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Re: ThinkPads

On Thu, 2007-01-04 at 16:46 -0600, Owen Heisler wrote:
> Video acceleration:
> All I can find is ATI or Intel video chipsets...  but I've heard say
> that ATI (3D acceleration) is a pain to get working.  I've had some
> trouble myself for older cards (mine was Radeon 7200, not supported at
> all, although it did work at one point on FC5), but do some of the
> cards work without problems?  The Intel ones provide 3D acceleration,
> but what is the difference in performance between a 128MB nvidia card
> and an Intel integrated chipset that can share ~200MB of the regular
> memory?  If the Intel chipsets provide decent 3D acceleration, I may
> as well go with it.  Here's what seems to be available for video:
> Integrated Intel 945GM
> Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
> ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 64MB
> ATI Mobility Fire GL V5200 256MB
> ATI Mobility Fire GL V5250 256MB

Since Intel employed Keith Packard a couple of years ago the support for
Intel graphics chipsets has improved a remarkable amount.  Now if only
ATI or NVidia could employ someone of his calibre...

From here: http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/ATIRadeon it seems that the
ATI chipsets are supported by FOSS drivers (with 3D acceleration) up to
the Radeon X850.  X1300 and above only support 2D graphics at this
point, unless you use the proprietary drivers from ATI.  My experience
with the ATI drivers is that they have improved a lot over the last
couple of years, and the installation is certainly much better.  The
downloadable drivers will let you create a Debian package to install
from, though you have to pass it a magic command-line switch to do so.

Personally I have a Radeon X600, so am just as happy to use the FOSS
drivers nowadays.

In the future I will probably be looking for Intel based graphics in my
next laptop because of the cool stuff I have seen Keith demonstrating
and talking about, such as seamless desktop expansion when you plug in a
second monitor.

> >From what I see on thinkwiki.org, none of the three ATI chipsets
> listed here "just work", but the Intel ones do, without any
> proprietary drivers.  The two Intel ones are supported by the i810
> drivers.

> UltraBay Enhanced:
> It seems that I can use a CD/DVD drive in this bay or a regular hard
> drive.  So I should be able to get a "Serial ATA Hard Drive Bay
> Adapter" and a hard drive from Newegg and have a second hard drive
> ready to go.  The bay supports hot-swapping; will I be able to remove
> the hard drive or CD/DVD drive with Debian running?

Well, maybe.  I have successfully swapped the HD for the DVD, and
vice-versa, but it hasn't always worked for me.  Other things too, like
whether DMA is enabled on the swapped in device and stuff has not always
worked for me.

Mind you, I haven't checked this since about 2.6.14 or so - things may
have improved.


Andrew @ Catalyst .Net .NZ  Ltd,  PO Box 11-053, Manners St,  Wellington
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