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Cover image for Which computer to choose for Linux OS with good graphical processing power?

Which computer to choose for Linux OS with good graphical processing power?

annietaylorchen profile image Annie Taylor Chen ・1 min read

Currently I use Linuxmint on an average laptop that's custom-built from PCSpecialist, part of the reasons I got it is that I need a physical ENGLISH keyboard but it's hard to find those in Sweden. I got it a few years ago and am thinking about upgrading to a desktop. I would love to explore more on graphic design or 3D modeling in the future, so hopefully I can get something more powerful. I'm not so familiar with hardware, would love some help from experts! Thank you! 🙏

What would you recommend as hardware?

  • desktop, physical English keyboard (I have monitor already)
  • must be compatible with Linux OS
  • can deliver to Sweden without tax and duty (it's damn expensive in Sweden)
  • should handle powerful graphical tasks (design, 3d modeling, videos)

Current candidates:
UK:
PCSpecialist
JUNO

Germany:
TUXEDO

Spain:
Slimbook

If you don't know anyone else, can perhaps suggest some machines from suppliers I list above?

Posted on by:

annietaylorchen profile

Annie Taylor Chen

@annietaylorchen

A hybrid of coder, designer, photographer. I love innovative and creative projects. I also cook awesome vegan food!

Discussion

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Upgrading to a desktop is always the best thing you can do (unless you need a laptop specifically).

I've been working with linux many time and also playing with graphic tools such premiere pro, photoshop, inkscape, illustrator and so (also gaming).

I recommend you to go for a full AMD desktop computer as it's compatibility with linux is better (intel cpus are set at low performance by default "eco mode", intel graphics are powerless and cause tearing sometimes, and nvidia drivers maked my computer not able to start up too many times, even recently on a colleague's laptop).

You can get a Ryzen 3600 with a Sapphire 5600XT which i think is the most balanced and the best deal performance per price.
16Gb RAM DDR4 3200 or higher and an SSD M.2 could be nice for complete the set up.

Which can be something like:

AMD Ryzen 3600 box or if you want more cores and power you can take a Sapphire 5600 XT
or, if you want more power, you can take the 5700 XT Nitro Plus which is the current flagship.
Asus x570 motherboard
Corsair 16Gb RAM

then you only need a Power Supply Unit
a Computer Box like this one or another that you like most (only check that it's ATX size or bigger).

Finally the storage; an SSD M.2 NVME like this will fit nice on the build.

All parts I linked here from Amazon are compatible and work nice in between, the only thing you will need is to assembly the parts (which if it's your first time can last about an hour but it's not difficult) there are also tones of tutorials like this, but basically and 99% true if something fits on a hole it's because it's intended to be in that hole 😅

You will also find tones of english layout keyboards on Amazon, simply search "Keyboard qwerty english". like this (which is the first result i get).

This comment fits into your requirements except Sweden taxes as I know nothing about it.
I bet you can also go to a local business with this information and ask for specific parts for getting it assembled.

Also ask for dual boot. Linux is the best OS for coding but Windows is the OS with more compatibility across design tools.

Hope it helps you.

 

Hi there, thanks a lot for those detailed information! I will take a look. Although yeah... am a bit limited due to where I am. Although Amazon just confirmed they will launch site in Sweden (finally!!!) so I wonder if I can finally enjoy some benefits like other users. We'll see... it's possible they will start with digital products only. :P

 

I bet you can find a local hardware workshop where to buy the parts and ask for warranty if something breaks up, don't you have hardware workshops on Sweden? :D

I bet there are some in the suburb. But I am not a hardware fan, so prefer to have things "easier" so I can focus things (software) I can do better and enjoy better. :)

well, actually you can buy a customized computer on hardware shops (usually), simply ask for a R5 3600 with a Sapphire 5700 XT Nitro +, an M.2 SSD nvme of 500Gb or 1Tb and 16Gb RAM DDR4 3200Mhz (or higher), a 80 plus gold PSU and an x570 chipset mobo, then ask they to show you the PC Box catalog to choose one that fits into your office / room design or that you like most, and they will do the rest for sure. Here on spain they usually charge about 60€ for assembly and OS installing (you can also ask for windows + distro dual boot).

Then you can go home with your computer and start working.
You can also ask for some already assembled PC or for a PC to fit your requirements but it's usually better to know what you want (they can use windows only and be unaware of nvidia driver issues for example).

Good idea, we will consider that. Actually we just did something similar (online) for a desktop that uses Windows and Swedish keyboard from a Swedish online store. We can check if the same store can do sth for my needs. :) Before it was a pain to get any store to get me an English keyboard ...that's why I don't think of them first. :P Also I'd never used Windows nor did I want to buy that, stores here don't have the option.

Well you can get a PC configured with English on a sweden store (as they will need to install windows/Linux anyway so you can check English instead on Swedish, then you can buy a qwerty English lauout keyboard on Amazon (i bet they ship to Sweden from Amazon.com). The keyboard must not be a blocking item

indeed... for a laptop that's more important, but for desktop it is a minor issue.

I did a bit digging on the same site we ordered, except keyboard we found most things you recommend. Here is another concern: how cool is this? does the fan make a lot of noise? Since we work in the same room, this is important. I can "sacrifice" a bit power for the sake of being quiet.

I can't tell you as I'm with a 360mm radiator liquid cooling with 6 fans on it (3 in the back and 3 in the front).

But I can recommend you the cheap Corsair H45 which is silent enough for getting it at half meter and being silent, just make sure it's at "Silent Mode" on the motherboard options.
If you want performance an quietness you can keep the original fan at the reverse side and add a corsair LL120 RGB pointing inside the box (this is called pull-push and increases the performance on a liquid cooler radiator sightly).

I had a PC with this configuration with a Corsair H45 near me at the home office and it's pleasantly quiet :)

 

Look what I just found on my mailbox:

maingear.com/turbo/

The 1440p is really a BEAST for graphic jobs, video rendering and so

Wow, that's cool! Bet gamers will drool over that... envying people in the US, I will be broke to get it into Sweden for tax, duty and various other fees lol.

:(
What is the % taxes on sweden? Are this taxes for imported goods or it's a regular tax?

Not sure how they calculate for individual things, but generally we have 25% VAT for everything (both imported and regular), there is a fixed "processing fee" 125kr/14.38 USD per mail/parcel/shipping even your parcel costs 5 USD only. So for a parcel that costs 564kr/65.00 USD we paid 200kr/23 USD extra for what a person would pay if shipped within States. That's WITHOUT the shipping cost which depends on the weight can be extremely pricey.

Damn, are the salaries good enough for that? Here on spain we have 21%VAT and no extra costs for inter-european buys as customers (companies have less luck sadly) those things are what make Europe less attractive for making a company and making it bigger, all they do is to put rocks on the way

Well salaries can't be compared with US ones of course...but you can't compare like that, because generally Europeans enjoy better health care, education, paid vacation and parental leave compared to Americans. People with different age, lifestyle and opportunity to choose should choose something that suits them the best. :)

agree, but this social services budget comes from taxes directly to your salary and not from VAT and merchant taxes (which are meant to be for paying politician salaries, maintaining infrastructures and so) , it's important to know how the things are related. I can accept a reduction on my yearly salary for this services (which amount surpass greatly the real cost and it's disappointing TBH) but having to pay an over 20 percentile on each transaction plus other taxes associated with merchant activities and services apart from that are a shame. On Spain if you sum all taxes you can realize the 60% of your earnings go directly or indirectly to the government.

EEUU, South Korea, Japan.. are on a strict capitalism model while Europe is on a socialism one. First gives opportunities to companies and individuals but transmitting the self health care and pension plans to this individuals and companies while second gives healthcare and some other retributions under given situations out of the box to the detriment of opportunities due to high costs and low growth while maintaining same risk (or more if you add the cost of fire someone even when this person is not doing its job on purpose).
I think the only way to do it well is getting the first model while limiting the price range on social services (it's my opinion).

Yeah... tax and redistribution is another big topic, which might not be suitable to this post any more. Personally I don't mind higher tax if I have more control and say on how it's used! Anyways, if you like the topic I can recommend a new book called Trade Wars are Class Wars. :) Let's keep the topic on computer so we don't annoy others haha!

hahaha Agree, hope you find a good product for you :D

I will put a update once I get mine, but we're looking at the ones you suggested right now. :)

 

Take a look to Slimbook, is a company focused on Linux computers. It have cool things like the only Linux laptop with security web cam alike iPhone have.

I didn't know that exist companies like PCSpecialist so thanks for sharing.

 

I came here just to say the same thing. I've been using a Slimbook laptop for the past two years and I'm very happy with it. They build their hardware specifically for Linux, so you'll have few surprises there. Plus, it's nice to skip paying a Windows license that you are not going to use.

 

Exactly, I haven't used Windows for the past 12 years I guess... But that indeed gave me some trouble to choose laptops that supports Linux without selling me the Windows.

There should be more suppliers like this. We don't want heavy, thick, dark and ugly Linux laptops!

 

Thanks for the tip. Their laptops looks better than ordinary linux ones lol. I like the silver and slim look. I've emailed them to ask if they can ship (desktop) to Sweden and the fee etc.

 

You are welcome. I really hope you can find the most perfect machine for your needs.

 

I am not going to add my experience on linux laptops as I am not currently a linux user. But i am interested on that and i ve been doing so research (or truly just searching). These are my options I have found.

  1. System76
  2. Libriem pure laptop
  3. Dell xps developer edition and Now recently,
  4. Lenovo.

Are these still ideal ones for a web/app developer (I am also currently a windows laptop user and using Microsoft stack for development), or would you guys advise the listed ones from the post?

 

In the past I've used

  • dell laptop (when I first switched, I had dual boot but later I just ditched Windows)
  • lenovo thinkpad
  • HP Elitebook
  • now PCSpecialist (they installed a test version of Windows for testing... so I am pretty much on my own to figure out things myself...)

I'm absolutely no expert on Linux itself, so I'd stick to Linuxmint as I just want a simple OS to run other tasks. The community is very helpful if you run into trouble.

I would say as a web dev all of those options are fairly ok. It also depends on whether you need to rely on other things you can't get on Linux, for instance, if your team requires you to use Sketch, you need to have a Mac. Buying a common branded one gives you some after-sale support I guess, otherwise you're pretty much on your own to figure out things when they don't work.

I also opt for brands that are dedicated for linux because they do hardware compatibility tests etc. Hardware drives could be a pain in Linux... I remember I had some trouble with Nvidia before. Spending time figuring hardware is very counter-productive in my opinion, as I don't have much interest in that... I just want a smooth machine to get my own things done!

 

Well, i do actually have Linux Mint on Dell Inspiron installed early this year, when i actually started exploring about Linux. that works just perfectly fine. I wanted to try a fully dedicated, built-for-linux type laptop although. I am inclined towards System76 vs Dell Developer edition linux laptops and yet to explore Lenovo ones that just began i suppose..

In this case I do suggest brands that're Linux-first. :) My next laptop/desktop will be that.

 

If you don’t want to build your workstation by yourself due to guarantee and service reasons I would suggest dell precision line. You can buy it with ubuntu preloaded, 64GB RAM or more, radeon pro or quadro graphics.

 

I'm also looking for desktop cpu, which will be run 24/7 for software development and server related task

 

Tuxedo is a good Europian alternative to System76.

You could also try looking into Lenovo workstations. Lenovo has recently announced that they will officially support Ubuntu and Fedora, meaning driver, software support, dedicated Linux forums.

 

If I will be ever making a Linux machine, I will probably use this guide. It's portable, quiet and packs a punch. blog.alexellis.io/building-a-linux...

 

Wow interesting. I quickly browsed through but need a further check and also see if they can ship to Sweden... this is one the major problems, inexpensive things you can get on amazon in US can become insanely expensive when imported to Sweden. 😭

 

If you're upgrading to desktop, can you diy? Is something like pcpartpicker.com an option?

 

I'm opening to both. I would prefer getting it as a whole when it arrives at my door. I also prefer companies that are more dedicated to Linux computers.

Plus, a big bumper is tax, 100USD product will cost me 160USD here in Sweden. So I have to see to extra fee involved.