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Anybody using a Dell Inspiron 8500/8600 with the ATI card?

I've got a I8600 with the NVidia card in it. In the two years since I've had it, I've learned to *never* put it into suspend-to-ram mode. If you do this, everything suspends just fine... but, upon waking, the display doesn't turn back on.

The machine still *works* in this state (I can type commands blindly and see the hard disk working... I can even ssh into the laptop and run commands that way), but nothing I've ever tried has gotten the screen to come back on after a suspend-to-ram.

I've read countless forums, but nobody seems to have the magic bullet. I've tried using "chvt" to switch to a console before suspend, I've tried killing/restarting X to wake up the screen, I've tried writing various values to /proc/acpi/video/VID/lcd, and I've tried playing with "xset dpms force on|off". Nothing has worked.

Then, I had a moment of inspiration. By most accounts I've read, this only happens to the Dells with NVidia cards in them. So, it occurred to me that I could get an ATI card for the I8600 on eBay and install it. However, I wanted to make sure that I'm not setting myself up for heartache, here. So, I have a few questions:

1 - Can the ATI drive the 1920x1200 WUXGA screen that I've got? The ones I see on eBay are all 32MB cards, and I'm not sure what the RAM is on my NVidia. My calculations tell me that 32MB should be *far* more than what I need.... but I just want to be *sure* that someone's got it working.

2 - Are you able to use suspend-to-ram and wake it and get the screen back?

3 - Any ideas on how I can figure out how much ram my NVidia has?

- Joe

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