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View Full Version : [all variants] Thinking about buying Serval Professional



syko21
March 6th, 2009, 05:50 AM
I have a few questions I want to ask people who have the laptop before I get it though.



Can you use lm-sensors to control fans?
If you have the WUXGA 1920x1200 screen how is the usability of it?
What is real world battery life like for a student who mainly types notes and watches occasional youtube videos? (I don't plan on upgrading any of the default specs other than the screen)
Are there any new models being worked on/tested to be released in the next few months?
Do you have any caveats about it after using it for a while?


(Other laptop I'm debating on getting is a 15 inch macbook pro)

compholio
March 6th, 2009, 08:20 AM
I have a few questions I want to ask people who have the laptop before I get it though.


Can you use lm-sensors to control fans?
If you have the WUXGA 1920x1200 screen how is the usability of it?
What is real world battery life like for a student who mainly types notes and watches occasional youtube videos? (I don't plan on upgrading any of the default specs other than the screen)
Are there any new models being worked on/tested to be released in the next few months?
Do you have any caveats about it after using it for a while?


(Other laptop I'm debating on getting is a 15 inch macbook pro)

I have an older Serval Professional (a SERP3):
1) It's possible I did not configure things correctly, but lm-sensors only shows monitoring information for the CPU cores for me - the system fans automatically kick in when necessary though.
2) This option wasn't available
3) Mine is about 14 months old and gets between 2 and 3 hours on battery if the screen brightness is turned down.
4) Don't know.
5) I broke the power brick, but nobody makes good power bricks - the DC always breaks on them unless you are EXTREMELY careful with the stupid things.

Many of my co-workers have the new macbook pro and they are rather peeved that it doesn't come with the converter cable so you can use it with projectors. If Linux is a big deal to you then it's probably important to note that (at least according to information I found online) the macbook pros run hot under Ubuntu. Supposedly they don't switch between graphics processors like they do under Mac OS X (and if you're playing games then they run hot even under Mac OS X).

former_warper
March 6th, 2009, 10:42 AM
I have a serp5, with WUXGA and 4GB RAM. I love it.

"1. Can you use lm-sensors to control fans?"
I don't use it, can't anser that.

"2. If you have the WUXGA 1920x1200 screen how is the usability of it?"
I have WUXGA, and it IS awesome. I do a lot of openoffice stuff, and it reads just like on a wxga+ monitor. The icons are a little smaller, but the anti-aliasing means the text I type is every bit as readable. Sometimes, I just admire the screen! Looking at my old wxga+ is having sand thrown in one's eyes.

"3. What is real world battery life like for a student who mainly types notes and watches occasional youtube videos? (I don't plan on upgrading any of the default specs other than the screen"
I get about 90 minutes, with wireless going. If I play a DVD, or run nexuiz on battery, it goes down to just over an hour.

"5. Do you have any caveats about it after using it for a while?"
The AC power bar gets hot, so I sometimes end up carrying that outside the case when I am done.

Did I mention the wuxga rocks? Oh, yeah. It does.

thomasaaron
March 6th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Can you use lm-sensors to control fans?

I've never tested one with LM sensors, so I'm not sure. But I don't recommend playing around too much with fan speed. This is a high performance nVidia machine, and the fan cools both the CPU and the graphics card. It throttles up and down as necessary to keep things at an optimum temperature.

Tampering with that just doesn't seem to be a good idea, though.

syko21
March 6th, 2009, 06:16 PM
The 90 minute battery life seems rather low to me for an 8 cell battery, even considering the specs. Can anyone else verify that?
(I need it to get through at least a 3 hour class, I'd use the lowest cpu scaling features with aggressive power management)

thomasaaron
March 6th, 2009, 06:31 PM
Yep. That's about right.

syko21
March 7th, 2009, 12:56 AM
How was compholio able to get 2-3 hours out of his older model? I really like linux but I need screen real estate larger than 1280x800 which is most laptops and the battery life to get me through a few classes. Any thoughts?

compholio
March 7th, 2009, 01:00 AM
How was compholio able to get 2-3 hours out of his older model? I really like linux but I need screen real estate larger than 1280x800 which is most laptops and the battery life to get me through a few classes. Any thoughts?

I have a smaller screen resolution, I set it to the darkest setting, I reduce the transmit power on my wireless, and I set the cpufreq to reduce power as much as possible.

3Miro
March 7th, 2009, 03:35 AM
I wonder if it would help to change the desktop to window maker or something like that. Simpler than Gnome. Depending on the type of aps that one is running it might save memory and thus energy.