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Author Topic: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?  (Read 8880 times)
gwt
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Posts: 69


« on: September 22, 2007, 01:58:58 pm »

My old Sony PCG-F580 is near retirement and I'm thinking about getting a new Dell Vostro 1500 laptop and putting Vector on it.  I'd like to know how compatible is the following hardware with it.

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?

15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD Display (1280 X 800)

128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS or the 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT
I haven't decided which video card to get.  Will there be a problem with drivers for either card?

2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
How big a swap partition will I need with this much memory?  Or do I still need one at all?

120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

8X CD/DVD Burner w/ double-layer DVD+R write capability  (not sure of the make)

Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Wi-Fi Mini Card
Again, will this work or is this card generally incompatible with Vector?  Should I go with the Dell Wireless-N 1550 mini card instead?

And of course it has the standard Dell mouse touchpad.

Any input would be most appreciated, thanks...
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The Headacher
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2007, 02:30:18 pm »

Quote
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?
Yes

Quote
128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS or the 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT
I haven't decided which video card to get.  Will there be a problem with drivers for either card?
No, you should be fine. if needed Nvidia drivers can be installed rather easily after install of VL, if you have the kernelsources installed.

Quote
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
How big a swap partition will I need with this much memory?  Or do I still need one at all?
You should be fine without one. I can't recall using more than 700 MB of my 1.5 GB.

the ipw3945 should be relatively easy to configure, I know some people here use it.

Looks like a very nice candidate for linux. The thing that might be most problematic is the intel High Definition Audio card that's in it, some of them can be hard to configure correctly.
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Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
GrannyGeek
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2007, 06:20:46 pm »

My new laptop has 1280x800 video resolution. It worked with the included Linux video drivers but things were distorted--not horribly, but graphics and type were squished down some because a 4:3 ratio is expected. Once I installed the proprietary nVidia driver (very easy to do), I got true 1280x800 resolution with no squishing.

I assume the computer comes with XP or Vista. Remember that if you run into hardware incompatibilites that cannot be worked around, you can install a VirtualBox virtual machine of any size you want under Windows and install VL there--where everything will work and the virtual machine will integrate very well with the host OS for things like Shared Directories. With a powerful processor and 2 gigs or more of RAM, Linux in a virtual machine will not show any performance hit you can detect and the rest of the system won't slow down, either.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
virtuallinux
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Posts: 14



« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 06:23:24 pm »

I have an Intel 3945, and I run Ubuntu on my primary machine (a Dell Latitude D820).  Intel actually has an open source set of Linux drivers for this card, which Ubuntu went out and found on installation.  I've had no problems with the card or the drivers thus far, so I'd have to say that its an excellent choice.
More info on these drivers can be found at:
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?strState=LIVE&ProductID=2259&DwnldID=10315&agr=Y&lang=eng
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Joe1962
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 06:36:40 pm »

The 3945 on my notebook worked almost "out of the box" with the kernel drivers and included firmware on VL 5.8. The Intel HDA worked even more automagically.
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
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gwt
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Posts: 69


« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 07:45:22 pm »

Quote
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?
Yes
Right out of the box?

Quote
No, you should be fine. if needed Nvidia drivers can be installed rather easily after install of VL, if you have the kernelsources installed.
Kernelsources?  What would that involve to get those?

Quote
Looks like a very nice candidate for linux. The thing that might be most problematic is the intel High Definition Audio card that's in it, some of them can be hard to configure correctly.
No sound?  How have people gotten around this?
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Joe1962
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2007, 07:51:17 pm »

Quote
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?
Yes
Right out of the box?
Yes.

Quote
No, you should be fine. if needed Nvidia drivers can be installed rather easily after install of VL, if you have the kernelsources installed.
Kernelsources?  What would that involve to get those?
Marking them during install.
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
The Headacher
Louder than you
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Posts: 1553


I like the bass to go BOOM!


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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2007, 12:00:44 am »

Quote
No sound?  How have people gotten around this?
That differs... some haven't solved it at all, for others passing a "model" parameter when the driver is loaded did the trick. I shouldn't worry about it too much for now.. It's not like there is much choice, pretty much all new laptops seem to come with intel HDA cards, and most of them work fine.
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Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
BlueMage
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Posts: 274



« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2007, 01:02:39 am »

If I may, I'd recommend the 802.11n standard wireless card.  a/g cards are still fine, and will continue to be in use for some time, but as far as I know, the IEEE has accepted the 802.11n specification as the new baseline standard.

I'm also fairly certain that currently, 802.11n hardware will also be legacy-enabled (meaning it'll support a/g network connections)
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Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
gwt
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Posts: 69


« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2007, 10:14:18 am »

If I may, I'd recommend the 802.11n standard wireless card.  a/g cards are still fine, and will continue to be in use for some time, but as far as I know, the IEEE has accepted the 802.11n specification as the new baseline standard.

I'm also fairly certain that currently, 802.11n hardware will also be legacy-enabled (meaning it'll support a/g network connections)

Hi & thanks...

Does the Dell Wireless-N card have Linux compatible drivers for it? 

And can I set a WPA key for it in Linux?

I've also read mixed reviews about Dell wireless cards in general as far as quality control goes.  Some have no problem connecting to a network in a Windows environment (let alone, Linux), while other people regret not spending the extra money on an Intel card.

I do agree that 802.11n wireless and GB ethernet are the immediate future, but if your current ISP isn't offering the bandwidth to take advantage of it, then it won't be of much use to me.

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BlueMage
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Posts: 274



« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2007, 04:27:52 pm »

Well, honestly, I don't know if there are suitable linux drivers.  Care to be a guinea pig? Cheesy

And personally, I'm still having trouble getting WPA to work on my laptop, and I've got a well-supported (Intel) card.
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Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
gwt
Member
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Posts: 69


« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2007, 07:40:03 pm »

Well, honestly, I don't know if there are suitable linux drivers.  Care to be a guinea pig? Cheesy

(lol -  Cheesy)  No thanks.

And personally, I'm still having trouble getting WPA to work on my laptop, and I've got a well-supported (Intel) card.

You're using unsecured wireless?       Shocked

Since WPA isn't working, have you tried MAC filtering?  I may have to do that if I can't get WPA or WEP to work.
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BlueMage
Vectorite
***
Posts: 274



« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2007, 08:17:03 pm »

There's unsecured, and there's unsecured Wink  Don't you worry none, I've done network security - both of my home networks run MAC filtering, permit only mode.  I run two because I've got my primary (secured) network for general purpose wireless, and I've got my secondary (unsecured) which operates at very low range and with only MAC filtering for use with my DS.

Yes, I play DS games online.
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Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
gwt
Member
*
Posts: 69


« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2007, 04:44:07 pm »

Well based a lot on the feedback I've gotten here, I've placed the order for it tonight.

We'll see how it goes.    Wink
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gwt
Member
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Posts: 69


« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2007, 01:03:09 pm »

My new laptop has 1280x800 video resolution. It worked with the included Linux video drivers but things were distorted--not horribly, but graphics and type were squished down some because a 4:3 ratio is expected. Once I installed the proprietary nVidia driver (very easy to do), I got true 1280x800 resolution with no squishing.

Hi granny.  Where did you find the driver for this?

I assume the computer comes with XP or Vista. Remember that if you run into hardware incompatibilites that cannot be worked around, you can install a VirtualBox virtual machine of any size you want under Windows and install VL there--where everything will work and the virtual machine will integrate very well with the host OS for things like Shared Directories. With a powerful processor and 2 gigs or more of RAM, Linux in a virtual machine will not show any performance hit you can detect and the rest of the system won't slow down, either.
--GrannyGeek

That might be something to look at as well.  Any personal hurdles or problems you had installing that?
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