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  • Getting a new laptop - what shall I get?

    Hi all...

    The lease on my current work laptop is about to expire and I'll be getting a new one. Whatever I get, I'll be stuck with it for about two years, so I want to make sure I do this right.

    I've been using an Compaq with an AMD processor and NVIDIA graphics - specifically a MCP51/GeForce Go 6100. While this has done me ok, I've had a few issues with graphics that I figure are caused by drivers, and the system has not felt as responsive as I feel it should be - on the odd occasion that I boot into Windows XP, everything feels faster and smoother.

    I'm a programmer, so my work is pretty much just glorified text editing. Also, I'm not particularly concerned about having open-source drivers - if proprietary is going to do the best job, then so be it.

    I can get pretty much anything I want, within reason - Intel, ATI or NVIDIA. So, my question is this - which company's hardware (and drivers) are in the best shape currently on Linux, and which company's hardware is going to serve my needs best for the next two years?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  • #2
    Stay away from AMD Laptops with dedicted ATI gfx chip. When you are unlucky it has an onboard VGA + extra chip then fglrx is too stupid to init at least one of me...

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    • #3
      Kano, you're talking about switchable graphics ie *two* ATI gfx chips (one integrated, one discrete) right ?

      The issue AFAICS is that the switchable graphics spec calls for BIOS options to disable one of the two GPUs in order to support non-Windows OSes. It doesn't seem that all the laptops have been built with that BIOS option (or nobody has found it yet), and AFAIK it's those systems which are showing the problem.
      Last edited by bridgman; 08-06-2009, 09:27 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mattparlane View Post
        I've been using an Compaq with an AMD processor and NVIDIA graphics - specifically a MCP51/GeForce Go 6100.
        i used a 6200 on linux and it was a pure joy. Did you use the proprietary driver?

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        • #5
          @bridgman

          Maybe not all, but how do you see that from spec? fglrx has to fix that soon!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
            i used a 6200 on linux and it was a pure joy. Did you use the proprietary driver?
            Using it on Ubuntu Jaunty 32-bit was very reliable, but on 64-bit I've had visual artifacts that are really annoying, unfortunately I need 64-bit to run some certain software. Also, performance on either version has not been what I feel like it "should" be, again comparing it to XP on the same hardware.

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            • #7
              How about testing Kanotix64?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kano View Post
                How about testing Kanotix64?
                You mean the one whose latest release was in 2005?

                http://kanotix.com/files/kanotix64/

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                • #9
                  or l33f3rox

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    Stay away from AMD Laptops with dedicted ATI gfx chip. When you are unlucky it has an onboard VGA + extra chip then fglrx is too stupid to init at least one of me...
                    why not use an amd singlechip laptop for linux???

                    the amd onboard VGAs IGPs are much faster than the intel ones !

                    yes dualgrafic on linux fails on AMD.. but no one needs to buy this shit.

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                    • #11
                      @mattparlane

                      I can give you a newer version when you visit me in IRC #kanotix on irc.freenode.net - it is not released but not hard to get Just a valid nickname required.

                      @Qaridarium

                      When you are in a shop and see ONLY the dedicated chip on the specs, do you think it has 2 then enabled the same time? But why should the consumer need to select a laptop that runs with fglrx? That setup must be something that is recommended for laptops, so it has to be supported!!!!
                      Last edited by Kano; 08-08-2009, 05:11 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Yep, and as long as the setup is implemented the way we recommend then the laptop works with fglrx.

                        It's not confirmed yet, but it appears we're dealing with a few laptops which were not implemented the way we recommended, ie did not include the BIOS options to disable one of the two GPUs for use with Linux and other OSes. Until we find out exactly what happened, the simple and safe answer is for Linux users to look for a single GPU laptop or one which has BIOS options to switch between integrated and discrete GPUs.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kano View Post
                          @Qaridarium

                          When you are in a shop and see ONLY the dedicated chip on the specs, do you think it has 2 then enabled the same time? But why should the consumer need to select a laptop that runs with fglrx? That setup must be something that is recommended for laptops, so it has to be supported!!!!
                          why sould i be stubit and buy somthing like that?

                          in my point of view i hate laptops/notebooks u hate onboard IGP's to.

                          in my point of view a real VGA is the best way to go there no need to be an big one an 4350 is big enaf 5 watt powerconsuming is not to high.

                          i think IGP VGAs are crapshitbugparty-

                          why not buy an notebook with real hartware and no shit in it ?

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                          • #14
                            @bridgman

                            Of course when you are in a shop you look into the bios before you buy something, do you?

                            @Qaridarium

                            AMD laptop chipsets basically have all IGP even when you buy a system with dedicated vga chip. Usually the video driver switches over to IGP when running on battery until you disable that.
                            Last edited by Kano; 08-10-2009, 07:05 AM.

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                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=Kano;86397
                              @Qaridarium
                              AMD laptop chipsets basically have all IGP even when you buy a system with dedicated vga chip. Usually the video driver switches over to IGP when running on battery until you disable that.[/QUOTE]

                              realyyyy i do not have a notbook :-)

                              and the only one in my house mum's is an intelcpu-intel-igp+nvidiavga notebook.

                              and i hate this notebook usb is broken only usb1.1 but its an usb2.0 chipset..

                              the sound is very loud fucking shit and the nvidia vga is hott like hell.

                              all over all this Centrino notebook Boil-Water in no time its very loud and the VGA switch button is buggy to on linux you boot sometime in the wrong modus and x will NOTT start!

                              realy i hate notebooks!

                              i can give you an exaktly typ-and-list of the hartware -... but in near future i will sell this crappy intelnotebook out...
                              Last edited by Qaridarium; 08-10-2009, 04:40 PM.

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