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

Joe Emenaker wrote:

uname -a
Linux joeslap 2.6.18-4-686 #1 SMP Fri Feb 2 15:10:49 UTC 2007 i686 GNU/Linux
Joe, did you ever think maybe it's the naming convention you used that causing your laptop to give you fits? You asked your laptop to slap you when you named it. ;)

Sorry, it's just my offbeat sense of humor....

As to using an ATI card, well, any of them that you buy be very sure you research it very carefully. The nVidia Linux drivers seem to be far better than ATI's. I have the Radeon Express 200M in my laptop and I actually get better performance from the open source drivers than I do from ATI's proprietary drivers. For instance, with ATI's drivers if I play a movie with Totem cpu usage is around 25%. With the open source "ati" driver cpu usage is at 2-3%. Plus, the picture is actually better with the open source driver. The proprietary driver actually degrades output a little. Also, it wasn't until the 8.30.x release of the ATI drivers that they would even work. Before that they would simply send the cpu into race mode and the screen would stay black. I couldn't get to a console and if I didn't push the power button and manually shut down my laptop it would shut down on it's thermal limits in about a minute of run time as the air coming off the fan, which had switched almost immediately to high speed as soon as X started, was very hot and just constantly getting hotter. ATI drivers seem to work OK with some cards but not with others. If you buy one make sure you research it for complaints. They seem to be a real crap shoot on laptops from what I've read, and experienced. Oh, and if you have a desire to use beryl or compiz it's much harder to get working with an ati card. I've read where some people can get this to run on their laptops but I've never been able to get either to run on mine.

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