Considering New PC Purchace

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Considering New PC Purchace

Postby aroundi on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:13 am

Hello All,

I need to buy a new laptop. After having trouble with my previous Gateway netbook (mostly from an ATI video chipset that was obsolete when I bought the fairly newly released product) I want to plan for a smooth installation of Linux.

I'm looking at the Acer Aspire S3-951 w/ i5-2467M CPU

GPU is Intel HD 3000 which I've seen listed in Linux compatibility charts as "runs out of the box" so I hope I'm okay there.

This laptop has a hybrid drive setup 320G HHD and 20G SSD. I'm not familiar with this technology. Does anyone know if and how I will be able to use this if I set up a Mint/Win7 dual boot?

Also, the laptop has sophisticated sleep modes supporting "instant on" functionality and 50 day deep sleep mode. Will I be able to take advantage of this with a dual boot setup?

Tips and advice is greatly appreciated!
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby xenopeek on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:36 pm

HD 3000 works fine, I have that IGP also. If you do encounter the problem with this that the desktop randomly freezes for a second or two with a black screen, you can easily (and completely) fix this by adding a boot parameter to disable a feature that was enabled in recent kernels. I've detailed the few steps here: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=114306#p636391. This will affect power usage a bit though, and will consume a little more power when the GPU is idle (i.e., when you're not doing anything).

I think the 320 GB HDD and 20 GB SSD will show as two hard disks. You could install Linux Mint to the SSD, and mount /home and swap on the HDD. Disregarding /home and swap, Linux Mint base install needs about 6 GiB of disk space and you aren't easily going to need more than 20 GiB on your root file system.

I've not found anything too helpful, but a quick search turned up this positive review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3KIQM6Z23 ... deID=&tag=. The Ubuntu 12.04 the reviewer refers to as not having the one issue discussed, that is what Linux Mint 13 is based on.

Sounds like a winner.
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby pickles99 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:41 pm

Your future purchase may have the Sandy Bridge chipset. It has "Intel Insider" running inside the chipset where they inspect everything passing thru the system for "Digital Rights". Eats your CPU time and they can use that feature against you.

I'd avoid that chipset and buy something that doesn't have "Intel vPro" in the processor running or "Intel Insider" running in the chipset.
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby xenopeek on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:41 am

pickles99 Intel vPro only works with a few specific chipsets. Intel vPro is targeted at business users (to facilitate remote management of computers), and as a home user you will almost always buy a computer with a chipset targeted at home users--which don't support Intel vPro. So if you are concerned about Intel vPro, you can use Sandy Bridge processors just fine. Only avoid these few specific chipsets that are required for Intel vPro.

For desktops it's easy; avoid the Q-series chipsets (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155# ... e_chipsets). B-, H-, P-, and Z-series chipsets all don't support Intel vPro. (Note that Ivy Bridge does support Intel vPro also on B-series chipsets.) As a home users you will almost always have the H-, P-, or Z-series chipset.

For laptops is is less easy, but just avoid the business laptops that support Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT). A list of the mobile chipsets supporting Intel vPro: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_vPr ... quirements
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby aroundi on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:46 pm

Thanks for the reply Vincent. I found apositive review on Amazon as well, but not the same and not as in depth. Also my apologies for selecting the wrong section for posting.

I did come across the following link:

http://www.linlap.com/wiki/acer+aspire+s3

that nicely describes putting linux on this laptop - this link answers most of my original questions.

Wow, pickles99 raises a disappointing side of Intel. After looking into the Intel Insider function in SB chipsets I have to admit I'm concerned about H/W DRM being paid for by me while Intel is saying it's access to an added service?? Why can't I have the choice and get a chipset w/out "the feature"? I guess I could go with an AMD solution, but I hear SB is ahead of the current AMD offerings (on spec anyhow). If I wait for catch up it looks like I'll be in the same boat w/ AMD according to this link:

http://techreport.com/news/23108/future-amd-apus-to-integrate-arm-security-tech

I'm looking to get a good deal on this laptop and don't have much time or money so I think I may be purchasing this Monday. Any other sugestions are welcome til then of course. I'll close this post out if all goes well with the tweaking described in the 1st link above.

Thanks,

aroundi
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby pickles99 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:48 pm

I know about Intel vPro because it was used against me.

They get put a message in the Bios that will pop up at you when you boot up the device. It flashed once for me. After doing some research with the Techies I know, they traced it back to who did it and fixed my Bios.

The Intel vPro feature wasn't supposed to be in the little mini-laptop device I was using. Apparently what I was writing somewhere's got someone's attention.

Such as what I posted here got someone's attention and they looked my way....I have people for their people....hah hahaha!
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby xenopeek on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:45 pm

The Acer Aspire S3-951 uses the Mobile Intel UM67 Express chipset. This chipset does not support vPro. You can see the features of this chipset here: http://ark.intel.com/products/52815/Intel-BD82UM67-PCH.

This sounds like a good laptop and with the links you have it sounds like you will be able to get this fully working with Linux. Awesome choice and research :mrgreen:
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby jamvaru on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:50 pm

you want a laptop, i guess

My desktop is the new AMD A8 APU with graphics in the processor; you can use crossfire with an additional graphics card if you want to expand later on; I plan on doing that and then going with 2 graphics cards eventually; i have a gigabyte motherboard with 2 slots for graphics

laptops... well... after much searching while helping my aunt buy one we settled on cyberpowerpc for the best value; i believe she went with intel, as she has the weird product loyalty thing going on, even though she isn't a computer tech or even savvy, lol
My uncle also has the strange intel-only obsession. At any rate, cyberpowerpc offers many options, both amd and intel.

However, for the future, I will be building my own laptop, using some version of a barebones laptop model from xyz company, to be determined at a later date. There is really no reason not to, except for money. It may be that you will save money on a cyberpowerpc laptop, for example, vs trying to build your own. I just like the idea of doing it myself and not relying on other people to do stuff for me that is so simple a chimp could do it, with adequate training, lol.

I would suggest getting a laptop chassis with at least space for one graphics card upgrade.

Personally I don't like intel. They are like Apple/Microsoft to me. The blue-dogs of the party. I don't trust them, nor want to give them my money. So, I guess I have the anti-intel obsession, lol.

enjoy
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby pickles99 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:39 am

The Sandy Bridge chipset laptops now have a setting in the Bios where you can turn on "Intel AT". It's a part of the Intel vPro function.

That's Intel's Anti-Theft. Turn it on, and if you call Intel and tell them your PC was stolen, they can permanently disable the motherboard so whoever stole it can't use it.

You don't really even have to turn it on. They can use Intel vPro to get into the Bios remotely and turn it on themselves.

I find it amazing they have full blown little operating systems running in the Bios chips now (vPro) plus in the motherboard chipset they have "Intel Insider" running which is yet another stand-alone operating system checking everything you pass through the computer for "Copyrighted Material", that they can delete or disable if they decide you didn't obtain it legally. Must be a pretty big operating system silently running on the chipset for them to be able to inspect videos, software, music, and programs to verify they are legit. They'd almost have to link the Chipset with a server somewhere's to be able to verify all your videos, software, music, and programs....maybe why these hyper fast cpu's are now seeming like 100mhz pentium chips???
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby jamvaru on Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:53 pm

yawn, waste of money; intel supports proprietary systems over free ones; AMD is more neutral, perhaps more linux friendly; at least cheaper, more friendly to the average guy who doesn't want to spend a fortune

but, if you just have to spend money, then you should buy from a company that ONLY sells linux laptops
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby homerscousin on Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:01 pm

Something to consider. If you're set on buying Intel with onchip graphics consider upgrading your choice to another cpu with the HD 4000 graphics. It is a fair improvement and might be worth the price difference.
i5 3570k, ASRock z77 Extreme 4, 8 Gb Ripjaws 1600, Antec 430w psu, HVR 1600 tv tuner, custom case- marble top, oak face. Carver & DCM Time Window sound system. Mint 14 KDE.
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Re: Considering New PC Purchace

Postby aroundi on Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks for everyone's input.

I did purchace the Acer Aspire S3 w/ i5 for $550. I like the machine an upgrade for sure from the Gateway LT3103u I was using. Miny 13 Cinnamon install went smoothly; I found the 1st link in my 1st post extremely useful. I did not compile a new kernel to get bluetooth going though.

I will say the screen does seem a bit washed out. I'm looking for some way to adjust contrast.
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