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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Across two oceans and back again

    Linux friendly laptop good for strat games w/ above-average lifespan?

    For two and a half years I've been using a Lenovo Thinkpad with an Ubuntu/Windows 7 dual boot. Before that, I'd had a MacBook for six and a half years and was determined not to go back to a non-Unix system after that, hence using Ubuntu as my primary OS.

    The hard drive to my current computer now failing rather abruptly. In the mean time, I've learned a few important things about running Linux.

    1. A lot of hardware doesn't play well with Linux
    2. Requirements for proprietary software are higher for Linux systems
    3. Non Apple PCs don't seem to last very long

    Regarding the first point, the trackpad will freeze if CPU hits 100% and not unfreeze until I put the computer to sleep. Additionally, on waking from sleep the computer won't connect to the internet unless it was plugged in when it woke from sleep. And then sometimes it will wake up with networking disabled and refuse to re-enable it unless I put it to sleep and wake it again. Though all of those things are minor annoyances on their own, together they make me think I don't want another Thinkpad. The freezing trackpad is particularly annoying.

    Additionally, the battery life is about an hour and a half on my Linux partition, despite being about four and a half hours on my Windows partition. I've read that Linux just sucks with power management and there's nothing to be done for it, but at one third of the maximum battery life it seems like there must be some room for improvement if I'm using a hardware manufacturer who doesn't play as poorly witn Linux as Lenovo appears to.

    Regarding the second point, my Windows partition went pretty much unused until a bit over half a year ago, when I bought Civ V and several Paradox Interactive games on Steam. None of those games worked on Linux, and when I contacted tech support, it was pointed out to me that I had looked at the system requirements for Windows, and that the Linux system requirements are significantly higher, particularly in the graphics card requirement.

    It's baffling to me that a strategy game should require a gigabyte of graphics memory, but in Linux it does. Since booting into Windows to play games and Linux for everything else was annoying, I'd like to with my next computer future either meet the minimum requirments for Linux, or else hardware which doesn't play so poorly with Linux that double or quadruple the graphics support is necessary.

    Regarding the final point: over the past 15 years I've had four laptops. The MacBook lasted nearly as long as all my other computers combined. I think that this has a lot to do with the fact that I lug my laptop lots of places and am not particularly gentle. Various components failed periodically, but because I had Apple Care, they got replaced. Once Apple Care expired, the MacBook lasted only about as long as any other computer.

    I'm still wondering though, whether it's possible to get a computer which doesn't have a major component die on me after roughly three years' time. One thought is a solid state drive, but aside from being expensive, I believe that they can be written only a finite number of times. I'm hoping though that I can have a computer which will survive flapping against my side in a messenger bag and being shoved under my seat on air trips without having the lifespan of a mouse.

    One final note: I don't know if it makes a difference, but will probably be running Mint rather than Ubuntu this time around. Everybody else I know who uses Linux runs Mint. I don't know if it's any better (the main reason for prefering Mint seems to be the weird relationship Cannonical has with Amazon and fears of being tracked, but at least I'll be on the same page with other Linux users in my area. Also, Ubuntu lists Lenovo as "Ubuntu Certified Hardware." (Can't link the site because of low post count.) Given my own experience with Lenovo's hardware and Ubuntu, I'm rather disinclined to trust Cannonical myself.

    Any rate, any suggestions for a durable computer whose hardware plays nicely with Debian Linux (a non-freezing trackpad would be nice; having a battery life at least half that of the Windows partition would be icing on the cake) and on which I can play Civ V and EU4 without them freezing up even on their lowest graphic settings?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Contact They only sell Linux and bsd systems including some nice laptops with Ubuntu, Debian, or whatever distribution you want. All the hardware works out-of-the-box.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    Should you be sitting wondering,
    Which Batman is the best,
    There's only one true answer my friend,
    It's Adam Bloody West!

    The Fifth Continent

  4. $spacer_open

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