Ordered: January 28th
Shipped: January 31st
Delivered: February 2nd
Note: more pictures if you click on an image
Yay! It's here! I came home from lunch; box looked great, and it was nicely packed. Plugged it in and turned it on; everything looks fantastic. My NuShield also came on the same day; so perfect timing:
I should start out saying that I love this machine. Absolutely love it. It is extremely quiet; even when the fans kick on they are not by any means loud. Maybe a little high pitched but not loud. The screen is brilliant; and at 1920x1200 native rez it is completely beautiful. The case feels sturdy and the keyboard is great. Some of the keys are a little small and you have to get used to them, but overall perfect.
I was able to load XP Pro SP2 with no problems. All drivers loaded perfectly; and everything worked. There was a problem with the speakers, whenever the DVD player spun up you'd hear clicking out of the speakers. I turned the CD volume all the way down and it's fine. Not sure why it does this though.
I noticed that I couldn't run the 3DMark05 in 1920x1200 rez (sometimes; sometimes it works but sometimes I get a DirectX error). So I lowered the rez and the bench runs perfectly. I got 2046 stock. Then I loaded the laptop drivers from laptopvideo2go and got pretty much the same score. But I used Coolbits Registry Tweak to enable Coolbits for my NVIDIA GeForce 6600 and I had it detect optimal clock settings. 3DMark05 returned 2614.. almost 600 point increase. I am sure I can o/c beyond that but I haven't gotten any aftermarket cooling so soon as I ran the Bench I set it back to defaults and will run it that way till I figure if I want to buy a pad or fans. (I think fans might be strange considering they raise the backend of the laptop, and mine is raised already by the battery.)
**UPDATE** I bought the HeatPipe cooler; it doesn't do a whole lot but it does keep the stand and area under the laptop cool which is a good thing. I believe the heatpipe's were meant for the laptop to sit directly on the metal; and this notebook has good sized footings so it sits off the metal about 1/2"; I may have to go with fans later but for now I've had NO overheating problems. (this is after hours of gaming)
**UPDATE 2** I bought the Targus Chillmat - works like a champ. My Temps now IDLE around 35 Celsius and get up to 45-50 in gaming. I'd recommend probably the Targus Chillhub as it looks like it is exactly like my cooler; but has 4 USB 2.0 ports on the side.
The CPU idled around 46 degress and the HDD around 40. ( I can't figure out how to monitor GPU Temp yet.) Under load (the 3DMark05), CPU went up to 75. (Under normal Gaming Load with Guild Wars and F.E.A.R - It never went passed 65).
**UPDATE** As stated above. With the cooler now I idle around 35; and get to 45-50 with load.
The Built-in Camera was extremely dark. I played with some of the settings and got it a little lighter.. but still needs a lot of light to look any good.
Everything else was smooth sailing.
So, once I had my 10GB XP setup, time for my true love – Linux. I have recently grown fond of the Arch flavor because of the level of control I have over what to install. So I installed; rebooted; No wireless or ethernet (sob). Arch didn't have ipw2200 drivers; and I still don't know what drivers I need for the ethernet (haven't needed it yet); so what I had to do was grab one of my USB-Ethernet adapters; got it on the internet; downloaded and installed the ipw2200 and wireless is streaming wonderfully.
**UPDATE** sk98lin - that is the driver for the Ethernet Gigabit card. It seems most distro's include an older version of this driver and you have to download the latest ones for it to identify this network card. Once I downloaded and installed the new drivers as a module and insmod'd it in - came right up. Off top of my head I believe it is here
Other big problem was getting the sound driver to work right. Found in the Sager and Linux forums that some options need to be passed for it to work (and also had to add my user to the audio group)
# --- BEGIN: Generated by ALSACONF, do not edit. --- # --- ALSACONF version 1.0.10 --- alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel alias sound-slot-0 snd-hda-intel # --- END: Generated by ALSACONF, do not edit. --- options snd-hda-intel model=5stack position_fix=1 alias /dev/mixer snd-mixer-oss alias /dev/dsp snd-pcm-oss alias /dev/midi snd-seq-oss
Gentoo, Being a very nice and very popular distro, actually has our laptop on their wiki: Clevo M38AW. Great details on getting up and running with this laptop.
I tried using the coolbits that is theoretically included with the Linux NVIDIA drivers as well, (see here), but come to find out they don't work on Mobile Computers (sigh).. So I have not determined how to o/c in linux yet.
One big complaint.. ever since I upgraded the Arch kernel and used udev/initscripts instead of Devfs/hotplug.. it now takes up to 5 minutes!!! (yes i said minutes) to boot! UGH. Not sure why it's hanging; I think it's something to do with some scsi device it's detecting (i imagine the card reader, can't get it to work) but I haven't isolated it yet.
Also have not tried installing/using the Camera.
**UPDATE** The Microphone works beautiful in both Linux and Windows.
Everything else is perfect. Screen is crystal clear, and I use the NVIDIA drivers for 3D Acceleration and have gotten my games running under Linux perfectly!! (in fact, i've never seen graphics this good on any other machine i've had):
(Both of the above are at full settings and can be played fine.)
It is fabulous.
I have not done an official Battery test; however I know I ran it for 2 hours in linux (while I was configuring it) one night (constantly rebooting) and then shut it down. Next morning, without plugging it in; I ran it for about another 1.5 hours constantly rebooting and configuring things before it finally wen't out on me. That tells me battery life is phenomenal on the 12-Cell Li'ion. Beautiful! Just what I needed.
WUXGA 1920x1200 is fantastic if you don't have bad eye sight. I wear glasses already; but I can see everything just fine. I still preferred increasing the font sizes a little on both OS's but not much. I love the desktop room; it's fantastic. I probably can't run a truly 3D Intensive Game at full screen this way; but that's ok – don't need it to. Most of games are done through Linux on an emulator anyway; and I window it. The Detail and graphics on the 3DMark05 when it stretched the 1024x768 tests to full screen looked fantastic too; the added 'fuzziness' that people complain about when you are in non-native rez doesn't bother me.
**UPDATE** I now run a number of games on Linux and Windows in full screen. I get to 15 fps as a low point and 75 fps as a high, depending on the game and settings. F.E.A.R. Obviously tears this laptop to pieces and brings it crying to it's knees. I finally got it running smoothly at 1280x1024 rez and a lot of things turned off. If you try and have it detect optimal settings it sets it at 800x600 with some added functionality turned on.. I chose the higher rez and lesser graphics. Again; no real problem with the fuzziness. However when there is tons of fire on screen; or some of the movies; I experience some chopping. But there is still room to turn things off if it ever interferes with gameplay.
Little noisy. Not extremely noisy; but you can definitely hear the thing spin up. I burned a DVD; worked flawless. Burned a successful DVR+R and DVD-R; and if I ever learn how to utilize the +DL features i'll try and burn a DVD+R DL disc. But that won't be soon.
Sager and PCTorque:
So far, I love them both. This was the fastest turn around time I've had with an online purchase; and it's near-perfect. At first I thought I had a Dead Pixel. But when I took my NuShield off to clean it; my Dead pixel dissapeared!! heh... it must have been a spot on my screen (i had moved the shield around and it didn't budge so I figured it was a dead pixel on the screen)... 100% satisfaction with this baby so far.
Clevo and Sager have made an outstanding laptop; that even though it's been out a while some poor schmuck like me could purchase it and still use it for my gaming fun and tear up most games I play.
The Default freq's on the card are listed as: 300/332 ... I did a detect optimal and jumped it to 384/768 (that's a serious jump I think isn't it?)
Everything else is default:
3dsmax-03 = 14.13
catia-01 = 10.83
ensight-01 = 8.577
light-07 = 10.35
maya-01 = 9.376
proe-03 = 15.45
sw-01 = 11.25
ugs-04 = 4.169
1024x768, Max Details, 4x Anisotropy - 36,612
Doom 3 (Linux - demo1)
1280x1024 (window) - 28.4 FPS
1600x1200 (window) - 23.6 FPS
1600x1200 (full screen) - 20.5
1280x1024 (window) - 34.1 FPS
1600x1200 (window) - 26.7 FPS
1600x1024 (max settings):
UMark-CTF - 40.5
UMark-AS - 49.77
UMark-DM - 85.3
Standard 12 Bot Botmatch
ONS-Crossfire - Min: 8.4, Max: 104.3, Avg: 50.9, Score: 51.3
ONS-Primeval - Min: 13.7; Max: 97.13; Avg: 37.2; Score: 37.2
Full Screen 1920x1200
ONS-Crossfire - Score: 50.8
ONS-Primeval - Score: 37.4
This laptop is small enough that I'll be able to tote it around without much problem; but powerful enough not to stop me from doing what I need to with it. So far everything I needed was supported and usable in Linux with native drivers, which is a HUGE plus, I hate needing ndiswrapper. I personally don't really like the hot-key buttons; and this laptop only has 3 small ones on the front so it's not so bad.
Added some more pics of some 3D games:
(Note: I'll be updating this over the next couple days.)