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I've purchased several System76 desktops and have been pleased with them. They can only be configured with nVidia cards. That's why I was surprised to see that their Pangolin Performance laptop can only be configured with "ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 Graphics with 512MB GDDR2 Memory." I'm a little concerned given ATI's historically poor Linux performance. Have things changed that much?

I contacted System76 and they said they regularly offer both ATI and nVidia on and off, and that ATI cards give more bang for the buck. Really? With Linux?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 on my Asus K50AB laptop, and i am satisfied with performances with proprietary driver.

But only after i added custom PPA to fix fix maximize delay/lag

And after fixing video tearing: See this article from #ubuntuRoot

Final conclusion: ATI should make better drivers.

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Recent Radeon HD cards have been working very well with the open source drivers. I have a multiscreen setup even!

I would not hesitate to recommend the Desktop equivalents, so I would not be worried about using the laptop mobility versions, especially if System76 have tested them.

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Your information is quite old. After AMD bought ATI, the situation changed quite a bit. However this is really only for newer cards, R500 & up. AMD have been releasing documentation without an NDA.

flgrx is still there, and supposedly better. I don't know; I don't use it. I happen to like the Free Drivers.

Free Drivers, I hear that R300 is still supposedly the best supported chipset, but in the last two releases (9.10 & 10.04) performance really went downhill for me in Ubuntu, but that might be that the drivers were reverse engineered instead of being made with actual documentation.

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There's a discussion of this over at the forums with isantop from System76.

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