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Latitude - What's the best graphics card for Linux

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  • tzaphod
    Hi! I m going to buy a Latitude D830 soon, but haven t decided yet, what graphics card to choose. For a T9300 I can select between a NVidia NVS 140M or an
    Message 1 of 9 , May 26, 2008
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      Hi!

      I'm going to buy a Latitude D830 soon, but haven't decided yet, what
      graphics card to choose. For a T9300 I can select between a NVidia NVS
      140M or an on-board Intel GMX X3100.

      Which of these graphics cards causes less trouble on Linux? Will the
      GMA X3100 have enough performance for Beryl / Compiz and 3D
      applications like Blender? I also need to run some more or less
      complex WPF applications in a VirtualBox VM with XP or Server 2008.

      What about support of external monitors? Am I restricted in the
      resolution of the external monitor somehow?

      Anything else I should be aware of, when intending to run Linux on the
      D830?

      Thanks,

      Tobias
    • Drew Eckhardt
      ... You don t want to buy a linux laptop except from a company like Linux Certified which has worked out the driver and configuration issues. Dell claims to
      Message 2 of 9 , May 26, 2008
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        --- tzaphod <listaccount@...> wrote:

        > Hi!
        >
        > I'm going to buy a Latitude D830 soon,

        You don't want to buy a "linux" laptop except from a
        company like Linux Certified which has worked out the
        driver and configuration issues.

        Dell claims to sell a Linux version of the 1420 which
        I made the mistake of buying. It was 32 bit only (not
        biarch), the wireless driver had over 30% packet loss,
        it went into infinite loops when coming back from
        suspend, etc.

        While all these things can be solved you don't want to
        loose a few days doing it.

        > What about support of external monitors? Am I
        > restricted in the
        > resolution of the external monitor somehow?

        You can configure the NVIDIA driver to support
        1920x1200 external and move your desktop between
        internal and external monitors with xrandr.
      • Tobi
        ... I generally don t see a problem in running Linux on a Latitude D830. All components are known to work with Linux. I m just not sure, which graphics card is
        Message 3 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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          Drew Eckhardt wrote:

          >> I'm going to buy a Latitude D830 soon,

          > You don't want to buy a "linux" laptop except from a
          > company like Linux Certified which has worked out the
          > driver and configuration issues.


          I generally don't see a problem in running Linux on a Latitude D830. All
          components are known to work with Linux. I'm just not sure, which graphics
          card is better.


          > Dell claims to sell a Linux version of the 1420 which


          I'm not interested in an Inspiron - it hast to be "business-class"
          notebook - that's the Latitude at the moment (I think Vostro and XPS only
          come with glossy WSXGA+ displays.).

          What about running an external 19" monitor with 1280 x 1024 and the
          notebook with 1680 x 1050?

          I'm not sure, but I think I've read somewhere the GMA is limited to
          2048x2048, so the above combination wouldn't work.
          Can anyone confirm this?


          Tobias
        • Tessier Alexandre
          ... I don t know this nvidia card. You should check that it is supported by the nvidia driver. I only buy laptops with nvidia geforce graphics card (actually
          Message 4 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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            tzaphod a écrit :
            >
            >
            > Hi!
            >
            > I'm going to buy a Latitude D830 soon, but haven't decided yet, what
            > graphics card to choose. For a T9300 I can select between a NVidia NVS
            > 140M or an on-board Intel GMX X3100.

            I don't know this nvidia card. You should check that it is supported by
            the nvidia driver.
            I only buy laptops with nvidia geforce graphics card (actually GeForce
            8400M GS) because nvidia provides a very good driver (with a
            configuration tool: nvidia-settings) and everything works perfectly.

            > Which of these graphics cards causes less trouble on Linux? Will the
            > GMA X3100 have enough performance for Beryl / Compiz and 3D

            no problem with nvidia cards

            > applications like Blender? I also need to run some more or less
            > complex WPF applications in a VirtualBox VM with XP or Server 2008.

            graphics applications are very slow when using vmware.

            > What about support of external monitors? Am I restricted in the
            > resolution of the external monitor somehow?

            no problem with nvidia cards

            > Anything else I should be aware of, when intending to run Linux on the
            > D830?
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Tobias
            >
            >


            --
            http://www.univ-orleans.fr/lifo/Members/tessier/
            tel: +33 (0)238494670
          • Tessier Alexandre
            ... I have a latitude C800, a latitude C840 and a XPS M1330 and I only use linux (mandriva and ubuntu). Everything works. ... I have 1280x800 on the laptop and
            Message 5 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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              Tobi a écrit :
              > I generally don't see a problem in running Linux on a Latitude D830. All
              > components are known to work with Linux.

              I have a latitude C800, a latitude C840 and a XPS M1330 and I only use
              linux (mandriva and ubuntu). Everything works.

              > What about running an external 19" monitor with 1280 x 1024 and the
              > notebook with 1680 x 1050?
              >
              > I'm not sure, but I think I've read somewhere the GMA is limited to
              > 2048x2048, so the above combination wouldn't work.
              > Can anyone confirm this?

              I have 1280x800 on the laptop and 1600x1200 on the external monitor.

              Note that Quadro NVS 140M is supported by the nvidia driver:
              http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/169.12/README/appendix-a.html

              Alex.

              >
              > Tobias
              >
              >


              --
              http://www.univ-orleans.fr/lifo/Members/tessier/
              tel: +33 (0)238494670
            • Tobi
              ... Thanks! So it seems the NVS 140M at least is uncritical. NVidia sadly just does not have OpenSource drivers like Intel or ATI. Because of this and the
              Message 6 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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                Tessier Alexandre wrote:

                > Note that Quadro NVS 140M is supported by the nvidia driver:
                > http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/169.12/README/appendix-a.html

                Thanks!

                So it seems the NVS 140M at least is uncritical. NVidia sadly just does
                not have OpenSource drivers like Intel or ATI. Because of this and the
                lower power consumption, I would prefer the on-board GMA X3100, but
                only if I can be sure, it works fine on Linux and supports dual head with
                my external 19" screen.

                Tobias
              • Charles Hutchinson
                ... I had this laptop at my last job. Be sure to fine tune your order when you buy this. It will run Linux VERY well as long as you pick the right
                Message 7 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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                  tzaphod wrote:
                  > Hi!
                  >
                  > I'm going to buy a Latitude D830 soon, but haven't decided yet, what
                  > graphics card to choose. For a T9300 I can select between a NVidia NVS
                  > 140M or an on-board Intel GMX X3100.
                  >
                  > Which of these graphics cards causes less trouble on Linux? Will the
                  > GMA X3100 have enough performance for Beryl / Compiz and 3D
                  > applications like Blender? I also need to run some more or less
                  > complex WPF applications in a VirtualBox VM with XP or Server 2008.
                  >
                  > What about support of external monitors? Am I restricted in the
                  > resolution of the external monitor somehow?
                  >
                  > Anything else I should be aware of, when intending to run Linux on the
                  > D830?
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  >
                  > Tobias
                  >

                  I had this laptop at my last job. Be sure to fine tune your order when
                  you buy this. It will run Linux VERY well as long as you pick the right
                  components. Specifically make sure you get it with the Intel wireless
                  and not the Dell wireless controller.

                  As for graphics I always go with Nvidia. The few times I have been
                  stuck with anything else has been a disappointment to say the least.
                  All the purists be damned as I want something that works. I had mine
                  set to run 1600x1080 on both internal and external displays. It worked
                  VERY well. I think you can now run multiple resolutions now with twinview.

                  Charlie
                • Drew Eckhardt
                  ... Some version of all the hardware are known to work with some version of Linux. You might install some solid version of Linux other people know to work (say
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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                    --- Tobi <listaccount@...> wrote:

                    > Drew Eckhardt wrote:
                    >
                    > >> I'm going to buy a Latitude D830 soon,
                    >
                    > > You don't want to buy a "linux" laptop except from
                    > a
                    > > company like Linux Certified which has worked out
                    > the
                    > > driver and configuration issues.
                    >
                    >
                    > I generally don't see a problem in running Linux on
                    > a Latitude D830. All
                    > components are known to work with Linux. I'm just
                    > not sure, which graphics
                    > card is better.

                    Some version of all the hardware are known to work
                    with some version of Linux.

                    You might install some solid version of Linux other
                    people know to work (say RHEL 5.1) and find that
                    version 2 of the wireless chip is being used instead
                    of version 1, that all of the binary drivers don't
                    work, and that the backport of the iwl driver won't
                    compile with the redhat kernel. So you build a stock
                    Linux 2.6.25 kernel with recent drivers that does work
                    but breaks suspend because some acpi controls have
                    moved from /proc to /sys unless you enable backwards
                    compatability options. hald won't tell you what it's
                    doing, so unless you strace it or read through the
                    source you're not going to get that working.

                    You might find that the BIOS has been upgraded from
                    version 4 to 7 which in turn causes vbe tool to hang
                    on suspends. Reading the Nvidia documentation you'll
                    find that vbetool shouldn't be used. Since no one
                    writes documentation any more you'll have to dig
                    around and find that the files controlling that live
                    in /usr/lib/pm-utils.

                    Etc.

                    Trying to get Linux on a laptop is a potential
                    headache even if other people have successfully used
                    that model+Linux version together, and (unfortunately)
                    paying Dell to deal with the problem does not work.
                  • Drew Eckhardt
                    ... It s a personal example and caution that having Dell install Linux won t avoid problems. I ve had three Linux laptops (Linux Certified, Dell Latitude 630,
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 27, 2008
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                      --- Tobi <listaccount@...> wrote:

                      > > Dell claims to sell a Linux version of the 1420
                      > which
                      >
                      >
                      > I'm not interested in an Inspiron - it hast to be
                      > "business-class"
                      > notebook - that's the Latitude at the moment (I
                      > think Vostro and XPS only
                      > come with glossy WSXGA+ displays.).

                      It's a personal example and caution that having Dell
                      install Linux won't avoid problems.

                      I've had three Linux laptops (Linux Certified, Dell
                      Latitude 630, Dell Inpiron 1420) in the last five
                      years. Only the Linux Certified box worked without a
                      lot of tinkering.

                      If your time is worth money you want to buy from a
                      vendor that will deal with the headaches even if you
                      get the Dell (at least one of the Linux laptop vendors
                      sells a couple Latitude models).

                      Lots of people who don't do that have all sorts of
                      problems. Just do a web search.

                      http://www.linux.com/?module=comments&func=display&cid=1190412


                      If Dell guaranteed a specific hardware configuration
                      went with a given SKU we wouldn't have these problems,
                      but they don't.
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