Wednesday, October 31, 2007

looking for specific hardware

Last week I put the following up on the Guide Site. I think enough time has passed to run it here as well.
This is also the first time that I am... well, directly requesting two particular hardware donations. While I have access to Core2 systems, because of my reccomendations to the buyers the Core2 systems do not use Intel chipsets. Combined with the slow death of the Sager Tablet that was used to create the Mepis 6.5 Intel dpkg run through, I am without an Intel chipset system of my own to work with.

So, I am actively seeking donations to cover purchasing an Intel chipset based motherboard, or a donation of a recent Intel Chipset motherboard.

By the same token, referring to a page on the blog, Nvidia has aggressively attacked their driver issues with Linux support. After selling the (in)famous Clevo D900T laptop, I went with a smaller sized, but cheaper Asus F3K laptop with a Radeon HD GPU. While this allows me to cover Radeon HD support as it enters Mepis... I am without a Geforce 8x00 series card to test with.

So, I am actively seeking donations to cover obtaining a Geforce 8x00 series card, or a Geforce 8x00 series card directly.

The contact information and emails are listed on the Guide Site (all the way inconveniently at the bottom I know). Here, I guess I feel a little bit more brazen about specifying what I'm looking for.

Specifically, on the Intel side, I'm looking for Integrated chipsets with the Intel x3000 class video adapter. I'd actually want one of the G35 chipsets with the Shader Model 4.0 x3500 IGPU, but since I was unable to find any for sale (anywhere aside from a toshiba laptop), that leaves things like the ECS G33T-M2 LGA 775 Intel G33, or the slightly more expensive Intel BOXDG33TLM LGA 775 Intel G33. With the G33 chipset and x3100 IGPU, they claim to offer Shader Model 4.0 support... but strangely enough... not OpenGL 2.0 support.

And while I'm being very cheeky in putting this up here... I don't have the guts to ask Intel directly for a G35 test motherboard... not with everything I've said against Intel just on these pages alone.

From the Nvidia side, what I'd like to get is something like the XFX PVT80GGHF4 GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit card. But, at nearly $300 price tag, I'm not holding my breath. The slightly more reasonable EVGA 512-P2-N773-AR GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 would also be good... only at $200, not holding my breath there either.

Truth be told, all I really need for driver testing is something like Leadtek's PX8600GT 256MB Standard GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3. It's only $100 and I don't feel quite as bad wishing for one.

So, why the change from downplaying both Intel and Nvidia products to requesting engineering samples, donations to cover purchasing the hardware, or asking for the hardware directly?

The main reason is, I am supposed to be an objective journalist. Sometimes though, BEING objective requires doing things that go against my own personal wishes. Nvidia fed me a big fat shut up sandwich when memory handling problems in the Geforce4 drivers were fixed in a recent legacy driver update. Nvidia's visible work in Linux drivers has drastically improved with multiple monthly releases addressing issues in a timely manner. Now, while I personally already have samples of every previous Nvidia hardware class, aside from the FX series, I don't have any 8x00 hardware. That leaves me in a poor position to be accurate in discussing the real life usage state of Nvidia's current hardware lineup.

By the same token, I rail against Intel just about every chance. I haven't tried to hide or disguise my opinions of Intel. However, while I have access to Core2 systems... I don't actually have any Core2 systems or modern Intel IGPU's on hand to test with or work with. That leaves me in a poor position there as well.

Thing is, if I'm not willing to turn around and review what I say, or accept the possibility that what I say could be wrong... I'm not much of a journalist.


somebody also asked in an email recently just how thorough my benckmark testing is. Well, in one of these let me show you moments, I tossed one of my older benchmark sessions online some time ago. It can be found here :
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