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Old 11-15-2012, 05:54 AM   #31
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Parts are not exactly spread out on a desktop.
They are a fair bit more spaced out than on a laptop though.

Its not just the spacing, its airflow, heatsink size, and various other bits and pieces. Eg, its farily common now to see the CPU, GPU and chipset being cooled by heatpipes going to a common radiator/heatsink. Because of the way that heatpipes work, its possible (and IMO common) for one hot part to heat up the othert components.

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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Funny, but I found the dual cores were not significantly cheaper. I filtered to quad core because there's simply too many options for the time I have to put into this.
Hmmm...I'll have a bit more a of a poke, if only for my own intrest.

Here and in the US it sems that a quad core is about 50-75% more expensive than a dual core version of the same laptop. Maybe I'm misleading myself because I only look at small screen laptops (15.6'' and smaller) and the bigger screen laptops get a premium even if they have a dual core CPU.

I spose importing is out of the question? Not that you can get stuff from newegg, but there are some nice cheap dual core intel laptops from decent brands for about 450 euro or less (and if you are prepared to get a refurbished/remanufactured laptops they get even cheaper).

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
That's a piece of material advice I will follow. Thank you. I couldn't make up my mind on that. But this isn't for my desk. I have to retire my present laptop there.
As and aside, I've got a few people who were planning on buying huge nasty 'deksop replacement' laptops with i7s to get a desktop + a netbook instead. Price ended up being about the same, they got desktop system thats faster than the laptop, and a laptop that is more portable.

They were looking at laptops a little more expensive than you are business_kid, and I dont think you want to replace your old laptop if its still working, but its worth mentioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
From what I read, it never will. AMD are not open sourcing their UVD so there's this fancy decoder in there which OSS can't use or won't be able to.
What Intel GPUs run well? I seem to meet large numbers of guys with 3000 and Sandy Bridge on these forums struggling for any form of video normality like I was with the ATI rs690 4 years ago. I am anxious not to repeat that. I will go off and check some recent reviews of the intel graphics
There is XvBA (X-Video Bitstream Acceleration) for AMD GPUs (HD 4XXX and later).

IMO its not worth worring about. I've tried it a few times and had too many issues with corrupted display on playign the video, tearing, etc. when I've tried XvBA. If you use the 'right' media with the right codecs it could work well though.

I've seena few people with issues on Intel HD video as well. Mostly it sems to be people trying to use distos released before or from around the time that the Intel HD series was released. Just my impression though, and I could be mistaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
hdmi, and a decent sound & display of it's own. It's for _me_ in _my_house_ and unusual things are important. I agree this sounds weird. But it's about our lifestyle.
HDMI is avaible from intel video chips. Sound has nothing to do with the video chip (apart from audio over HDMI, in that case the video chip just acts as a sound controller).

*edit-

Doh. I feel like an idiot. I should have mentioned this before.

Soem nVidia 'optimus' laptops have a BIOS switch that lets you force the intel video only, nVidia GPU only or use 'optimus' mode. Laptops with the BIOS switch run in 'nVidia only' mdoe will run the nVidia drivers without all that stuffing around with bumblebee.

I dont know of any list of laptops with a BIOS switch. Most of them that I've heard of with that option have been Lenovo.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-15-2012 at 06:16 AM.
 
Old 11-15-2012, 06:51 AM   #32
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/Taking all advice on board

Looking at what's on offer, it seems that at 17" screen it's impossible to avoid a dedicated graphics card, and 'AMD only' options don't seem to exist. It also seems that Ivy Bridge (aka hd 4000) is good enough to do the job I'm asking it to do despite the lack of OpenCL. Updates may be required for mesa & kernel. I am not buying nvidia. I'm not considering Dell, or Acer boxes, due to personal poor experience and that of others.

When you look at the AMD cards out there, (HD65xx, HD7470, & HD7670 unless you're spending over 1000 for a HD7970) they seem to need a binary blob, which overwrites the Mesa /usr/lib64/libGL* which the OSS Intel drivers need. So I'd have to be able to disable and forget one card completely. Even if I could, why buy it that way?

Something's got to give. It's going to be the timescale. I'll make this old laptop do double duty until I see what I want. Maybe I should buy a Mac :-). Is that heresy?

I feel certain I would have walked away with a pricey piece of crap if you all hadn't talked me out of it(My wife was talking me into it), and I want to express thanks here to all, but particularly Cascade9 for the saving of my hard earned. I have bookmarked this thread and will refer to it again and again and keep watching out.
 
Old 11-15-2012, 01:24 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Soem nVidia 'optimus' laptops have a BIOS switch that lets you force the intel video only, nVidia GPU only or use 'optimus' mode. Laptops with the BIOS switch run in 'nVidia only' mdoe will run the nVidia drivers without all that stuffing around with bumblebee.

I dont know of any list of laptops with a BIOS switch. Most of them that I've heard of with that option have been Lenovo.
My ASUS netbook has something like that, but there is no option in BIOS. Instead they have:
https://sites.google.com/site/mtrons/projects/eee1015pn
 
Old 11-16-2012, 02:45 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Looking at what's on offer, it seems that at 17" screen it's impossible to avoid a dedicated graphics card, and 'AMD only' options don't seem to exist.
Nah, its not impossible to avoid a AMD/nVidia GPU in 17'' laptops. Theres a few at elara.ie, mostly Toshiba, e.g.-

http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...PSCBAE00N00CEN

17'' with a quad core i7 and intel graphics only is much harder.

IMO its becuase once you start looking at $350+ CPU (original list price for pretty much all the quad-core i7 mobile CPUs) the manufacturers see adding a (guessing) $10-15 nVidia GPU as a marketing plus with no negatives.

Its just us linux users who got stuffed over with optimus, the windows and macOS users get a much better deal. Withotu going into excessive technical depth, with windows (aqnd macOS AFAIK) the intel video chip does all the 'non acelerated' stuf, the nVidia GPU renders the accelerated stuff and then the 2 outputs are combined. So if you are watching an online video, the intel GPU does everything apart from the video, and the nVidia GPU renders the video.

It actually uses less battery than having intel only, IF you use windows and IF you are using enough 'acceleratable content'.

IMO nVidia has made a business decision which could have serious implications for them long term. If they hadn't of created optimus technology, they might have sold a few less GPUs now...but giving intel such an easy way into the laptop market in particular is just goin to push nVidia out long term.

Right now with intel video chiops still being quite low powered, all gamers and most heavy multimedia users will get laptops with GPUs. Given a few generations of intel working on the intel HD seirs, performance will improve, and nVidia could (will IMO) get pushed out of the 'low end' market totally. While nVidia doesnt make huge profits with the low end GPUs, they do help keep them in business.

Who would have guessed in 2002, or even 2007, that intel would actually make a video chip that wasnt total joke, nVidia would drop out of the x86 chipset market totally and be slowly pushed out of the video chip market by intel? Not me.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
It also seems that Ivy Bridge (aka hd 4000) is good enough to do the job I'm asking it to do despite the lack of OpenCL. Updates may be required for mesa & kernel. I am not buying nvidia. I'm not considering Dell, or Acer boxes, due to personal poor experience and that of others.
I'm not 100% up on intel with openCL, and the whole situation is complicated. You might find this of intrest-

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...e_opencl&num=1

*edit- I wouldnt touch dell for my own experiences. Acer....how the mighty have falled. Aopen ('Open System Business Unit of Acer Computer Inc.') used to make some nice boards, and Ali (Acer Laboratories Incorporated) made some decent chipsets.

That said, 've never been impresed with any of the acers I've ever seen. The laptops seem worse than the desktops as well.

The only laptops I've ever been much impressed with were from lenovo, asus or hp. Barring apple, who make some nice hardware by realllly love to charge a lot for it and get under my skin politically ('yes, we are apple, we like open source. What, you want flac support in itunes? No way, we wont add that, we have ALAC, its mucho better!').

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
When you look at the AMD cards out there, (HD65xx, HD7470, & HD7670 unless you're spending over €1000 for a HD7970) they seem to need a binary blob, which overwrites the Mesa /usr/lib64/libGL* which the OSS Intel drivers need. So I'd have to be able to disable and forget one card completely. Even if I could, why buy it that way?
Because you have to now. Intel has put intel HD graphics onto every mobile CPU they make now (and probably 97%+ of the desktop CPUs as well).

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Maybe I should buy a Mac :-). Is that heresy?
Does the idea weight the same as a duck? No, wait a sec, that would make it a witch, not a heretic....

'll save myself some time *insert generic anti-apple rant*

Now for the bad news...apple has cut the 17'' mac pro, 15'' is big as you can get now. Apple ireland, 15'' macbook pro, quad core i7, 4GB, 500GB HDD, nVidia GT650M = 1950 euro. If you want the 'retina display (actualyl pretty nice) its 2349 (8GB + 256MB SSD repalces 4GB and 500GB HDD). Besides being a lot more expensive than similar windows laptops, its an optimus model.

If you were going to go for a 15'' or so laptop, get the Lenovo ThinkPad E530

http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...ode=ECE2488161

Honestly, that is probably what I would get out of everything I've seen. Yeah, its only 15.6'' and if you really want 17''+ that is not good enough.....but lenovo is a solid brand, I know that laptop will run with linux, and its got the newer 'ivy bridge' i7 quad core (most of the i7 quad I've seen in ireland are the older 'sandy bridge' series)

Last edited by cascade9; 11-16-2012 at 02:54 AM.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 04:12 AM   #35
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I'll explain the 17" thing.
My wife is myopic, and I'm going long sighted. I do need detail to work on things like This I already have a 15.6" screen here and am forever plugging it into something.

There appears to be some kernel support under the blindingly obvious name(not!) of vga_switcheroo and CONFIG_VGA_SWITCHEROO is the relevant option. This is something cobbled by David Airlie. I guess that in a while, this won't be a problem any more. But it sure is a problem now.

I agree with you that nvidia is falling on it's sword(don't care), and feel amd is doing likewise. Intel have the edge in fab by a lot these days. That's like a turbocharger in hardware. It's difficult to see anyone except the Far East competing with them in 5 years. They have the revenue to drive innovation until they are equal or better in the graphics area. So in a few years we will be buying Intel APUs, & chipsets and nothing else will be on offer. The only hope for nvidia/amd is to merge, get small fab and have new designs waiting there for it. Then they could grab the initiative back. I wasn't serious about the Mac - M$ is bad but they are worse.
Quote:
http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...ode=ECE2488161

Honestly, that is probably what I would get out of everything I've seen. Yeah, its only 15.6'' and if you really want 17''+ that is not good enough.....but lenovo is a solid brand, I know that laptop will run with linux, and its got the newer 'ivy bridge' i7 quad core (most of the i7 quad I've seen in ireland are the older 'sandy bridge' series)
I copped that thing about ivy and sandy bridge. It's disappointing to see how obsolete and expensive the stock is here. And nobody stocks more than 1 or 2. Lenovo are good, and I kinda like HP. I did find this
http://www.elara.ie/productdetail.as...ode=MME8653H35 But didn't bite, because the only advice I had from my programmer son was to avoid Acer at all costs. He had one which contracted leprosy, and we laboured to keep it going together while he was doing his thesis.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:11 AM   #36
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Have I got one AMD/AMD option

A6 & HD6520 - an unexciting box, but it ticks all the required boxes here :-). Anything silly on that combo before I spend a little money?

EDIT: Forget this - it's in the US, and my history of importing from there is miserable. I have searches all over Europe.

Last edited by business_kid; 11-16-2012 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Last Moment correction:
 
Old 11-16-2012, 11:39 AM   #37
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Found a couple in the US that I can't get here :-(.

I've no 17" AMD/AMD option, but I do have one AMD/AMD/AMD Option

i.e. AMD Quad-Core A6-3430MX APU with Radeon HD 6520G + 7690M Dual Graphics. From what I gather both GPUs turn on and heat rises until you switch one off :-/.

Does that pass muster with those who know or should I run a mile? It's fine otherwise.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #38
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Do you have to buy in Ireland? Would there not be more choice and better prices in UK -- better enough to more than pay for carriage?
 
Old 11-17-2012, 03:39 AM   #39
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Yes, I've been searching all of Europe. Outside of there, problems can and do arise importing. The UK is great, and all the ebay ones below were in the UK. Nobody's doing a suitable option in the graphics, though.
As for that amd/amd/amd thing, it seems most people think it's 15.6":-/. I am going away and not looking at ads. Thank you all for your help. I'll see what's around in the new year.
 
Old 11-18-2012, 05:18 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Yes, I've been searching all of Europe. Outside of there, problems can and do arise importing. The UK is great, and all the ebay ones below were in the UK. Nobody's doing a suitable option in the graphics, though.
There are provided that you dont insist on a quad core i7. There should be even then, but european importers seems to be pretty awful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
i.e. AMD Quad-Core A6-3430MX APU with Radeon HD 6520G + 7690M Dual Graphics. From what I gather both GPUs turn on and heat rises until you switch one off :-/.

Does that pass muster with those who know or should I run a mile? It's fine otherwise.
I know, already cut, but I should comment.

A6-3430MX is quad core....but pretty slow for a quad. Only a little faster than the i3 or even Pentium B960 CPUs.

The newer AMD A-series CPUs are quite a bit faster than the older A-series. I'd consider a A8-4555M (or similar), I wouldnt get a A6-3430MX.

The whole dual graphics thing is best avoided.

Hopefully is you wait 'til new year there will be more range, as the laptop supplies flog off last years (2011) junk. Maybe next year they will have more circa 2012 stock.
 
Old 11-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #41
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Nov 2012:
I've learned 2 big things not mentioned here so I should add them.

1. Software support is realistically a year away for switchable graphics. Xorg-Server has to be heavily rewritten, no gpu driver seems up to the job, because they will be have to be written around the new X server. All one can do is power off one gpu or the other.

2. Buying online is a nightmare, because I have several times "found" an item, only to read the manufacturer's spec and find it's different. Checking against manufacturer's specs reveal differences (nearly grabbed a box w/HD 7520 in the APU, only to find there's a HD7670 thrown in as well).

As for your comment on last year's junk, Cascade, it seems like there's a lot of junk around! I would sure hate to be doing this on a budget.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 04:02 AM   #42
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Hey guys, is there any issue with Buying AMD/AMD/AMD (i.e AMD A-8 or A10 APU with AMD discrete graphics) which should get a HD6xxx or HD7xxx gpu along with the discrete HD7xxx gpu)? Sure, it's not supported and one has to be turned off for the moment. In ~1 year, when software catches up, the second could be tastefully employed.

Because otherwise, the advice coming out of the thread is don't buy any laptop except with integrated graphics. That restricts people to the cheap laptops, which will be missing one gpu in a year and will never perform, and will not resell well.

I'm not at all confident about utilising intel/intel/amd setups, because it may rely on those companies cooperating which is unlikely this side of Armageddon.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 07:54 AM   #43
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For best performance and drivers I would still get one with an nvidia card, even if it has optimus. Yes, it's a little more work, but the alternative is bad drivers and bad performance and, of course, low resale value.

So, I personally, would ignore the optimus warnings and go with it. I may get flamed for it, but I think it is decent advice.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 11-19-2012 at 07:56 AM.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 01:07 PM   #44
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:-). Maybe this isn't solved.

Optimus "is not going to be supported under linux - ever". Now they're starting to write support. AMD is the devil I know. A10 APU appears to be the optimal way to go. That(a10-4600M) comes in quad core with a HD7660 or some such, and no bundled gpu. Reasonable binary blob support is there now. Perhaps OSS also.

Considering I'm coming from a RS690 (aka X1250 aka r4xx aka rs600 aka CRAP) GPU, an integrated HD7660 is quite a step up. That way I don't have to wait a year+ for software support, as they don't bother to bundle another GPU with the a10. I'm not buying a laptop to sell it, but to own it.

I was estimating a year for proper graphics support for the RS690 back in 2008. It's going pretty flat out (except for the UVD) now - 4 years later. I'm sure by end of life shoot 'em ups will have a faster FPS with Intel/nvidia or Intel/AMD options, but I won't be shooting.
 
Old 11-20-2012, 04:01 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
1. Software support is realistically a year away for switchable graphics. Xorg-Server has to be heavily rewritten, no gpu driver seems up to the job, because they will be have to be written around the new X server. All one can do is power off one gpu or the other.
Support being able to reboot and switch GPUs is around. For on the fly changes, that could be a year. But I seem to recall people saying that 3 years ago.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Hey guys, is there any issue with Buying AMD/AMD/AMD (i.e AMD A-8 or A10 APU with AMD discrete graphics) which should get a HD6xxx or HD7xxx gpu along with the discrete HD7xxx gpu)?
If you get an APU, avoid the added GPU models. What the added GPU is and how its setup can vary a lot. AFAIK many of the new APU systems with an additional GPU are actually 'dual graphics'- like crossfire, they use the onCPU GPU and the added GPU together.

I have no idea if linux even supports dual graphics and if it does how well it would work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Because otherwise, the advice coming out of the thread is don't buy any laptop except with integrated graphics.
For your needs thats exactly what I suggest.

If you were a gamer, an attitional AMD or nVidia GPU is probably a good thing (though there is always some risk in getting any switchable graphics/dual graphics/optimus setup).

If you were going to be using your laptop for nothing but watching media, an optimus GPU might be a good idea.

Since you seem to have no intention to play games, and if you do play games they wont be 'heavy', and you are going to use the laptop for 'normal' tasks, not pure media watching, an added GPU is a pointless complexity that will increase costs and reduce battery life, and may or may not work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Optimus "is not going to be supported under linux - ever". Now they're starting to write support.
Dont believe the hype.

Quote:
GNU/Linux support

Many media sources have published that Nvidia has announced its plans to release an official Linux driver for Optimus.[5]. However, the media clearly misinterpreted "I've been experimenting" as "The next NVIDIA driver will be...", because later the very same developer, who started the mess, regretted officially working on the drivers for Linux[6].

When there is no software mechanism in place for switching between graphics adapters, the NVIDIA GPU cannot be used at all, even if an installed graphics driver would support it.[7] Some older computers contain a BIOS setting to manually select the state of the hardware multiplexer to switch output between the two video devices. However this setting is no longer part of the current Optimus platform.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_Optimus

As far as I can tell Michael Larabel or someone else at Phoronix either saw the original comment or it was reported to them. They write a story on it, and as is typical of tech writing what is reported at one site gets spread everywhere.

nVidia may release drivers with some support for optimus, or they might never do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
A10 APU appears to be the optimal way to go. That(a10-4600M) comes in quad core with a HD7660 or some such, and no bundled gpu. Reasonable binary blob support is there now. Perhaps OSS also.
A10-4600M systems are avaible with added GPUs. Some with dual graphics (HD 7670M) and some with a more powerful GPU and no dual graphics (mostly HD 7970Ms at the moment).

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Considering I'm coming from a RS690 (aka X1250 aka r4xx aka rs600 aka CRAP) GPU, an integrated HD7660 is quite a step up.
I wouldnt let your bad experiences with X1250 colour your views on onbaord/on CPU GPUs.

You wont notice any difference between a the lower end APU GPUs (e.g. HD 7480D) and the top end (e.g. HD 7660D) for desktop use.

If yuo can get a A10 without an added GPU for the right price, they arent bad at all. However dont be misled by the 'quad core' bit....an quad core A10 can be outrun by a dual core i3 in many situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
That restricts people to the cheap laptops, which will be missing one gpu in a year and will never perform, and will not resell well.
I completely diagree.

Yes, you are limited to 'cheap' laptops. Its not really a problem though, in somes ways its an advantage.

If you can get a 17'' laptop with 4GB + a P9XX or i3 CPU for 500 euro, and a 6-8GB + i7 + AMD/nVidia GPU is 1000+, you are paying a lot of extra money for pointless stuff (the added gPU) and for more CPU performance. That doesnt make the 'lower' models that much slower.

Have a look at historical benchamrk results. 'Top end' CPUs rom any given time period are faster, but not that much faster than the lower end models. Given a few years those differences start to become smaller.

The intel dual core laptops do perform well (for laptops anyway), cost less than half the amount of an intel i7 quad, in some cases will be upgradable to i3/i5 and maybe even i7 if you are lucky.

I always laugh when I see 'but resale is better on.....', in some cases its true though I disagree as far as laptops go. Quite often in my experience, 'X has better resale value' is an excuse to spend more money.
 
  


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