I'm just wondering how older Intel hardware runs on Linux nowadays.
In many older, refurbished laptops, there's older Intel integrated graphics cards. For e.g., the GMA 900 and 950. I was wondering how the 900 fares in Linux. Is the graphics usable in more recent versions of Linux, for e.g., Ubuntu 10.04, OpenSUSE 13, Fedora 13, Debian Testing/Sid???
Or do you have to use an older Linux version (perhaps, to get older versions of the kernel and/or X.Org?
Also, how do apps run, in particular, 3D? Is it abysmal or just usable? I guess apps like Google Earth may not fare well?
945 is fine for 2D and simple 3D (performance is like 25-75% of the windows OpenGL driver), i81x 2D is ok too, but 3D is way beyond broken (seriously, only glxgears works, it crashs with quake3...) (X1.7.7 and 1.8.2, mesa 7.8, kernel 2.6.34)
The GMA900/950 work reasonably well for moderate values of that term. I can play Caster on my eeePC 701 with only a few settings trimmed back. It should work "okay" for most other things in that same class of requirements. As mentioned by others, the stuff prior to the GMA900's busted for 3D- not that it was at all useful overall to begin with.
The reason I'm asking is that my Thinkpad T41 is having issues including failing Southbridge and so, usb ports functioning is not 100% working anymore (no USB 2.0 speeds). There's other hardware issues as well. So, option #1, is do nothing: put up with it. 2) buy hardware parts and rebuild it and 3) buy another cheap laptop - unfortunately, I don't have $500+ or whatever it is that gets one a decent, modern laptop.
The T42/T43 have either ATI or Intel GPU video cards. I have found ATI to do a very poor job at support of these older ATI cards. I'm not sure I should consider a laptop with an ATI card when the only choice is the open source driver. The problem is installing the driver and have it work properly.
I was also informed that the older Thinkpads with Intel GPU is more reliable in terms of working longer (i.e. no GPU hardware issues).
If there's anything else anyone could add, it would be appreciated. Recommendations or info about the drivers in Linux??? I'm not too concerned about operations in Windoze. Also, yes, there would be limited 3D use (I mentioned GoogleEarth) and virtually no gaming. I wouldn't waste time trying to game on such an old machine. I have a desktop for that. Part of the investment (what I'm saving up for) is a 2nd build or I'd just buy a slightly more expensive but recent/modern laptop.