Difference between revisions of "Features"

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I am a happy owner of this laptop. Here are my notes on it after using it for few days.. - Cool!! Only warm after hours of video. For non-video invnesite application, it is just slightly warm on upper left part of the laptop. Amazing !! The fan is quiet but it is not silent. How can HP run AMD Quad Core with little heat?! I spent $1000+ to build a Home Theater PC 7 years ago So I know how difficult to keep the heat down. - The Microsoft movie maker, word+excel (limited function) are useful, all other Microsoft application are very basic! Lucky HP provides Corel VideoStudio and PaintShop Pro apps. The HP MediaSmart is not bad, it handles most of your multimedia needs. - The Cyberlink DVD/CD burning apps is also very basic.   - To create a recovery DVD, it took 6 DVD discs and about 3 to 4 hours .. Each DVD is about 4GB, I wonder what is on these 24GB !! You can only create it once. Don't start it before you go to sleep, or you will need to stay up for 4 hours. - The LED 17.3  screen is very nice. Video and pictures look very nice on it. It is also very cool to touch. But you can't use it in front of a window. The screen is quite reflective. - The blue ray drive is a little slow, or may be the software is slow. It takes about 1 to 2 minutes to start a blue ray movie. But the HP Blue Ray player software has an easy interface. - HDMI connection to TV is very easy. I played Avatar on it, it is my first blue ray disc. Very clear and beautiful color. Better than DVD even on my 720P (not 1080p) 50  TV! - The hinges of the screen is very tight. I can not open the screen with one hand. - The multi-touch mouse pad is good. I can use two fingers to scroll and zoom. - The finger print reader is so easy to use. It is also very accurate. Any member of my family can just swipe one of their finger and switch to his/her account on the window.  - USB 3.0 with SATA  wow, I have not tried them yet, but I am sure they are fast . The built-in multi card reader is very convenient too. - When charging the battery, it is making some noticeable shhhhh  noice until it gets to 85% or higher. And it recharges quickly. It seems than the recharge light is Amber when it charging and change to white when it finishes. The charger is warm to touch. - The webcam is in HD mode with left and right mic. When in use, its white LED turns on. - The Fences software group the desktop icons into smaller windows. It is not bad. When you double click the desktop, all icons disappear. Then double click to get them back. - The audio is very good for a laptop. It has a subwoofer on the bottom of this laptop    Of course, it can't replace your external speakers with external subwoofer. - I also like the Desktop Gadgets. There are many free and good apps from the web. I recommend the talking clock, zCalendar, WeatherBug, and couple radio apps. I wish I can run Google Honeycomb 3.0 on this laptop. It would be even faster. M.S. Windows tends to slow down the more you use it. It just collects more and more garbage and makes its register huge with a lot of mess. I need to find a good clean up software for it.  Don't forget to install some type of anti-virus and auti-spy software. There are some good free one out there.  There are not many blue ray laptop out there. This unit is one of the best deal for a 17.3 . I checked the smaller 15.6  model at Amazon, it is only $50 less. So which one do you choose ? The same model with Intel iCore 5 is about $200 more w/ 6GB memory . Hummm, I chose AMD quad cores  That is all for now. One month update: My mistake. I checked the spec again recently, the USB is 2.0 (not 3.0 ;-() So I reduce my rating by half star .. I also noticed that the function keys are not  normal . Each function key can do 2 things. Its multimedia control is the primary function. If you need the F1 to F12, you need to hit and hold  fn  key first. Since I use this lap top mostly for entertainment, so I like it  As a result, I add half star back to my rating :-0 If you need the F1 to F12 functions very often, then you may want to think about it  Few days ago, I connected my laptop to a 21  external LED monitor and I noticed that this laptop screen is not white  enough. Again, it is ok for entertainment (kind of like movie mode in my projector). But if you need a very white color (like some graphic design), then this may concern you too . But I did not notice the difference in whiteness and brightness until I put them side by side.
+
= Open Source Drivers =
 +
NOTE: The features listed are based off of the development repository at the time of this writing (2011-01-17). This does not mean that every Linux distribution will have the same capabilities. More than likely, major distributions will have an older, better-tested version of the graphics stack as a default and offer bleeding-edge versions of the driver in a repository. For a concise chart of features supported by the open source radeon drivers, see: http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature
 +
Here are the highlights:
 +
* Kernel Mode-Setting (KMS)
 +
* 2D Acceleration (EXA)
 +
* DRI2
 +
* OpenGL 2.x and GLSL 1.2
 +
* Textured Video Acceleration (Xv)
 +
* Power Management
 +
* HDMI Audio (RadeonHD 4000-series requires booting with radeon.audio=1 and RadeonHD 5000-series requires kernel >= 3.3)
 +
* XRandR 1.3
 +
* AIGLX (desktop effects)
 +
The developers also have a frequently updated list of 3D applications which they use to mark their progress: http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonProgram
 +
 
 +
= AMD Catalyst/fglrx =
 +
AMD also offers a proprietary driver for RadeonHD chips based off of their Windows code (a legacy proprietary driver is offered for older cards, but it will not run on modern kernels/X servers)
 +
  * OpenGL 3.3/4.1 and GLSL(dependent on the latest version your card supports)
 +
* XvBA video decode acceleration (through VA-API and only for RadeonHD 4x00 cards and later): http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauchesne/
 +
* Direct2D acceleration
 +
* Catalyst Control Center
 +
* amdconfig CLI tool
 +
* OverDrive (power management, overclocking)
 +
* HDMI Audio
 +
* XRandR 1.3
 +
* AIGLX (desktop effects)
 +
 
 +
= Switchable Graphic Chips Status=
 +
 
 +
Some laptops (and other systems) are now being sold with both an integrated, low power GPU, and a discrete, high performance GPU [http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/switchable-graphics/Pages/switchable-graphics.aspx AMD Switchable Graphics Technology]. There are two basic types of hybrid designs. Older hybrid systems use a multiplexor (MUX) to switch between GPU's. Newer systems (those with PowerXpress >= 4.0) are MUX-less. As far as I can tell, PowerXpress 4.0 started with RadeonHD 6000-series GPU's, and systems with older ATI GPU's have a MUX, but don't quote that.  
 +
 
 +
== Switchable Graphic Chips Warning==
 +
{| WIDTH="650" cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 style="background-color: red; border: solid 1px #666666; color: #ffffff; text-align: center;"
 +
| style="background-color: #666666; border: solid 1px #666666; border-bottom: 1px solid #888;" | <font size="-1">'''WARNING'''</font>
 +
|-
 +
| <br />
 +
Carefully research before purchasing a laptop, or you may not be able to fully use the hardware you pay for.<br /><br />
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
== MUXed Systems ==
 +
 
 +
Open source drivers support switching from integrated to discrete graphics cards using [http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspot.com/2010/02/howto-install-vgaswitcheroo-for-linux.html vga_switcheroo] on MUXed systems. However, the performance of the chips with the switchable open source drivers may not be optimized. For example, with the open source driver on the HP DV7-4045ea you can switch between the 4200 and 5650; the 4200 works okay, but although the 5650 does work, it does not perform well.
 +
Catalyst supposedly supports switching using the following commands, but reports of success are scarce:
 +
amdconfig --pxl      # List current activated GPU
 +
  amdconfig --px-dgpu  # Activate discrete GPU (High-Performance mode), must re-start X to take effect
 +
  amdconfig --px-igpu  # Activate integrated GPU (Power-Saving mode), must re-start X to take effect
 +
 
 +
== MUX-less Systems ==
 +
 
 +
On MUX-less systems, the discrete card is used solely for rendering, not display. At the moment, the X server does not support rendering and display from different cards so the discrete card can not be used with MUX-less systems at the moment. Most new laptops (2011+) are MUX-less.  
 +
There is a bug raised against the inability to switch between integrated and discrete graphics cards [http://ati.cchtml.com/show_bug.cgi?id=16 Official AMD Bug]
 +
 
 +
= Video Decode Acceleration Status =
 +
 
 +
== VA-API/XvBA Wrapper (RadeonHD >= 4000 using Catalyst)==
 +
 
 +
Video acceleration can be achieved through drivers supplied at [http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauchesne/ gbeauchesne] Modern distros should have this installable from their repo (Debian/Ubuntu does).
 +
Note that this wrapper is no longer maintained/developed and should be considered a dead-end.
 +
 
 +
== Using XvBA in XBMC (with Catalyst >= 11-11) ==
 +
 
 +
The XBMC project has implemented acceleration in their media player using AMD's libxvba library. This is a fairly new/experimental feature at the time of this writing, but XBMC claims positive feedback. [http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=116996 Install Instructions]
 +
 
 +
== Gallium3D VDPAU (open-source driver) ==
 +
 
 +
The open-source 3D mesa driver now implements acceleration through a VDPAU/VA-API wrapper that uses the 3D engine. This is a fairly new/experimental feature at the time of this writing, so it may require rebuilding mesa. AMD is interested in using the UVD hardware directly, but this is currently held up for legal reasons.
 +
 
 +
= EyeFinity =
 +
Catalyst supports more than two simultaneous outputs on RadeonHD5xxx cards having more than two physical independent out. Default settings starts every monitors in a cloned stage, but you can switch to a multiple display desktop via the Catalyst Control Center. Be aware that the AMD Catalyst Control Center does not let you fix arbitrary position settings : it only lets you approximately place your monitors on a virtual desktop. It's often best to adjust screen alignment using the "Position +x +y" option in xorg.conf.'''
 +
 
 +
Open source drivers also support Eyefinity.

Revision as of 11:27, 4 November 2012

Contents

Open Source Drivers

NOTE: The features listed are based off of the development repository at the time of this writing (2011-01-17). This does not mean that every Linux distribution will have the same capabilities. More than likely, major distributions will have an older, better-tested version of the graphics stack as a default and offer bleeding-edge versions of the driver in a repository. For a concise chart of features supported by the open source radeon drivers, see: http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature Here are the highlights:

* Kernel Mode-Setting (KMS)
* 2D Acceleration (EXA)
* DRI2
* OpenGL 2.x and GLSL 1.2
* Textured Video Acceleration (Xv)
* Power Management
* HDMI Audio (RadeonHD 4000-series requires booting with radeon.audio=1 and RadeonHD 5000-series requires kernel >= 3.3)
* XRandR 1.3
* AIGLX (desktop effects)

The developers also have a frequently updated list of 3D applications which they use to mark their progress: http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonProgram

AMD Catalyst/fglrx

AMD also offers a proprietary driver for RadeonHD chips based off of their Windows code (a legacy proprietary driver is offered for older cards, but it will not run on modern kernels/X servers)

* OpenGL 3.3/4.1 and GLSL(dependent on the latest version your card supports)
* XvBA video decode acceleration (through VA-API and only for RadeonHD 4x00 cards and later): http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauchesne/
* Direct2D acceleration
* Catalyst Control Center
* amdconfig CLI tool
* OverDrive (power management, overclocking)
* HDMI Audio
* XRandR 1.3
* AIGLX (desktop effects)

Switchable Graphic Chips Status

Some laptops (and other systems) are now being sold with both an integrated, low power GPU, and a discrete, high performance GPU AMD Switchable Graphics Technology. There are two basic types of hybrid designs. Older hybrid systems use a multiplexor (MUX) to switch between GPU's. Newer systems (those with PowerXpress >= 4.0) are MUX-less. As far as I can tell, PowerXpress 4.0 started with RadeonHD 6000-series GPU's, and systems with older ATI GPU's have a MUX, but don't quote that.

Switchable Graphic Chips Warning

WARNING

Carefully research before purchasing a laptop, or you may not be able to fully use the hardware you pay for.

MUXed Systems

Open source drivers support switching from integrated to discrete graphics cards using vga_switcheroo on MUXed systems. However, the performance of the chips with the switchable open source drivers may not be optimized. For example, with the open source driver on the HP DV7-4045ea you can switch between the 4200 and 5650; the 4200 works okay, but although the 5650 does work, it does not perform well. Catalyst supposedly supports switching using the following commands, but reports of success are scarce:

amdconfig --pxl       # List current activated GPU
amdconfig --px-dgpu   # Activate discrete GPU (High-Performance mode), must re-start X to take effect
amdconfig --px-igpu   # Activate integrated GPU (Power-Saving mode), must re-start X to take effect

MUX-less Systems

On MUX-less systems, the discrete card is used solely for rendering, not display. At the moment, the X server does not support rendering and display from different cards so the discrete card can not be used with MUX-less systems at the moment. Most new laptops (2011+) are MUX-less. There is a bug raised against the inability to switch between integrated and discrete graphics cards Official AMD Bug

Video Decode Acceleration Status

VA-API/XvBA Wrapper (RadeonHD >= 4000 using Catalyst)

Video acceleration can be achieved through drivers supplied at gbeauchesne Modern distros should have this installable from their repo (Debian/Ubuntu does). Note that this wrapper is no longer maintained/developed and should be considered a dead-end.

Using XvBA in XBMC (with Catalyst >= 11-11)

The XBMC project has implemented acceleration in their media player using AMD's libxvba library. This is a fairly new/experimental feature at the time of this writing, but XBMC claims positive feedback. Install Instructions

Gallium3D VDPAU (open-source driver)

The open-source 3D mesa driver now implements acceleration through a VDPAU/VA-API wrapper that uses the 3D engine. This is a fairly new/experimental feature at the time of this writing, so it may require rebuilding mesa. AMD is interested in using the UVD hardware directly, but this is currently held up for legal reasons.

EyeFinity

Catalyst supports more than two simultaneous outputs on RadeonHD5xxx cards having more than two physical independent out. Default settings starts every monitors in a cloned stage, but you can switch to a multiple display desktop via the Catalyst Control Center. Be aware that the AMD Catalyst Control Center does not let you fix arbitrary position settings : it only lets you approximately place your monitors on a virtual desktop. It's often best to adjust screen alignment using the "Position +x +y" option in xorg.conf.

Open source drivers also support Eyefinity.