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What Laptop to Buy and Intel Faulty Chips

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  • What Laptop to Buy and Intel Faulty Chips

    I am in need fo buying a new laptop, but it came to my attention that Intel provided USB type C chipset to the market, that was designed to fail within a year. 24/7 constant writes to the flash storage based chipset (regardless if something is connected or disconnected) kills it.

    Intel washes its hands and what we know only Lenovo laptops are affected, but the firmware for the chip comes from Intel itself and this software does "the killing" by constantly writing into the chip (which is of a crappy, weak kind by itself).

    This faulty chip also affects battery: if it degrades and gets faulty, laptop constantly drains the battery, even if you have the laptop connected via power adaptor to the mains. It is unacceptable.

    Intel does sell manufacturers (Dell, HP etc.) CPUs with various chipsets as a package (you can't buy CPU without chipset and pulls off this "discount scheme" if you manufacture required qoutas of Intel only machines (certain undisclosed percentage HP or Dell computers must be Intel only, not AMD and only then you get the discount).

    This chip is present in all sorts of high end machines: Dell Precision, HP Enterprise, Lenovo Thinkpads and so on. Lenovo tells you to update the chipset firmware, but "fwupd" only updates BIOS, not the chipset (what about those people who's machines are not Thinkpads and don't even have fwupd?!). Even if you had MS Windows (arrrghhh!!), it will not be possible if this flash based chips degrades below certain level. Once it degrades, you cannot flash the new firmware. So we are screwed.

    I was eying Purism laptops, but they are only Intel and I suspect they have this faulty Intel chipset too. I was also thinking about the new AMD 4000 APU (no more spectre, meltdowns, side channel hacking, endless microcode that kills performance...), but is it any good and on what kernel does it work properly (certainly not on 5.4 LTS), which drivers are needed for it? What about gstreamer VAAPi (or whatever AMD equivalent and the drivers for it?). Need answers.

  • #2
    No. The chipset was not designed to fail within a year.

    But the firmware supplied was buggy.

    Two different things.

    So contact a vendor and ask if they will ship the machine with updated firmware.