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Sabertooth P67-750

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: ASP67R3-i5-8gb-550Ti-HD1tb

WARNING: I have had a few times when I had to switch on twice to start up. The system would give this message "USB Over Current Status Detected, Computer will shut down in 15 seconds" but a restart would work. This problem is mentioned here Tech Guy I suspect my case is the cause as perhaps something in the USBs on the front panel is out of order.

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
  • *£128 Asus SABERTOOTH P67 R3 P67 Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard     
  • *£140 Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache
  • £18 Samsung SH-S222AL 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM with LightScribe SATA Optical Drive - Retail Box Black
  • *£120 Zotac GTX 550 Ti 1GB Graphics Card
  • £13 Shipping    
  • £133 VATax 20%  
£801  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;
  • £50 THREE DRIVE TRAY-LESS SATA HOT-SWAP - . UK
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.

Now somebody said that a Solid State Drive can make your system run like a bat out of hell but I have yet to see it happen. It reduced my boot time by 10 seconds!
  • £138 OCZ 120GB Vertex 2E SSD 2.5" SATA-II Read = 285MB/s, Write = 275MB/s 50,000 IOPS 
Remember to add VATax to above prices.

Build

The build took about 3 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: The motherboard was perfect but for the sticky label they put over the RAM slots. It left a few bits of tack when pealed off. This isn't good. I had to remove them delicately with a tiny screw driver being careful not to drop anything into the memory slots!

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 Sceen Logo" if you don't like it.
  • Set "Wait For 'F1' If Error" to "Enabled" If you like.
Otherwise I changed nothing.

Installing Ubuntu 11.04 to boot from the HD

The install takes 45 mins even when you tell it not to get updates from the internet. Assuming you don't want the updates at that point that is which can be quite convenient if your not entirely sure about the installation anyway.

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 you should have a system. Enjoy ;-)

BUT you may want to switch off the awful new 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.


Installing Ubuntu 10.10 to boot from the SSD

Now somebody said that a Solid State Drive can make your system run like a bat out of hell but I have yet to see it happen. It reduced my boot time by 10 seconds!
  • £138 OCZ 120GB Vertex 2E SSD 2.5" SATA-II Read = 285MB/s, Write = 275MB/s 50,000 IOPS 
Remember to add VATax to above prices.

THIS SECTION BELOW IS OUT OF DATE. I NEED TO REDO IT WITH UBUNTU 11.04

It seems that when Ubuntu 10.10 is told to install on a Solid State Drive it forgets to set it as "bootable" where as this is not the case for a Hard Disk installations. The result is, that directly after the bois screen "American Megatrents ...." you get a blank screen with a cursor flashing at the left. No response to the keyboard! Oh Hell. No difference trying to install Ubunto 10.04 or 11.04.

Also each install of 10.10 or 11.04 takes 45 mins because even when you tell it not to get updates from the internet it does it anyway. Unplugging the network cable sorts this out, assuming you don't want the updates at that point that is which can be quite convenient if your not entirely sure about the installation anyway.

Ubuntu 10.10 Latest Release 64bit

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

Boot off the DVD choose "Try Ubuntu" do not INSTALL Ubuntu yet. From try Ubuntu you can make sure the HD and SSD is properly prepared for the installation. Personally I had a nightmare trying different ways to do this. I hope the way I propose here works 100% for you as it is the conclusion of many false paths.

Note: Possible problems hibernating if the swap file is smaller than the main memory as implied by this quote. "If you want a swap partition (e.g. if you need to hibernate), you should create an extended partition in that free space, and inside the extended create two logical partitions, one for ubuntu and the other for swap." from [ubuntu] Installing Ubuntu 10.10 Help My installation doesn't hibernate anyway.

Once on the desktop in the trial mode start the "disk utility" from menu. System->Administration->Disk Utility.

Your HD and SSD should appear on the left and they can be selected from there.

Select the 115 GB Solid State Disk.

Click the "Format Drive" button and in the dialogue select "Master Boot Record".

To create the boot drive click "Create Partition" to open the dialogue and choose as follows;
  • The partition size should be the whole drive,
  • Type: Ext4.
  • Name: SSD.
  • I chose not to take ownership of the file system and not to encrypt.
Click create. The system is busy for a while.

When it has finished click on "Edit Partition" so as to make the SSD Bootable. [TODO Is it possible that when trying to use the ubuntu installer it forgets to make SSDs bootable?]

Probably because of the mess I made previously it took a number of attempts to get the drive volume to the stage of being formatted Ext4 and mountable. The Disk Utility showed;
  • Usage: Filesystem
  • Partition Type: Linux (0x83)
  • Type: Ext 4 (vession 1.0)
  • Label: SSD
  • Device: /dev/sdb1
  • Capacity:115GB
Select the 1.0 TB Hard Disk.

Click the "Format Drive" button and in the dialogue select "Master Boot Record".

To create the swap partition click "Create Partition" to open the dialogue and choose as follows;
  • This partition size possibly (TODO?) should be  larger then the amount of RAM in the system. I chose 34GB
  • Type: Ext4.
  • Name: SWAP.
  • I chose not to take ownership of the file system and not to encrypt.
To create the home partition click "Create Partition" to open the dialogue and choose as follows;
  • This partition size should be all the remaining space.
  • Type: Ext4.
  • Name: HOME.
  • I chose not to take ownership of the file system and not to encrypt.
Probably because of the mess I made previously it took a number of attempts to get the drive volume to the stage of being formatted Ext4 and mountable. Click on the SWAP and HOME volumes in the diagram to check both.

The Disk Utility showed for the SWAP;
  • Usage: Filesystem
  • Partition Type: Linux swap (0x82)
  • Type: Ext 4 (vession 1.0)
  • Label: SWAP
  • Device: /dev/sda2
  • Capacity: 34GB
The Disk Utility showed for the HOME;
  • Usage: Filesystem
  • Partition Type: Linux (0x83)
  • Type: Ext 4 (vession 1.0)
  • Label: HOME
  • Device: /dev/sda1
  • Capacity: 966GB
If yours are not correct then use the Disk Utility to sort it out.

A few times there was an error on formatting but after disconnecting and reconnecting the drive - few times and a few attempts - eventually got things running. So the SSD, SWAP and HOME volumes should be mountable.

Close the Disk Utility.

Install

Reboot the system at this point but from the DVD again and choose to "install Ubuntu".

At one point about a minute in the message "Too many connections" flashed up but a little research Maverick "Too many connections" on boot seemed to suggest this did not cause problems for many people.

When it comes to selecting the time zone, if your network cable isn't unplugged, the mouse disappears and the keyboard types nothing for almost a minute and then all the keystrokes and clicks happened at once. Obviously buffered. With care you can set the time zone and installation continues normally.

Go through the usual initial steps.

On "Allocate drive space page" choose "Specify partitions manually (advanced)". On my system sda is the 1Tb drive and sdb is the SSD.

In the table click on the /dev/sda1 line. Click on the change button, the "Edit Partition" dialogue box opens. Set it as follows

Use as: Ext4 journaling file system
Format the partition: (No)
Mount point: /home

Click OK. In the table click on the /dev/sda2 line. Click on the change button, the "Edit Partition" dialogue box opens. And should be set it as follows

Use as: swap area
Format the partition: Greyed out
Mount point: Greyed out

Click OK. In the table click on the second /dev/sdb line. Click on the change button, the "Edit Partition" dialogue box opens. Set it as follows

Use as: Ext4 journaling file system
Format the partition: (No)
Mount point: /

IMPORTANT: Don't forget to put the forward slash / in the mount point!

Click OK.

On that screen - Set the device for boot loader installation as /dev/sdb. and click on install now.

Then answer the usual questions and if your as lucky as I am it will work this time.

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

YES and it boots from switch on to login in 35 seconds. (Almost as fast as the Atari 1040ST)

You need to install the graphics card drivers. Follow the instructions here  Install 550Ti Drivers

Now you should have a system. Enjoy ;-)

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



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