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I am looking to buy a new laptop, and as the Toshiba C660s seem to have small speakers, off-center keyboards and touchpads, and terrible "two-touch to zoom" feature, i am browsing Lenovo Ideapads.

Becuase of my budget, all the models that jump out at me are AMD, and previously i had only heard bad things, except about price, which was usually used in the context of "you get what you pay for".

Under Lenovo on Ubuntu Friendly, less than 1/10 seem to be AMD (clearly less popular, apparently the average Ubuntu user has more cash than i do), but they seem to be evenly spread by the ratings, neither typically low or high ranking.

Under Ideapad on Ubuntu Friendly, only seven have been tested, with 1 AMD coming in at 1 Star.

I hardly think this a fair representation of the processor, so i will ask here.

Am i more likely to experince problems with an AMD powered laptop running Ubuntu than an Intel powered one, or are my chances about the same? Are AMD processors less well supported than Intel processors?


Specifics

Lenovo G575: £349.97

  • AMD Dual-Core Processor E-350 @ 1.60GHz with a 1MB Cache
  • AMD Radeon™ HD 6370M 1GB graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 15.6" screen @ 1366x768 (16:9, widescreen)
  • 750GB HD
  • DVD±RW
  • 2-in-1 card reader (MMC,SD)
  • 4x2.0 USB ports
  • 802.11BGN WiFi

AMD Catalyst™ Proprietary Display Driver for Linux x86 and Linux x86_64

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I have a AMD processor - only problem I had was with the graphics card, but that was because I used the FOSS driver without uninstalling the proprietary driver. –  jrg Dec 19 '11 at 16:35
    
The card on this laptop is not on the supported hardware list from ATI's driver. Does not mean it wont work, but having a look around I have found that it will be a bit hard to get any answers if it does not. –  Bruno Pereira Dec 20 '11 at 12:19
    
From Lenovo G series these are sort of recommended (have support for the graphics driver): G560 and the G560e. Rest uses the same graphics chipset as the one above. –  Bruno Pereira Dec 20 '11 at 12:26
    
I've never had a good experience with the Additional Drivers programme. If you need one, download direct. –  Lewis Goddard Dec 21 '11 at 17:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Short answer: no, makes no difference what so ever what CPU is installed on your laptop.

Makes a huge difference what graphics chip is installed tough, specifically what chipset it will be using.

In terms of CPU type, RAM, hard disk, those wont be the issue. The issues will come from graphics, special media keys, integrated webcams and sound devices.

An AMD laptop will have a built in ATI graphics card, you need to make sure that the card is well supported by the driver for Linux.

An Intel laptop will have either an Intel (which is supported by the included driver on Ubuntu) or an nVidia card, which, on the last case needs to be check also for support from drivers.

The most probable reason you are seeing many Intel bases laptops supported by Ubuntu (or Ubuntu friendly) is probably that there are not drivers required to install out of the box for a system with an Intel graphics chipset and the driver works (mostly all cases) very well with Intel working hard on supporting Linux.

Look for a laptop model that has a good and supported graphics chipset, no or limited special media keys (or at least look for support for those before you buy it) and if having a web cam make sure that there is a driver and that you don't really need to install to many things for it to work.

But CPU wise, you have the same chances (almost 0) of having problems because of what CPU is in the laptop.

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Thanks, i will keep an eye on the Graphics Cards. –  Lewis Goddard Dec 19 '11 at 16:47
    
Keep in mind that Intel graphics chips have poor performance. I have had experience with nVidia and ATI drivers on Ubuntu, and found the latter to be more polished. –  m33lky Dec 19 '11 at 20:20

Hi I bought AMD recently for the first time and would like to give you my feedback. I have generally been happy with AMD, but less so with the ATI.

I put together a cut-rate system this summer, and tried to choose Ubuntu-friendly components. I went with an asus mobo (M4A88TD-M) which has the 810 southbridge rather than the 710, which is buggy at least in earlier Ubuntu versions (I run 11.10).

The AMD processor was the Athlon II 640 quad core. I tried to go as expensive on the processor as possible, but not sure if I bot the best value.

At first I really skimped on everything, no additional graphics (video) card and even skimped on memory, which was kind of dumb.

And it ran 11.10 great, I have been really happy overall, even with stuff like virtualbox running for long periods of time or other resource hogs. The processor never maxes out and the cores share the load. I didn't unlock the cores but that's an option as well, just for kicks.

But the on board ATI video card seemed to have some sort of problems, maybe I bought a too-cheap mobo, but the video was really choppy. This could also be a driver issue.

And, the ATI card (I believe) had some problem related to X, occasionally the machine would sort of start freezing up, and if I was lucky I could close enough stuff to avoid an effective lock-down, where the mouse was barely moving and clicking did nothing.

I didn't solve that problem, because by this time I had been using the machine for 3 months and got a little more money to spend. So, I added memory and a Nvida video card, which I think was about 65 bucks or so.

With both ATI and Nvidia, you may have problems getting started. Basically, if the video driver is wrong then you might have trouble right after install. I did both times. But, both problems were easy to find a solution online. Then, once the right driver is installed, its ok.

I don't mean to crack on ATI really, on board chips from really cheap mobos are not expected to give great video. And the problem with X was only occasionally, and maybe was easy to fix, I am not sure.

But overall the AMD processor has been great, no complaints at all. :-)

Good luck!

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