zbeeble at gmail.com
Fri Jul 25 20:07:49 UTC 2008
On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 1:35 PM, Razmig K <strontium90 at gmail.com> wrote:
> How about Dell models which come with Ubuntu preinstalled? (Inspiron 1525N
> and 1420N, XPS M1330). Don't they have higher chances of running FreeBSD
> smoothly? A quick glance over the hardware notes of 7.0-RELEASE and some
> googling around show that wireless, video and audio are supported.
One problem with most of the Dell offerings is that they use the NVidia
video chipset. Now this is a plus if you're into playing a few games, but
it sucks if you're running FreeBSD. One of the original requests was for
>4G RAM. The NVidia binary driver only works on IA32, not AMD64 (and the
opensource driver sucks at even 2D), so your RAM is practically limited to
around 3.5G (depending on a few things). I also havn't seen very many
laptops advertising >4G yet (4G, but not more than 4G).
Personally, I have the XPS-1730. Largely I tolerate the slow binary driver
for AMD64. I use IA32 when I need wine, but my use of ZFS (the 1730 has an
option for 2 hard drives) seems to eat up kernel memory until wine can't
start pretty quickly. The opensource driver does work and supports nice
things like DPMS ---- it's just that the 2D acceleration feels very lacking
and it also can't do things like scale a movie at full frame rate. This
means that I tend to reboot into windoze for entertainment ... since I can't
generally use IA32 mode productively anyways.
Other than the video and the fact that I've never seen a Dell suspend
successfully under FreeBSD, The laptop is well supported. The PCI express
slots and their contents (USB or PCI) show up fine. Even the EVDO broadband
modem is fairly easy to suppport. I think the only feature without any
support is the SD card reader.
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