I’m about to upgrade a server for a local non-profit, and am looking at a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3L motherboard and an Intel Core i5 750 processor. Does anyone have any observations or experiences with SUSE on this platform?
I do have an Intel Core i7 920 on an ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 and it runs well with openSUSE-11.2. My guess is more critical to openSUSE compatibility is your PC’s graphics and your PC’s motherboard, your PC’s sound device, and your PC’s wireless.
Gigabyte have good Linux support and as seeing this is for a server, graphics are not that important so you can get by it by using the default drivers. Core i5’s are no problem at all for Linux. They’re basically lower-end i7’s
According to this web page GIGABYTE - Product - Motherboard - Overview - GA-P55-UD3L (rev. 1.0) this motherboard has a Realtek ALC888 codec . That is supposed to be supported under alsa. Its possible you may need to do some hand tuning, although as of alsa-1.0.21 there was a significant improvement in auto-configuration of audio hardware.
When I purchased my Asus P6T Deluxe V2 for my Core i7 920, there was some criticism on the Fedora and Ubuntu forums about some power/ethernet problems with Linux, with a couple of the Gigabyte boards I was considering. I could not tell if the posts were simply inexperienced users, or if they were real problems. But at that time it was enough to shy me away from Gigabyte, which is unfortunate as I have mostly read good things about Gigabyte from various users.
It may be worth while surfing on that specific motherboard and “Linux” and “Ubuntu” and “Fedora” to see what you can learn wrt success stores and problems of others (if any).
I have just complete the build of a new Linux workstation for myself – specs are similar to what you are contemplating. I wonder what role your server will fill? File server? Database?
My system is based on an Intel dp55sb motherboard, core i7 (2.8Ghz) processor, 4GB RAM, MSI Nvidia Gefroce 210, Intel SSD, etc. The Gigabyte GA-P55 series boards are based on the same chipset as my Intel board (p55), though the Gigabyte uses a different ethernet controller and soundchip.
I installed opensuse 11.2 without any issues, but some post install tweaking was required. For example, the default “e1000e” driver for the Intel gigabit ethernet controller would only allow the nic to run at 10Mbs. I researched this and found other were having the same problem, but on Windows 7; Intel’s forums indicated a new driver that fixed the issue for the Windows users, but no mention of Linux. Went to Intel’s download site, found the latest driver package for Linux; the new driver built cleanly and now my nic is running at full speed. One problem I have not been able to solve in related to “lm-sensors” – the service responsible for monitoring system health (fan speed, cpu temp, etc). My Intel board has a new chip which is not yet supported via lm-sensors; a patch and new kernel module are available, but I have not been able to get this to work with the default opensuse kernel; not a huge issue at the moment, and the new modules will be working soon enough. One last issue: you must turn off the CPU’s “turbo” mode (in the BIOS) other wise the cpu will scale back it’s speed when not busy and there seems to be issues with the cpu frequency scaling back up.
If I were to build a box to server strictly as a departmental server, I am not so sure I would use the “latest and greatest” hardware – slightly “older” and well supported hardware might be a better idea, depending on the technical abilities and amount of time the installer wants to invest.