Intel / AMD / Arm?

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

Intel / AMD / Arm?

Postby gronckle » 2018-09-25 18:52

Sorry, the title sounds like flamebait but it's not meant to be. I'm just looking for options.

I wanted to ask about my possible hardware options for a Debian-friendly desktop replacement PC. The overwhelming majority of contenders are based on some kind of Intel processor, but I'm curious whether I should also be thinking about alternatives like AMD or Arm.

This isn't going to be a high-power gaming rig, the main priorities are small size (preferably more like a shoebox than a travel-suitcase), low noise, high reliability and high efficiency (drawing relatively little electricity without being painfully slow). And linux-friendly, with regular updates. I'm thinking new rather than second-hand, and probably some kind of assemble-it-yourself thing rather than a standard off-the-shelf box.

On the Intel side, there's a wide range of options at various power levels, seemingly high linux compatibility and seemingly very competitive performance-per-watt, enabling small quiet boxes. But Intel haven't exactly been doing a good customer relations job lately.

AMD appear to have more "integrated graphics" options than before and have improved their efficiency, but still seem behind in terms of stability under linux, according to recent reviews I've read in magazines. And the choice of compatible mainboards and barebone systems seems very much more limited.

Which leaves (I think) just Arm and the very low-cost, low-power boards. My Pi v1 is extremely cheap, extremely low power, receives regular Raspbian updates and is in many other ways brilliant, but it's not a desktop replacement. I'd have thought that in the years since, other boards would have moved in to fill the gap, with many more and faster cores, more than 1GB RAM, faster SSD options and so on. But the other boards I've seen like the Odroid and the BananaPi seem to lack the excellent linux support which the Pi has, I'm not sure why. I always figured that linux on Arm would be extremely well supported but it seems they're still struggling with OldStable on some of the arm architectures. And I'd rather not spend time compiling kernels and tinkering with isos, I'd ideally have a 'standard' image to use.

So can anyone recommend another direction I should look in, or are those three my best options? And of those, would you agree that for what I want Intel is probably still probably the most suitable for what I want, despite any misgivings?
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Re: Intel / AMD / Arm?

Postby bw123 » 2018-09-25 20:29

gronckle wrote:Sorry, the title sounds like flamebait but it's not meant to be. I'm just looking for options.
...

Well, yeah you have options. I don't understand what kind of response you are looking for, and what any of it has to do with debian?
gronckle wrote:I wanted to ask about my possible hardware options for a Debian-friendly desktop replacement PC.

What desktop system are you looking to replace?

gronckle wrote:...
the main priorities are small size (preferably more like a shoebox than a travel-suitcase), low noise, high reliability and high efficiency (drawing relatively little electricity without being painfully slow). And linux-friendly, with regular updates.


Well, low noise means no fan? Small size means you want to move it easily? What does linux friendly with regular updates have to do with the cpu?

All in all, just my lousy opinion, but it's not a gpod post for debian forums, this is a support forum. Try off-topic?
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Re: Intel / AMD / Arm?

Postby jibberjabber » 2018-09-25 21:44

Definitely a good "off topic" discussion, seems like it could go into all sorts of things,
Post by gronckle » 2018-09-25 12:52

Sorry, the title sounds like flamebait but it's not meant to be. I'm just looking for options.

I would never have imagined it is "flame bait", and don't see why it would be, unless that is what the OP is thinking, and of course they would say "it's not meant to be", sort of like when someone says, "I am sorry if what I say sounds rude, it is not meant to be".
The person all ready knows what they are going to say may come across as rude, to some people, but they still go ahead and say it. We don't really care if you intend it to be "flame bait" or not, if it is meant to be a argument as to why you support or promote something, then so be it.
It almost sounds like that to me:
by gronckle »So can anyone recommend another direction I should look in, or are those three my best options? And of those, would you agree that for what I want Intel is probably still probably the most suitable for what I want, despite any misgivings?

It is not clear what you want, but more important , your needs. In any event it sounds like you have your mind made up, Why do you need other people to think for you and make your decision for you ?
=====
There are 2 options to Intel, and this is due to licensing , permissions, to produce CPU's, and believe me the 2 big players work very hard to make sure no one else gets licensed to produce any kind of CPU's.
(above, might not be exactly true or accurate, it is based on information in my data base, it has not yet been completely processed, and filtered, for accuracy )

What are the options, alternatives to using Intel
===========================
Why are there only 3 CPU producers ?
Only AMD and Intel atm have x86 license.

There are lots of other companies that produce processors though. ARM processors comes to mind i.e.

NB. I think AMD and Intel only designs the processors, they probably get manufactored by different company.

Another :
Manufacturers
Today, there are two main manufacturers of CPU chips: Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Customers can buy computer chips from these companies directly, or through their networks of distributors.

Current and former suppliers of CPU chips also include companies such as Compaq, Digital Electronics Corporation (DEC), Hewlett-Packard (HP), International Business Machines (IBM), Motorola, Transmeta, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Sun Microsystems.

=== Actually in the above results, they mention the Top 5 =====But that is actually a "click bait" addvertisement, paid |||||||
============
by gronckle » I wanted to ask about my possible hardware options for a Debian-friendly desktop replacement PC. The overwhelming majority of contenders are based on some kind of Intel processor, but I'm curious whether I should also be thinking about alternatives like AMD or Arm.

If all you really want to know is what is supported by Debian,

What hardware, architectures are supported by Debian

===========
Me, well, in spite of a lot of controversy about Intel, and it's use of Minix3, I find it very convenient , since I am doing some work with Minix3, and I think Intel made a good choice when they decided to use it inside their processers, but that is another topic all together.
My advice, do your own research, of course asking about this on a forum is a form of research I suppose, but decide your self, what is best for your needs, don't let others decide for you.
========== disclaimer ===
I am just quoting what some of the results in my searches say, I do not know if they are 100% true and accurate, and I am not perfect yet.
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I am sorry, my english is not that good, and I sometimes have other problems,so my response might not be perfect.
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Re: Intel / AMD / Arm?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-09-26 05:02

The x86 architecture is junk and RISC-V isn't ready yet (unless you have £3k to drop on development boards) so arm64 is the obvious choice but the graphics chips supplied with the hacker boards are usually Mali or similar and they have crap support under Linux unless you want to run the blobby drivers.

https://wiki.debian.org/MaliGraphics
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Re: Intel / AMD / Arm?

Postby debiman » 2018-09-28 05:59

^ mali: can confirm

gronckle wrote:possible hardware options

sorry it's not a desktop:
http://dt.iki.fi/pinebook/
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