Donnerstag, 5. Juli 2007

Got a new Laptop - Dell Latitude D630

After thinking about buying a new laptop I actually went ahead and bought one – a Dell Latitude D630. It arrived last Friday and is my main working machine now; it replaces my older laptop (I have a normal desktop system, but that's only used by my girlfriend these days).

The hardware details, for those interested:
  • Core 2 Duo 7300 – should be a bit quicker then the 7100 due to the 4 MByte Cache and did not cost that much more
  • 2 × 1 GByte RAM – 1 GByte would have been enough for now, but it's a long-term investment (by last Laptop mainly was slow these days because it has only 512 MByte ;-)
  • 1440 × 900 WXGA+ Display 14,1" – I need space on my desktop (but didn't want to buy a 15,4 Laptop)!
  • 80 GB Harddrive – yes, I don't need so much hard disc space
  • 9 Cell battery with 78 WHr – with it I should e able to suffice some time without searching for the power cord
  • Santa Rosa platform (965GM)
  • IPW3945 – should be quick enough for me, so I skipped the extra costs for the 4965
  • Windows Vista – there was no way around Windows here in europe :-(
My first impressions after nearly one week of use from the hardware point of view:
  • chassis seems to be stable (much more stable then the old one)
  • keyboard is fine; I'm slowly getting used to the new layout; some keys like Pos1, End, Page Up/Down where placed better (near the cursor keys) on my old laptop – I miss them in that area a bit
  • I had a 15,1 SVGA+-Display with 1400×1050 pixels in my old laptop – I really miss those 150 pixels in height :-/ And due to 15,1 vs. 14,1 everything is also a bit smaller
  • I adjust the display angle quite often – a bit to often, but well, it's not really bad. The display is quite bright – that should make it possible to work with it outside in the garden/on the terrace; but it gets a bit darker in the edges, which one easily notices
  • much quicker then my old machine; that's likely mainly the memory and the quicker harddisk as well as the dual core cpu
  • fan stays off most of the time and is is mostly silent when it runs
  • The bigger battery is also bigger in its dimensions; I knew that, but seems I forget about it as I was a bit astonished when I actually saw the notebook and it's battery (which makes the laptop a bit bigger) for the first time.
My first impressions from the Linux (Fedora 7, x86_64) point of view:
  • I had expected problems when buying a brand new notebook-model with a brand new chipset; I got what I expected ;-)
  • Fedora 7 (as well as the stock kernel 2.6.21 and 2.6.22-rc7) don't support the PATA-DVD-Controller of the ICH8M yet. I had to install via LAN. A patch is getting discussed on lkml and linux-ide; Chuck (thanks!) added it to the F7 tree already (another user requested it earlier already), so this problem soon should vanish
  • no DRI – supported by the devel kernel/2.6.22, but the system crashes when I enable compiz. So no compiz for now, but I don't miss it much. Need to investigate further.
  • Hibernate and Suspend-to-RAM seem to work ATM – but that needs to be reinvestigated after enabling DRI – one never knows ;-)
  • System tracks about 1 Watt more with Linux then within Vista; Tickless, AHCI-Power Saving stuff and some other improvements that are being worked on should hopefully improve that "problem" soon.
  • Did I mention Sound isn't working? Ohh, sorry, I keep the biggest hassle for the end of this list. Well, in fact, I made sound work roughly in between; first I found reports that sounds works fine for Feisty users. Thus I went ahead and installed the Feisty Kernel (2.6.20 based) – sounds works. Then I install the latest FC-6 kernel (2.6.20 based) and the Ubuntu-devel kernel (2.6.22) as well as the rawhide kernel (2.6.22 based) – none of those where able to get audio output. Found two helpful mailing list threads on LKML and alsa-devel. Recompiled the latest F7-kernel (2.6.21) from Fedora-CVS with alsa and snd-hda-intel compiled *into* the kernel – sound works. But it does not work again after hibernate and produces a warning (hda_intel: azx_get_response timeout, switching to polling mode...;hda_intel: azx_get_response timeout, switching to single_cmd mode... ) during load that it only works in a kind of debug-mode.
Last words for now: There is still much fun ahead, but I can live with the problems for now (by ignoring them manly) and use the new Laptop as main machine now.


Bill hat gesagt…

I have just finished another guide for the D630. You can have a look at it here.

Ryan McDonald hat gesagt…

Upgrade to the latest version of Mesa (at least 7.1) and your DRI/Compiz crashing will be fixed.

I have a D630 as well running Gentoo. I had the crashing problem too until I ramped up my Mesa.

Ryan McDonald hat gesagt…

oops. I meant Mesa 7.0.2, not 7.1.

Anonym hat gesagt…

Here is a Dell Latitude D630 review for those who are looking at this Notebook.

This is a EXCELLENT laptop !

Anonym hat gesagt…

Great laptop. Except that the battery that comes standard (6 cell) does not last as long. So I got a 9 cell d620 7800mah battery from, and now get almost 3 hours of life from it. Overall, very happy with this Dell laptop.