Phoronix IRC Log: 2009-06-06
earl33: Hey dudes, I need some advice on buying a laptop. I have been debating whether to get a thinkpad t500 (ATI Mobility 3650) or a thinkpad w500 (ATI Mobility FireGL V5700). So far I have heard BAD things about both of those graphics card in terms of 3D Accelleration (For Compiz etc.). Right now thinkpad is having a 15% off sale and I am tempted to buy..
earl33: .as long as I can get gentoo working 100%
Ivanovic: earl33: i got a gentoo here on my desktop with ati card and it works fine
Ivanovic: (my lenovo laptop won't help you since it has an intel graphics card)
Ivanovic: you can install fglrx via portage and it basically works
earl33: not seemlessly though. Ive seen lappys with fglrx on the thinkpad not impressed
Ivanovic: emerge ati-drivers
Ivanovic: setting the driver to fglrx in Xorg.conf, running "eselect opengl set ati" and starting X
Ivanovic: should work without any real problem
Ivanovic: here i am using fglrx with Kwin (kde4.2) for composite using xrender and it works okay
earl33: Ivanovic: have you tried compiz?
earl33: its very hiccuppy
Ivanovic: why should i use compiz when i can use kwin which works nicely with kde4.2?
Ivanovic: and regarding your question: ATI Mobility 3650 or ATI Mobility FireGL V5700
Ivanovic: those are the same chips with a different firmware
Ivanovic: so no real difference
Ivanovic: look at the rest of the components and the price
Ivanovic: (especially the display!)
earl33: the second one just has more memory (500mb)
Ivanovic: that is in my 12" x60 i got a display with 1400x1050 and i don't want to see anything smaller anymore when having these dimensions
earl33: is kwin better than compiz?
earl33: i like gnome :/
Ivanovic: hehehe, the more memory does not make a real difference for this card...
Ivanovic: i like kde and since i like and use it, no need to look anywhere else (though i could set it up to use compiz as composite manager)
Ivanovic: i don't know if kwin is better than compiz
earl33: maybe i might just get the t500
earl33: damn this is so hard
earl33: I am afraid things wont work 100% with gentoo linux after I get it though
Ivanovic: in my desktop box i got a hd3850 and it works nicely
Ivanovic: though yeah, i am not using dynamic display switching and other fun you might use with a laptop
Ivanovic: and i am not using too many of the fancy effects, just some that make my "workflow" better
earl33: whats better in your opinion: Discrete or integrated graphics
Ivanovic: (like using smitransparent windows when moving them around and marking inactive windows due to an open dialog grey)
Ivanovic: depends on what you want to do
Ivanovic: if you want to game, do 3D design or whatever: discrete
Ivanovic: (game as in "games that require 3D)
earl33: Ivanovic: I would like to use it mainly for Wifi "Probing" packet sniffing/network snooping, watching movies, playing music, word processing, and occasionally playing a video game or two
earl33: and maybe run mathematica
Ivanovic: if you just want to use the box for normal desktop stuff, watching some videos, switching displays dynamically and all the stuff: integrated graphics are fine
earl33: so probably discrete
Ivanovic: depends on the games, if the games are 2D only you can use normal integrated graphics
earl33: ie: doom 3 ?
Ivanovic: though if the games are 3d opengl whatever games: discrete
Ivanovic: okay, discrete
earl33: i gotta another question: Would a windows game run 'seamlessly' under wine inside linux
Ivanovic: what i can say is: don't expect it to!
Ivanovic: though it might run nicely without a single problem
Ivanovic: for most games you will probably at least require a no-cd crack
Ivanovic: many don't work at all via wine
Ivanovic: others only work on some systems with specific wine setups and depending a lot on the graphics cards
Ivanovic: from what i heard ati cards (fglrx) are rather problematic with wine, nvidia cards work better
Ivanovic: though some games might work perfectly in wine
Ivanovic: buying a game and relying that it will work perfectly in wine is like playing a lottery
Ivanovic: you might have luck and win a jackpot, you might have no luck and fail miserably or you might have "some luck" and get a small price
Ivanovic: though appdb.winehq.org gives you at least some hints on what you can expect
Ivanovic: in general i can recommend to only go for native linux games, those tend to work reliable
earl33: what do you think about this configuration: http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/config.workflow:java-configure?x=x&sb=%3A00000025%3A000019D0%3A
Ivanovic: (eg all the id software stuff with a point release for linux, older UT games (2004 and 2003), neverwinter nights 1(!!!), games ported by LGP/Runesoft/... (in the version they ship, not the windows boxes), ...
Ivanovic: any reason for you to buy right at lenovo?
Ivanovic: is "always the minimum selection" intentional?
earl33: mybad..this one: http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/9536/32704022.png
earl33: hmm...I guess more reliable or something? plus I can customize it quite a bit from lenovo
Ivanovic: more reliable: screw this!
Ivanovic: and the customize part: just look for the config you want at "your dealer"
Ivanovic: you will likely be cheaper than at lenovo (especially since you can eg get better prices as student and all this stuff)
Ivanovic: hmm, how important is battery life for you?
Ivanovic: it might make sense to switch the CPU to the P9500
Ivanovic: since this is the "lower voltage" one IIRC
earl33: yea that wont make much diff
Ivanovic: regarding ram: go for "2GB 1DIMM" and buy another 2GB stick at an external dealer, it is easy to add extra ram and a lot cheaper
earl33: which online dealer lets you customize?
Ivanovic: costumize: normally noone, they have enough configs to select
earl33: well 4gb = 64bit
Ivanovic: WSXGA+ : fine
earl33: 3 seems enough
Ivanovic: ehm, you want to run gentoo on it, right?
Ivanovic: there you can easily use 4GB in a 32bit system, too
Ivanovic: though you can as well just install the 64bit version
Ivanovic: who forces you to only use a 32bit system?
Ivanovic: i am not sure about the optical drive, if i would take a dvd-rw drive instead of the dvd-rom drive
earl33: gentoo lets you use the full 4gb on the regular install
Ivanovic: linux in general does
Ivanovic: just a kernel option
Ivanovic: windows server 2003 as 32bit version allows you to do so, too
earl33: why didnt i know that
Ivanovic: sure, with winxp or vista 32bit this is not possible
earl33: so there is no ''64 bit' gentoo
Ivanovic: but in their server systems it is of course possible
Ivanovic: uhm, why is there no 64bit gentoo?
Ivanovic: Sysinfo for 'rechner1': Linux 22.214.171.124 running , CPU: Intel(R) Core 2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.50GHz at 2000 MHz (4999 bogomips), HD: 403/1162GB, RAM: 2354/3952MB, 156 proc's, 1.41h up
Ivanovic: yeah, this one is an "amd64" install, a 64bit system
Ivanovic: okay, regarding optical drives it is cheaper to go with the lame one they include and order a dvd-rw from a normal shop and assemble it yourself
Lightkey: I thought only Debian names it amd64
Ivanovic: Lightkey: at gentoo there is x86 and amd64
Lightkey: so thems too
Ivanovic: x86 being 32bit and amd64 being 64bit
earl33: Ivanovic: so where I can find these 'online' dealers who would let me customize the machine?
Lightkey: but I know that Gentoo was the only usable x86-64 distro for a long time :-)
Ivanovic: earl33: there are NONE
Ivanovic: earl33: but many dealers have *different* configs
Ivanovic: like eg 10 configs of the W500 to select from
Ivanovic: 10 *hard* configs
Ivanovic: and what i say atm is: if you use the lenovo config stuff have a look first what extensions would cost that you could easily do yourself, too
Ivanovic: (like changing the optical drive and extending ram)
Ivanovic: regarding the config system at lenovo, if i *was* to use it because i have not found the config i wanted somewhere else, i would use this:
Ivanovic: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P8600 (2.40GHz 1066MHz 3MBL2) 25W
Ivanovic: Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic
Ivanovic: 15.4" WSXGA+ TFT, w/ CCFL Backlight [add $75.00] [Lenovo recommended]
Ivanovic: ARGH, screw the CPU i meant this one:
Ivanovic: though, no, the P8600 is in fact fine
Ivanovic: ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 with 256MB with Intel Advanced Management Technology
Ivanovic: 2 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1067MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM) [add $10.00]
Ivanovic: UltraNav (TrackPoint and TouchPad)
Ivanovic: No Camera
Ivanovic: 160 GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
Ivanovic: No turbo memory
Ivanovic: CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo 24X/24X/24X/8X Max, Ultrabay Slim (Serial ATA)
Ivanovic: 7 in 1 Media Card Reader
Ivanovic: Express Card Slot & PC Card Slot
earl33: hmm ok
Ivanovic: Integrated Bluetooth PAN [add $29.00] [Lenovo recommended] (NOT SURE ABOUT THIS ONE, if it is only USB1.1: screw it!, check thinkwiki.org first!)
Ivanovic: not sure about wifi, either 5100 or 5300
earl33: 5400 vs 7200 rpm doesn't really make much difference
Ivanovic: i don't know the difference between the wo off hand
earl33: Ivanovic: better to just get a bluetooth dongle later?
Ivanovic: there i would check thinkwiki for linux support and decide accordingly
Ivanovic: earl33: depends on the dongle
Ivanovic: if you find a really cheap usb2 one: go for that one
Ivanovic: Integrated Mobile Broadband upgradable
Ivanovic: 9 cell Li-Ion Battery [add $70.00] [Lenovo recommended]
Ivanovic: Country Pack North America with Line cord & 90W AC adapter
Ivanovic: no extra software and extra support
earl33: how do you know its usb 1.1 btw?
Ivanovic: when plugging it in the comp it identifies itself as "full speed" or "ehci" device
Ivanovic: i just attached my $3 dongle:
Ivanovic: usb 2-1.1.4: new full speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 8
Ivanovic: it si this one: http://www.focalprice.com/Tiny_Bluetooth_USB_Adapter_Dongle_Black_CB006B_412.html
Ivanovic: (yes, linux compatible)
Ivanovic: Bus 002 Device 008: ID 0a12:0001 Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd Bluetooth Dongle (HCI mode)
earl33: Ivanovic: no no..I meant, the existing bluetooth that comes with the thinkpad
Ivanovic: ehm, by default there is none integrated, bluetooth costs additional $29 using some " Integrated Bluetooth PAN"
Ivanovic: often those are only usb1.1 solutions
Ivanovic: how to find out if they are: remove the usb1.1 module from your system and check if the bluetooth device is still available
Ivanovic: on my x61t switching off usb1.1 (without having bluetooth active before or anything like that, just removing the kernel module) gives me additional 1W
Ivanovic: that is: it reduces idle power consumption from 10.5 to 9.5W
earl33: Ivanovic: by the way , that tiny usb dongle is AWESOME
earl33: ive never seen a smaller one like that
Ivanovic: and the price is great
Ivanovic: i have seen a little smaller ones (yes, even at that hongkong shop)
earl33: it its probably going to work fine with *nix?
Ivanovic: this one is even a little smaller: http://www.focalprice.com/Bluetooth_USB_Adapter_Black_CB013B_3585.html
Ivanovic: the link i posted first does work nicely
Ivanovic: i got it here and it "just works"
Ivanovic: (jupp, ordered by this shop, shipping took about three weeks to germany and it arived without any problem)
earl33: Ivanovic: so ..bottom line, you think I should get the ATI Mobility 3650?
Ivanovic: yes, it should work nicely
earl33: alright thats it
earl33: Im off to ordering then. Thanks A LOT for the help Ivanovic ;)
Ivanovic: you're welcome
earl33: you da man
Ivanovic: and i hope it works nicely for you