As many others, I have moved over to Windows 10, used 7 until the day it went EOL. The short time I’ve used 10 has been enough for me to seriously consider alternatives.
Historically I’ve always used Windows. I started with DOS in the 90s, so command line use isn’t scary for me. My main uses, besides DOS, have been 98SE, XP, 7 and now 10. However, I’m not unfamiliar with Linux and unix-like systems. Over the past 20 years I have used Linux and BSD systems (mostly Debian) for various specific tasks, mainly due to the software stability. I have never been able to actually move over to it as my main desktop workhorse, mainly due to software compatibility.
Linux has come a long way with regards to software and compatibility, and I think the time might be right to actually take the final step. Still, part of me is a bit uncertain. There is a lot of information to digest. Thus, I’m making this post where I describe my computer specifications and usage. For all I know I’ve overlooked something which makes Linux not viable for me.
My computer specifications
- PSU: Corsair AX1200i
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix X570-F
- RAM: 32GB total G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 3600MHz CL15 (8GB sticks)
- GPU: ASUS GeForce RTX 2070
- Storage: (OS disk) Corsair Force Series MP510 480GB m.2, (general storage) Western Digital Red disks
- Expansion: Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K, Creative Sound Blaster ZxR, firewire card.
How I typically use my computer
Most games seem to have some sort of workaround or direct support, so I’m not too concerned about this part.
Where things start to get more obscure is digitizing of analog formats and video/audio encoding. Here I use the Sound Blaster, Blackmagic Intensity Pro or Canopus ADVC-300 (firewire) along with software like AviSynth, AvsPmod, VirtualDub, x264 just to name some. Due to physical limitations, cards need to be swapped around.
I do happen to rip blu-ray, DVD, VCD, burn discs, interface with legacy or obsolete hardware as well.
Otherwise it is the usual video viewing, music playback, web browsing, general office suite work.
This part is a bit messy, but hopefully the point comes across. I use a lot of software for many different things, hard to cover everything. Most seem to be caught up with gaming, but this is a small part of my everyday use. I’m concerned my other (sometimes old) software doesn’t transition well into Linux.
To Linux, or not to Linux
This is the big question. Most of my experience is with Debian, so I’m thinking this would be the logical choice to go with. My thought was running Windows in a virtual machine for software that absolutely refuse to work under Linux. I’m a bit concerned if this will severely impact performance, however. The reason I bought this hardware was to get better performance with games, video encoding or other number crunching tasks. Perhaps I’m better off with just using Windows for a few more years? Better distro choices? Hardware that doesn’t play nice with Linux?
Any feedback or recommendations is greatly appreciated!