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I'm looking at a G530 Sandy Bridge and wondering if the integrated GPU, sound, and networking will work well out of the box? I'm particularly interested in VDPAU support in mplayer, and would like OpenGL to work well enough to run GoogleEarth.

Yes, I have read the thread from June. Support at that time was NOT what I'd call acceptable, so I'm wondering how much it has improved.

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What thread did you read? Could you link it here for reference. – Marco Ceppi Oct 6 '11 at 12:39

As far as I know, a lot of people have no, or very few issues with Sandy Bridge now. The issues people have tend to be related to the classics:

  • Various networking driver issues
  • Complicated graphics setups (Optimus, et al)

.. And not basic architecture issues. Judging by the news I read on Phoronix the performance of SB seems to keep improving too as new kernels keep coming out.

I'd say it's a safe upgrade as long as you check the components outside of the standard stack (graphics, networking) to make sure they're safe.

And VDPAU is Nvidia only. If you know that and you're adding a Nvidia graphics card, you'll need to check to make sure it's supported.

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