I have been toying with the idea of building a gaming PC with Linux for everything else. I've been scraping by with my trusty thinkpad dual booting windows 8 and Arch Linux (hd4000 graphics) for a while now. While Linux runs flawlessly on it, that little integrated gpu struggles on most games (although you'd be surprised how much game you can get out these newer integrated gpu's, even on a low power system like a 12" thinkpad). I was looking at the $650 build as well as the $450 dollar build, and I am not sure which suits me better. Here are my concerns:
-If I ever want to play games on linux (ie minecraft, overgrowth, ftl, tf2, left for dead 2, half-life 2 etc), I want to have a decent, stable graphics driver for my fancy new computer, and it is my impression that (unless you can live with intel) nvidia has the most reliable 3d graphics drivers (my distro actually dropped official support for the proprietary amd one, but it is still pretty easy to get). This makes me think that I might want to stick with nvidia graphics, and maybe try to spec up the recent $450 build, however, I am not completely against an amd gpu.
-Secondly, I worry about motherboards being locked down, because, although it may be trivial to slap Ubuntu onto a secondary partition, and let it install grub for you, I'd rather use Arch linux, and boot directly from uefi using efistub (this is possible, it works just fine on my thinkpad.) I don't know if there are problems with locked down motherboards in the custom pc world, but I know that it happens in eg ultrabooks (when I say locked down, I mean there is no bios/uefi setting to allow you to boot things not signed by microsoft, I think it is called secureboot or something).
Basically, I am just thinking about amd cpu + nvidia graphics on a relatively basic build, and I want to know if people have impressions about compatibility with Linux, and the best value parts in the $400-$600ish price range.
As a side note, this is my first post, so feel free to correct me if I put this in the wrong place, or if I am doing something else wrong, because I am clueless.