[lug] laptop video card Q

Ken MacFerrin lists at macferrin.com
Tue May 23 16:33:36 MDT 2006

D. Stimits wrote:
> Ken MacFerrin wrote:
>>> Seems like nVidia is the way to go for cards, but that limits 
>>> available 
>>> non-monster-really-laptop-laptops-not-desktop-huge-replacements :P
>>> So...the video card genre seems good. Does anyone here have any 
>>> comment on the laptops themselves...the Sony VAIO series or ASUS or 
>>> Toshiba Tecras? I found some reviews that complain the Sonys are a 
>>> bit flimsy, that the ASUS is well-built. Not sure about the other 
>>> peripherals on each of these, as to whether they are linux compatible 
>>> or not. Assuming I get a laptop, it'll probably have to last me the 
>>> rest of my life.
>>> D. Stimits, stimits AT comcast DOT net
>> I've had only one experience with a Toshiba laptop and it was not 
>> good.   I picked it up on a great sale but the thing would lockup 
>> regularly and it turned out there was a known motherboard defect that 
>> would have required me to send the thing in for six weeks of repair.  
>> I was lucky enough to convince the retailer to return it instead of 
>> having to warranty.
> Do you happen to recall what chipset it had, or which video card? I 
> wonder if that particular defect is still out in the wild, if it still 
> gets sold on the VAIO's.

The model was a Toshiba Satellite A75-S209.  I'd have to look up the 
exact chipset again.

>> I can't speak for any small form factors Sony's, but the desktop 
>> replacement Vaio PCG-K35 runs linux just fine and has been reasonably 
>> sturdy.  My three complaints are mainly due to the Pentium4 chip: 1) 
>> it's hot, 2) battery doesn't last more than a couple hours, 3) it's 
>> hot  :)
> I once had a borrowed HP laptop for work, but never owned one, nor used 
> others. I had noticed it was too hot to place on the lap without some 
> sort of insulator (which had to allow ventilation). I just wonder how 
> many of the laptops/notebooks available and considered moderately high 
> performance would actually be cool enough to sit on the lap without any 
> special insulation. For all I know, that's the way it is with all laptops.

I've only really had a problem with the P4 "desktop replacement" style
laptops.  The Pentium M based units I've used run substantially cooler 
and are okay on your lap as long as it's not already a hot day..

>> I've never had any complaints with the T series IBM Thinkpads.  Most 
>> of the configurations are well supported under linux (except the 
>> winmodems) and they are well made.  I've also been very happy with 
>> Pentium M chips as far as heat and battery life..
> I was looking at these, and really like them. Sadly, the ones with 
> nvidia video cards all seem to cost a huge premium over other brands and 
> even over its own line of laptops with regular integrated video.

Yeah, the Thinkpads have never been the cheapest line to begin with.

>> If you want to check out hardware configurations that are tested with 
>> linux you can check out a linux laptop vendor like www.emperorlinux.com.
> Wow...those are some nice systems. I can't afford something like that, 
> but geez, talk about drool power from a high end laptop :P One thing I 
> noticed is that they only seem to sell nvidia cards on the really high 
> end, and use the Quadro cards for most of them. Some of the very good 
> performance cards which cost much less (like the 7400 Go) do not seem to 
> be available on many of their laptops. Even so, I'm inspired by what I 
> see in terms of brands and models that seem to work with linux.
> I wonder if anyone has a suggestion on different places to buy Thinkpads 
> with higher end video cards? I've seen many places that sell them with 
> only integrated video, or with ATI, but the above emperorlinux.com is 
> the only place I've seen which has nvidia video on Thinkpads.

Sorry, even taking a quick look at the internal purchase program it 
seems they're all either ATI or Intel graphics based..

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