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  • Radeon HD4330 vs GeForce G210M

    There are a couple of laptops I am intersted in buying which differ in a very small but significant way.

    I need OpenGL 3.2 support, DirectX 10 support and OpenCL support.

    Laptops are Dell Inspiron 14 and Lenovo IdeaPad G450.

    Config:

    Specs are similar, with Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 14" 720p screen, bluetooth, wifi, etc.


    Difference:

    Dell Inspiron 14
    250GB 7200RPM HDD with FFS
    ATI Radeon HD4330 512MB

    Lenovo IdeaPad G450
    320GB 5400RPM HDD
    nVidia GeForce G210M 512MB


    Now I need both good gaming performance under Windows 7 and full graphics support under 64bit Linux.

    OpenCL if I'm not much mistaken is supported by Intel CPUs right ? AMD Released an x86 driver for OpenCL. If it works as it should, the fact that the GPUs don't support them is not much of a concern since I only want to *learn* and start *coding* with OpenCL, and not actually use it for performance.

    Which laptop should I go for ?


    And please gimme some pointers as to which is more reliable. I need it to last till 2013.

  • #2
    AFIK, intel has yet to release a openCL SDK and support for their processors but you can use AMD's openCL for x86 for that. Graphics wise nvidia does have publicly available openCL support for their GPU's.

    http://developer.nvidia.com/object/opencl-download.html

    There are also newer 195 series openCL drivers and SDK if you signup for their developer program.

    Comment


    • #3
      But for reliability reasons, I'm more inclined towards the Dell with ATI. Does it come with any OpenCL drivers ? And what about OpenGL 3.2 ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Latest AMD and nVidia proprietary drivers support OpenCL and OpenGL 3.2.

        Most reliable notebooks in my experience are Lenovo ThinkPad. (IdeaPad is somewhat more consumer oriented.) If you want to use it until 2013, get a 3 year warranty.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by chithanh View Post
          Most reliable notebooks in my experience are Lenovo ThinkPad.
          I concur, with Toshiba being a extremely close second.

          Comment


          • #6
            @MetalheadGautham

            Do you really think those cards are for gaming? None of em is for that!

            Comment


            • #7
              What is so great about Lenovo? IBM's influence is effectively gone.

              Lenovo has made them just like the rest. Keyboards aren't the same etc. Also, the Thinkpads don't even have HDMI or eSATA for crying out loud.

              I agree with Toshiba. Some of their newer ones are impressive.

              They are expensive, though.

              I'm somewhat shopping for a laptop (no one replied to my post about it... :-( ). I am considering Toshiba but I can find better deals (hardware you're getting for the price) with Dell and HP. Not worth it, though?

              I also want a cpu that offers virtualization. Should I care? VirtualBox seems to work well. I read of users who are pleasantly surprised with it. Or should I just buy a good name like Toshiba or Dell (?) and worry about virtualization compatibility with the next laptop. I wanted a laptop that will last a few years, though.

              Anyway, good discussion of these cards. I am not sure whether to go with Nvidia or ATI since the specs I want often include either card but usually ATI for some reason.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Panix View Post
                Lenovo has made them just like the rest. Keyboards aren't the same etc. Also, the Thinkpads don't even have HDMI or eSATA for crying out loud.
                That is not correct.
                The SL410 and SL510 models have variants with eSATA and HDMI ports (eg. NSPAK##).
                The T400s have eSATA and DisplayPort variants (eg. NSDD5##).

                I did not notice any degradation in quality between T60/T61 (the last series that was designed by IBM) and T400/T500. Still comes with the plastic coated metal case.

                If you want a CPU with hardware virtualization, you have to check carefully before buying. Not all Core2 support Intel VT, sadly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                  That is not correct.
                  The SL410 and SL510 models have variants with eSATA and HDMI ports (eg. NSPAK##).
                  The T400s have eSATA and DisplayPort variants (eg. NSDD5##).

                  I did not notice any degradation in quality between T60/T61 (the last series that was designed by IBM) and T400/T500. Still comes with the plastic coated metal case.

                  If you want a CPU with hardware virtualization, you have to check carefully before buying. Not all Core2 support Intel VT, sadly.
                  But, the SL series aren't really Thinkpads per se. Which Thinkpad models are they based on? Okay, so I was slightly wrong: The T400 has eSATA. But, none of the Thinkpad line has a digital video output. I just think that is behind the times and the current Thinkpad line by Lenovo are still living based on the rep that the original Thinkpads had. Thinkpads are now Made In China with outsourcing and all that jazz just like any other laptop manufacturer. So, when I read 'recommendations for Thinkpads', I think that is not fair nor accurate.

                  I know not all Core2 support VT. I already read up on it and know which ones do. It's a pain, though, since, to get VT, you have to pay! If damn Intel would have included a few more processors, I could have afforded a laptop by now! LOL! I'm looking into min. cpu of P8400 but many laptops now have P8600+ as the entry level that have VT so I am covered but I have to pick between various brands and GPU. Then I have to assess based on budget. So difficult when you're a Linux user or even aspiring Linux user!

                  The ATI questionmark doesn't help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Panix View Post
                    Okay, so I was slightly wrong: The T400 has eSATA. But, none of the Thinkpad line has a digital video output. I just think that is behind the times and the current Thinkpad line by Lenovo are still living based on the rep that the original Thinkpads had.
                    I think you are still wrong. The T400s has DisplayPort (a digital video output) in many models, and at least six individual models (NSDD5##, NSDD9##, NSF25##, NSF2P##, NSF2Q##, NSF4N##; replace ## with region code) have both eSATA and DisplayPort connectors.

                    Additionally, almost all models produced in the last few years have a docking station with DVI connector.

                    Furthermore, Lenovo produces what its customers (not end-users, mind you) order. And there are several large customers who insist that certain aspects of hardware remain unchanged.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                      I think you are still wrong. The T400s has DisplayPort (a digital video output) in many models, and at least six individual models (NSDD5##, NSDD9##, NSF25##, NSF2P##, NSF2Q##, NSF4N##; replace ## with region code) have both eSATA and DisplayPort connectors.

                      Additionally, almost all models produced in the last few years have a docking station with DVI connector.

                      Furthermore, Lenovo produces what its customers (not end-users, mind you) order. And there are several large customers who insist that certain aspects of hardware remain unchanged.
                      I am not sure why you bring up ONE model of the Thinkpad line. Also, DisplayPort?!? Why are you trying to kid? The digital video port on laptops nowadays are HDMI unless you want to be completely proprietary and call yourself Apple: then you use MiniDisplayPort or whatever they call it.

                      Who wants even more hardware to add to their laptop? I realize that you might need a DVI to HDMI adapter but I wonder how easy it is to find adapters for DisplayPorts or docking stations. Ebay?

                      I know Thinkpads have a good reputation and probably sell a lot on name recognition alone. But, Lenovo did poorly on a/the laptop reliability survey and don't have much in the way of options. You are stuck getting an ATI card practically down the entire model line (well, Thinkpads) and the rigid keyboards that impressed Thinkpad and even other notebook owners is gone now. Lenovo notebooks are said to be like other ones but I'm only speculating. I think it's good for one brand to mostly have 'business-line' notebooks but I don't think they're the same company anymore.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Stop moving the goalposts.

                        If you want to connect consumer electronics to your notebook, then HDMI is most useful despite its limitation to 1080p. That is why the cheaper SL series have a HDMI connector.

                        For professional computers, DisplayPort is what OEMs want. Professional monitors (EIZO, large Dell and Apple, Lenovo) now come with DisplayPort connectors.

                        Your assertion that the ThinkPad keyboard is worse than before I cannot confirm with T-Series. If you do a Google search for T400s review, I find none of the reviews on the first page of results complaining about the keyboard.

                        Your other claim that you get only ATI is also wrong, with SL500 and W700 Series you can get NVidia GeForce and Quadro.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          DisplayPort is what THE INDUSTRY wanted to move to but no such luck as electronics manufacturers stopping moving towards that when the public didn't pick up the technology. OEMs want it?

                          You are illustrating by naming a couple of models. The T400s is fairly recent and one model. Of the entire line of Lenovo, one or two models have Nvidia. Not sure the SL series is really considered a Thinkpad by Thinkpad enthusiasts.

                          Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                          Stop moving the goalposts.

                          If you want to connect consumer electronics to your notebook, then HDMI is most useful despite its limitation to 1080p. That is why the cheaper SL series have a HDMI connector.

                          For professional computers, DisplayPort is what OEMs want. Professional monitors (EIZO, large Dell and Apple, Lenovo) now come with DisplayPort connectors.

                          Your assertion that the ThinkPad keyboard is worse than before I cannot confirm with T-Series. If you do a Google search for T400s review, I find none of the reviews on the first page of results complaining about the keyboard.

                          Your other claim that you get only ATI is also wrong, with SL500 and W700 Series you can get NVidia GeForce and Quadro.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MetalheadGautham View Post
                            There are a couple of laptops I am intersted in buying which differ in a very small but significant way.

                            I need OpenGL 3.2 support, DirectX 10 support and OpenCL support.

                            Laptops are Dell Inspiron 14 and Lenovo IdeaPad G450.

                            Config:

                            Specs are similar, with Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 14" 720p screen, bluetooth, wifi, etc.


                            Difference:

                            Dell Inspiron 14
                            250GB 7200RPM HDD with FFS
                            ATI Radeon HD4330 512MB

                            Lenovo IdeaPad G450
                            320GB 5400RPM HDD
                            nVidia GeForce G210M 512MB


                            Now I need both good gaming performance under Windows 7 and full graphics support under 64bit Linux.

                            OpenCL if I'm not much mistaken is supported by Intel CPUs right ? AMD Released an x86 driver for OpenCL. If it works as it should, the fact that the GPUs don't support them is not much of a concern since I only want to *learn* and start *coding* with OpenCL, and not actually use it for performance.

                            Which laptop should I go for ?


                            And please gimme some pointers as to which is more reliable. I need it to last till 2013.
                            Please, for your own sake, do not buy an Ideapad.

                            I've got a Lenovo Ideapad U330 here with Core 2 Duo P8400 and a switchable graphics solution (Intel 4500MHD/Ati Mobility 3450).

                            A few things:
                            - Windows drivers are always outdated in Lenovo Ideapads as opposed to Thinkpads. Noone cares about software support.
                            - All Ideapads (according to people from the Ideapad forums) have virtualization (Intel VT) turned off in BIOS, despite the processor being capable. I bought my laptop with that processor specificly, because I'm doing alot of virtualization. The VT switch in the BIOS menu is hidden, because the Lenovo guys decided it's a consumer laptop. You can still turn it on, as I did, by dumping your BIOS, changing one bit (and the checksum) and reflashing it.
                            - Ideapads have a totally different ACPI/firmware/whatever from the normal Thinkpads or Thinkpad SLs. My laptop support HSDPA, accelerometers to park HDD heads when the laptop moves, but it's totally different from the one in the Thinkpads. thinkpad_acpi also won't work.
                            - For Linux, Ideapad sucks. Really. You won't be able to turn off the Bluetooth adapter, the webcam or any thing which requires an additional kernel module. Noone yet made any inroads towards it.
                            - The batteries suck, although this my only be an issue with tthe U330. Thankfully mine is ok, but other people in the Lenovo forums reported 50% capacity degradation within 9 months.

                            After much tweaking I've been able to make it work decently with Linux and fill my needs. If I knew I'd need that much tweaking, I would have never bought it in the first place.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Neuro View Post
                              Please, for your own sake, do not buy an Ideapad.

                              I've got a Lenovo Ideapad U330 here with Core 2 Duo P8400 and a switchable graphics solution (Intel 4500MHD/Ati Mobility 3450).

                              A few things:
                              - Windows drivers are always outdated in Lenovo Ideapads as opposed to Thinkpads. Noone cares about software support.
                              - All Ideapads (according to people from the Ideapad forums) have virtualization (Intel VT) turned off in BIOS, despite the processor being capable. I bought my laptop with that processor specificly, because I'm doing alot of virtualization. The VT switch in the BIOS menu is hidden, because the Lenovo guys decided it's a consumer laptop. You can still turn it on, as I did, by dumping your BIOS, changing one bit (and the checksum) and reflashing it.
                              - Ideapads have a totally different ACPI/firmware/whatever from the normal Thinkpads or Thinkpad SLs. My laptop support HSDPA, accelerometers to park HDD heads when the laptop moves, but it's totally different from the one in the Thinkpads. thinkpad_acpi also won't work.
                              - For Linux, Ideapad sucks. Really. You won't be able to turn off the Bluetooth adapter, the webcam or any thing which requires an additional kernel module. Noone yet made any inroads towards it.
                              - The batteries suck, although this my only be an issue with tthe U330. Thankfully mine is ok, but other people in the Lenovo forums reported 50% capacity degradation within 9 months.

                              After much tweaking I've been able to make it work decently with Linux and fill my needs. If I knew I'd need that much tweaking, I would have never bought it in the first place.
                              Question is, then, how hard is it to turn on VT with other laptops.

                              It's good to hear about the various experiences. I was considering Ideapads but the 550 and 650. However, there was a spec that wasn't offered that I wanted or something like that. But, it's quite bad that Lenovo, despite a good idea, didn't fully realize the potential of that series and that the machine has some major issues.

                              Comment

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