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Acer C720 Chromebook Delivers Fast Ubuntu Performance

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Herem View Post
    It's a laptop not a gentleman sausage, as such I wouldn't class 11 inches and 1.3kg as big or heavy.
    1.3kg device is too heavy if it has only 2 GB RAM and 16 GB SSD.
    1.3kg device should have at least 4 GB RAM and 1 TB HDD or 120 GB SATA SSD replaceable with 1 TB HDD.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by uid313 View Post
      I don't think a chromebook should have any mechanical hard disk drives.
      What are you talking about? I'm one hoping that it actually would have some sort of a hard disk drive, which it obviously doesn't have, because it's a chromebook. :/

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Herem View Post
        It's a laptop not a gentleman sausage, as such I wouldn't class 11 inches and 1.3kg as big or heavy.
        It's not a laptop, its a chromebook.
        A laptop is a powerful general-purpose portable computer.

        A chromebook is web appliance. A low-power, light, portable device with only a web browser.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JS987 View Post
          1.3kg device is too heavy if it has only 2 GB RAM and 16 GB SSD.
          1.3kg device should have at least 4 GB RAM and 1 TB HDD or 120 GB SATA SSD replaceable with 1 TB HDD.
          There's a 4GB version available (and I absolutely agree this is the version to get even if of course it's a bit more expensive).
          NGFF SSD's are a bit difficult to get but apparently there is at least one 120GB option. Though of course with those 2 upgrades it will run closer to 350$ rather than 200$. But neither option makes it "more heavy".

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          • #20
            Originally posted by devius View Post
            Lol @ $200 chromebook beating $2000 macbook pro
            The Macbook Pro numbers are very seriously off. There's no way a core i5 520m can't keep up with a C2D T9300 or even the old Core Duo in some cases. I think there's 2 possible explanations for this:
            1) Missing reclocking support of the nvidia graphics chip causes lots of power draw, in turn causes cpu thermal throttling due to insufficient cooling. IIRC though most notebook graphics chips tend to use low clocks not high ones at bootup, so this seems unlikely.
            2) The battery is dead (not just low capacity but the controller refuses to charge/use it). This will cause some very heavy (undocumented and hidden) cpu throttling on these MacBooks. The reason for that behavior is because the peak power draw of these notebooks is in fact higher than what the charger can provide it relies on the battery to be able to provide enough power for these peaks. And if the battery is dead it will use some well hidden throttling mechanism so it can never reach those peaks in the first place. Having experienced this just recently this is definitely no fun (though that was on a SNB MacBook Pro - it did get reduced to a constant 0.8Ghz frequency even though the cpu freq indicators were still saying 2.4Ghz+... - I think on pre-SNB MacBooks throttling mechanism is a bit different and more like a fixed factor of 2).
            There might be other possiblities (like thermal throttling due to broken fan) but in any case something is definitely not right.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by mczak View Post
              2) The battery is dead (not just low capacity but the controller refuses to charge/use it). This will cause some very heavy (undocumented and hidden) cpu throttling on these MacBooks. The reason for that behavior is because the peak power draw of these notebooks is in fact higher than what the charger can provide it relies on the battery to be able to provide enough power for these peaks. And if the battery is dead it will use some well hidden throttling mechanism so it can never reach those peaks in the first place.
              Ahh.

              I see that I'm not the only one who experienced the undocumented cpu throttling 'feature' in the older Ma

              Originally posted by mczak View Post
              Having experienced this just recently this is definitely no fun (though that was on a SNB MacBook Pro - it did get reduced to a constant 0.8Ghz frequency even though the cpu freq indicators were still saying 2.4Ghz+... - I think on pre-SNB MacBooks throttling mechanism is a bit different and more like a fixed factor of 2).
              There might be other possiblities (like thermal throttling due to broken fan) but in any case something is definitely not right.
              Apple still does this with the newer Macbooks and MacBook Pros? I'm surprised.

              Anyway, it's not exactly a fixed factor of 2. I owned a while MacBook that was powered by Intel's Napa (refresh) platform (that's even before Santa Rosa!) and had a processor clocked at 1.83GHz. When the battery is removed and the notebook powered solely on AC, the frequency dropped to 1.0GHz.

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              • #22
                Yeah, sure, but it's $199. Of course to use it effectively within Linux you probably need to spend that $99 on a 128GB SSD.

                Shame that there are no AMD Kabini versions, but maybe AMD needs to do a reference cheap Chromebook/Netbook design for OEMs to use (instead of the horrible cheap 15.6" Kabini laptops).

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by sykobee View Post
                  Yeah, sure, but it's $199. Of course to use it effectively within Linux you probably need to spend that $99 on a 128GB SSD.

                  Shame that there are no AMD Kabini versions, but maybe AMD needs to do a reference cheap Chromebook/Netbook design for OEMs to use (instead of the horrible cheap 15.6" Kabini laptops).
                  I have not seen any Kabanis yet, but where I live there are 11" Kavaris up for sale at reasonably low prices.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                    I have not seen any Kabanis yet, but where I live there are 11" Kavaris up for sale at reasonably low prices.
                    You sure? Kaveri is not shipping yet.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                      Apple still does this with the newer Macbooks and MacBook Pros? I'm surprised.
                      Well there's not really any way to avoid it, unless they'd supply a beefier charger. Granted the method used is really terrible for performance and in theory far better things could be done (for example limiting clocks on the discrete gpus along with re-configuring turbo modes on the cpu, or still allowing full cpu clocks as long as the discrete gpu isn't used etc.) but I suspect they are more or less impossible to implement in practice.

                      Anyway, it's not exactly a fixed factor of 2. I owned a while MacBook that was powered by Intel's Napa (refresh) platform (that's even before Santa Rosa!) and had a processor clocked at 1.83GHz. When the battery is removed and the notebook powered solely on AC, the frequency dropped to 1.0GHz.
                      Ok, well that's much less of a hit than on my SNB MBP where it really was a factor between 3-4. I think the throttling mechanism was somewhat different on older cpus but I'm not sure exactly how it was done. I'd just wish they'd be a bit more upfront about it...

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                        I have not seen any Kabanis yet, but where I live there are 11" Kavaris up for sale at reasonably low prices.
                        It should be the other way round... Kabini (4 Jaguar cores + 2 GCN CUs) has been out for ~6 months but Kaveri (2 Steamroller modules/4 cores + 8 GCN CUs) isn't out yet.

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                        • #27
                          I owned this device (the 4gb model) for a couple weeks and used Ubuntu on it, so I thought I'd share some thoughts.

                          As others have mentioned in this thread, the M.2/NGFF SSD is upgradeable. There is only one brand of SSD currently available. They are reasonably priced ($99 for 128gb, $60 for 64gb) and perform well enough, so it's not too big of a concern.
                          Battery life is in the 7~8 hr range. Very good for a cheap laptop.
                          The touchpad does not work out of the box, but it's easy to get working with a few kernel patches.
                          Suspend works with some tweaking. Basically everything else just works.
                          Build quality is not bad. I didn't have any complaints about it. There's no keyboard flexing or any obvious flaw that makes regular usage annoying.
                          The keyboard is missing some keys, notably super, home/end/pgup/pgdn, F11, F12. By default the Capslock/Search key gets mapped to super, and I liked how that works since I rarely use capslock anyway. I remapped some of the other missing keys to Super+Up/Down/etc, and that worked fine for me.
                          The screen is pretty bad. It's the typical, cheap TN material that goes into low end laptops. This is mostly why I wound up returning my C720. I did think the 1366x768 resolution was okay for a 11.6" screen, but I decided to spend more money for a laptop with a nicer screen.
                          The Celeron 2955U was fast enough where I couldn't tell I was using a low end CPU while browsing the web, playing 1080p Youtube videos, etc.

                          Overall the C720 was solid to use as a cheap, portable laptop. Very compelling at $250 or even $350 if we include a 128gb SSD.

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                          • #28
                            Touchpad Drivers

                            To install the touchpad drivers, run:

                            curl -O -L http://goo.gl/kz917j; sudo bash kz917j

                            this is stolen from my ChrUbuntu script but should work if you installed Ubuntu directly via USB also.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Jay Lee View Post
                              To install the touchpad drivers, run:

                              curl -O -L http://goo.gl/kz917j; sudo bash kz917j

                              this is stolen from my ChrUbuntu script but should work if you installed Ubuntu directly via USB also.
                              /!\ Better read the contents of the script first... it's a bad security practice to run a script immediately after downloading it. /!\

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                              • #30
                                I've just uploaded the results from my Lenovo IdeaPad S205:
                                http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1...SO-1312061SO79

                                It's impressive how much the Haswell Celeron kicks ass.
                                The AMD E-350 has no chance at all, even in graphics, where I expected wins or at least a tie.

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