Laptop and sound card for ubuntu studio

Gustin Johnson gustin at
Tue Sep 1 09:41:15 BST 2009

Hash: SHA1

Kiernan Holland wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 12:35 PM, <aj at
> <mailto:aj at>> wrote:
>     Hi All,
>     Thanks for all the tips I've picked up from this list over the last few
>     months. Now I have the usual questions about good hardware to run
>     Ubuntu
>     Studio. Looks like I'll have to buy a new laptop in the next month so
>     are there any makes/models/chipsets to avoid? I was thinking of an ASUS
>     or a Lenovo but please let me know what you've had good experiences
>     with.
> You might want to get in the showroom and pop in a ubuntu cd. Then go to
> a terminal and type "cat /proc/interrupts" to see if there is a unique
> IRQ for each USB port.
> My best experiences are with IBM (not lenovo, so old thinkpads may be
> suitable for Ubuntu Studio stuff, most of my demos on youtube are done
> with my 2Ghz P4 T30). I can't use the T30 with USB sound cards because
> it came with only USB 1.0 connectors and the PCMCIA port only has one
> IRQ (for many USB 2.0 devices I'm connecting to it).
I still absolutely love my X41 Tablet.  There is something about the
Thinkpads, even the Lenovo ones that is hard to explain.  They just fell
good.  The only problem is that this machine simply does not have the
horsepower that I like.  A single core Pentium M running at 1.5 Ghz just
is not good enough for me now that I have been spoiled by the Intel T9550.

> I only have good experiences with Dell Desktops, I have heard good
> things about their laptops.. Any manufacturer you go with will make

My GF has an Inspiron and I have a Latitude.  There is a world of
difference between these two lines.  The Latitudes are "Business class"
which means they cost more.  I am a big fan of them, and even with the
markup they are far better bang for the buck than Apple.

> proprietary stuff for their laptops, but the only necessary upgrade is
> memory and pcmcia card slots. If you get a laptop that doesn't have
> PCMCIA card slots, make sure it has everything that you'd normally use a
> card for like SATA, USB 2.0 slots, Firewire, Ethernet, Wifi-G..
> (netbooks are an exception). 
Unless you are slavishly devoted to firewire, I would not bother.  If it
had been an option I would have removed firewire.

I forgot to mention, I would stay away from GPUs that require
proprietary drivers (eg. fglrx and nvidia drivers).  Basically that
rules out nVidia and older ATI.  The newer ATI HD models (38xx, 48xx,
49xx) are covered by the radeonhd driver, which is included in most
distros these days.  The proprietary ones have traditionally not played
nice with RT kernels.  While you can get them to work most of the time,
I can speak from extensive first hand experience that it is simply not
worth it.  Stick with Intel or the new ATI for GPU.  Forget the rest.

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