Unfortunately these devices are quite expensive (Dell sells them as mobile workstations, so they are quite powerful), so I only could afford a used device.
My choice fell on a Dell Precison M7600 as these are powerful enough for running Gentoo on them and were in my financial range. While searching the internet for used M6700 devices it became clear quite soon that my only choice were used M6700 with NVidia Quadro GPUs. Although Dell provided M6700 with AMD Fire GPUs as well, it seems most of Dell's Precision notebook customers prefer NVidia GPUs over AMD GPUs and thus I couldn't find an M6700 with AMD GPU that was neither broken nor too expensive.
Since I had very good experience with all ATI/AMD GPUs and the open source radeon/amdgpu drivers in all of my computers, I had the hope that I could achieve similar results with NVidia + nouveau. Oh was I wrong about that...
Perhaps it's the combination of NVidia Quadro K3000M + nouveau + Xorg + KF5 that constantly freezes my system, I don't know it, but having a Desktop that freezes as soon as you have opened a couple of windows is everything but not useful for daily work.
Searching the freedesktop bug database for nouveau issues revealed lots of bugs that had similar reports to what I was suffering from and no indication that these issues might get fixed anytime soon.
The only "fix" for my issue was to disable render acceleration of the Xorg nouveau driver and change the rendering backend in KF5 from opengl to Xrender. Of course that means no opengl, so no nice shiny desktop effects in KF5 as well. Great!
I do not blame the nouveau developers for releasing crappy drivers. These guys did most of the development of this driver by reverse engineering and the very minimal hardware information NVidia provided. I'm honestly thankful for their work and that we have at least some driver that performs better than the former nv driver that perfomed horribly.
But I blame NVidia for still treating free software users as second class people. I don't care how good or advanced their binary blob drivers are. I don't want to use them! I want free software on my system! So I can only join Linus Torvalds and say "fuck you NVidia!", I will never ever buy one of their crappy cards again!
Unfortunately there are still some more drawbacks with my new notebook. Here's a summary of all issues I have:
- The GPU doesn't work with open source drivers
- No backlight on the keyboard (but fortunately can be purchased as spare part)
- The screen's resolution is only 1920x1080 and not 1920x1200 as with my previous two Dell Precision notebooks
- The battery cannot be removed/inserted while the notebook is operating with AC power because the notebook instantly shuts off
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