Mobility Radeon HD 3650 (RV635) - Elitebook 8530p
Today I took the plunge, I tried to drop catalyst for the open source radeon driver (upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10). I did some testing in previous years and month, and radeon never fully convinced me (unstable, power consuming, underperforming). Today's experience completely confirmed my disbelief in the radeon driver: for laptop users it simply does not work. Power consumption is incredibly high, the temperature reaches inacceptable levels. Under the "low" profile both issues get a lot less proplematic, but then random xserver crashing make my live miserable.
The irony is, that I bought this laptop because I wanted to support the AMD open source driver strategy and hoped for quick OS driver support. Now I am stuck without a working OS nor a propietory driver (well, an xserver downgrade works for the moment to get an old catalyst running again).
What did I learn from this exercise: For laptops buy INTEL only. For this usecase you need stability and low power consumption, but less so performance. I am looking forward to my Lenovo X1 Carbon to arrive in the next few hours. I will give the AMD OS strategy another try in about 4 years earliest.