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  • Wanted Help: Buying a Notebook

    I am planing on getting myself a notebook in a few months, so I need help in researching on the right notebook.

    My requirements:

    • I would prefer something cheap, in the price range of notebooks like Acer 4530.
    • It should be light and portable and hence prefer 14.1" or below screen.
    • Should be WideScreen and support a good resolution for GIMPing.
    • It will be used a LOT for multimedia home production, but since I can run encoders at night an uber CPU wouldn't be needed.
    • I am using a lot of Jack Apps for setting up an audio workstation.
    • I need ability to do light gaming on Windows 7 32bit and Linux 64bit, but if it does have UBER graphics, I would be all for it.
    • I need full support for Linux in drivers, and opensource drivers will be preferred unless the binary driver has better performance.
    • I want support for OpenCL, OpenGL 3.0 and DirectX 10 from the GPU.
    • The GPU should also support future technologies like Gallium3D.
    • I want to enjoy clear music with a good sound chip and Pulse Audio.
    • ArchLinux or Gentoo would be my distro, and I would do a lot of compiling and software development related activity.
    • I need a good energy saving system.




    I also have the following questions to help me time my purchase so that the NOTEBOOK LASTS FOR ATLEAST 3-6 YEARS:

    • I heard AMD and Intel are launching new products later this year for notebooks to refresh the stagnating notebook CPU segment. When is it expected ?
    • How will linux compatibility be on AMD's RV800 GPUs and HD4770 ?
    • When will cheap 40nm IGPs and Graphics Cards hit the notebook segment ?
    • What are the major changes/additions expected in the kernel in the next few months ?
    • Whats the current status of GPU-based video decoding support and GP-GPU applications on Linux ?




    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Forget gallium, use Nvidia 8+ cards. ATI cards always have got problems, like wine is optimized for Nvidia, vdrift crashes fglrx, no vdpau support, no current kernel support, flickering video playback and maybe you find some other issues.

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    • #3
      * I want to enjoy clear music with a good sound chip and Pulse Audio.
      You need not worry about PA as any laptop can use it as its software.
      Like Kano I'd recommend you to go with a nvidia card because whilst the open source drivers suck the binaries are good.

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      • #4
        Does Acer 4530 seem good ? Its got nVidia 9100.

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        • #5
          Everything below a 6 at the 2nd position of the number is really slow. 9100 ist onboard vga.

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          • #6
            I know that 9100 is an onboard GPU. But spec wise, it seems decent enough for gaming CounterStrike in Wine or playing Unreal Tournament 2004 at 1280x800 right ?

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            • #7
              And one more question: How fast can a weak IGP like GeForce 9100 encode video with help from CUDA compared to a CPU like, say, an AMD Turion X2 Ultra 1.8GHz CPU ?
              Last edited by MetalheadGautham; 05-24-2009, 06:23 AM.

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              • #8
                Forget IGP.

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                • #9
                  If you like opensource buy ati. If opensource does not matter, buy nvidia. I you want good support today buy nvidia. If you can wait a few months for 3d for example buy ati and see how the free driver becomes better and better. And use gallium3d. It's you choice.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    Forget IGP.
                    err... why ?
                    And isn't the 26 gigaflops of the 9100mGPU enough for light video encoding in the background ?
                    Last edited by MetalheadGautham; 05-24-2009, 06:51 AM.

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                    • #11
                      For gaming IGP is crap.

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                      • #12
                        But I wouldn't be gaming in its true sense. No hardcore gaming for me with uber high resolutions and details. I will only run Crysis in Windows 7 @ 800x600 at all settings low, or Unreal Tournament 2004 in Linux at medium settings @ 1280x800. Just for the reference, my current Intel GMA900 IGP runs UT2K4 @ 1024x768 low pretty comfortably on a pentium 4 2.66GHz CPU with 1GB RAM.

                        What I need it for is OpenCL or CUDA. And I want to know if 26 GigaFlops horsepower is enough for encoding videos (usually only QVGA 30fps video) and running some other CUDA apps.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MetalheadGautham View Post
                          But I wouldn't be gaming in its true sense. No hardcore gaming for me with uber high resolutions and details. I will only run Crysis in Windows 7 @ 800x600 at all settings low, or Unreal Tournament 2004 in Linux at medium settings @ 1280x800. Just for the reference, my current Intel GMA900 IGP runs UT2K4 @ 1024x768 low pretty comfortably on a pentium 4 2.66GHz CPU with 1GB RAM.

                          What I need it for is OpenCL or CUDA. And I want to know if 26 GigaFlops horsepower is enough for encoding videos (usually only QVGA 30fps video) and running some other CUDA apps.
                          A 9100 won't offer much in GPU computing power and seriously forget about running Crysis even with everything cranked down to minimum. UT2004 isn't even close to matching Crysis's requirements.

                          http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-9100M-G.11351.0.html
                          Last edited by deanjo; 05-24-2009, 01:37 PM. Reason: wrong link

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                          • #14
                            L33F3R says get an old notebook and a new desktop. Unless you play supertux a notebook wont do yo very good.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
                              L33F3R says get an old notebook and a new desktop. Unless you play supertux a notebook wont do yo very good.
                              You can even have desktop machine running without display. You can use wake-on-lan to starting it from laptop. Then you just use ssh to run all video encoding & decoding in dektop machine. That requires a bit of work but could easily outperform notebook solution in same price tag. That way you can buy very cheap laptop and medium priced desktop for same price as high-end notebook is costing.

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