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Thread: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

  1. #1
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    Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    Notebook hints please. Not sure what to buy. Ryzen7/Intel-i7 or NVIDIA/AMD-Radeon? Which generation? What else to look out for? Is there a 2020 machine which is especially suited for Linux?

    Reason: I am considering to buy a BlackFriday offer with approx(!) these specs: comparison of five 2020 machines

    As for 90% of the time I am using Debian Linux (i.e. only sometimes ... Windows 8.1), and I would like to avoid several weeks of configuration hell procedures (which might happen just because the hardware is still so new?) ... I am now wondering:

    (a) whether it's a good idea at all, to buy a 2020 machine already?

    (b) if it might be necessary to then change the OS (from Debian to e.g. Ubuntu or Manjaro, or anything else), and then it might cause rather negligible problems actually?

    (c) which of those five machines / CPUs / GPUs / Wifichips / ... might (not) cause major hickups? Or: Which other machine have you got working fine, with similiar specs?

    and

    (d) which other, i.e. perhaps older, hardware you would recommend instead, if (a) and (b) and (c) speak against such 2020 hardware. CPU GPU etc.


    Oh, and I should mention this: I would like to buy as seldom as possible, for ecological reasons. I do not mind the price so much, but the hardware should be as new as possible (even though as old as necessary) to run Linux without bigger problems for many many years to come. I am quite experienced, so if there are clear instructions, I am willing to jump through hoops, to still get "too new" hardware running; so it doesn't need all to work out of the box.

    Thanks a lot! Any hint much appreciated


    LGVxjOG.png
    Last edited by slickymaster; November 23rd, 2020 at 10:57 AM. Reason: removed large image

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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    P.S.: Yes, it's perhaps not a very original question, and it has been answered many times already? Sorry then. Which URL / thread / comparison site / video / forum post do you find most helpful, which I could read? Thanks!

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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    Please do not post large images into your posts. Many of our users have slow internet connections and data limits. Large images can take a long time to load -- and may even cost a user extra money. Use the attachment functionality provided by the paperclip button above the text entry box.

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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    KDE Slimbook
    or Dell
    or Lenovo
    or HP (some)


    depends what you need. from your choice i would say go with Dell AMD version. try to find it with no OS installed or with ubuntu installed unless you need windows.

    notebook check might have links with reviews (they offer very good reviews so you can compare the models). If you are German speaking they usually have additional review links in German at the bottom.

    there is also a German vendor that sell good laptops (more powerful) with linux preinstalled. i think it's called Tuxedo computers

    here is a list: https://linuxpreloaded.com/
    Last edited by mastablasta; November 23rd, 2020 at 01:38 PM.
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    Full disk backup (newer kernel -> suitable for newer PC): Clonezilla
    User friendly full disk backup: Rescuezilla

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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.


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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    Thanks a lot! Very helpful links!

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    from your choice i would say go with Dell AMD version
    Which AMD do you mean? The (AMD Ryzen 7 4800U, AMD Radeon RX 5600M)?
    And that is why?

    Is perhaps AMD (AMD CPU, AMD GPU) in general better for Linux than (Intel + Nvidia)?

    I sometimes do need Windows, yes, but I tried this:

    When I change my search template (with 159 products) to limit it to "Linux" also, funnily I end up with exactly one machine:
    https://www.heise.de/preisvergleich/...%7E9_1920x1080

    Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-70Y9
    Intel Core i7-9750H, 6x 2.60GHz
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Mobile)

    would that machine work with Ubuntu (or Debian)?

    The one Acer I ever owned ... was actually the best in terms of life years, I had used it 7 full years!

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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by akrueger2 View Post
    Is perhaps AMD (AMD CPU, AMD GPU) in general better for Linux than (Intel + Nvidia)?
    Generaly, yes. not a rule though. intel and nvidia should work just fine.
    problematic ones these days seem to be Ryzen & nvidia combo.

    also AMD can be cheaper and may offer nearly the same performance as intel&nvidia. i was deciding on lower end between Dell and HP. in the end we went with full HP and saved 200 EUR. main cost in doing that was disk size (from 512 to 256 Gb) however i can add another disk to it or upgrade the current one.
    I sometimes do need Windows, yes, but I tried this:
    Windows will work on those that come with linux preinstaled. depends really why you need windows and how many times but maybe VM would be an option? ofcourse VM is not an option if you plan to game and run windows multiplayer titles. But then why have two OS installed? windows works just fine.
    The one Acer I ever owned ... was actually the best in terms of life years, I had used it 7 full years!
    Acers seem more miss than hit. but you can give it a go if you were happy with it so far. maybe the higher end ones are built better. normally i would check review and also try to get my hands on the model or similar model, just to see the build. you can quickly see if something is just mashed together or if it is done well. i certainly saw some Nitro laptops that felt OK to me. but price range was outside of my kids budget. anyway i got annoyed with some that use soldered ram.

    by the way they also have very good intel NUC gaming pcs (it's an small size deskotp) that run linux and use Intel+AMD combo. they got some good reviews last year. not sure how well are their models doing now.
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    Full disk backup (newer kernel -> suitable for newer PC): Clonezilla
    User friendly full disk backup: Rescuezilla

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    Lightbulb Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    The longer I read and learn, the less problems I actually expect, to install Linux on an uptodate machine. Perhaps I need to simply move to Ubuntu or Manjaro temporarily, until the next Debian comes out.

    Here is a VERY hot candidate, because DELL has a 20% off BlackFriday offer now - so that for 1280 EUR I can actually even get my hands on a Nvidia 2070 (Many others don't even offer a 2060 for that price). What do you think, would you expect huge Linux problems with this one? Or how would I solve them?


    Dell G5 15 (cng5010)

    * Intel i7-10750H, 6 cores
    * NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB, Max-Q Design
    * 16GB DDR4-2933MHz
    * 1TB NVMe SSD
    * 300 Hz display 15,6"-FHD
    * Wi-Fi6 AX1650W, 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1

    (German)

    I think I have found it, no?



    Thanks so much for your many perspectives. Very helpful.

    > Perhaps of interest https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...ws-linux&num=1
    VERY interesting read. Quite surprising how much faster most stuff is in a non-Windows OS (but WWW, that's where Windows wins?). Interesting. Thanks.

    > intel and nvidia should work just fine. problematic ones these days seem to be Ryzen & nvidia combo.
    Good to know. The above avoids that. And it's an intel CPU for the price of an AMD CPU, right?

    > why have two OS installed?
    Because I really don't like working on Windows anymore. (I do have a VM for the few moments that I need it, but) I am soooo happy to code, work, read, browse, etc. on Linux. Then again, occasionally some Windows gaming. The free games in the epicgames store got me into PC gaming again, lol. Thus ... dual boot.

    > Acers seem more miss than hit.
    Ah, now that can explain it too, I see. Then I was just lucky back then. Plus ... eventually the 540M GPU had died on me, but disabling the GPU in the Bios worked just fine, and I continued to use that i5 for quite a few more years. But I really don't want to end up with "something is just mashed together", so better no Acer for me then.

    And I am typing this on my first Dell. Happy with their quality standards, so why not do it again ...
    Last edited by akrueger2; November 25th, 2020 at 03:32 AM. Reason: repair link

  9. #9
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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    If primarily or just Linux, I would only look for systems that allow UEFI update from Linux.
    Even if they say they do not support Linux when you call help desk, if they have UEFI update then indirectly they do.

    https://github.com/rhboot/fwupdate/b...ster/README.md
    https://fwupd.org/vendorlist &
    https://fwupd.org/lvfs/devicelist
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

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    Re: Newest generation 2020 notebook - bad idea? Advice please which hardware to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    If primarily or just Linux, I would only look for systems that allow UEFI update from Linux.
    Even if they say they do not support Linux when you call help desk, if they have UEFI update then indirectly they do.
    Great hint, thanks.

    Via this Dell G5 15 5500 Service Manual page I got to the general information "Update the Dell BIOS in a Linux or Ubuntu environment" which says two things:
    If your system is listed at https://fwupd.org/lvfs/devicelist, External Link then it supports UEFI capsule updates and can be updated natively within the OS.Ubuntu 16.04 and later natively notifies you of new BIOS updates. ...
    The "G5 15 5500" is not in that list, and the following sentence is relevant:
    For newer systems (post-2015), refer to Section 2 below.
    That section 2 then formats any USB drive, and puts the *.exe file on it. It says:
    Note: the BIOS flash ends in an .exe extension. Even though Linux cannot open it natively, the BIOS will deal with it properly.
    Then with F12, a One Time Boot Menu is openend, and ->
    Select the option to BIOS Flash Update --> Navigate to your USB disk and select the BIOS you downloaded. --> reboot
    So I know now how to update the BIOS, even without Windows (which I would have as DualBoot anyways).

    ---

    But the good news here is that they say exactly this: "in a Linux or Ubuntu environment", so Dell themselves assumes that people will do that. Install Linux.

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