Linux laptop stuff

I’m still having a look around for a laptop and staying with linux, as mentioned elewhere. Just dropping mention of some things here as I’m looking.

For gpu benchmarks, I usually look at for the average Passmark numbers. Strange that the beefier RX 6800M scores lower than the RX 6650M.

I guess part of it could be the low number of samples so far for the RX 6650M. But that is still a pretty big difference @ 20%, which I would think should be the other way around.

Looking at Framework stuff.

Very cool that they are taking in user input for upgrades to existing machines.

Bring on a Ryzen based 17.3" and I’m in? It might be like waiting around for Pinephone though. But I think not. They haven’t been at it too long and have made very good progress.

That 3D printed enclosure for an old motherboard is a great idea and a fantastic thing for them to approve of! Also great that they are implementing a standard for 3rd party peripherals to follow. Would be nice, but unexpected for a commercial company, to introduce a standard for all of the components. Maybe a smallish license fee to them or something?

Yea both that enclosure and the third party stuff are way cool. I’m really liking what I’m seeing from this company. Just wish they had something ready that I could put my money at.

I could see the third party expansions turning into a wide range of things from lower level makers to higher level manufacturers.

Looking more at framework today. Reading at their forum it looks like they have had their share of problems for sure. But it is refreshing to see a company address product problems in an honest way, not trying to minimize any issues or PR their way out.

Yup, v1 from a new company is never going to be perfect and it is good the way they are engineering better components for the same system, like those improved hinges and screen frame/backing.

I still think it’s nuts having the CPU soldered onto a mobo. Especially with Ryzen APUs since AMD don’t break motherboard compatibility every few seconds.

A consideration for AMD vs. Intel. Since Thunderbolt is used as a money milker for Intel, chances of getting an AMD machine with Thunderbolt are low. And that might matter if an egpu would be of interest.

Is it just me, or is QHD a terrible res for gaming laptops? Maybe it’s ok if gaming is all you do with it, but who does that? As soon as you need to use any application gui, everything is tiny at native resolution. And if you scale up, fractional scaling won’t be good for reading because of interpolation/blurring, and integer scaling will eat up display space (1280x770 space). So why do manufacturers keep pumping out this resolution for gaming laptops?

Getting a little morning free time to think about laptop stuff. Who am I kidding? It took me 3 hours to type this much today. :rofl:

It wasn’t long ago at all that many manufacturers began moving away from display backlight PWM (where the backlighting is pulsed on and off rapidly to fake brightness level) in favor of real dimming with DC, because it causes eye fatigue and eventually eye strain. Microsoft and Apple seemed to have not gotten the memo though, since their current flagship devices still use PWM.

Another big issue for the eyes is any source of blur, which really matters for text. No one would read a book with blurred fonts, but various levels of blurring is the norm on displays. Pixel sharpness (and how the display coating affects it), pixel density, anti-aliasing / font smoothing / sub-pixel rendering, and pixel response time (when scrolling text).

Sound to me like a macbook pro with a better display would be just about right.

If the next gen macbook pro has a display without the weaknesses of the current panel, I’d probably just use that for everything.

The current model is decent for video work, but why they didn’t use a panel that addresses the weaknesses in the current model is slightly beyond me.

Display uses PWM and has slow response. And no option for egpu or any high performance gpu at all. So yea, given the color coverage and contrast, that makes it good for photo and video only really. Not good for text or graphics.

$$$$, I would think. They’ve already increased the profit margin by using chips that they pay peanuts for compared to Intel, which would have been the ideal time to increase it less by upgrading other components. Now that they’ve smelled that cash it’s unlikely when there’s already an endless queue of drones willing to purchase anything with a picture of an apple on it. No business case for it.

Microsoft and Apple missed the memo on maintainability too, both being the worst examples of it.

A nice config for me I think would be 17.3" UHD 120hz+, Ryzen 6800H, RX 6800M. But options for Ryzen 6000 series machines seems super limited. I wonder what is up with that. I didn’t find anything that also has an rx 6800m for example, which seems so odd. And anything with a 17.3" display has been Ryzen 5000 series (so no 680m igpu).

There are a couple of Asus ones I’ve seen with a Ryzen 6xxxh, but they are paired with Nvidia GPUs. The 17.3" hard requirement is a real restriction and wanting 4k seems to make it a non-starter from what I’ve seen.

Saying that the Asus TUF with the 6800h processor and a 15.6" screen has a 16 hour battery life for web browsing, so it will be more for general noodling. The 17.3" version has a 12.5 hour battery life, better graphics card but it won’t be used in the web browsing benchmark. I didn’t think a couple of inches would have that much of an effect, but maybe this explains most of the existence of dinky laptops.

Yea, display size is pretty major for battery life. Display resolution maybe a bigger factor with 1080 vs. 4k.

On the tiny displays thing, I imagine most programmers spending most of their work time in places that have power. But what do I know. Maybe a shit ton of them sit around outdoors at coffee shops and parks or something. I guess there is also the issue of pixel density for text clarity. And display quality might be an issue, where smaller displays of high quality are easier to produce in mass and lower cost than larger displays of the same.

I know that the guys behind Human Resource Machine wrote their first hit game, World of Goo, on laptops in coffee shops. So there’s at least two! World of Goo has a really nice vibe, I loved that experience when I first played it.

I just bought the Asus TUF 15.6", which worked out around £1,000 cheaper than the 17.3" version (which had a better graphics card, same CPU). It only has the 56Wh battery, so if I’m keeping it I’ll need to upgrade it to the beefy 90Wh to get the great battery life. But the fan is maybe too annoying to live with.

Nice. Let me know how it goes.

I did find something near my ideal, specs wise. I forgot to mention it before, but display refresh rate also matters to me. I found a 17.3" @ 4K, Intel (ho hum), RTX 3070 (linux config hop scotch), but the display is at 60 hz, which defeats much of the reason for an RTX 3070. Finding a 17.3" @ 4K @ 120hz+ with no display PWM and decent keyboard, touchpad, speakers, and reportedly linux compatible is pretty much impossible. Add to that Ryzen 6800H or better and Radeon 6800M preferred, and it is very impossible. I’ll either have to settle a lot or wait and see what emerges later.

Yeah, the best time to buy a laptop is always some point in the future! :roll_eyes: :melting_face:

Weirdly, the whiny fan noise has gone this morning. It’s a sine wave that stabs your ears through the otherwise fairly pleasant and ignorable low level white noise.

Still thinking of returning it and revisitng the equation next year, but the dumb terminal + desktop combo isn’t as perfect as a thought it might be so I do ‘need’ a more powerful laptop.