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x86_64 hardware recommendations/warnings?
I find myself in the position of recommending components for a friend
to build a more up-to-date machine on which to run NetBSD. Having only
been seriously interested in non-PC hardware and otherwise being a
technological bottom-feeder in the PC-type hardware arena, I'm feeling
a bit overwhelmed at the options available and the things one must know
to wade through them.
Background: Currently using a Dell PowerEdge SC430 as a workstation.
Primary tasks are photographic scanning and digital post-processing,
some audio processing, personal accounting/recordkeeping, and web
browsing, likely with light video usage. Using NetBSD/amd64-7.1_RC2
and packages from pkgsrc-2016Q4.
The bare-bones graphics on the above machine is the primary problem.
User has a desire to use a large flat-panel TV as the computer display,
but the machine cannot accept an add-in video card with HDMI outputs
and VGA->HDMI adapters are considered unacceptably expensive.
I proposed the following recommendations for a more modern machine:
PS/2 keyboard port required
3.0+GHz Quad-core processor
Intel or AMD Radeon graphics
at least with DVI
DisplayPort if possible
HDMI nice but not required
associated storage/media devices and other accessories.
Browsing a major online vendor of such components, there are a great
many mainboards from which to choose. At this stage Intel vs. AMD
is not so important as knowing what is supported and will work.
In the back of my mind always is the problem: "new but not TOO new".
As UEFI support is only now taking shape in -current, is anyone aware
of boards which don't support "Legacy Boot" or "Compatibility Support
Mode"? The system needs to be able to boot a stock NetBSD/amd64-7.1
The Intel-based mainboards I've seen all have on-board graphics, typically
with all of VGA/DVI/HDMI (and sometimes DisplayPort) outputs, but are
dependent on the CPU die also bearing the GPU/graphics engine. Such
processors seem to be 6th/7th-generation Core i3/5/7. What is known
about whether the intel DRM/KMS support in Netbsd-7.1 will work with
these? The associated driver for Xorg? If they work at all, how do
they fare when playing video?
I see similar things with boards for AMD processors. I think boards
for Socket AM3+ processors actually have an independent graphics chip
on them (most commonly Radeon HD 3000), while boards for Socket FM2+
processors use the GPU on the CPU die. What is known about the
radeondrmkms support for these parts? The associated driver for Xorg?
If it turns out that the on-board video options are not suitable,
the obvious solution is some sort of Radeon-based add-in video card.
Given the above, are there recommendations for things that are
new (available) but not TOO new (unsupported)?
Or conversely, warnings of what to avoid? Note that there is no
real budget for this machine other than to cost the least possible
while meeting the above requirements.
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