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What Linux Users Need To Know When Holiday Shopping For PC Hardware

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  • #21
    Very useful -- more please?

    This is a topic that could use more comprehensive, systematic, and regular, attention. Say, twice a year -- once before the Black Friday/Christmas/Boxing Day shopping season, and once somewhere around July?

    One additional quibble -- non hardware-junkies (like myself) would benefit enormously from a little more detail and backround than "modern GeForce 400 "Fermi" graphics cards and newer" or "Radeon HD 5000 graphics card or newer" or even "any GeForce 9+ GPU". Not everyone keeps track of all these things, especially if we only have one or two computers we're mostly happy with.

    Aside from that, I found this very useful and informative.
    I bookmarked the article before I was halfway through it.
    Thank you.

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    • #22
      Yea, informational articles like that are always nice.

      One thing that could have been mentioned is how the graphics preferences change when scaling down devices.

      On PCs, you get to choose between AMD (OK blob, OK OSS drivers) and NVIDIA (good blob, poor OSS drivers), and recently also Intel (good OSS drivers, poor performance). Which means that if you need raw performance and you don't mind instability and messing around, you should go for NVIDIA; if you want out-of-the-box experience, perfect compositing and stability, while you don't play games, you should go for Intel; if you want a choice of both, go for AMD.

      On laptops, this is already different. There aren't that many NVIDIA laptops, and most of them use Optimus, so NVIDIA becomes a poor choice. Between AMD and Intel, AMD OSS drivers are at a disadvantage in that there are currently power saving issues. So in this case, if you want raw power, you should go for AMD, and if you want stability and ease, you should go for Intel.

      There is a difference again when talking about low-end laptops, netbooks and x86 tablets. In this area, Intel right now does not produce IGPs, but licenses PowerVR. And they have poor OSS drivers and outright bad blob. So at this level, the one and only sane choice is AMD (incidentally, this is the market AMD is generally aiming at recently).

      Originally posted by Xilanaz View Post
      now that would be a good addition to this article, a list of boards which don't allow to disable uefi via the bios and thus give problems
      Who the what? UEFI is a type of firmware. BIOS is a type of firmware. You can have either one or the other. You can't enable or disable either.

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      • #23
        There are some sorts of hybrids. I have one laptop that has a "UEFI" toggle in the bios it lets you disable.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by hubick View Post
          I mean, I can maybe understand some site like CNET labelling those demanding FLOSS as zealots, but HERE?
          Nice to see I was right when I stopped reading after the nvidia ass kissing.

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          • #25
            I think the article should mention Bumblebee as a possible fix to the Optimus problem.

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            • #26
              There is nothing wrong with UEFI itself, it welcome progress over ugly old bioses. Secure Boot protocol is the thing what should be off by default, but microsoft wants mobo manufacturers to enabled it by default thus making booting linux now impossible.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by curaga View Post
                There are some sorts of hybrids. I have one laptop that has a "UEFI" toggle in the bios it lets you disable.
                And other manufacturers refuse do offer an option disabling of it such as Acer. I just got off of their support with their Tier 2 the other day asking for that option. Their reply was:

                Mary B: I understand however if the option is not available and if an update does not offer it, then it is not something that will ever be supported for that model.
                After a lot more haggling with the support rep she said she would escalate it to their engineering but I'm not holding my breath so Secureboot signing of linux is the only option and the Linux Foundatioin is having a hard time getting that to happen.

                http://www.zdnet.com/linux-foundatio...ed-7000007841/

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Xilanaz View Post
                  now that would be a good addition to this article, a list of boards which don't allow to disable uefi via the bios and thus give problems
                  Seconded.
                  We have a thread here in the forums with a collection of ACPI implementation on mainboards from different vendors. But I wish there was one central source for Linux HW compatibility. There are some good databases on the projects that deal with the very hardware but I think mainboards are still missing.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                    Seconded.
                    We have a thread here in the forums with a collection of ACPI implementation on mainboards from different vendors. But I wish there was one central source for Linux HW compatibility. There are some good databases on the projects that deal with the very hardware but I think mainboards are still missing.
                    The problem with creating a list of motherboards is that a single BIOS update or revision of the board itself can change their status, for better or worse.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by tuke81 View Post
                      There is nothing wrong with UEFI itself, it welcome progress over ugly old bioses. Secure Boot protocol is the thing what should be off by default, but microsoft wants mobo manufacturers to enabled it by default thus making booting linux now impossible.
                      This. But isn't the option to turn it off mandatory? In which case, there should be legal action...

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