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Thread: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Question Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    I did not find a thread that actually answered my question, and did not find much on the web about it.

    I am not a gamer, but simply am looking to get a M18x for the stats. I am a scientist and do a lot of image editing (for manuscript figures), work on huge papers with references stored in the document (my dissertation), and also present HD image heavy presentations. I want something that can handle all of that. I understand many people do a dual-boot option for gaming, but I am (and would like to remain) all Ubuntu. I also understand that they are very expensive and heavy, however, this is not an issue. I just want performance.

    My questions are regarding the compatibility of the newest Ubuntu release on a Dell Alienware M18x, as I am looking to purchase one for the above reasons. Are there known issues? Would anyone NOT recommend doing this? Will any incompatibility/Ubuntu issues hinder the performance of the laptop?

    I have been using Ubuntu for a while now, but have limited terminal skills, so I would not be able to do much setup/debugging on my own unless it was very basic/spelled out for me.

    Anyone have any input?

    Thanks, in advance!
    ---------------------------------
    I'm a n00b...... D'OH!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    Most stats look compatible and shouldn't pose problems. Which GPU option are you willing to choose(there are several for this laptop)? You should look for reports on these GPUs performance under Ubuntu as that's were most problems with performance occur.

    Also, given your expectations I recommend you take a look at System76 laptops and especially the Bonobo Extreme. They come preloaded with Ubuntu and sport excellent support for the OS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Re: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    I'm running Ubuntu on an Alienware M15x.

    The only problem I have encountered is when stealth mode is enabled on the computer. This is a feature from Alienware that limits power supply to the GPU to extend battery life. With it enabled (by pressing a button on the top right of the computer) I get weird graphical glitches and X crashes constantly. It took me ages to figure out this was the problem and I wasted hours reinstalling drivers.

    I honestly think an Alienware computer is overkill for Ubuntu. The graphics cards are generally top of the range and frankly unecessary for your tasks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    Quote Originally Posted by DanR01 View Post
    I honestly think an Alienware computer is overkill for Ubuntu. The graphics cards are generally top of the range and frankly unecessary for your tasks.
    I have to agree. I have a 2 yr old $750 Dell 15" laptop that rocks. I newer XPS with a Core i7, plenty of RAM, Lrg HDD, 1080p screen and discrete GPU should be available for that same price today.

    Compared to a $400 desktop, laptop CPU and disk controller performance sucks to put it mildly. The controllers just can't compare. Is there any chance that you'd be better off with a desktop and using remote access back to it from any portable device instead? I've been running my main desktop from a remote desktop the last 4 months. If that can fit your requirements, it is a great option. You could probably keep using the current laptop that you have this way too. Try it out with a test on Amazon or Linode for a month. You may be surprised.

    Here's someone else doing this. http://yieldthought.com/post/3185705...e-1-year-later Neither of us are heavy into graphics, so this might not be as useful to your specific requirements.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    Wow, great turn around on this thread! Thanks for all the input.

    I think I will look into the remote access option first, but those System 76 laptops seem great too. Thank you.
    ---------------------------------
    I'm a n00b...... D'OH!!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    I have to agree. I have a 2 yr old $750 Dell 15" laptop that rocks. I newer XPS with a Core i7, plenty of RAM, Lrg HDD, 1080p screen and discrete GPU should be available for that same price today.

    Compared to a $400 desktop, laptop CPU and disk controller performance sucks to put it mildly. The controllers just can't compare. Is there any chance that you'd be better off with a desktop and using remote access back to it from any portable device instead? I've been running my main desktop from a remote desktop the last 4 months. If that can fit your requirements, it is a great option. You could probably keep using the current laptop that you have this way too. Try it out with a test on Amazon or Linode for a month. You may be surprised.

    Here's someone else doing this. http://yieldthought.com/post/3185705...e-1-year-later Neither of us are heavy into graphics, so this might not be as useful to your specific requirements.
    I was looking at your signature...should I mark this thread as solved? How do I do that, if I in fact am the one to do so?
    ---------------------------------
    I'm a n00b...... D'OH!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu compatibility on Dell Alienware M18x

    Quote Originally Posted by chmegr View Post
    I was looking at your signature...should I mark this thread as solved? How do I do that, if I in fact am the one to do so?
    Yes, only you can set the thread to SOLVED - at the top of the page, under THREAD TOOLS.

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