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Thread: Do I need a Graphic Card?

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  1. #1
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Hi friends,
    I own a Dell Inspiron 14 inch laptop with 1GB ATI Radeon 5xxx series graphic card.

    I want to buy a new laptop and I have certain queries regarding graphic cards.
    I don't play games(puzzles only) and don't do video editing. Mostly I do development work (android development, web development), access internet, watch movies, songs and normal stuffs.

    Recently I found issue with Kubuntu 12.04 that if I don't install graphics driver my system gets heated up, it was no big deal and I installed ATI driver by this tutorial.
    Again when I tried to use same method in 12.10 I faced lot of issues, so right now I am using 12.04.2 only.

    This made me think, whether I really need a graphic card or not? Till now the laptops I am considering are:
    Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 and Dell XPS. (I really like Lenovo one, it is pretty powerful)
    Lenovo is supplied with Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000s and Dell XPS is with some NVidia card (I heard that Nvidia doesn't support graphcis on linux very well).

    Also what is the difference between two graphics cards I mentioned above? Are they just two graphics card from different vendors, or there is something more difference?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    I doubt you need the nvidia card then. It'll probably be a waste of money when you could get a better processor, more ram, or a solid state drive. I have the nvidia 650m with graphics switching to intel 4000. I've had the drive for the nvidia card installed in ubuntu and I only ever notice a difference between the two when if I play graphics intensive games. Spend the money on a solid state drive, you'll love it!

  3. #3
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Quote Originally Posted by nwalkey View Post
    I doubt you need the nvidia card then. It'll probably be a waste of money when you could get a better processor, more ram, or a solid state drive. I have the nvidia 650m with graphics switching to intel 4000. I've had the drive for the nvidia card installed in ubuntu and I only ever notice a difference between the two when if I play graphics intensive games. Spend the money on a solid state drive, you'll love it!
    I don't think Lenovo is supplying SSD, but Dell is giving 500GB SSD and 512GB SATA HDD

    Hmm.... looks like I have to look into other models as well.

    God!! SSD's are very costly, are they worth the money?
    Last edited by c2tarun; February 27th, 2013 at 08:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    SSD's are very costly, are they worth the money?
    Personally, I don't think they're worth the money in a laptop if you have a 7200RPM hard disk. Unfortunately, Z580 only uses 5400RPM disks.

  5. #5
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Is Thinkpad L530 available in India? It looks almost perfect. The only things I'd change on it are adding another 4GB SO-DIMM of RAM** and maybe increasing the HD size a bit.

    **Note: at least in USA, Lenovo offers this as an option, but the price they ask ($80) is ridiculous when you can get a brand-name, compatible module for ~$30

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    SSD's are very costly, are they worth the money?
    They totally are, just don't get a massive one and it won't be so costly. I got a 128gb ssd for the same cost as my 500gb ssd in my laptop. The 7500rpm drive spinning up to get some data off it is the most noticeable bottleneck while doing almost any task on my laptop... You can tell the difference even loading large file trees in nautilus.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Quote Originally Posted by c2tarun View Post
    Hi friends,
    I own a Dell Inspiron 14 inch laptop with 1GB ATI Radeon 5xxx series graphic card.

    I want to buy a new laptop and I have certain queries regarding graphic cards.
    I don't play games(puzzles only) and don't do video editing. Mostly I do development work (android development, web development), access internet, watch movies, songs and normal stuffs.

    Recently I found issue with Kubuntu 12.04 that if I don't install graphics driver my system gets heated up, it was no big deal and I installed ATI driver by this tutorial.
    Again when I tried to use same method in 12.10 I faced lot of issues, so right now I am using 12.04.2 only.

    This made me think, whether I really need a graphic card or not? Till now the laptops I am considering are:
    Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 and Dell XPS. (I really like Lenovo one, it is pretty powerful)
    Lenovo is supplied with Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000s and Dell XPS is with some NVidia card (I heard that Nvidia doesn't support graphcis on linux very well).

    Also what is the difference between two graphics cards I mentioned above? Are they just two graphics card from different vendors, or there is something more difference?
    The graphics on them are totally different, Intel having an integrated chip in the CPU for graphics, and NVIDIA making a separate chip for graphics. The Intel one is much slower and makes the CPU heat up more, causing more load. The NVIDIA one, however, most probably has a faster clock and more cores, as well as not heating up as much. By the way, NVIDIA graphics cards work perfectly fine with linux, I have had a NVIDIA GeForce MX 2, GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 560M, GeForce 550 TI, and a Quadro 2000 all work perfectly fine on Linux. I agree that if you don't really need to take the computer around much, then I would stick to a desktop or build.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    The Intel one is much slower and makes the CPU heat up more, causing more load. The NVIDIA one, however, most probably has a faster clock and more cores, as well as not heating up as much.
    A dedicated card + the same cpu will usually generate more heat inside of a laptop because there is more capability to generate heat in that small space.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    i see yesterday HP launched a nice All in one and relatively cheap ubuntu preloaded. no strong CPU though.

    the overheating also depends on how the laptop is put together. for example i read that Acer with same CPU than mine was overheating. but i have HP and this model runs very cool. at best it gets a big warm underneath. so it's not just about CPU. but the way the air is circulating in the box and how good the fans are.

    also in linux sometimes drivers are not really good and they (or rather GPU) cause the overheating or fans to go wild.

    i think i3 or maybe i5 would be a good choice.
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