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Dell XPS or Razer Blade. What is the best for Gentoo?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Dell XPS or Razer Blade. What is the best for Gentoo? Reply with quote

Hello everyone! I'm going to replace my old laptop with a new one, flat, light and powerful ultrabook. Of course I'm going to install Gentoo there, no any Windows, macOS etc. But I need all the hardware to be working and working stable. It is the most important thing because the laptop I have now has a problem with Atheros Bluetooth (Wi-Fi integrated) and I didn't find any solution to force it working stable. So, please guys, owners of Dell XPS and Razer Blade, tell me about your own experience with these laptops, did you have problems with hardware or probably some devices works with generic drivers that don't support all the functional

Thank you in advance!
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fedeliallalinea
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Dell XPS 15 (9550) FHD and only problem is the audio card. Sound work well (speaker aren't so good) but when I plug headphone the card don't switch and I need to suspend and wake up laptop (here the bug)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 2016 XPS13 with a FHD non touch display which I ordered with Ubuntu as the OEM operating system. Using that as a reference made installing Gentoo with all the correct drivers straightforward and everything just works. It's a lovely piece of kit, small & light with excellent battery life.

The only downside, which has been mentioned by many others, is that Dell is unable to make silent power supplies on the XPS13 range (search for 'coil whine'). Mine is fine if there is some ambient noise, but in a silent room it can be annoying.

HTH

Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fedeliallalinea wrote:
I have a Dell XPS 15 (9550) FHD and only problem is the audio card. Sound work well (speaker aren't so good) but when I plug headphone the card don't switch and I need to suspend and wake up laptop (here the bug)


Interesting. Are you sure it is a driver's bug, not pulseaudio or DE widget?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flurp wrote:
I have a 2016 XPS13 with a FHD non touch display which I ordered with Ubuntu as the OEM operating system. Using that as a reference made installing Gentoo with all the correct drivers straightforward and everything just works. It's a lovely piece of kit, small & light with excellent battery life.

The only downside, which has been mentioned by many others, is that Dell is unable to make silent power supplies on the XPS13 range (search for 'coil whine'). Mine is fine if there is some ambient noise, but in a silent room it can be annoying.

HTH

Richard


That's great. What about the camera? Does it work perfect with all resolutions and settings? Never heard about coil whine, will read about it. Do you really can hear this sound? And one more question - what browser do you use to increase battery life? I guess, Firefox and Chrome is not a good idea to safe the battery :)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g-virus wrote:
Interesting. Are you sure it is a driver's bug, not pulseaudio or DE widget?

No not sure, but I exclude DE widget as possible cause.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I bought my XPS13 direct from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed (see Project Sputnik), ALL the hardware works with Linux. This does mean that the Ubuntu version is not available with the fingerprint reader (as far as I know this wouldn't work with Linux). I have heard that Dell sometimes use different peripherals (e.g. WLAN modules) in their Ubuntu versions in order to be more Linux compatible but I can't verify this. I did try the camera today for the first time! It works in Ubuntu, but I didn't dig into alternative configurations. The camera placement is unusual (bottom left corner of the screen on mine, I think it's closer to the centre, although still at the bottom on the latest version). This doesn't bother me as I don't use it - you may feel differently.

I did reduce the coil whine with some kernel options stolen from the Ubuntu configuration and online info, but it was a while ago & I can't remember the details. I don't find the noise from my laptop annoying in general, it's just there in very quiet environments.

I use Firefox as a web browser since I'm not trying to eke out maximum battery life as it usually lasts longer than I need.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flurp wrote:
As I bought my XPS13 direct from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed (see Project Sputnik), ALL the hardware works with Linux. This does mean that the Ubuntu version is not available with the fingerprint reader (as far as I know this wouldn't work with Linux). I have heard that Dell sometimes use different peripherals (e.g. WLAN modules) in their Ubuntu versions in order to be more Linux compatible but I can't verify this. I did try the camera today for the first time! It works in Ubuntu, but I didn't dig into alternative configurations. The camera placement is unusual (bottom left corner of the screen on mine, I think it's closer to the centre, although still at the bottom on the latest version). This doesn't bother me as I don't use it - you may feel differently.

I did reduce the coil whine with some kernel options stolen from the Ubuntu configuration and online info, but it was a while ago & I can't remember the details. I don't find the noise from my laptop annoying in general, it's just there in very quiet environments.

I use Firefox as a web browser since I'm not trying to eke out maximum battery life as it usually lasts longer than I need.


So the fingerprint reader doesn't work with Linux, that's bad. Because I like fingerprint readers :D And that means not all the hardware works perfect. Different hardware in laptops with the same name is strange.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the hardware in my PC does work with Linux - there is no fingerprint reader ;-)

It's not unusual to have different hardware in PCs with the same name, in one extreme case I many years ago I had a laptop which lost the screen backlight (it was a Fujitsu, not a no-name brand). It was repaired under warranty which involved a new motherboard and I was amazed when I tried to reload my original disk image that the drivers needed changing because the complete chipset was different on the new board!

You are also probably aware that you have to be really careful buying peripherals (TV cards or USB networking etc) for use with Linux because manufacturers often don't specify the details of the ICs inside and you can be unlucky, buying a product on the basis of recommendations only to find that the internals have changed and there is no Linux driver for what you've bought.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flurp wrote:
All the hardware in my PC does work with Linux - there is no fingerprint reader ;-)

It's not unusual to have different hardware in PCs with the same name, in one extreme case I many years ago I had a laptop which lost the screen backlight (it was a Fujitsu, not a no-name brand). It was repaired under warranty which involved a new motherboard and I was amazed when I tried to reload my original disk image that the drivers needed changing because the complete chipset was different on the new board!

You are also probably aware that you have to be really careful buying peripherals (TV cards or USB networking etc) for use with Linux because manufacturers often don't specify the details of the ICs inside and you can be unlucky, buying a product on the basis of recommendations only to find that the internals have changed and there is no Linux driver for what you've bought.


I never had any problems with Linux on my desktop computer, just everything works perfect and I never could imagine that something can be SO BAD like people say sometimes about their hardware. But I bought my current laptop and was wondered that Bluetooth doesn't work good (Atheros Bluetooth + WiFi), the camera can capture only 480p (on Windows it could capture 720p) and battery life on Linux with Chromium/Firefox is very very bad... the laptop is Asus k95vj. But I don't want to buy Macbook :D and don't want to use Windows, but I still want to have a good ultrabook with full hardware support. I thought I found a real ultrabook for Linux - Dell XPS. But as you said you have a perfectly working hardware because you don't have special devices like fingerprint reader :D
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a Dell XPS 15 9560. It works perfect with Gentoo. I had some bugs at the beginning, but I managed to fix them.
Example: when running bumblebee, as soon as I start X server, my laptop was just crashing.
The fix was adding acpi_rev_override=5 to the kernel parameters.

Also, my wireless card crashes the firmware sometimes, I'm still working on it. But it's seems stable on kernel 4.14 series. I tried 4.17 and it was crashing every 20min.
I had also to manually install the most recent version of its firmware.
It crashes and recover and you need to restart the networkmanager.
My card is a Killer 1535 and uses the ath10k_pci module.

The rest is perfect.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love my Dell XPS 15 9550. On occasion I have the issue with plugging in my headphones but that hasn't happened in quite some time. Besides that, the install went smooth.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rafaelzigx wrote:
I've got a Dell XPS 15 9560. It works perfect with Gentoo. I had some bugs at the beginning, but I managed to fix them.
Example: when running bumblebee, as soon as I start X server, my laptop was just crashing.
The fix was adding acpi_rev_override=5 to the kernel parameters.

Also, my wireless card crashes the firmware sometimes, I'm still working on it. But it's seems stable on kernel 4.14 series. I tried 4.17 and it was crashing every 20min.
I had also to manually install the most recent version of its firmware.
It crashes and recover and you need to restart the networkmanager.
My card is a Killer 1535 and uses the ath10k_pci module.

The rest is perfect.


Well, crashes is not a perfect work :D
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

element432 wrote:
I love my Dell XPS 15 9550. On occasion I have the issue with plugging in my headphones but that hasn't happened in quite some time. Besides that, the install went smooth.


Do you have any issues with fingerprint scanner, touchpad or webcamera?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g-virus wrote:
Do you have any issues with fingerprint scanner, touchpad or webcamera?

fingerprint is not present (only in 9650), for other two no problem (even if I disabled webcam now)
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