[LAU] high-powered laptop suggestions ?

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Sun Jun 1 16:13:36 EDT 2008

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 10:34:49AM +0200, Karl Hammar wrote:
> Dave:
> ...
> > I'd like to purchase a machine strong enough to handle my work with the 
> > AVSynthesis software. My desktop boxes include 2.0 and 2.4 GHz CPUs, 
> > with 3 and 2 GB memory, and they are not powerful enough for some of the 
> > combined OpenGL/Csound realtime processing. I'll need a machine with a 
> > very fast CPU (preferably 64-bit), large HD support, large RAM capacity, 
> > and accelerated 3D-capable graphics. The on-board sound will be replaced 
> > by an external device, preferably *not* a USB audio device. I want very 
> > high-quality audio, and eventually I'll need support for multichannel 
> > output. The display doesn't have to be humongous, just very clear.
> ...
> Could a barebone laptop be a solution?
> If you go to http://www.intel.com/go/VerifiedByIntel/, you will
> find a link to
> http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/38/70/387018_387018.pdf
> which presents the barebones Intel has "verified".
> To get more info from them you have to be accepted as a partner, it 
> seems.
> I have not found any notebook barebones for AMD.
> The good points are:
> . the cpu is pin-mounted, i.e. you can choose your own and upgrade
>   the cpu (amd notebooks all has pins/socketed, not soldered, from what
>   I have found out)
> . you can choose any socket P processor, the fastest I can order from my
>   distributer is currently Intel Core2duo T9300 2.5GHz 800/6M
> . any sata (normal length) 2.5" disk you like
> . your choise of memory size (up to 4GB)
> . an optional mini-pci-express, mostly wifi-lan cards
> . no os included
> . firewire (4-pin), usb
> The bad parts:
> . pc-card-express, sorry no pc-card
> . the one I got came without any documentation whatsoever and none to
>   be found on the net
> . the infamous hd-intel soundchip
> . you will probably need close-source drivers for the 3D graphics
> I am testing an Asus one (AS96SP965PM2) for the moment which I might
> resell for 4160SEK+vat (that would be something like 250USD). To make
> a working notebook you have to add cpu, disk, memory, and software.
> Also check whether keyboard, batteries and power adapter is included.
> Perhaps you can find a reseller in your area for such a ting.
> I am currently trying to find out which (Linux) drivers which works on
> this one.

I have an ASUS barebone Z96F, into which I plopped a 2.33Ghz 7500 Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (which ASUS said wasn't supported, but it works fine), 2GB RAM, and a 100GB 7500RPM PATA drive (which also wasn't supported). So basically I built myself MacBook Pro, for a little over US$1000 at the time.

Only trouble I ran into, is that using a PATA drive on these laptops is a BAD IDEA. That's because there is no PATA interface in computer! The chipset only understands SATA, and there's a goofy, lousy, crappy hack somewhere on the motherboard that makes the PATA drive appear as a SATA drive to the rest of the machine. Thus: the BIOS doesn't even recognize my drive. However, the linux drivers have no problem with this, and the drive works fine once I tell the BIOS to boot anyway even though it thinks there are no drives in the machine.


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