Monday, July 2, 2012

Finally! A powerhouse in my possession - ASUS K55VM-SX086D

After a lot of deliberation I finally ordered ASUS K55VM-SX086D, a true powerhouse with 3rd gen Core i7 processor (quad core), with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M 2 GB DDR3, chicklet keyboard, 15.6 inch widescreen backlit LED display, USB 3.0, and touchpad with gesture control. I thought I had spent a lot of time with my 2003 born P4, 1.5 GB PC and my Intel Atom (Asus only!) netbook and finally need a real powerhouse to test what I enjoy most - use different OSs!

A detailed specification is provided here.

I ordered it on Sunday from an Indian online store and got delivered this amazing machine within 24 hours! I don't have Windows 7 64 bit DVD with me right now to install all the drivers provided by the manufacturer. Tomorrow I'll do it. But, today I booted up Ubuntu 64 bit 12.04 LTS and Fedora 17 32 bit. Amazingly smooth and great effects in Ubuntu using compizconfig. I could have installed both of them today but thought of installing Windows 7 first to update the drivers.

Expect reviews of the latest Linux distros in future from my side. Earlier I couldn't boot a lot of distros in my old hardware and now that limitation is gone.

38 comments:

  1. Congrats! I'm also eager to read more reviews from you.

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  2. Hi! I saw your name on the review also I reckon, serendipitous, isn't it? :D Perhaps I remember because Bong names strike me more :) I have been planning on buying this laptop or Toshiba L850. I use Debian as my main OS and Windows if and when I need it on Virtualbox, so I'm wary about the how well it is supported on Linux. I have been using Dell and found it reasonably well supported but want to try either Toshiba or Asus. I wish to know how's your experience with Linux on the machine with regards to the driver support.
    Thanks!

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  3. Hi Satyaanveshi: Thanks for taking interest in my blog. Asus support for Linux is not that good. You have to have Windows 7 to install the drivers (from the DVD provided along with the laptop). Secondly, I am using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in as my main OS with Windows as back-up. But, right click doesn't work on Ubuntu but works on Win7. Also, the gesture effects doesn't work on Ubuntu. I am searching for Linux drivers for Asus K series laptops. Will let you soon know if I find a solution.
    Thanks!

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  4. Hmm, seeing your comment two days after buying the laptop and struggling almost one full day without success on getting right-click to work on Debian 6. :)

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    1. Hi, check this link, possibly through dconf-editor, you can make the touchpad work in debian http://askubuntu.com/questions/131318/touchpad-not-working-on-acer-travelmate-4740-after-applying-recent-updates-in-ub

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    2. Thanks for the link.
      I could get it working on Debian Testing but not on Debian 6.x (stable). I am much fond of Gnome 2.x actually :) and didn't want to bid it good-bye like Ubuntu did and I found MATE a bit immature at that time so I had installed Debian stable. I wanted to continue with it somehow on my new laptop.
      Alas, the hardware is too new for Kernel 2.x to support, I might go ahead with back-porting Kernel 3.x on my Squeeze.
      Hope you too are liking the machine :).

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    3. Hi Satyaanveshi: I made my right click work. Just click with two fingers (or double click in real sense :D), the options appear. By the by, I have installed Ultimate Ubuntu 3.4 and it has all the Nvidia drivers and now I am getting a real taste of what the laptop is capable of ... hope it helps.

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    4. Hi! I'm experiencing random system freezes on my machine. Everything freezes, even the logs don't have anything in them because the disk i/o freezes and I have to just cold reboot. I read that Nvidia drivers don't support the new 'optimus' technology used in the GPU very well. Most of the people experience such freezes because of module or kernel bugs. Did you experience any random freezes like that? I use 3.2.0-3-rt-amd64.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Hi
    Thanks for the info. I'm seriosly thinking about getting the k55vm but reconsidering. Are you happy with your ubuntu experience on the machine now, or do some problems persist?
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi

      Sorry to reply late. Had a very hectic week in office. If you talk of Ubuntu experience, in general I am happy. Only problem is that there is no Nvidia GT 630M driver in Ubuntu repo. The Nvidia recent driver available doesn't work with this machine and I had to reinstall Ubuntu every time. Even I downloaded GT 630M drivers for Linux from Nvidia site and found that they are not compatible with this machine! Finally, I installed the correct Nvidia drivers from the Asus CD via PlayonLinux/Wine. Now I play games though Wine.

      Apart from the issue with drivers, the laptop is seriously good! Worth buying.

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  7. Hi אביעד! If you are from the US, then why not go for System76? You can get almost the same config and there shouldn't be any driver issues also. And yeah, I think Asus could have done a better job with the keyboard. My viao's keyboard is much better than this one's, but this laptop doesn't get even warm forget hot :).

    https://www.system76.com/laptops/

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  8. Fn keys working fine? wireless, sound chips? power saving, sleep/hibernate is working fine?
    (in ubuntu OS)

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    1. I am using Linux Mint 13 Maya and from start everything is working really well. It wakes up from sleep really fast without any delay. Sound is really good and watching movies are fun on this machine. However, only thing that didn't work for me well is the lack of Nvidia 630M drivers for Linux. I tried installing the Linux drivers for 630M from Nvidia website but it didn't work and I had to reinstall the OS again! Nvidia, however, works well with my Windows 7 which I use only for Games. Otherwise, I am happy with the fast responsive system I have.

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  9. Good day!

    Quick question; You never got that nVidia driver situation solved, right? Even with the latest ones, it's still not working properly for me. (Ubuntu)

    I am perfectly fine with using simply the integrated chip, but since the nVidia chip is activated all the time my battery life is a lot worse than with Windows 7 as well as the fact that the machine is running rather hot..

    Also, what do you mean you "installed the correct Nvidia drivers from the Asus CD via PlayonLinux/Wine", how does that help in Linux? That's only for gaming, right?

    Have a nice day!

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  10. For the driver related issue;

    "The solution lies in the bumblebee configure file. For anyone else with this problem, here's my process:

    Make sure that nvidia-current-updates and nvidia-settings-updates are uninstalled and nvidia-current and nvidia-settings are installed (sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current-updates nvidia-settings-updates sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings.

    Run sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable, sudo apt-get update, and sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia.

    Change line 22 in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf to say "Driver=nvidia" and line 47 to say "KernelDriver=nvidia".

    Run sudo bumblebeed restart.

    Run optirun glxgears and admire the pretty graphics.

    Line 22 in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf is originally "Driver=nvidia-current" which is not the name of the nvidia module."

    Taken from this thread ---> http://askubuntu.com/questions/180104/accelerated-graphics-with-an-nvidia-card

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing it, I'll try it and let you know if it worked for me.

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  11. Thanks Arindam, Simon, et al.

    Have you guys tried Ubuntu 12.10 on it? I am planning to buy this lappy and want to know if the situation is better in Ubuntu 12.10.

    Also, how is the display? Is it glossy or matte?

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    Replies
    1. It is glossy display. Any Linux distro works like a charm on it and even Windows 8.

      Regards
      Arindam

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  12. Hi arindham..Iam planning to buy this laptop this week..Pal, How is the performance?..Can we play high graphics games like Max payne 3 on this machine..And also,I hve heard that this lappie has some heating issues and some problems with speakers..Is it true?.//Reply immediately bro...

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    1. Hi Aswin, I didn't face any heating issues, the machine works fine and silent with whatever you throw at it. Speakers work really good once you install Altec Lansing drivers given in the DVD that comes along with the laptop. Great machine undoubtedly. But, the keyboard is a bit wobbly and gives a fragile impression though it didn't break in my 6 months of usage. Rest all is good.

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  13. Hi Arindam,
    I know m quite late to have my say here as I dont see any comments after December 3, 2012. But if the blog is still alive, I would love to take few suggestions. I also bought this powerhouse(as per specs)in July last year but was unaware of your blog. This so called powerhouse has lot of issues with Linux flavors whether installed on machine or on Virtual applications. It does not pick up the WI-FI, Sound, Display etc Drivers automatically. On virtual machine,it doesn't detect the Pen drives or any external Hard drives. please suggest some resolutions keeping in mind that m literally new to Linux.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I am running Ubuntu 12.04.2 without any issue on Asus K55VM with NVIDIA graphics and wifi, sound, etc. working as expected. Even I test at least 2-3 linux distros every week on virtual machine. To detect pendrives, external hard disks, etc. on virtualbox, and to get the correct resolution, you have to install virtualbox extension pack and virtualbox guest additions for the virtualbox version you are using. Please visit this link for details:
      https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

      Also, I have used Linux Mint, Archlinux, Pear OS, Manjaro on this machine without any issue. What Linux OS you are using by the by?

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  14. Till now i have tried installing ubuntu-12.10-server, Redhat Linux Enterprise server 6.1, 6.2 & Ubuntu based Sedulity OS on base as well as on virtual and I have faced the issues which i had mentioned in previous comment. I have tried both VMware as well as Virtual box and the issues are same. I also have virtualbox guest additions installed though not sure about virtualbox extension pack....Have u tried the dual boot i mean Linux & Windows, If yes, did u face any issues ? or are u installing only linux distros without any Windows? Your suggestions are always welcome..Also u can inbox me ur fone digits at shahgagan85@gmail.com so that we can resolve it?

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    1. Yes, I have a dual boot with Linux as the default option. I am using Ultimate Edition 3.5 on it along with Windows 7. At least no issues on hardware recognition from my side. Sound, touch pad, Wifi, webcam, etc. works right out of the box. Sure, I'll drop you a mail with my mobile number.

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    2. Mate, I am waiting for your email with your phone number.

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  15. Hi,

    I am waiting for your email with phone number...plz forwrd it so that during my offs i can contact u. Also, plz mention ur free time when i can contact u.

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  16. Hi there.

    I recently bought the K55VM beauty, after a great deal of research and asking-around.
    The one problem I did not foresee, however, was its inability to support Linux(at ALL, dual, single, or in any way). Customer care said it was the fault of the model. I've tried linux on a virtual machine too; the installation doesn't go past(gets stuck on) the first page or so.

    Any suggestions?

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    1. Hi Pallavi:

      Not sure. My machine runs only Linux (I removed Windows 7 and it has only Kubuntu 12.04 LTS running on it now!). It runs like a charm with all special effects (desktop cube, cone, animations, etc.) and NVIDIA graphics works with bumblebee. So, no complains from my side!

      Regards,
      Arindam

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    2. By the by, have you tried installing Linux from a live USB and not the windows installer? (I am assuming that you tried installing Ubuntu). Also, try installing Linux Mint. Please let me know if you need details.

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  17. I have this laptop, works like a charm and it came with DOS so didn't have to pay Windows tax. I recently installed Ubuntu LTS 12.04.3 to get the raring kernel, xorg and of course the nvidia-primus and it works like a charm. The only caveat is that brightness control doesn't work either via the system settings applet nor the Fn keys but I guess this is a nvidia driver issue.

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  18. when i run this code in terminal "sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia",it gives error that package not found

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gaurav:

      Did you add the bumblebee ppa before running the installation code?

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  19. Hi Arindam,
    I got my Asus k55v 3610QM yesterday. I want to make dual booting. I installed Windows 7 first and then Linux Mint 16. But the problem is the Boot menu is not showing up on start up. Its directly starting Windows. I tried pressing Shift ot F5 on startup, but no help.
    Please help if you have some idea. Reply at ajit6480@gmail.com.
    Thanks

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  20. Hi Arindam,
    I got my Asus k55v 3610QM yesterday. I want to make dual booting. I installed Windows 7 first and then Linux Mint 16. But the problem is the Boot menu is not showing up on start up. Its directly starting Windows. I tried pressing Shift ot F5 on startup, but no help.
    Please help if you have some idea. Reply at ajit6480@gmail.com.
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ajit,
      Esc works for me on the same machine. Can you please check if it helps with a live usb.

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  21. This is very informative and knowledgeable.I am very glad to read its article.Thank you for useful information...
    More info:- Asus Technical Support

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