[kwlug-disc] Advice on Buying a Ubuntu-Friendly Computer

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at crashcourse.ca
Sun Jan 1 12:41:42 EST 2012


On Sun, 1 Jan 2012, Gordon Dey wrote:

> On 11-12-29 09:59 AM, Ryan McGreal wrote:
> [edited]

> > Now my sad sack of hardware is dying and it's time for a new one.
> > I mainly use it for software development, and ideally, I'd like to
> > run dual widescreen monitors for maximum screen real estate.
>
> Identifing your purpose (development) is helpful, because it means
> that you are willing to allocate more dollars to the compute
> subsystem.
>
> I suggest multi core, for example: i7 can support "make -j8". I
> suggest choosing RAM in matched pairs to take advantage of symmetric
> accesses, when building/ripping symbol tables or expression trees.
> For example: 2x2GB (4GB) is symmetric vs 1x2GB + 1x4GB (6GB). I
> suggest using an SSD for tmp, as that's where intermediate build
> products will go.
>
> Graphics? I've done okay with NVidia...

  FWIW, i recently went through the same exercise -- needed a monster,
crunching new laptop to do things like kernel compiles, yocto
downloads and builds, etc.  i went with this:

http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=710_577_371&item_id=039940

(i see it's already $100 less than what i paid.)

  currently, it's running ubuntu 11.10 with no issues.   my only beef
is that the keyboard really sucks -- seems you really have to hammer
the keys to not lose keystrokes.  since i normally use a USB keyboard
when i work at home, that's not so big an issue, but it is annoying
that ASUS couldn't seem to provide a decent keyboard.

  i like the full HD (1920x1080) display and when i plugged an ASUS HD
flat panel into the HDMI port, it automatically came up as an
additional display off to the right.  that was impressive -- no
reconfiguation required.

  the unit came with 12GB RAM but that was based on 3/4 slots being
populated and, before i even left the store, i paid all of $29 for
another 4G RAM and had service put it in for me.  so i have 1.5TB of
disk, and 16G RAM.  (no SSD, but systems with SSD jumped up in price
noticeably.)

  but this is not what you'd call a "laptop".  it's huge, and heavy
(9.4 lbs).  but it moves right along, and does everything i want.

rday

p.s.  if you don't need that much HD, i see there's a similar model
but with only a single 750GB drive for $1399:

http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=710_577_371&item_id=043052

-- 

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Robert P. J. Day
http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=710_577_371&item_id=043052
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA
                        http://crashcourse.ca

Twitter:                                       http://twitter.com/rpjday
LinkedIn:                               http://ca.linkedin.com/in/rpjday
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