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Hello. I am resolving an issue related to Intel's lack of OpenGL 3.0 supports, but ran into another predicament along the way. After finding out that there were no Intel ...
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    Question New Video Card on Laptop (External?)


    Hello. I am resolving an issue related to Intel's lack of OpenGL 3.0 supports, but ran into another predicament along the way. After finding out that there were no Intel drivers that supported it, or ways to get it working with Intel at all, I decided to look into ways to get a new graphics card. I am using a VAIO Notebook PC and am trying to get an nvidia or ATI card, but am not sure how with a laptop. It is not easily replaceable, but I heard from a Sony livechat support guy that there was such a thing as external video cards. I have been unable to find very many at all, and none from NVIDIA, though I did see an article stating that such a thing existed. If anyone knows where I can go to find this, or another way of fixing the original issue, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    To use an external video card with a laptop you need to get a bus extender. That's like a docking bay, but with some PCI slots. You need to visit Sony's web site or a Sony store to find one that might work for you. In any case, you won't be able to use it on the road since they aren't battery powered.

    Which graphics chip set does your VAIO use? Of course, you could always buy a laptop that has an nVidia chip set (Dell, et al)...
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Okay thanks, I'll check out a Sony retailer. I should be able to get the rest figured out there. I really just wanted to verify their existence or see if there is a more convenient method. And I am not sure how to check what Intel chipset I have on Linux. Is there a file/Bash command that gives me that information?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Pull up a terminal/console window, switch to the root account, and run the command "lspci". That will give you a list of all the PCI hardware on your system, including the graphics.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Okay so this is my graphics controller:
    00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)

    Unfortunately, even the latest Intel drivers lack OpenGL 3.0 support and I have heard very little recent talk of it, so I think i'll just have to go with an external NVIDIA/ATI external video card.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrx View Post
    Okay so this is my graphics controller:
    00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)

    Unfortunately, even the latest Intel drivers lack OpenGL 3.0 support and I have heard very little recent talk of it, so I think i'll just have to go with an external NVIDIA/ATI external video card.
    Like I said before, this is find (using an external video card) when you are "tethered" to a desk, but it won't work on the road. To enable both wired and mobile use, you will need to customize your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file so that the laptop's LCD is using a different video driver than the external card.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Oh so my computer will be unusable on the road... Is there any way of modifying xorg.conf to change video cards automatically, or possibly just after restart (shutdown, unplug, turn on and it works)?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    It should be possible. You will need to do some experimentation. Review the info/man pages for xorg.conf - they get into quite a bit of detail about the sections and options available. There were some discussions in one of the forums lately about using multiple displays, connected to different video cards (built-in and PCI). Like I said, it should be possible. You can always boot into text or single user mode and change the active video adapter, although the most current Linux distributions use the newest xorg server that will detect the hardware on bootup and use that as required. It might be a non-issue. Sorry, but that's as good as I can get right now - I don't have a dual adapter system to try out.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Okay thanks. As long as the external video card is portable, I don't mind lack of a GUI, just for on the road(outside of internet and opengl, most of what I do is in terminal anyways). And I can always look into a portable battery pack for it. But by "tethered" to a desk do you mean a wall outlet, or does this have to do with the bus extender?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    The bus extender, like a docking bay, requires an AC power supply. PCI cards, especially video adapters, are power hogs. Many video cards require a 100 watts or more. Not something your laptop battery, or any battery, will supply.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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