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Five Years Later, Intel Poulsbo Is Still A Linux Mess

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
    That's my reason for getting an AMD (Neo)-based Thinkpad with Realtek wireless. Works reasonably well, once you get the right bits. I now have wireless that can stay up for days, rather than the pathetic showing of intel chips that need to be reloaded to connect--don't know if it's fixed now, don't know if it's widespread, but for at least half a year it was a "known issue" for iwlagn at Chico. I also have a 64-bit processor with virtualization, that wasn't affected by the SYSRET bug, and a gpu with an opensource opengl 3 driver. How much of that do you get from an Atom?

    Oh, and I don't think Intel wireless is an option for Qualcomm devices like droidhacker was talking about
    Correct, qualcomm devices, like a whole hell of a lot of other devices, uses, get this... QUALCOMM wireless (aka ATHEROS).


    • #22
      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
      Ugh, I can't stand Realtek wireless. I had more issues with connection sputtering out when you least expect it that any other wireless chip in existance (except for Broadcom, those are probably by far the worst strictly in my personal opinion and experience). I'd rather take a Ralink chip over a Realtek chip if possible. Realtek works with the OSS driver stacks, but that's about it.

      Again, as far as my personal experience is concerned, Intel Wifi chips have the best performance and stability, followed by Atheros, then Ralink, then Realtek, which brings up the rear with its "it gets the job done" calibre. It is for this reason I have acquired, at great expense, a stash of 10 Intel mPCIe and 10 Atheros mPCIe cards for use with notebooks because i KNOW they will always work wonderfully well in Linux.

      The only thing that sort of soils the Intel and Ralink cards' standing are their dependence on a closed firmware blob, but I'd take a closed blob over a non-functional card anytime. Pragmatism over ideology. And to their credit, Intel and Ralink have been actively contributing their open drivers to the Linux WiFi stack, so a closed firmware is a reasonable tradeoff IMHO.
      I'm using the in-kernel rtl8192se driver, and it's worked (as in "up multiple days with reliable connection, no network problems not experienced by others regardless of OS or driver, and even more reliable than many Windows wireless connections") for open, WEP, and WPA since 3.0.

      The out-of-tree driver is truly crap.

      And to answer your question, my old Acer Aspire netbook uses an Atom paired with an Intel GMA950 onboard GPU. So no poulsbo issues here. And I get superior battery life over an AMD equivalent (albeit much lesser [4 hours] than what I could squeeze out under Windows [6+ hours]). Since my netbook is really just to edit and shoot off the occasional word document and net surf while on the move, battery life takes precedence over processing power.
      But I'm betting you've got OpenGL 2.1 at best, and bought your laptop before the rise of the Poulsbo crap and Optimus.
      And any Atom of that generation is 32-bit, probably single core with hyperthreading. I saw a need for something that could handle 64-bit.
      Also, I do use VMs...too often to make do with unaccelerated emulation.
      These are things I thought about in late 2010 when I looked for a new laptop after losing my Aspire One (made in 2009, Atom N270, GMA945 if I remember right, but it's been a few years, AR5007 wireless).
      An Atom of that generation has good compatability with linux on 32-bit x86, but I had several reasons not to look at another Atom netbook:
      (a) I knew that getting a new Atom by then meant Poulsbo, and that that was _not_ a road with a bright future. That alone nixed Atom-Google Earth sans hardware opengl is not usable, especially on a 1.6ghz atom.
      At that point, Optimus was about as much of a mess.
      (b) 64-bit was getting big then, and I don't make purchases on the assumption that I replace a laptop every 2 years. Lightworks is 64-bit only, so I consider that validation.
      (c) As a distro hopper, testing things in VMs was important.
      And (d)...I wanted a smallish, lower cost laptop, but bigger than a 9"-10" netbook, and...I also wanted a Thinkpad.
      An x100e with AMD Neo and Radeon HD 3200M met my needs exactly.. And with the dual messes of Optimus and Poulsbo, I figured that was the best response to Intel.


      • #23
        Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
        I'm using the in-kernel rtl8192se driver, and it's worked (as in "up multiple days with reliable connection, no network problems not experienced by others regardless of OS or driver, and even more reliable than many Windows wireless connections") for open, WEP, and WPA since 3.0.
        The out-of-tree driver is truly crap.

        Funny how I had better experiences and performance with the out-of-tree Realtek driver instead.

        Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
        (a) I knew that getting a new Atom by then meant Poulsbo, and that that was _not_ a road with a bright future.
        True that. We still have notebooks with PowerVR's graphics core floating around my country in the form of the GMA3600.


        • #24
          before anyone says "who cares about 5 year old hardware anyways?"

          ...and before anyone saya "Who cares about hardware that's 5 years old anyways?"

          I paid over $1000 for a beautiful little Vaio P, and then paid a few hundred more to get an SSD and an extended battery for it.

          And running either Windows 7 stripped down to basics, or Linux stripped down to basics (lxde), the cpu is perfectly adequate for most things I want to do both for work and for leisure. I'm writing this post on it. Amazingly if I start with a properly debloated OS, there is actually enough cpu/ram/hd bandwidth to do most things. I even run VMs on it. Not being a gamer and preferring nice minimal lxde or xfce, I could not care less about 3d performance. So, mostly the video performance is good enough for clean minimal desktop, document, terminal use.

          But gee it WOULD be nice to at least be able to play a damned youtube video even if only at the tiniest window size. Nope. It plays, and I could even stand the video being so choppy if I'm just trying to play a news item or a how-to, but the audio is also so choppy that it's unintelligable. You can't actually understand anything anyone says. That's in the latest chrome and on the latest ubuntu mainline 3.9.999-* nightly kernel and an otherwise idle machine, and this is actually a dual core atom 1.3ghz with 2G of ram not just single core and 1G like netbooks.

          The fact that it's 5 years old just means, I've been waiting 5 years and still have not gotten even one day of proper value from this thing. And even if I wanted to just throw it away today, where is the new Vaio P to replace it? No one else makes a machine quite like this. The keyboard is just wonderful and the form factor is very handy for some things even if it's terrible for others. Not to mention it's nice deep metallic green instead of black or silver. And no fan. Not a quite fan, no fan. No moving part at all with the ssd. And refreshingly, makes no slightest attempt to look like a macbook air!

          CPU-power wise, it doesn't matter how much better new cpu's are, I can't put one of those new cpu's into this machine that I like. And no one makes a new version of this machine that I like, and the cpu/ram/ssd that's in this machine that I like are already sufficient for most every other task I want to do within the reasonable expectations of something this mobile and that I would even bother to do on such a small screen. The battery still charges and still delivers over 4 hours of run time. Not much on todays ultraportables but actually better than win7 back when it was still a new battery. (it is older than win7 and shipped with vista, which of course sucked. I'm just referring to what it managed to do at it's best, which happened to be heavily optimized win7 with working video driver, as proof that the hardware is sufficient to do the work regardless of it's age.)

          Just wanted to point out that 5 years doesn't automatically mean garbage throw it out even though it seems a reasonable reaction for any pc in most cases.

          Yes, I WOULD contribute heavily to a kickstarter or other fund to pay developers to make a better driver.

          I also have a Vaio X with the same graphics chip. That cost over $1500 and they are still struggling years later to make a notebook as thin and light as that thing is. 13mm and *1.6* lbs. The screen is like 3mm thick. It's another somewhat unique machine that it doesn't matter how old it is, because aside from the lack of a good linux video driver, it does the job in every other way, and you can't get a new one like it today. So it's not just to save a single machine.