I’ve recently decided to treat myself to a major hardware update. My old and reliable Dell Optiplex 960(small form factor) desktop running an Intel Q9650(4 cores, 4 threads @ 3.00GHz with 8GB of ram) with a GeForce GT 730(64-Bit 1GB GDDR5 & 384 cuda cores), is making room for a bigger bother. I found a good deal on a Dell XPS 8930 running an Intel Core i7- 8700(6 cores, 12 threads @ 3.20GHz and fully filled with 64GB of ram) with a GeForce GTX 1050Ti(128-bit 4GB GDDR5 & 768 cuda cores).
The mother board has an M.2 slot that came with 16GB of Intel Optane memory which accelerated the 1TB HDD. It actually booted up the Windows 10 Pro in less than 30 seconds. However, one of the reasons I bought this machine was to follow the example that a Youtuber did with this exact same machine.
This is the link to his channel if anyone is interested.
I replaced the Optane stick with a Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB NVMe and added a Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB sata. Everything went well with no surprises. I also added another 1TB HDD to fill things up.
Now I’m at the crossroads on several decisions.
- Which Linux distro do I want to install?
- Which SSD I should use for the Linux half of the dual boot?
- Which file system to use with the SSD drive I decide to install it on?
- With 64GB of ram, should I use any swap space?
4.1 If so, swap partition vs swap file?
4.2 Where to put the swap partition or file.
1- I’ve been using Ubuntu Studio for quite a few years now. I read that the next LTS may offer a KDE desktop. I’m used to the lighter weight XFCE desktop that’s been there since I started using it, but KDE has some nicer & resource hungrier bells and whistles which should no longer be a problem for the new hardware. Until I see what happens I may try Kubuntu and use the Ubuntu Studio packages, or just stick with the 18.04 LTS I’m using.
2- I’ve always partitioned one single HDD and for a dual boot, but now it seems to make sense to have Windows and Linux on their own SSD. Since I’ll primarily be using Linux, it seems to me that installing it on the M.2 SSD would be the way to go with Windows being cloned to the sata SSD.
3- There are many file system options I never even knew existed until SSDs became part of my hardware. I think I’m going to stick with ext4 and keep the journaling active unless I find out that something else is definitely a better option.
4- I’ve read that with 64GB of ram that I may never need any swap space. I never plan on using hibernation since there’s not a power issue on a desktop computer. I’ve also read that having swap space is a good idea to have as a “safety cushion” so to say. If I add swap, I’m inclined to go with 8GB.
4.1 Swap partition vs swap file? My research says it really doesn’t matter. Either/or as long as it’s there.
4.2 I’ve read that the swap file or partition should not go on a SSD unless it’s necessary. I’m inclined to add it to one of the HDDs.
So, even though this really has turned out to be a software question, the new hardware is where all of my confusion stems from. Also, my main focus on computing is photo/video/audio editing. No gaming whatsoever. Any suggestions/recommendations are eagerly welcome.