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Sabertooth 990FX-750

If you landed on this page straight from Google you should start on the Linux Hardware page which details how the hardware was chosen. Here is only the build for a specific system.

Updated: 2012-01-25
Classification: AS990FX-FX8120-8gb-HD6850-HD1tb

WARNING: to get this working I had to do the Linux install with a VTX Radeon 5450 graphics card I had lying around fitted and then switch over to the more powerful graphics card below afterwards, so as to trick Ubuntu into installing the ATI propriety drivers required. If you don't have an old ATI card I wouldn't bother unless you want to buy one for £25.

WARNING: Warning for some reason both Sabertooth machines have lousy quality sound input and we haven't found out why yet!

Parts List 

January 2012 - prices for ebuyer.com except items marked with * which are from amazon.co.uk:
  • £45    Antec 300 Three Hundred Case
  • *£80   Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive     
  • £85     Antec TruePower New 750W Modular PSU                     
  • £37     Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 1.5V Non-ECC Unbuffered
  • *£108   Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX Socket AM3+ Motherboard
  • *£145 AMD FX-8120 Black Edition 3.1GHz
  • £18    Samsung SH-S222AL 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM with LightScribe SATA Optical Drive - Retail Box Black
  • *£93   Sapphire Radeon HD6850 1GB Graphics Card
  • £15    Shipping    
  • £125  VATax 20%  
Approximately £766  inc VAT Order Total    

Optional extras

If you are going to overclock the CPU you might need a big heat sink;
  • £18 Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev
Also I am a great fan of removable hard drives;
  • £16 StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive
  • 3@£2      Xenta SATA 3 Cable 6Gbps - 30cm
this gives you the opportunity to have an additional removable hard drives with different operating systems on them or you could go for the;
I like these as you can set up a RAID or use it for backup drives and believe me backing up onto a SATA drive is miles faster than using a USB drive.

Remember to add VATax to above prices.


The build took about 2 hours. I don't do this every day and I am careful. Years with electronics tells me that everything should be treated as delicate. Also watch out for static. The instructions that come with the parts make it pretty clear and I followed them.

WARNING: First build this with your old ATI graphics card. I used VTX Radeon 5450 graphics card I had lying around fitted and then switched over to the more powerful graphics card after the instal, so as to trick Ubuntu into installing the ATI propriety drivers required. If you don't have an old ATI card I wouldn't bother unless you want to buy one for £25.

Switching On

After a final check of connections, plugging in a monitor to the top DVI plug via the supplied VGA adaptor, I switched on and pressed DEL to look at the BIOS. All nicely obvious. The boot order is graphically represented at the bottom. Put the CD-Rom drive first by dragging it with the mouse.

At the top right I click on "Exit/Advanced Mode" and chose "Advanced" on the dialogue.

Then selected the "Boot" tab and;
  • Disable the "Full Screen Logo" if you want.
  • Set "Wait For 'F1' If Error" to "Enabled" if you want.
Otherwise I changed nothing.

Installing Ubuntu 11.04 to boot from the HD

Getting a download of Ubuntu 11.04 64bit might be difficult now because we are onto later releases.

Download the latest release of Ubuntu 11.04 64bit and create the CD.

Boot off the DVD choose "install Ubuntu".

Go through the usual initial steps.

On "Allocate drive space page" choose the option to let the system do it all"". Then answer the usual questions.

Well eventually the disk pops out and tells you to reboot.

YES and it boots from switch on to login in 40 seconds. (Almost as fast as the Atari 1040ST)

Now back to the hardware take out the old ATI graphics card and put in your Sapphire HD6850 1GB Graphics Card!

Reboot and it should work. If it doesn't email me please.
I don't want to leave you in the lurch. Also email me if you have any better solutions to this problem please.

Now you should have a system. Enjoy ;-)

BUT you may want to switch off the awful new Unity desktop. When you come to the login screen select your name but before you enter the password look at the very bottom of the screen. One of those menus allows you to select Ubuntu Classic.

© Tom de Havas 2011. The information under this section is my own work it may be reproduced without modification but must include this notice.