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Old 10-13-2012, 05:23 PM   #16
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A Lenovo Thinkpad. I've owned six and have run a wide variety of Linux distros on all of them. They're solidly made and use high-quality components. There's a large community of Linux-on-Thinkpad users, so it's easy to find help online. Beyond that, though, Lenovo's warranty service is exceptional, as IBM's was before that. On a T21 that I bought in London in 2001, the screen went out near the end of the three-year warranty (actually, the screen was still usuable; it just had a reddish tint). I happened to be in North Africa at the time. I found the local IBM service shop, and they had a replacement screen shipped in overnight from Paris. Within 36 hours, I had my machine back with a brand new screen, at no cost (well, I had paid for a three-year warranty).

The only other trouble I've had is with the T420 that I currently use. I'm now in the U.S. The motherboard croaked, so I phoned the Lenovo warranty center. My warranty requires me to ship the machine back to the shop. Without my asking, the agent offered to have someone come to my home and replace the motherboard, at no additional charge.

They know how to cultivate customers (and get free word-of-mouth advertising at the same time).

Last edited by dhave; 10-13-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:10 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy View Post
I've been trying as hard as I can to read up about computers and what you get when you pay for and this article would seem to suggest it's more about cores than anything. But then it was literally just comparing cores. Am I right in thinking that the number of cores is more significant than MHz?
Number of cores, just like MHz, can be misleading.

Its very hard to make a fair comparison between different CPUs and number of cores for 'general' use. If you want to do one task in particular, its easier to say (eg, check back at the toms article you linked in post #14. If you want to do audio encoding, you want the fastest single core performance you can get, as audio encoders tend to be programmed to use single cores only. If you are doing video encoing, multipule cores helps a lot).

For general use (say, running a web browser, while playing a music file and writing a docment in OO/LO/abiword etc.) dual core is the minimum I'd even consider now. While quad core AMDs can be nice, they arent going to be twice as quick as a dual-core i3. In some situations, the AMD quad core would be faster, but in most situations the i3 would be faster, even though its only got 2 cores.

The current AMDs do have a better GPUs than intel...not that it really matters mucch unless you play games.

Compare these 3 laptops from dabs on specifications-

Asus X54C-SX078V
i3 2350M (2.3GHz), dual core.
15.6" screen

Packard Bell TS11
AMD A6-3420M (1.5GHz, 2.4GHz 'turbo'), quad core
1GB AMD Radeon HD 7470M
15.6" screen

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525
AMD A4-3300M (1.9GHz, 2.5GHz turbo) dual core
15.6'" screen

The lenovo has the 'lowest numbers' (least powerful CPU, no dedicated GPU), but lenovo have a reputation for being tough.

Asus has the fastest CPU for single core tasks, and for many multicore tasks.

Packard Bell has the best GPU, a better AMD CPU than the lenovo, and its the cheapest.

While you might be paying a little more for the asus or lenovo branding, from my experience I'd say that they would also be more reliable long term.

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy View Post
I'm actually running Mint Debian Edition (the only difference that I see is a different wall paper
LMDE (Linux Mint DEbian Edition) used to be pretty much debian 'testing' witha few tweaks. From what I know, LMDE is now using its own repos, and has moved away from the original idea. I have no idea how much difference that has made to the 'heaviness' of LMDE.

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy View Post
In general, if you had to make a sweeping generalisation, would you suggest that AMD graphics cards and processors work better with Linux distributions or Intel?
I'll devide that question into two.

As far as CPUs go, there isnt any real difference between how well AMD and Intel run with linux.

As far as GPUs/IGPs/video adapters go, thats hard to say.

Intel has released some video adapter that are pretty horrible (i740 standalone card, i810/i815, i845/i865 and a few others). They have also released some video adapters that have no real linux support (GMA500/GMA600/GMA3600/GMA3650). Technically, they are actually made by PowerVR, but they still wear the intel branding.

ATI/AMD has also released some pretty awful cards, in particular the X1200/X1250/2100 IGP series.

The big problem with ATI/AMD video is that the IGPs/GPUs/APUs have closed drivers. While open source drivers are avaible, they can lag behind on things like power saving, which can make a big difference to laptops (can affect not just battery life, but also heat output).

The intel video adapters, while very weak for 3D (and they also use some of the main system RAM) generally have open source drivers only.

Last edited by cascade9; 10-16-2012 at 12:34 AM.
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