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28285Re: Well, it's time to order a new laptop--and it's a bit complicated these days...

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  • glenn596658
    Aug 3, 2010
      --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, David Neeley <dbneeley@...> wrote:
      >
      > Greetings!
      >
      > Within the next couple days, I should be ordering a new laptop to
      > replace this one, which is on its last legs.
      >
      > For various reasons -- including the international warranty and a
      > decent repair record, I plan to get an ASUS machine. This time out, I
      > have fairly well determined it'll be one of the small, light ones with
      > good battery life--probably something from the UL30 series of 13.3
      > inch screen machines. At present, These all have either the SU7300 ULV
      > dual core, or the new Core I3 or I5 Mobile CPUs. The newer CPU
      > machines are quite a bit more expensive, as you might expect.
      >
      > However, the things I do these days are not particularly taxing, so
      > the SU7300 should be fine. My conundrum, though, is whether to simply
      > go with the Intel 4500M integrated graphics models (which can be had
      > new for $600 including 500 GB hard disk and 4 GB of RAM), or to pay
      > another hundred and change for one with switchable graphics that
      > include nVidia discrete graphics chips in addition.
      >
      > I am not a gamer, nor do I do things like video encoding that cry out
      > for all the CPU and graphics horsepower you can throw at them.
      > However, I still do appreciate decent performance, so I am tempted to
      > the models with switchable graphics.
      >
      > The only problem is, support for these boxes is still kind of sketchy
      > in Linux, it seems. The 2.6.34 kernel has incorporated "VGA
      > Switcheroo"--but that is not yet fully stable and tested with
      > Intel/nVidia combinations like the ASUS boxes.
      >
      > Oh, yes, one more issue--the older models often have WIFI issues--many
      > of them have difficulty getting solid connections even when sitting
      > within ten feet of a wireless router. If I get one of these, I would
      > also get a much better wireless card and at least one additional
      > antenna, as ASUS has been only putting in a single antenna. Thus, I
      > will probably be out another thirty or forty bucks or so and about ten
      > or fifteen minutes labor to make the switch.
      >
      > So, what's your opinion--should I simply get the cheaper machines with
      > integrated graphics only, or would I be a bit too much on the cutting
      > edge to get the dual graphics machines? What would you do? (And who
      > knows, there might be someone here already using one of these
      > machines, and I would most definitely love to hear your thoughts in
      > particular.)
      >
      > TIA,
      >
      > David
      >
      > Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
      >
      > David
      >
      The only advice is... think of the future not the present. I can tell you that I installed a video card in my desktop and stopped using the embedded one and I didn't see much of an overall performance increase ie. booting up or starting apps, but videos played much more smoothly and looked sharper. When I buy a new computer or replace my Main Board I will definitely get one with a separate video card.
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