I purchased the box version of Mandrake 8.2 the power pack addition. I have to say it is quite impressive. So in trying to get the best install with overall performance I have played with Redhat 7.2, 7.3 and Mandrake 8.2. Keeping in mind that I am working with a motherboard that has been available for less then a month P4B533-e [usa.asus.com]
1.) Simple install,the only problem I ran into was setting up my usb mouse. The board has three usb controlers and my Monitor has a hub also. I had to learn which driver to use and only install one. My first attempt I had installed two drivers before I found the one that turned the mouse on so at bootup I had a conflict.
2.) Cups with Gimp-print 4.2 is the default print dameon and it found my printer and had the correct driver. Installed it Perfect.
3.) My USB scanner was found and the Xsane config was taken care of with a icon place on my desktop.
4.) Three zip drives, internal paralel port and USB. All installed Perfect. With Mandrake these drives are set up so that the mount and unmount process is transparent very Windows like.
5.) Cdrom and dvd with Xine installed. Had to download and install dvdnav and Movies played correctly.
6.) The install found my Gforce 3 Ti500 card and it installed the Nvidia drivers. This was very cool not that manualy installing the nvidia drivers is that tough but it can be alittle tense. Any time you mess with X it can be stressfull.
7.) Installer picked the wrong driver for my onboard C-media 6 channel audio and ignored spdif
8.) Could not find my onboard lan card.
9.) Resorce collision with the ide controller so no dma.
10.) Drakex is a nice interface for setting up hardware, network, fonts (even a button to add Windows fonts), view log files and I am sure alot more. Because of the resource collision I could not use the drake-hardware browser the system would lock every time I clicked it. So I could not find another interface to fix the sound.
11.) One interesting thing I noticed is that the installer compiled alot of drivers for hardware not on my system making it very simple to add new hardware. It almost looks like you could change the board and it would boot up and make the changes.
12.) Even with out a IDE controller the machine was very responsive and felt good.
13.) The big minus besides the IDE deal was no KDE 3.
1.) Install went smooth. Turned on the sound plus enabled spdif. Found the lan card and configured the network.
2.) Could not enable the Ide controler.
3.) Still had to install gimp-print to get the printer right and switch the default dameon to Cups.
4.) Did not enable the paralel port zip.
5.) System runs very slow. Red hat installed a different pci driver then Mandrake and I think thats what is making the system stuffy.
6.) Manualy set up the scanner Xsane configs.
7.) Manualy have to install Nvidia drivers
8.) KDE3 is included.
1.) Smooth install. It found the sound and did not enable spdif. Did not find the lan card.
2.) Everything needs to be updated.
3.) It did install the ide controler and gave me UDMA 66.
4.) Best running machine.
All in all for first time users Mandrake is the most windows like and has paid more attention to the desktop user and external hardware.
I ordered another board this morning and hope to have it tomorrow. I am still not sure which distro to go with. Mandrake looks pretty good.
When major updates happen like KDE3 or Xfree86 does Mandrake soft include those as auto updates or do you have download and install all the dependant files ?