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Thread: Thinkpad T4x series graphics

  1. #1
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Thinkpad T4x series graphics

    I'm considering buying a Thinkpad T4x series laptop but I was wondering which version is best for using Linux in. I'd probably use a Debian-based distro but I am open to what works well on a Thinkpad.

    I could be mistaken but AFAIK, these are the graphics chips (and resolutions) available in the Thinkpads available to me:

    Thinkpad T40 ATI 7500 1024 x 768
    Thinkpad T41 ATI 7500 1024 x 768
    Thinkpad T43 Intel 915GM 1024 x 768

    I was going to buy locally since there are possible issues/problems when buying off ebay and I'm more comfortable buying local since I just bring the computer back if there is a problem.

    Anyway, I was wondering if someone could let me know which out of those Thinkpads, you'd recommend. The other specs are similar (speed, wireless chip, etc.) so I guess it's mostly a comparison of the ATI 7500 v.s. the Intel 915GM chips. Which one works better? I haven't found any Thinkpads with the higher resolution and ATI 9000 so it would be helpful if most of the comparison is between the ATI 7500 and the Intel chip (since those ones are readily available). I think the graphics is the main issue with the Thinkpad, too, but I'm not sure.

    Edit: I just read part of the Thinkpad wiki site. So, for GM915 chipset (T43), I'd use 'i810' driver? It sounds like there might be more support or easier configuration with T43 w/ 915GM video? I read that the T40/T41 with ATI 7500, you can only use the radeon driver as the fglrx driver is not supported. What is the significance of that? Any other info to consider? Do any of those factors tilt the choice or preference towards one or the other?

    If there are any other issues to consider, please list and mention.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Panix; 01-26-2008 at 08:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Michigan
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I'm considering buying a Thinkpad T4x series laptop but I was wondering which version is best for using Linux in. I'd probably use a Debian-based distro but I am open to what works well on a Thinkpad.

    I could be mistaken but AFAIK, these are the graphics chips (and resolutions) available in the Thinkpads available to me:

    Thinkpad T40 ATI 7500 1024 x 768
    Thinkpad T41 ATI 7500 1024 x 768
    Thinkpad T43 Intel 915GM 1024 x 768

    I was going to buy locally since there are possible issues/problems when buying off ebay and I'm more comfortable buying local since I just bring the computer back if there is a problem.

    Anyway, I was wondering if someone could let me know which out of those Thinkpads, you'd recommend. The other specs are similar (speed, wireless chip, etc.) so I guess it's mostly a comparison of the ATI 7500 v.s. the Intel 915GM chips. Which one works better? I haven't found any Thinkpads with the higher resolution and ATI 9000 so it would be helpful if most of the comparison is between the ATI 7500 and the Intel chip (since those ones are readily available). I think the graphics is the main issue with the Thinkpad, too, but I'm not sure.

    Edit: I just read part of the Thinkpad wiki site. So, for GM915 chipset (T43), I'd use 'i810' driver? It sounds like there might be more support or easier configuration with T43 w/ 915GM video? I read that the T40/T41 with ATI 7500, you can only use the radeon driver as the fglrx driver is not supported. What is the significance of that? Any other info to consider? Do any of those factors tilt the choice or preference towards one or the other?

    If there are any other issues to consider, please list and mention.

    Thanks in advance.
    You need to consider what you will be using this for, if for personal record keeping, writing and surfing the net or gaming. I have found for my gaming that a desktop with a good pcie graphics card was important but with my laptop thinkpad, I am completely happy with Intel graphics and the wifi iwl3945 and for me
    I am able to use VM and choose basically any distro to
    use and explore.

  3. #3

    Default

    I'd go for the 915GM hands down over the ATI Radeon 7500.

    Regarding the drivers, the Radeon 7500 hasn't been supported by fglrx in many months... You are correct that your only option is the xf86-video-ati "radeon" driver.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    Default

    Thanks for the info, Michael. That helps a lot. I want to be able to play movies (DVDs, avi's) as well. I assume Kaffeine or KMPlayer can do fine on a Thinkpad playing an avi or dvd (format) movie?

    I didn't want the challenge of messing around with ATI drivers on a laptop, though. ;-) But, if a certain driver made graphics options better than the Intel one, I would consider the other. But, it sounds like the Intel choice is much better. That Thinkpad (T43) is about $60 more than the T40/T41 (same price, different speeds) so I guess it's probably worth it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wirechief View Post
    You need to consider what you will be using this for, if for personal record keeping, writing and surfing the net or gaming. I have found for my gaming that a desktop with a good pcie graphics card was important but with my laptop thinkpad, I am completely happy with Intel graphics and the wifi iwl3945 and for me
    I am able to use VM and choose basically any distro to
    use and explore.
    I want it for surfing and playing movies (when I'm not at home). I don't need it for gaming.

    There's already wireless in the Thinkpad T43 but I think it's something different than iwl3945.

    I assume that the T43 wireless (out of three options) works out of the box.

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