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Old 11-15-2009, 05:39 PM
Mick
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

I have been thinking of buying this laptop and was looking at the Gentoo Wiki
which shows relatively good hardware compatibility, except for the radeon card
which is now an older offering:

http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dell_Studio_XPS_16

The current spec on the UK Dell website shows 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 (see
below).
================================================== ==============
PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache)
LCD: Black Leather back cover : 15.6" (inch) Truelife 1080p Full HD WLED Edge
to Edge Display
MEMORY: 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
HARD DRIVE: 500GB (7,200rpm) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
PRIMARY BATTERY: 9-cell 85Whr Lithium Ion battery
OPTICAL DRIVE: Internal Blu-Ray ROM (Blu-Ray read, DVD and CD read & Write)
Optical Drive
GRAPHICS CARD: 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY: Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
BLUETOOTH: Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
================================================== ==============

According to these links the RadeonHD driver is experimental:
http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon
http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd%3Aexperimental_3D

Does anyone have experience with this driver, or better yet, this laptop?
Shall I buy or shall I shy away from it?
--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 11-16-2009, 03:52 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 12:39 PM, Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have been thinking of buying this laptop and was looking at the Gentoo Wiki
> which shows relatively good hardware compatibility, except for the radeon card
> which is now an older offering:
>
> http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dell_Studio_XPS_16
>
> The current spec on the UK Dell website shows 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 (see
> below).
> ================================================== ==============
> PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache)
> LCD: Black Leather back cover : 15.6" (inch) Truelife 1080p Full HD WLED Edge
> to Edge Display
> MEMORY: 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
> HARD DRIVE: 500GB (7,200rpm) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
> PRIMARY BATTERY: 9-cell 85Whr Lithium Ion battery
> OPTICAL DRIVE: Internal Blu-Ray ROM (Blu-Ray read, DVD and CD read & Write)
> Optical Drive
> GRAPHICS CARD: 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
> WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY: Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
> BLUETOOTH: Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
> ================================================== ==============
>
> According to these links the RadeonHD driver is experimental:
> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon
> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd%3Aexperimental_3D
>
> Does anyone have experience with this driver, or better yet, this laptop?
> Shall I buy or shall I shy away from it?

I don't have one (I wish!) but after a quick googling it looks like
ATI Catalyst drivers support the graphics chip and the wireless is a
BCM4312 chipset. I think the rest of it should be pretty standard
stuff.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 07:33 AM
"J. Roeleveld"
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

On Sunday 15 November 2009 19:39:40 Mick wrote:
> I have been thinking of buying this laptop and was looking at the Gentoo
> Wiki which shows relatively good hardware compatibility, except for the
> radeon card which is now an older offering:
>
> http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dell_Studio_XPS_16
>
> The current spec on the UK Dell website shows 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 (see
> below).
> ================================================== ==============
> PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache)
> LCD: Black Leather back cover : 15.6" (inch) Truelife 1080p Full HD WLED
> Edge to Edge Display
> MEMORY: 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
> HARD DRIVE: 500GB (7,200rpm) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
> PRIMARY BATTERY: 9-cell 85Whr Lithium Ion battery
> OPTICAL DRIVE: Internal Blu-Ray ROM (Blu-Ray read, DVD and CD read & Write)
> Optical Drive
> GRAPHICS CARD: 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
> WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY: Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
> BLUETOOTH: Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
> ================================================== ==============
>
> According to these links the RadeonHD driver is experimental:
> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon
> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd%3Aexperimental_3D
>
> Does anyone have experience with this driver, or better yet, this laptop?
> Shall I buy or shall I shy away from it?
>

Most Dell-laptops actually work quite nicely with Linux, however, be aware
that DELL has issues with the harddrives they supply.
I've seen 6 different recent DELL-laptops with crashed harddrives in the past
1.5 years. These laptops were handled carefully.

Response from Dell was: "Sorry, we shipped a wrong batch...."

I would suggest frequent backups of important files and/or the harddrive
swapped for a more reliable model.

--
Joost
 
Old 11-20-2009, 11:16 AM
Mick
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

2009/11/20 J. Roeleveld <joost@antarean.org>:
> On Sunday 15 November 2009 19:39:40 Mick wrote:
>> I have been thinking of buying this laptop and was looking at the Gentoo
>> *Wiki which shows relatively good hardware compatibility, except for the
>> *radeon card which is now an older offering:
>>
>> http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dell_Studio_XPS_16
>>
>> The current spec on the UK Dell website shows 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 (see
>> below).
>> ================================================== ==============
>> PROCESSOR: * *Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache)
>> LCD: *Black Leather back cover : 15.6" (inch) Truelife 1080p Full HD WLED
>> *Edge to Edge Display
>> MEMORY: * * * 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
>> HARD DRIVE: * 500GB (7,200rpm) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
>> PRIMARY BATTERY: * * *9-cell 85Whr Lithium Ion battery
>> OPTICAL DRIVE: * * * *Internal Blu-Ray ROM (Blu-Ray read, DVD and CD read & Write)
>> Optical Drive
>> GRAPHICS CARD: * * * *1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
>> WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY: * * * *Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
>> BLUETOOTH: * *Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
>> ================================================== ==============
>>
>> According to these links the RadeonHD driver is experimental:
>> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon
>> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd%3Aexperimental_3D
>>
>> Does anyone have experience with this driver, or better yet, this laptop?
>> Shall I buy or shall I shy away from it?
>>
>
> Most Dell-laptops actually work quite nicely with Linux, however, be aware
> that DELL has issues with the harddrives they supply.
> I've seen 6 different recent DELL-laptops with crashed harddrives in the past
> 1.5 years. These laptops were handled carefully.
>
> Response from Dell was: "Sorry, we shipped a wrong batch...."
>
> I would suggest frequent backups of important files and/or the harddrive
> swapped for a more reliable model.

Thanks guys - the hard drive story sounds scary! Was there a
particular batch of a particular hard drive manufacturer that was
suspect here?
--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 11-20-2009, 03:43 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 6:16 AM, Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/11/20 J. Roeleveld <joost@antarean.org>:
>> On Sunday 15 November 2009 19:39:40 Mick wrote:
>>> I have been thinking of buying this laptop and was looking at the Gentoo
>>> Wiki which shows relatively good hardware compatibility, except for the
>>> radeon card which is now an older offering:
>>>
>>> http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dell_Studio_XPS_16
>>>
>>> The current spec on the UK Dell website shows 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 (see
>>> below).
>>> ================================================== ==============
>>> PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache)
>>> LCD: Black Leather back cover : 15.6" (inch) Truelife 1080p Full HD WLED
>>> Edge to Edge Display
>>> MEMORY: 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
>>> HARD DRIVE: 500GB (7,200rpm) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
>>> PRIMARY BATTERY: 9-cell 85Whr Lithium Ion battery
>>> OPTICAL DRIVE: Internal Blu-Ray ROM (Blu-Ray read, DVD and CD read & Write)
>>> Optical Drive
>>> GRAPHICS CARD: 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
>>> WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY: Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
>>> BLUETOOTH: Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
>>> ================================================== ==============
>>>
>>> According to these links the RadeonHD driver is experimental:
>>> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon
>>> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd%3Aexperimental_3D
>>>
>>> Does anyone have experience with this driver, or better yet, this laptop?
>>> Shall I buy or shall I shy away from it?
>>>
>>
>> Most Dell-laptops actually work quite nicely with Linux, however, be aware
>> that DELL has issues with the harddrives they supply.
>> I've seen 6 different recent DELL-laptops with crashed harddrives in the past
>> 1.5 years. These laptops were handled carefully.
>>
>> Response from Dell was: "Sorry, we shipped a wrong batch...."
>>
>> I would suggest frequent backups of important files and/or the harddrive
>> swapped for a more reliable model.
>
> Thanks guys - the hard drive story sounds scary! Was there a
> particular batch of a particular hard drive manufacturer that was
> suspect here?

I think you could mention any brand of hard drive and people would
have horror stories about it. Hard drives are like airplanes; they
tend to fail spectacularly. The good news is that if you had to choose
one part of a laptop to go bad, the hard drive would probably be the
easiest piece to replace (or maybe RAM). Certainly better than a trend
of failing display panels!

I've owned a couple Dell computers personally and overseen dozens of
them at work and they are generally good value and perform without
issues. Their business division's customer service (at least a few
years ago) was pretty good, they would send someone to our office the
next morning to fix the problem.

Dell Home, on the other hand, at least in the US, seems to outsource
most (all?) of their email/chat/phone support overseas to non-native
English-speakers and if you've got a question or request that's not on
their script, save yourself the headache and don't even bother asking
them for it. Anything they tell you is just the same info you can read
on the Dell support website, assuming you can break through the
language barrier enough for them to understand what you're asking in
the first place. And if you bought a Dell product from a store and not
from Dell directly, forget it. You don't exist if you don't have a
Dell order number.

That being said, the XPS 16 looks like a good value to me (based on
the US pricing), and a pretty sweet laptop especially with the blu-ray
and WLED display. And AFAIK is one of the only laptops on the market
today available with an RGBLED display (at least in the US, $175 extra
for the privilege).

I would also check out the Asus G51J-A1 which is a similar set-up to
the Dell. It seems to be a good package for the price too.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 04:33 PM
"J. Roeleveld"
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

On Friday 20 November 2009 17:43:20 Paul Hartman wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 6:16 AM, Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 2009/11/20 J. Roeleveld <joost@antarean.org>:
> >> On Sunday 15 November 2009 19:39:40 Mick wrote:
> >>> I have been thinking of buying this laptop and was looking at the
> >>> Gentoo Wiki which shows relatively good hardware compatibility, except
> >>> for the radeon card which is now an older offering:
> >>>
> >>> http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Dell_Studio_XPS_16
> >>>
> >>> The current spec on the UK Dell website shows 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670
> >>> (see below).
> >>>
================================================== ==============
> >>> PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache)
> >>> LCD: Black Leather back cover : 15.6" (inch) Truelife 1080p Full HD
> >>> WLED Edge to Edge Display
> >>> MEMORY: 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
> >>> HARD DRIVE: 500GB (7,200rpm) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
> >>> PRIMARY BATTERY: 9-cell 85Whr Lithium Ion battery
> >>> OPTICAL DRIVE: Internal Blu-Ray ROM (Blu-Ray read, DVD and CD
> >>> read & Write) Optical Drive
> >>> GRAPHICS CARD: 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
> >>> WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY: Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
> >>> BLUETOOTH: Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
> >>>
================================================== ==============
> >>>
> >>> According to these links the RadeonHD driver is experimental:
> >>> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon
> >>> http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd%3Aexperimental_3D
> >>>
> >>> Does anyone have experience with this driver, or better yet, this
> >>> laptop? Shall I buy or shall I shy away from it?
> >>
> >> Most Dell-laptops actually work quite nicely with Linux, however, be
> >> aware that DELL has issues with the harddrives they supply.
> >> I've seen 6 different recent DELL-laptops with crashed harddrives in the
> >> past 1.5 years. These laptops were handled carefully.
> >>
> >> Response from Dell was: "Sorry, we shipped a wrong batch...."
> >>
> >> I would suggest frequent backups of important files and/or the harddrive
> >> swapped for a more reliable model.
> >
> > Thanks guys - the hard drive story sounds scary! Was there a
> > particular batch of a particular hard drive manufacturer that was
> > suspect here?
>
> I think you could mention any brand of hard drive and people would
> have horror stories about it. Hard drives are like airplanes; they
> tend to fail spectacularly. The good news is that if you had to choose
> one part of a laptop to go bad, the hard drive would probably be the
> easiest piece to replace (or maybe RAM). Certainly better than a trend
> of failing display panels!

In this case they were Seagates, but as mentioned, all manufacturers make
mistakes.
The last Dell that had a crashed harddrive (after 3 months of use, 2 weeks
ago) had a Seagate - ST9160823ASG.

> I've owned a couple Dell computers personally and overseen dozens of
> them at work and they are generally good value and perform without
> issues. Their business division's customer service (at least a few
> years ago) was pretty good, they would send someone to our office the
> next morning to fix the problem.

These were for a business customer (A big one) and all Dell offered was
sending replacement drives to the seperate users' homes or their nearest
offices.

> I would also check out the Asus G51J-A1 which is a similar set-up to
> the Dell. It seems to be a good package for the price too.

Getting into the preferences of brands here, so I will refrain from
commenting.
One thing to still keep in mind, Asus does not really care about Linux users
either. Is there a decent laptop-brand that actually does?

--
Joost
 
Old 11-20-2009, 06:40 PM
Stroller
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

On 20 Nov 2009, at 17:33, J. Roeleveld wrote:

...

I've owned a couple Dell computers personally and overseen dozens of
them at work and they are generally good value and perform without
issues. Their business division's customer service (at least a few
years ago) was pretty good, they would send someone to our office the
next morning to fix the problem.


These were for a business customer (A big one) and all Dell offered
was
sending replacement drives to the seperate users' homes or their
nearest

offices.


Dell offer different service levels to their business customers.

One site of mine has just the bronze - I assume this is an upgrade
over the basic, because even though they offer silver & gold, the
bronze gets someone on site the next day to fit the replacement parts.


From the EXCELLENT service the one time we've called Dell on this, I
doubt very much that they would say "sorry, it has to be the company's
registered office" and refuse to make the visit to the location at
which the hardware was actually deployed. In fact, they had this
customer's previous office location on file when we called them, the
office the customer had moved out of 2 years before, and they were
happy to accommodate us at the new one.


Of course, this does you no good at all regarding installation /
customisation of the operating system, but surely it is unrealistic to
expect that?


Hard-drives fail, if you don't plan for that then you're asking for it.

Stroller.
 
Old 11-21-2009, 07:55 AM
Mick
 
Default Dell XPS16 for Christmas?

On Friday 20 November 2009 16:43:20 Paul Hartman wrote:
> I would also check out the Asus G51J-A1 which is a similar set-up to
> the Dell. It seems to be a good package for the price too.
>
It seems like a well priced machine which comes with two hard drives! That may
consume more battery power than the single drive Dell. Unfortunately, this
Asus model is not yet available in the UK and I bet that when they release it
here it will be quite expensive. Other than that the choice comes down to
Nvidia for Asus Vs ATI for Dell.
--
Regards,
Mick
 

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