Translation(s): none

(!) ?Discussion

About this computer

This review covers the HP Pavilion dv5z laptop with the following components:

Video card
ATI Radeon HD 3450
Display

15.4" diagonal WSXGA+ High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1680 x 1050)

Processor
AMD Turion X2 RM-72 (2.1GHz)
Wireless card
Atheros AR242x 802.11abg

Installation summary

Core Components

Boot Standard Kernel:

{OK}

LAN network card:

{OK}

Detect CD/DVD:

{OK}

Detect hard drives:

{OK}

Extra Features

CPU Frequency Scaling

{i}

Hibernation

/!\

Sleep / Suspend

/!\

Xorg

{OK}

    OpenGL

X-(

    Resize-and-Rotate(randr)

[-]

Switch to External Screen

[?]

Mouse

    Built-in (Touchpad)

{OK}

Modem

[?]

Wireless/Wifi

{i} X-(

Keyboard's Hotkeys

[?]

Legend :
{OK} = OK ; {X} Unsupported(No Driver) ; /!\ = Error (Couldn't get it working); [?] Unknown, Not Test ; [-] Not-applicable
{i} = Configuration Required; X-( = Only works with a non-free driver and or firmware

Installation details

After resizing some partions, Debian stable installed without a problem. I immediately upgraded to testing, so the details of this installation refer to packages taken from testing.

Wireless

The first thing that I wanted to setup was wireless networking. The wireless device, an Atheros AR242x 802.11abg, required MadWifi support to work properly. To do this, I first followed all of the instructions on the MadWifi 'First Time User' HOWTO up to and including the "Loading the MadWifi Module" section. (It may be possible to do this by building the ath_pci driver from the source package, madwifi-source, using the module-assistant utility. I need to investigate this further.) In addition, I needed to blacklist the ath5k driver so that the ath_pci driver will be used instead, by adding the following line to the /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf file:

blacklist ath5k

Finally, the wireless device has an RF kill switch, but I couldn't find a way to toggle it from Linux. (Feel free to add information about this if you discover a way!)

I use KDE, and in order to easily select wireless networks, I installed the DebinaPkg:network-manager-kde package, and now wireless works quite well. I would like to do some performance testing on the ath_pci driver, but I'm not sure of the best approach to testing it.

CPU frequency scaling

After installing Debian testing, both CPU cores were running full blast, and cpufreq-info indicated that no regulation was possible with the current driver. To get frequency scaling working, I needed to install the powernowd package and add the following line to /etc/modules:

powernow-k8

Then you can either reboot, or add the module to your kernel manually:

modprobe powernow-k8

Graphics card acceleration

If you don't want 3D acceleration, then the Free Software driver works reasonably well, although it doesn't provide as high a resolution as the proprietary driver. If you want better hardware support, though, including hardware acceleration, you unfortunately need to use the proprietary driver, which is available in non-free repositories. Install the DebinaPkg:fglrx-driver package (and its dependencies), then run the following command to build and install the driver module:

sudo module-assistant auto-install fglrx-source

Then you'll need to update your xorg.conf file, which you can do with the following command:

aticonfig --initial

You will then need to restart your X server.

Note that if you upgrade your system (either with a dist-upgrade or a regular package update), it may remove the package that module-assistant creates (which is named something like fglrx-kernel-2.6.26-1-amd64). This will, naturally, cause your X server to stop working, so you will need to rerun the first command, above, to reinstall this package. It would be nice if module-assistant did this automatically; Debian bug #303636 asks for this enhancement.

System Summary

lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 Host Bridge [1022:9600]
00:02.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (ext gfx port 0) [1022:9603]
00:04.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 0) [1022:9604]
00:05.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 1) [1022:9605]
00:06.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 2) [1022:9606]
00:0a.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 5) [1022:9609]
00:11.0 SATA controller [0106]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 SATA Controller [AHCI mode] [1002:4391]
00:12.0 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller [1002:4397]
00:12.1 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700 USB OHCI1 Controller [1002:4398]
00:12.2 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller [1002:4396]
00:13.0 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller [1002:4397]
00:13.1 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700 USB OHCI1 Controller [1002:4398]
00:13.2 USB Controller [0c03]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller [1002:4396]
00:14.0 SMBus [0c05]: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 SMBus Controller [1002:4385] (rev 3a)
00:14.1 IDE interface [0101]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 IDE Controller [1002:439c]
00:14.2 Audio device [0403]: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) [1002:4383]
00:14.3 ISA bridge [0601]: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 LPC host controller [1002:439d]
00:14.4 PCI bridge [0604]: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge [1002:4384]
00:18.0 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 11h HyperTransport Configuration [1022:1300] (rev 40)
00:18.1 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 11h Address Map [1022:1301]
00:18.2 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 11h DRAM Controller [1022:1302]
00:18.3 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 11h Miscellaneous Control [1022:1303]
00:18.4 Host bridge [0600]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 11h Link Control [1022:1304]
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: ATI Technologies Inc Mobility Radeon HD 3400 Series [1002:95c4]
01:00.1 Audio device [0403]: ATI Technologies Inc RV620 Audio device [Radeon HD 34xx Series] [1002:aa28]
08:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter [168c:001c] (rev 01)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller [10ec:8168] (rev 02)

References

CategoryLaptopComputer