I'm buying a new computer and I think I will be going for a system based on a Phenom X6 CPU. I will be getting an nVidia GPU for support under Linux, and 8GB of memory.

I expect to use 64-bit Ubuntu on this rig, but in the past it's proven tricky to find whether or not all the on-board goodies work on Linux.

Can you suggest a motherboard that you know works fine? I'd like the following:

  • Suspend definitely has to work - I've been stuck with non working suspend for way too long (on an Intel D865PERL).
  • I expect to use integrated sound, and would very much like support for front panel audio (in particular, I want rear-connected speakers to go mute when plugging in headphones in the front panel, we're in 2010 after all).
  • an eSATA port.
  • Ethernet would be nice. I could plug in a PCI Ethernet card, so this is not a must.
  • SATA 3 & USB 3 for future upgrades ("support will be in kernel in 3 months" is OK, I'm not planning to use either right away).

I am considering this one: Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 What do you think? Sound is ALC892, Ethernet is Realtek 8111D.

Any other options? I can use mATX as well as ATX, but if I have to use a PCI Ethernet card then I would prefer ATX to keep some ports available.


  • FYI, I ended up building an Intel system. I used a Core i5 760 on a GIgabyte GA-P55-USB3 motherboard, which fits all of the above criteria. – GomoX Jan 27 '11 at 16:20

Nvidia with AMD is not a combination that i would recommend, especially since many superb AM3 motherboards have excellent ATI onboard graphics and also support ATI Hybrid Graphics when teamed with a ATI graphics Card. You Wont get that with a Nvidia Card. Plus with the latest catalyst releases amd has caught up a lot with nvidia as far as Linux Support is concerned ( Though definitely no VDPAU support). My personal suggestion is gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H + Radeon 6850. Even if you want to stick with nvidia go for the 890GX Chipset.

Put simply, VDPAU uses the stream processor on your nvidia hardware for HD video decoding thus putting very less strain on your CPU. XVBA the competing solution from AMD has very limited support on linux. So if you are into HD videos you should go for nvidia. The open source Radeon driver works beautifully with slightly older ATI Cards (R500/R600/R700) with support for evergreen and barts on the horizon. Even the performance of fglrx is now at par with nvidia imho. I have a radeon hd 4670 which works beautifully on ubuntu 10.10. I am a huge AMD/ATI fan and i have 3 systems running athlon II/Phenom II and opteron respectively. If you have the budget go for phenom II x6 1090t+ hd 6850/70. Killer combo

  • What are the consequences of not supporting VDPAU? In-software video decoding? I can't possibly live with this. When you say ATI has caught up with nVidia a lot, What is "a lot"? For all I know Radeon support under Linux has always been dubious at best. I would rather have good support instead of some additional performance. ¿Do you think I should go for an Intel rig? – GomoX Nov 19 '10 at 15:26
  • Because the two answers that were here were by the same user, I merged them. – jrg Jun 8 '11 at 15:10

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