that, if it's possible. You're right ..... I have two sticks of memory, a one gig and a one half gig. I'll have a look around for another 1 gig stick of PC3200, but they're scarce as hen's teeth.
I take it then, that you think I will get most of the functionality from Linux that I currently get from XP, software wise? Basically I use it now for editing pictures, emails, music, some videos, some light surfing, no gaming ..... not much else.
I like the idea of dual booting.
Did I hear you right? Can one actually run Linux from a DVD?
Can you do this on a permanent basis, and save pictures, music, emails, etc to a hard drive, or ??? That way your basic OS could not easily be compromised.
I wanted to do that with XP, but was told that it'll never boot from a DVD, or anything other than a HDD for that matter. Best I could do was BartPE, which is not the same.
..... john
You CAN run it from a DVD. However, it will not save any configurations you might have. It would be like booting into a new machine each time you booted off the DVD.

Jim's right... Linux Mint is a good beginner's distro. I've set it up on a LOT of my friends boxes because they were paranoid about leaving Windoze. They've been using it for a LONG time now and I've had no complaints or problems with viruses or other malware and they have been thanking me profusely for the setup.

Too bad I didn't know about the need for the RAM. I think I just threw away a few PC3200.
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Last edited by gjtoth; Dec 19, 2013 at 6:16 PM.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 9:12 AM   #15
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Hi Gary,
Well then, it looks like Linux Mint is a good place to start.
Couldn't one configure Linux, the way they want it to start, then burn it to the DVD, or is there just two much interaction between the OS and the hardware/user/software/network, etc. to make that feasible; or would this just be overkill?
.... john
P.S. Thanks for the thought re the PC3200.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 3:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Shinnen View Post
Hi Gary,
Well then, it looks like Linux Mint is a good place to start.
Couldn't one configure Linux, the way they want it to start, then burn it to the DVD, or is there just two much interaction between the OS and the hardware/user/software/network, etc. to make that feasible; or would this just be overkill?
.... john
P.S. Thanks for the thought re the PC3200.
I'm sure there is. Probably an ISO editor or something. But, I've never pushed it. The live DVD is a God-send when things start to go south, trust me! Dual-boot is the way to go. You soon see yourself booting into Windoze less and less.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 10:40 PM   #17
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Hi Gary,
Alright ...... I'm really missing something here. "Dual boot" used to mean splitting your HDD into two bootable partitions and choosing which one you want to use when you boot up. You're obviously not talking about that. Would you please explain what we're talking about here?
Thanks,
..... john

Last edited by Shinnen; Dec 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Dec 21, 2013, 9:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinnen View Post
Hi Gary,
Alright ...... I really missing something here. "Dual boot" used to mean splitting your HDD into two bootable partitions and choosing which one you want to use when you boot up. You're obviously not talking about that. Would you please explain what we're talking about here?
Thanks,
..... john
Yup... that's what I'm talking about. You were mulling over booting off the DVD when you wanted to use Linux. I was just reinforcing that it's not a good idea and use dual-booting instead. Much easier than trying to rebuild the distro DVD.
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Old Dec 21, 2013, 12:33 PM   #19
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Thanks Gary,
So the 'live DVD' is a recovery disk, of sorts?
...... john

Last edited by Shinnen; Dec 21, 2013 at 12:34 PM. Reason: correction
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Old Dec 21, 2013, 1:54 PM   #20
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Thanks Gary,
So the 'live DVD' is a recovery disk, of sorts?
...... john
You bet it is! If you run into trouble it will get you online to the forums where, in a few minutes, knowledgeable folks have you up and running in no time. I have only had to start from scratch on ONE occasion in 11 years of running Linux. And, that was my fault for poking around someplace where I had no idea what I was doing, doing something I shouldn't have been doing.
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