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Hey there.

I am decent gamer. I'd like to go through 100% of visuality and emotions (adrenaline, joy, aggresivity, action) that game can deliver. But as you can guess you need very good computer for it. And yes, you could buy a gamer computer, that costs 9000 dollars. Or make new computer that is as awesome as gamer computer for hmm... 1000 dollars.

But what are limits of Linux actually? I want to build a "monster PC" who will have just 10GB RAM "just in case" that is almost never used.

I really want to put like 64GB RAM, 4TB HDD, Intel Core i7-4770K, Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 and all that kind of stuff. Assume processor is 64-bit.

Is Linux (Debian/Ubuntu) able to handle this all? I mean, I had met proofs in my way. That prove that Linux is not lesser than Windows. But how much can operation system use of these all "things"?

Edited by RikTelner

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    A 64bit os is the same on all Os's. My only concern is if the game is available on steam. Then you can it natively in linux. Read More

  • Linux can handle all of this very well (much better than Windows, in most cases). The real question is more about how optimal it will be. The first thing you have to understand is that one of the most important application domains (if not the most important) of Linux is … Read More

  • if 10Gb RAM is your concept of "monster", you haven't seen serious hardware. I've run Linux servers with 256 cores and 2Tb RAM with no issues. Read More

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    @Mike2k Generally, you are spot-on with regard to the old nVidia drivers, but I have been VERY happy with them since 2008 (CentOS 5.x), including on my nVidia laptop (a Dell D630) as well as my personal workstation (8800GT card). I am running Scientific Linux 6.x on both now, and … Read More

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A 64bit os is the same on all Os's. My only concern is if the game is available on steam. Then you can it natively in linux.

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Linux can handle all of this very well (much better than Windows, in most cases). The real question is more about how optimal it will be. The first thing you have to understand is that one of the most important application domains (if not the most important) of Linux is for servers and mainframes, which are just really powerful computers. So, Linux is, in general, much ahead of the game when it comes to handling and efficiently exploiting hardware with powerful CPUs (with lots of cache, lots of cores), large hard-drives (several tera-bytes, RAID configurations, etc.), and ample system memory (dozens of Gb of RAM). So, on that end, you don't have to worry about "support" (as in, "will it work") but more about "optimality" (what will work best).

As long as you do some research to figure out which distribution would be the best for this kind of application, and make sure the kernel version is a good balance between up-stream (state-of-the-art) and stability, you should be good. I would look into distros that are closer to state-of-the-art and not too far from a parent / related professional server distribution.. the one that comes to mind is Fedora, but you need to look into that more carefully. You might also want to look into what kernel modules are important to enable for these types of "monster" machines, as some of these modules might not be enabled by default in "run-of-the-mill" desktop distributions.

The main problem is going to be the graphics card (i.e., servers do not have graphics cards, making it a somewhat neglected hardware in the professional world). In this department, Linux is still and always lagging behind. Newer graphics hardware tends not to be working 100% right out of the gate, i.e., the latest product from the company does not come out with a full-feature, fully-tested Linux driver, as they do for Windows. Lately, it has been quite good as most companies have essentially ported their main drivers for Linux and add the bleeding-edge support to both Windows and Linux drivers at the same time, but the Linux version always remains less thoroughly tested. What this usually means is that some of the extra "new" features that your card might provide, might not actually be usable in Linux. Most of the time, this does not affect performance (e.g., in-game FPS), but rather things like lots of multiple displays (e.g., Nvidia Mosaic display, etc.) or WiDi, in other words, the bells and whistles might not be supported. And of course, it can also mean bugs (crash, malfuncitoning, etc.).

The AMD/ATI graphics drivers are, in general, better than those from Nvidia, so, you might want to consider that brand of graphics cards instead. But for the most part, you just need to be careful about your pick of the graphics card. Just research the specific model that you are thinking to get, and see if it seems to be well supported on Linux, i.e., there are many forums about troubleshooting graphics drivers and things like that (such as Nvidia's Linux forum), and if your model does not pop-up too much in that (or ask about it there), and otherwise seems to be listed as "working well" in a few places, then, it's probably good. There are some listings out there that can help, like here.

Overall, you can expect that any recent graphics card will work at 95-100% capability on Linux, as long as you use a recent kernel version and the appropriate latest driver. And if not, it should get sorted out in at most a couple of months (at least, this has been my impression, in my limited dealings with those issues).

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You blew answer out of water. Since now, thou ist considered Linux wikipedia.
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Yeah as mentioned above graphics could be a problem, especially nvidia... There have been issues in the past...

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Yeah, if this wasn't mentioned, I think that currently about 95% of the top 500 super computers in the world are running Linux - you can't get much more "big iron" that that! A lot of them are also running scads of nVidia's tesla GPUs for parallel floating point performance.

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As I recall it was a Unix computer that beat the world chess champion about 10-15 years ago. Pretty impressive feat, I doubt MS-Windows could have done that.

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@AD: More recently, IBM's super-computer "Watson" beat the world champions of Jeopardy (which is much harder than chess)... and it runs SUSE Enterprise Linux.

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@NardCake
Some of the issues with nVidia cards is the default Linux use of the open source Nouveau nVidia driver, which while significantly improved as of late, is far behind the proprietary Linux drivers in terms of performance and capability, and in the past it was pretty pathetic.

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@rubberman, traditionally (i.e., except of late), to my understanding, the driver situation with the three main companies making graphics cards has been more or less like this:

Intel's attitude has been to dedicate a team of developers to contribute open-source drivers for Linux, i.e., full cooperation with the open-source kernel / driver development community. Their drivers are first-class (installed by default and VERY stable).

AMD/ATI's attitude has been to hold their proprietary drivers to the same standard as their Windows drivers and to cooperate with the open-source kernel / driver development community to make sure basic open-source drivers are OK and that their prioprietary drivers work well with the core parts of Linux.

Nvidia's attitude has been to agree to release some basic and untested proprietary drivers (ported from Windows) without putting too much effort into it, and with no cooperation with the Linux-dev community, forcing them to reverse-engineer the Windows drivers to produce the "Nouveau" drivers (open-source).

Now that Linux gaming and popularity in general is amping up (and due to a middle finger from a prominent figure), Nvidia had to revise that stand, produce better drivers and become more open. I believe that this is starting to bear fruit.

Case in point, a few years back, with a Nvidia-powered laptop, I had quite a few issues with the drivers. Essentially, the choice was between the slow Nouveau drivers or the unstable (flickering, crashing) proprietary Nvidia drivers. Now, that laptop runs well because the newer kernel and Nvidia driver are good and stable. I hope this is indicative of the current situation.

Edited by mike_2000_17: precision

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if 10Gb RAM is your concept of "monster", you haven't seen serious hardware. I've run Linux servers with 256 cores and 2Tb RAM with no issues.

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@Mike2k
Generally, you are spot-on with regard to the old nVidia drivers, but I have been VERY happy with them since 2008 (CentOS 5.x), including on my nVidia laptop (a Dell D630) as well as my personal workstation (8800GT card). I am running Scientific Linux 6.x on both now, and there are ABSOLUTELY no issues running the proprietary drivers, and I do a lot of graphics intensive work on them.

Recently Linus Torvalds gave nVidia a big "thumbs-up" for their recent efforts to be more supportive of the open source Nouveau driver, instead of the big middle finger he gave them last year! Hopefully they will continue in this direction.

FWIW, the Nouveau drivers have improved significantly as a result of nVidia's contributions to Nouveau. I recently upgraded my workstation to SL 6.5 and the Nouveau driver was MUCH better than the old ones. It still had some irritating glitches, so I replaced it with the current nVidia GeForce driver - no glitches and still performs much better than Nouveau. If it weren't for the small, but irritating glitches (such as issues with cursor tracking between multiple screens), I would have kept the Nouveau driver.

Edited by rubberman

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@rubberman They're running Unix. Unix doesn't always equal Linux.
@Ancient Dragon Indeed. Kasparov has been beaten by Deep Blue.
@DimaYisny This is only theorem, but you probably didn't read topic. I said "10GB" that's never gonna get used, but I mentioned PC built up of 64GB RAM. Which I do think can be called mini-home-supercomputer. Since main properties of supercomputer is that they have much greater calculation power and memory processing power. So, yeah, I consider a Linux with 64GB RAM a "beast".

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