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motherboard decision help



Gang:

I'm about to buy a bunch of parts to build a new machine, and am looking
for suggestions/referrals on the motherboard to use.

I'm interested in an Athlon XP 2600+ (because that seems to be the sweet
spot, pricewise) and there are a ton of motherboards that can support
that processor.

One MB that has caught my eye is the Gigabyte GA-7VT600-L, a Via KT600
chipset board. It also has integrated audio and LAN, using Realtec ALC-655
audio chipset and Realtec 8101L 10/100 LAN chipset. I'd appreciate it if
any of you know of how well this board and these chipsets are supported
in a modern Linux if you'd let me know. This Gigabyte board can be
purchased today for US$63 from newegg (not a plug, just a fact).

Alternatively, I'd also appreciate suggestions for similarly priced boards
that are known to work well (I'd like to not go much over about $80). (I'm
leaning away from an Nvidia chipset board merely because I don't want to
depend on nvidia for closed-source drivers for the board, though I could
perhaps be convinced otherwise!) One small caveat is I need two serial
ports, and some new boards come with only one (I'm using both a serial modem
and serial UPS).

I'm not certain which LInux I'm ultimately going to end up using either,
but probably one of Fedora FC1/FC2, or maybe one of the RHEL 3 derivatives,
Whitebox or Tao.

Feedback will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

-- 
---- Fred Smith -- fredex fcshome stoneham ma us -----------------------------
                      The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, 
                    keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
----------------------------- Proverbs 15:3 (niv) -----------------------------

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