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Dell Laptop: Reliable Multiboot Among OS's, Strong Graphics ?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Avid Qam, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Avid Qam

    Avid Qam Guest

    I regularly (weekly, sometimes daily) use 2 or more operating systems
    (selected from FreeBSD, Linux, XP Pro, and others). I work on medical
    real-time video projects whose graphics hunger rivals that of games.
    I seek reliability (minimal downtime due to corruption) in each OS.

    Which Dell laptop can keep me productive in multiple OS's and provide
    a lot of graphics horsepower?

    These are my ideas on multibooting.

    I like the Dell Latitude D800 or Precision M60 since they have the
    user removable primary hard drive. From the administrator's point of
    view, the easiest way to multiboot is to swap out the boot drive.
    Unfortunately, I think that Dell now feeds more graphics power to the
    Inspiron 9100 or XPS than to the Precision or Latitudes (more on this

    Could I multiboot reliably on an Inspiron?

    Possibly I could still get a hardware multiboot solution on an
    Inspiron. Could I boot from a modular bay hard drive or an external
    USB drive (in addition to the fixed hard drive) ?

    Then there are traditional multiboot products like System Commander
    from V Communications. While I'm sure that's a great product, I
    believe that it would be vulnerable to a virus attack on the master
    boot record.

    Finally there are the virtual products like VMware Workstation. While
    this would offer the greatest productivity when everything succeeds, I
    believe that a corruption of the host OS would also disrupt activities
    in the client OS.

    These are my ideas on strong graphics.

    Is there any way to compare the results from running the same
    benchmark test on the Precision M60, Latitude D800, Inspiron XPS, and
    Inspiron 9100? Lacking a benchmark, the comparison is difficult, for

    I think that the graphics on each of those models is very strong. I
    would configure each with the best graphics card, highest resolution
    display, and a low to middle CPU.

    The M60 wins due to 2MB L2 cache on the Pentium M 735 (512 KB L2 on P4
    in XPS, I would not get the Extreme Edition). The XPS wins due to the
    800MHz front side bus (400 MHz on the M60). The XPS wins due to the
    graphics card upgrade program (no official program on the M60). The
    XPS wins due to the 400MHz SDRAM (333MHz SDRAM on the M60). I don't
    know how to compare the NVIDIA Quadro FX Go1000 128MB in the M60
    against the 128MB ATI® Mobility RADEON 9700 in the XPS.

    Lacking a single benchmark applied to all 4, my intuition guesses that
    the models rank from most to least strong graphics in the order (XPS,
    9100, M60, D800).

    Thank you.
    Avid Qam, Jun 2, 2004
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  2. Avid Qam

    Quaoar Guest

    You should be aware that not all distros support the newer ATI or Nvidia
    adapters -- yet. Wireless communications with laptop adapters is still
    spotty and is somewhat distro-specific. Check your distro for chipset
    support explicitly. Make sure your distro has no incidence of
    corrupting Windows in dual booting if you go this route. Fedora Core
    has a known problem at this writing and there are reports of Mandrake10
    doing so (but is probably a user problem).

    Quaoar, Jun 2, 2004
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