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Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Latitude - What's the best graphics card for Linux

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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