Fujitsu Amilo Pi 3560 review from a Linux user

Posted on Nov 14, 2009 in All Articles, Featured Articles, Linux Reviews, Reviews

This week I bought a new laptop although my old one has still plenty of life in it thanks to Intel. Their graphics drivers suffer for over a year now and for the last months it became just impossible to work with.

I appreciate the work of their developers, writing open source graphics’ drivers and leading in general graphics’ drivers, xorg server and linux kernel to a better setup (in-kernel drivers, kms, gem). But the thing is that while they are doing this their drivers are a pain to use. My old laptop, with an Intel T7300 CPU (2GHz, 2 cores, 4MB cache), 2GB of RAM and Intel X3100 can not even run properly firefox, konqueror, openoffice or eclipse. I don’t want 3d performance, I want a usable system. Constant memory leaks, extensive swaping although there is free RAM and/or the swappiness is set to low levels and the last month the OOM killer killed my X countless times. When I change tab to my browser I do not want to stare at the disk activity led for more than a couple of seconds.

So, on Sunday, really tired of the above situation, I decided to order a new laptop with nVidia graphics card this time. Not in my budget calculations for this year but I need a working computer in order to work. Without much thought I ordered a Fujitsu Amilo Pi 3560 to replace my old Amilo Pi 2515. It arrived on Wednesday.

Since I am a bit dissapointed by the lack of product reviews from the Linux user perspective I thought I should write a small review. We (Linux users) are like every other user: we want to buy the latest and greatest when it comes to computers but often risk to end with an unsupported device. This laptop launched about a month ago, so if you are out for a laptop now it will be on your list of choices.

Specifications (for my setup at least, Pi 3560 F2):

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 (2 cores, 2GHz, 2MB cache)
  • 4GB RAM (800MHz, upgradeable to 8GB)
  • nVidia GT240M with 1GB DDR3 VRAM, supporting PhysX, Cuda, PureVideo HD (vdpau support)
  • 16 inch LED display, 1366×768 (16:9)
  • 500GB hard disk (5400rpm, 8MB cache, reports as Hitachi HTS545050B9A300)
  • 10/100/1000 ethernet (reports as RTL8111/8168B PCI Express)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/pre-n (reports as Realtek 8172)
  • Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR (Broadcom)
  • 3 USB ports, one of them works as eSATA too
  • High Definition Audio with: line in, mic in, internal mic, line out / headphones / SPDIF 5.1 combo (Realtek ALC272)
  • HDMI 1.3a, VGA out
  • Card Reader (SD, MS, MMC, XD)
  • SuperMulti DVD Burner (TSSTcorp CDDVDDW TS-L633C)
  • Express card
  • Webcam, 1.3MP (SuYin USB 2.0 Camera)
  • Spill-proof keyboard
  • 2 year warranty

Cost: a big Greek retailer offered it for 700€.

My setup:

  • Gentoo Linux 64bit, testing arch (~amd64)
  • Linux kernel 2.6.31 (-r5)
  • ALSA 1.0.21 (in-kernel version)
  • X server 1.7.1
  • nVidia proprietary drivers 190.42 (-r3)
  • KDE 4.3.3

The 3560 looks good, compared at least to my old 2515. It has a nice glossy black finish (prone to dust and fingerprints unavoidably) and a white-grey keyboard with a large silver area around it. The monitor lid uses magnets to stay closed instead of latches. The build quality doesn’t seem any different but maybe, because of the better looking materials, it feels more fragile. It is worth mentioning that this isn’t a Fujitsu Siemens computer but a plain Fujitsu computer. Fujitsu has bought Siemens’ share of their joint venture and dropped their name.

One thing that annoys me is the stickers that come with a new laptop and this one has its fair share: bluetooth sticker (why?), nvidia sticker, intel sticker, windows 7 sticker (first to go) and finally the German flag with a proud “made in German” underneath it. I haven’t find the time yet to remove them.

Let’s move on the things that matter: the Linux user experience!

It’s processor is quite fast and cool. It isn’t a desktop quad core monster but it can handle most tasks efficiently. It’s temperature usually is in the 45°C – 56°C range even with the two cores compiling at full speed, pretty cool for a laptop. A nice side-effect is that it’s fan isn’t used much and when used it is quite silent. Specs claim maximum noise levels at 35dB(A). The cores seem to change their frequency independently. I didn’t use it on my lap but touching it’s bottom seems cool after some hours of normal work (browsing, listening to music, KDE 3d effects turned on).

The video card is a joy to work with. Everything is fast and snappy. The nvidia-settings utility allows you to setup on-the-fly external monitors you just plugged in, perfect for presentations without awkward moments. Vdpau is supported and HD video content playback is virtually cpu-less. I installed Unreal Tournament 2004 demo, set every possible setting to high and the resolution at 1680×1050 (my external monitor) and the game run smoothly. It had some difficult moments when many enemies and their bullets were in view but nothing sort of impressive for a laptop at this price range. Some Cuda demonstration programs I installed also looked quite interesting. Oh, yes, from a more practical point of view KDE 4 effects run smoothly too. I use X.org X server 1.7.1, nVidia proprietary drivers 190.42 (-r3 for Gentoo users) and Mesa 7.5.2.
Of course there are some quirks. One thing is that I had some X server restarts (a better word for crash) after extensive playing (switching between monitors, continuously turning on/off composite, loading many cuda apps) but nothing I will come upon in everyday use I believe.  I work with an external monitor and there weren’t any unpleasant surprises, it works well although since I am too lazy to configure xorg.conf I have to configure my monitors every time I start the computer. This round goes to Intel since their drivers work together with the X (xrandr) and remember your settings, yet they do not work that good with both monitors (internal and external) turned on concurrently. I couldn’t try the HDMI output  due to lack of a television set. lspci reveals a nVidia audio interface which I assume is for sound over HDMI.
Update: X server crashes are due to X.org server 1.7.1 and nVidia driver 190.42. One can use the older versions of these until new ones come out. Audio over HDMI probably doesn’t work as my ALSA setup fails to recognize it as a sound card.

Sound (tested with ALSA 1.0.20 and 1.0.21) works out of the box except the internal mic. I had a really hard time making it work though. I just copied my old Gentoo installation instead of doing a clean install and a very old configuration file from alsaconf find it’s way to the ALSA service preventing the audio card to work correctly.
The laptop without anything plugged in uses its internal speakers. When you plug your headphones or your speakers the internal speakers automatically mute and the external ones are used. The mic in jack also works and the line in should work (but I didn’t test that one). The S/PDIF I couldn’t test it but I noticed that every time I insert my headphones a red glow comes out of the jack for an instance. Probably it tries to autosense S/PDIF connections. The internal mic I didn’t manage to make it work.
The audio chipset is the Realtek ALC272. By setting model=3stach-6ch-dig in ALSA I managed to turn line in and mic to line outs (not headphone out, the signal isn’t ampified)! I lost the normal line out that way but this configuration can be used to drive 4 analog speakers. If you play a little more with ALSA you may even get the internal mic to work, who knows.
Update: The internal mic works too! It’s a funny thing but you can’t set the internal mic to play at the speakers what it captures so I thought it didn’t work. Today I was playing with pulseaudio so I noticed that it’s input monitor meters were dancing. I opened audacity and recorded a few seconds and at playback I indeed heard my voice! So internal mic will work for audio conferences. One problem, at least for my machine, is that the left internal mic (yeap, it’s stereo) captures at significant lower volume level than the right, thus the output sounds like it comes only from the right speaker.

The display looks good, it is very bright and the colors seem impressive (but a little blue-ish). I haven’t checked though how accurate they are but they definitely seem like an upgrade to me. Unfortunately adjusting the screen’s brightness isn’t supported yet (I’m running on a 2.6.31 kernel) and this can be a big problem since it may be too bright to work with in a room with artificial light. At least the monitor does go to standby after some minutes, although it didn’t respect my settings in the KDE system settings (I had monitor power management turned off). The lid switch works partially. The computer doesn’t do anything if you close the lid, but if you put the machine to standby and close the lid, when you open it the laptop will wake up.
Update: The lid started working perfectly! When you close it the computer goes to standby, when you open it it comes out of standby. I do not remember setting anything to fix this.
Update 2:
A small workaround -but still very far from a proper solution- is to set the brightness of the monitor during the machine’s boot (at the BIOS screen). There the brightness’ keys work and you can set the desired brightness but you will not be able to alter it later so you better make a good choice or you will have to reboot to set it again!

The gigabit LAN worked out of the box. My router has only 100mbps ports so I don’t know how 1000mbps feel.

The wireless LAN has a bit more of a story. It didn’t work out of the box. My first google searches returned some ndiswrapper related results and I got a bit afraid, I run at 64bit. Fortunately after some more search I found out that open source drivers from Realtek are on the way. They are for Realtek 8192 Se but work on 8172 too. This thread was the most useful as I couldn’t find the driver sources anywhere else. Just download the appropriate version, compile against your kernel and install but… beware!
Usually I prefer the wired LAN but since I wanted to try the new machine I played a bit with the wireless and after I got bored I forgot the wlan service running. After half or one hour the machine froze completely. I turned it off by pressing the power button for some seconds. I turned it on and everything seemed fine but alas, after half or one hour once again the machine froze.  Checking the kernel messages I found the wireless to be the culprit. I got these messages: DMA: Out of SW-IOMMU space for 9100 bytes at device 0000:06:00.0 . The device mentioned is of course the wireless card and before these messages there were tons of messages about the wireless LAN trying to connect to my network (as instructed by wpa_supplicant). I believe in normal use there shouldn’t be any problem if you use networkmanager or wicd, at least for me there isn’t, the problem happens only with Gentoo’s wlan service.
Unfortunately I don’t have any hardware to test the 802.11 pre-n.  A small problem I should mention is the lack of a switch to turn off  the wi-fi (in order to save battery for example) but more about this in the Fn κeys section below.
Update: The wireless card driver I suggested had some problems often leading to a kernel panic. Thankfully David Woo solved this problems and you can find the latest driver at Ubuntu’s Launchpad at this bug. Just download the latest driver from the attachments section (currently rtl8192se_linux_2.6.0010.1211.2009.tar.gz). Please note that there isn’t anymore any distinction between 32bit and 64bit drivers, so just download the latest.

Bluetooth works well out of the box. I sent files to my phone and used my phone to control my computer through anyremote without tampering with even a single setting!

The webcam works. At first I thought it didn’t but you have to press Fn+F7 in order for it to turn on. It is identified as a usb device, specifically as SuYin USB 2.0 Camera. It works only with kopete. I tried it with tvtime, xdtv, camorama, hasciitime, came, cheese (this one didn’t even install properly) but none accepted it as a valid v4l device except kopete. A small comment about style: I personally think that a silver circle (the webcam) and two small silver mics (the internal mics) over your screen show a really bad taste. Just leave them black, I know my computer has them!

The keyboard is a typical Fujitsu-Siemens keyboard with 85 keys. I find their laptop keyboards to have just the right size. This one may seem a bit small compared to others but this isn’t the actual case. They just removed the last tab of keys (page up, down, home, delete) and arranged these keys in different positions underneath or beneath of the rest keys. A big -for me- problem is the removal of the Sys Rq key. This key is used to gracefully reboot your machine in case of a hard lock (ie by Intel’s graphics driver getting killed by the OOM killer). I usually work on an external keyboard but it is nice to have on the actual laptop. Fujitsu claims the keyboard to be spillproof but I am not brave enough to test it.

The touchpad is actually recognized as a synaptics touchpad, thus enabling you to access all the advanced settings the synaptics driver offers you, like scrolling when you run your finger across the edges or automatic turn off while you are typing. An annoyance is that I need both kcm_touchpad (KDE system settings module) and synaptiks (a KDE touchpad management tool) to set it up to my liking. The problem is that it doesn’t consider the double tap as a left click so I need kcm_touchpad to set the single tap as a left click and I need synaptiks in order for the touchpad to turn off automatically while I type. kcm_touchpad offers the automatic turn off feature but it is grayed out for some reason.

The Fn keys’ behavior varies. The one that turns on/off the camera works. The one which cycles through available display configurations works too but I strongly suggest to use nvidia-settings for these. Also the key that disables the touchpad and the key that mutes the sound work. The last key working is the one that enables silent operation. When you enable silent operation the CPU stays at 1200MHz and the GPU tops at performance level 1.
The keys for adjusting screen brightness and audio volume do not work. The keys for adjusting the monitor’s brightness are recognized, dmesg logs:  ACPI: Failed to switch the brightness everytime you press them, albeit as said they do not work. Also the key for turning off the wireless and the bluetooth doesn’t work (yes it doesn’t have a hard switch, only a soft key) so it ends up eating battery when you don’t need it. The last Fn key is for putting the machine to standby and it doesn’t work.

LED. Normally they wouldn’t go in a review but here they should. The laptop has these led: power (2 of them), battery, wifi + bluetooth (it’s the same led), webcam (2 colors, blue on, red capturing), wired LAN (one led for link, one for tx/rx).
Now, did you notice something missing? Yes, it doesn’t have a caps lock led, neither a num lock led, neither a disk activity led. The last one is probably the most important computer led of all times, why someone would remove it?

The card reader works, at least for SD cards. It is quick and not resource hungry. A small catch is that you have to press a card in order to be ejected. That’s logical for smaller cards but the SD cards you can just pull them out. If you do that the next time you will insert a card it will eject it first because you obviously let the mechanism loaded.

I didn’t test the express card and the DVD burner, the first because of lack of proper hardware, the latter because I am not too interested in it. It propably works. I loaded a kung fu video dvd and played ok. K3b recognizes it as TSSTcorp CDDVDDW TS-L633C with 2MB buffer, burnfree support and able to read and write most CD and DVD formats, including writing support for dual layer DVD-R and dual layer DVD+R.

Standby and hibernate. Let’s start from the easy one: hibernation. I don’t know if it works. I haven’t set it up. Standby which I always use works. The first day it didn’t work but I think it was because I left connected (I can’t remember if I actually did) my USB TV Tuner (Kworld 323U) which always prevents computers from resuming from standby. Just to be sure today I threw to it everything I have, yet it always resumed from standby so I am pretty sure this is the default behavior.

Battery, size, weight. The size is a little bigger than usual 15.4 laptops since this is a 16 inch laptop but the difference isn’t significant. Its width is about 2cm more than my 15.4 and its length about 0.5cm less. It looks a bit of a fatty (speaking for height) but it isn’t, it has the same height as my 15.4 but it has it everywhere, there aren’t any slim areas. The weight is kept at the same levels as the 15.4 category (2.7Kg) which is manageable if you don’t have to carry it around on foot all day. I didn’t have a chance to test the battery but the specs say it lasts three hour if the machine stays idle so a good guess would be about an hour or an hour and a half for normal use since we can not turn the brightness down or turn off the wireless. An interesting thing is that Fujitsu specs claim a 2400mAh battery but the battery’s sticker says 5400mAh.

The laptop comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Multilingual (although you get to select the language upon first run and that’s it). On the first boot I let Windows to run in order for them to complete any settings needed. Since I want to have only one computer (this) it is a good idea to have a Windows installation lying around just in case. The installation dialog asked me to partition the disk: perfect! I gave 50GB to Windows and told them to use the remaining 450GB for data. When they completed their installation I rebooted and moved to install Linux. I found out that the laptop has a 2GB recovery partition. I let this partition and Windows partition intact and deleted the data partition. I copied my Gentoo installation from the old laptop to the new one, changed some fstab entries and set the xorg driver from intel to nvidia (yeap, just six characters changed), set up grub and that was it, everything went smoothly. I booted once today into Windows to check if they still work and indeed they seem to work (figure of speech).

Conclusion

I find Fujitsu Amilo Pi 3560 a good deal for it’s money. It is pretty (or not that ugly if you prefer) with decent CPU and RAM and more than decent graphics. The bottleneck for this system is the hard disk.

It’s Linux support is average out of the box. If the monitor brightness adjustment was supported I would say it’s Linux support is very good since this is a problem that may prevent you to use it.  Please kernel hackers do your best!

Updated: VGA works well (with proprietary drivers), sound, bluetooth, webcam, wired LAN, card reader, stand by work out of the box. Wireless LAN needs some work (install kernel headers, gcc and compile 3rd party open source drivers, it’s easier than it sounds) but even then it can’t be turned off to save battery. HDMI, line in, DVD burning, hibernate, S/PDIF and express card weren’t tested but I am pretty sure that the first four work, for the latter I do not have any experience. HDMI audio doesn’t work yet.
Of course we should not forget that this is a fairly new model (one month old) so it is expected to have some quirks.

I hope my -lengthy, I know- review will help some people with their decisions. I will try to post updates if anything changes.

Another small update: I’ve been using happilly this laptop for about 4 years now. Unfortunately as I spend more and more time in the browser and web pages tend to get heavier, the 3560′s available RAM became a serious problem. Last year I gave in and bought 8GB of SO-DIMM DDR2 RAM from Corsair and since then the machine became a worthy desktop replacement (for my needs) again. Unfortunately SO-DIMM DDR2 is expensive but it is better than buying a new laptop I guess. :(

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50 Comments

  1. I made some updates to the review:
    VGA crashes often because of the certain combination of nvidia drivers 190.42 and xorg server 1.7.1.
    The internal mic turns out it works. It just doesn’t pass sound to the speakers but it can be used as source for audio chats etc.
    The lid also works as set by powerdevil (KDE settings power manager).
    Audio over HDMI doesn’t work. I haven’t tested it but I am pretty sure about this. It will probably be fixed in the future since older nVidia cards are supported.

  2. Thank you for the review, I was looking for one like this for long.

  3. Hi, thx for a nice review! I’m also ready to by this one….but first some Q; What about noise from fan – idle/ under load – is it really that “silent” as you describe? Is there any “fancontrol” – software? On the picture from “upside down” there are some vent.grills – or are they not vent.grills? Do you think the laptop has a good “airflow”/vent. for cooling? I’m looking for a laptop that have above average performance but still is cool/quiet.

  4. Yes, there are vent grills under the laptop, 4 as you may counted, and there is also a grill on the back and one on the left side.

    The laptop is indeed very quiet. Even at full load the fan isn’t annoying, nothing compared to my old laptops. If I have music on or an open window so that noise from outside comes in (normal day noise, not highway noise or something extreme) I can not tell if it’s fan is working or not.

    There is though two cases that I haven’t tested. One is full graphics load. I do not play games so I do not know if in this case the laptop gets noisy but I don’t think it will and usually games make enough noise by themselves. The second thing is that I always use it on my office and never on my lap so I do not know how hot it will get in that case. I can tell you that its bottom is always warm, never hot, which is again a different experience from the older laptops of mine.

    I do not know if there is any fan control software because frankly I never felt bothered by its noise level. There is a silent mode as in most Fujitsu ( – Siemens) laptops which just keeps the CPU frequency at 1.2GHz and also the GPU frequency at some lower level. This is enabled by pressing Fn+F11. There isn’t any led indicator for this but I can confirm that it works in Linux (probably it works on Windows too :p).

    In a few words: I had laptops from Toshiba and Fujitsu Siemens (both lower end models) and worked on laptops from Sony and MiTAC. This laptop is by far quieter than all these and I generally feel that a laptop can’t get much quieter than that.

  5. Nice,thx for your quick reply! It seems like THE laptop for me.I found this review; http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Fujitsu-Amilo-Pi-3560-Notebook.22733.0.html – but I find a user review like yours being more helpful.Anyway – your review confirms notebookcheck’s testimonial that this laptop really is a great “allrounder”.

  6. Yes, I believe it is. I just read the review you mention and my model has some small differences. The hard disk is made by Hitachi instead of Fujitsu, the screen is reported as manufactured by Seiko from nVidia’s panel instead of LG and my CPU has never reached a temperature higher than 58° Celsius but, as I said, I never strain the GPU, so their high temperatures (70° Celsius) may be due to this.

    If you use Linux just remember that changing the screen’s brightness isn’t yet supported and working with full brightness in a room will be difficult.

  7. Some updates for Linux users.

    I installed recently the latest Linux kernel (2.6.32) and the latest beta nVidia drivers (195.22). Unfortunately there was no change at all concerning the unsupported devices. The wireless card still needs external drivers, audio over HDMI doesn’t seem to be supported and most important the screen’s brightness adjustment isn’t yet possible. I even tried the development version of nvclock. :(

    I found a workaround for the brightness, although still far from perfect. When the machine boots, during the BIOS screen (or better if you have set up a password) you can adjust the brightness using the appropriate keys. So you can at least lower it a bit so the screen will be usable during your session. Of course if you want to adjust it again you will have to reboot…

  8. Hi!
    Sorry for my english, i’m italian, i’ll do my best =) I have a notebook Toshiba and i have your identical problems with wireless lan (the model is the same, realtek 8172, but i used the 8192se driver). It workes for a while but then it freeze and gives the same error as yours. Did you solved something???

  9. No problem with the double comment. I am new with wordpress myself and I understand. ;)

    Now, about the wireless lan. The problem happened to me because wpa-supplicant tried endlessly to connect to my wireless network.

    wpa-supplicant starts with a configuration file (for me it is /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf) where it finds the networks it should try to connect to. In my case it did find my wireless lan but couldn’t connect because of another problem. So it kept trying until it froze my computer.

    I solved the problem just by erasing wpa-supplicant’s configuration file. Since Gentoo always try to start the wireless lan with this trick the wpa-supplicant starts but since it doesn’t find any configuration file it complains and stops. Tools such as networkmanager and wicd continue to work since they provide their own configuration file to wpa-supplicant when they want to connect to your network.

  10. Hi Marios,

    Just bought (till not received) this lappy before seeing your review. Seems that i made the good choice if i read your review. Since i am a linux only user since 12 years now (for a huge amount of reasons) , i already planned to throw in trash the OS which is sold with.
    About the brightness adjustement: i have read elsewhere for another nvidia chip (and lappy) (in the same range) that swithcing to a VT, changing the brightness, then go back to X do the job too. OK it is not really “clean” but should avoid at least to reboot !
    Another point concerning smartdimmer and nvclock: it seems (from what i’ve seen even on the CVS) taht the GT2x0M are not listed in the pci ids (file utils.c in src/backend). Perhaps adding the pci ids of the GT2x0M in this list could do the job ? the id of the GT240M is 0x0A34 , so adding these lines after line 167 should help ?
    case 0xA34: /* GT240M */
    arch = GT200;
    break;
    could you try it?

    Joël

  11. Sorry for this double posting:
    Are you sure about HDMI not working? It seesm that it can be a bit tricky to setup the HDMI (at least it is what i have read here and there), often beeing due to some misconfigurations in the alsa.conf file
    Joel

  12. The trick with VT doesn’t work on this laptop, at least for me. I have tried the VESA and userspace VESA framebuffers.

    nvclock also doesn’t work. I tried what you suggested and I have tried other similar solutions. The thing is that as far as I understand this card has a different architecture from the older cards, so a change in id won’t do much.

    For example, if i run nvclock -i -f to force it read my card it returns:
    Unable to shadow the video bios
    -- General info --
    Card: Unknown Nvidia card
    Architecture: GA5 A2
    PCI id: 0x0
    GPU clock: -2147483.750 MHz
    Bustype: PCI

    -- Memory info --
    Amount: 1024 MB
    Type: 64 bit SDR
    Clock: -2147483.750 MHz

    The main problem is that it is always unable to shadow the video BIOS and as you can see it detects garbage when it comes to clock. It is just an unsupported architecture. nvclock hasn’t been updated for a while now I think.

    Another example is when I instruct nvclock to debug the card. I get:
    nvclock i -D -f
    Unable to shadow the video bios
    --- Unknown Nvidia card GPU registers ---
    NV_PMC_BOOT_0 (0x0): 0a5a00a2
    NV_PBUS_DEBUG_0 (0x1080): 00000000
    NV_PBUS_DEBUG_1 (0x1084): 00041469
    NV_PBUS_DEBUG_2 (0x1088): 00000000
    NV_PBUS_DEBUG_3 (0x108c): 000000d1
    NV_10F0 (0x10f0): 00000000
    NV_1540 (0x1540): f7030003
    NV_15B0 (0x15b0): 00000000
    NV_15B4 (0x15b4): 00000000
    NV_15B8 (0x15b8): 00000000
    NV_15F0 (0x15f0): 00000000
    NV_15F4 (0x15f4): 00000000
    NV_15F8 (0x15f8): 00000000
    NV_PBUS_PCI_0 (0x1800): 00000000
    NV_PBUS_PCI_0 (0x182c): 00000000
    NV_PFB_CFG0 (0x100200): 00223800
    NV_PFB_CFG0 (0x100204): 0155a020
    NV_PFB_CFG0 (0x100208): 00000000
    NV_PFB_CFG0 (0x10020c): 40000000
    NV_PFB_218 (0x100218): 01000101
    NV_PFB_TIMING0 (0x100220): 0c1c5828
    NV_PFB_TIMING1 (0x100224): 15050f08
    NV_PFB_TIMING2 (0x100228): 07060c0c
    NV_PFB_474 (0x100474): 00000000
    NV_PEXTDEV_BOOT_0 (0x101000): 9f789088
    NV_NVPLL_COEFF_A (0x680500): 00000000
    NV_MPLL_COEFF_A (0x680504): 00000000
    NV_VPLL_COEFF (0x680508): 00000000
    NV_PLL_COEFF_SELECT (0x68050c): 00000000
    NV_NVPLL_COEFF_B (0x680570: 00000000
    NV_MPLL_COEFF_B (0x680574: 00000000

    Thanks for the suggestions though. If you can think of anything else let me know and if you manage to find a solution, I beg you, you have to let me know!!!

  13. For the HDMI audio not working I am pretty sure even though I haven’t tested it. It isn’t a matter of configuration. Even a misconfigured machine, provided it has drivers, should show a sound card for the HDMI audio output. Here I get nothing and from a search around the net (ie nvidia’s forums) the same issue goes for everyone having a GT2x0 card.

    If the HDMI audio was detected then the aplay -l and aplay -L commands should show it. Here is what I get:
    Miles ~ # aplay -l
    **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
    card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC272 Analog [ALC272 Analog]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 1: ALC272 Digital [ALC272 Digital]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    Miles ~ # aplay -L
    front:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Analog
    Front speakers
    surround40:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Analog
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
    surround41:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Analog
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
    surround50:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Analog
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
    surround51:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Analog
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
    surround71:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Analog
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
    iec958:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC272 Digital
    IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
    null
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)

  14. OK,

    Just have to wait a bit to get this lappy in my hand and play with it. Sure, the latest beta of nvclock is almost 1 year old now….should we bug the author???
    Anyway, if something make some light in my brain, i will send you my idea, and results.

    Joël

  15. Thanks!

    Btw, there is a related bug (to the brightness issue) open in the xorg’s bugzilla but I haven’t kept the link. It is more generic though. From what they say nVidia cards control the backlight brightness but nVidia refuses to support it in their drivers because they say the implementation and registers used are vendor specific, so it the vendor’s responsibility (Fujitsu in our case) to support it. Probably if they had proper ACPI support in their BIOS we wouldn’t have these problems now as the brightness would be supported by the video module (ACPI -> Video) of the kernel.

  16. …and what about hardware virtualization? Is there any chance to switch it ON in the BIOS simply? (I think it is no so obvious in the laptop-world…)

  17. It isn’t a BIOS issue. The T6600 CPU doesn’t have virtualization extensions.

    On the other hand VirtualBox works better with this machine than with my old laptop which had a similar processor with virtualization extensions (T7300).

    A small update: I believe that the problem Mui wrote about may be more generic than I thought. I always use wired network. After his message I tried a wireless connection for a bit and I did see the messages that precedes a kernel panic and turned it off. Maybe a driver update is needed. Realtek haven’t released officially the drivers but usually emails them to you if you ask.

  18. Hi again Marios,
    just got mine yesterday, tried with a debian based live dvd i have on my desk.booting OK, LAN ok, bluetooth too. graphics not, but due to the fact that the driver was too old.
    some points :
    my WLAN is ralink, not realtek, with some issues, but have also to see if there is updates somewhere.
    i have only 3Gig (4 installed) detected, but maybe due to the fact that the live is 32bit and i have not took the time to put options (like himem..) in the boot prompt.
    my bios seems a little bit..hm..light..so to say. no way to specify amount of graphic shared memory you want, no way to get detailed information about cpu, gpu, memory timings… and so on. Was your bios also so light? Sorry if these remarks looks strange to you, but it is my first laptop, was always working on desktop stations, build pieces by pieces by myself.

    Regards
    Jo

  19. Nice, I hope you enjoy it!

    The BIOS indeed is superlight. The same goes for most laptops but it isn’t a significant issue as you probably don’t want to tamper with advanced settings and overclocking in a laptop. Besides, this isn’t a custom made pc, the vendor made sure it will never have compatibility or configuration problems.

    Your graphics card doesn’t need shared memory. It has 1GB of DDR3 VRAM of its own so the 4GBs of your RAM remain all yours to use!

    The reason you see only 3GB of RAM is, as you said, due to the 32bit OS. I suggest you install a 64bit Linux. I work on 64bit for many years now and it is great although some times they need more RAM.

    About your wireless card I really don’t know. I never had a card from ralink.

    About the information for your system you may want, you can access most of them from Linux.
    For example cat /proc/cpuinfo will tell you about your CPU. nVidia’s utility nvidia-settings will give you information about your graphics card, etc. Small programs like lshw will give you even more information.

    Personally, things like memory timing etc bothered me when I were using Windows. Since I turned to Linux about 5 or more years ago I never felt the need to “tweak” my CPU or to play with my RAM’s timing.

  20. Hi Marios

    seems that alsa team released a 1.0.22 version with some fixes concerning nvidia cards (namely the 9800/9500 M, which are also from the new chip generation).
    Not tried so far, still need to do a clean install of linux.
    Joël

  21. Thanks for the update! I prefer the in-kernel drivers and since I do not currently own a HD television set I will not try it for now.

  22. An important update today at the wireless card section. It turned out that the driver I suggested indeed lead to a kernel panic. Thankfully David Woo from Ubuntu’s launchpad solved this problem and released and updated version of the driver.

    Here is the related bug at launchpad where you can find the latest version of the driver: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/401126?comments=all

    Currently the latest version is this: http://launchpadlibrarian.net/36688638/rtl8192se_linux_2.6.0010.1211.2009.tar.gz
    Please note that this works both for 32bit and 64bit systems, there isn’t a distinction anymore.

    I had some problems once with the RX/TX counters of the card with this driver but I didn’t manage to reproduce them. Apart from this it worked great. It never lost the connection, managed many p2p applications concurrently (ktorrent, amule) and transferred over nfs more than 20GiB of data although it was a bit slow (about 12-18mbps transfer rate where the connection rate should have been 54mbps).

  23. hello marios…
    from past few days i was confused regarding which lappy to chose… i like sony vaio cuz it looks awesome but one of my friend asked me to look at fujitsu notebooks and i guess now i have made my choice…
    thank you

  24. Hi Marios

    Happy new year.

    Just andupdate on this lappy. I tried yesterday a live version of Fedora 12 with the Nouveau driver. I have been able to control the brightness, even if it is a very coarse control (to summarize: full Brightness, lowest brightness, and darkscreen)
    Don’t know however if it is controlled by ACPI or by the nouveau driver, but i have not been able to find a valid brigthness file in /proc/acpi/video/….
    the drawback is that the driver in fedora doesn’t seem to support the 3D rendering on this chip..(well, i have not been able to activate the compiz/composite etc )

  25. i lost cd with the drivers (pi 3560) please could you upload.

    is it possible to run under windows xp x64 ?

    thanks

  26. Hi again! Have used this for two weeks now and must say; really satisfied with this laptop! Really quiet and cool running machine! Awesome. Perfect for my needs…only one thing
    on “wishlist” – better batterytime but that goes for many laptops.

  27. @ J. Co
    Happy new year (although a little late)!
    Indeed it is not unusual to get some backlight control with the nouveau drivers. It is a register on the graphics card that controls the brightness, so it is logical that video drivers should have this functionality.

    Unfortunately (?) nVidia’s proprietary drivers are really good (they share their code amongst all platforms, windows, linux, mac os x) and thus most people (me included) prefer them over the open source nouveau drivers.

    @john
    Sorry but I can’t. For one thing I am away from my home and won’t return for a couple of months. Besides it isn’t a CD but a DVD. How and where am I supposed to upload a whole DVD? Last but not least the laptop does not have a drivers’ CD. It has a Windows 7 installation (or restoration) DVD and sharing it would be illegal. Just ask your local retailer, Fujitsu or Microsoft for a new disk. They will probably charge you just a small fee.

    About Windows XP 64bit support… sorry but I do not know. I am a Linux guy.

    @Kings
    I would say I hope that you will enjoy it but is seems you already do!

    Indeed, quiet and cool! Only the touchpad gets warm but I find this design very smart. On other laptops it is the area around the touchpad that gets warm and since when you type you usually rest your hands on these areas they tend to get sweaty.

    Battery power is limited as in most laptops. I think battery is useful mainly as a ups for power outages and when you do presentations. In almost every other scenario the battery power simply isn’t enough.

  28. Is there any way to set up the line in and/or mic in as line out in windows 7?

  29. Sorry for the delayed answer. I don’t know if there is a way to do that in Windows. Why don’t you try Linux? :p

  30. hahaha, typical linux-user-answer :) I tried m8 and i am using ubuntu, but i`m in amateur dj business, and i bought new laptop and i need 2 analog outputs on windows because virtualDJ software does not work in linux, and i don`t have enough money to buy external soundcard :)

  31. The hardware certainly can do it so in your case it is a driver issue. Search around the net for other drivers.

    For example I have seen realtek’s official drivers in a windows desktop pc that when you connect a jack to a random port the driver asks you what you connected and you can select between both inputs (mic in or line in) and outputs (speakers front/rear/etc or headphones).

  32. I tried almost everything, and i know what you are talking about. (had alc888 on old laptop that had that option, but now i don`t, when tou plug in into line in, that is line in and you don`t have option to change it) Hardware can do it, that is all i wanted to know. Thanks for your help, i`ll try to contact fujitsu about this issue. Thanks once again.

  33. Hello,

    About the screen brightness, you can change the settings using the nvidia-settings utility!

  34. Thanks for your help! Which version of nvidia drivers do you have installed? Mine doesn’t have a brightness setting.

    I remember the old version 180.37 had a brightness setting but it didn’t adjust the backlight, just the colors’ brightness. While it was very useful the backlight remained at full brightness thus eating more battery.

    But with newer driver versions (I have tried 190.42, 190.53 and 195.22) this setting is gone.

  35. Marios, Thank you so much for a very useful review. I needed a laptop with nvidia graphics (not shared memory), with quiet operation, and tested on Kubuntu/Linux. So that really helped me to choose.

    So I bought one nearly the same, but with 3G/320G & T4400 Fujitsu code VFY:P3560MF022GB

    I was really worried about the graphics, since I have had bad experience with ATI cards.

    But with a little playing around, it does just what I need. The wireless problem is fixed in the latest Kubuntu Kernel (2.6.32-22) which upgrades to the 0015 Realtek driver.

    Strangely, the backlight can be adjusted in the BIOS passwrod screen only by first increasing the brightness [Fn-F9] – then you can decrease using Fn-F8.

    Other than that it’s fine. Thanks again!

    Rod

  36. I am glad I helped a bit! I hope someone will fix the screen brightness issue eventually. Most recent nvidia drivers offer a way to adjust brightness. Not at hardware level, just the colors but it helps if you find the screen too bright to work with and don’t want to reboot just for that.

  37. This is a laptop I’m considering and was surprised to found such an insightful Linux review. Thanks!

    It’s frustrating how often those simple Fn keys can be a pain. Many times some of them use a manufacturer-specific controller.

    I wonder if a bug report could be filed somewhere about that brightness issue though…

  38. There is a bug report at Launchpad for the brightness command problem, nr. 551668.

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nvidia-graphics-drivers/+bug/551668

  39. Hi,

    I like your review. I bought this model too, and I have the following issue: when I put the computer to sleep and then wake it up, the display remains dark.
    I use Fedora 13 with the latest updates.

    Did you experience the same issue? Could you please recommend something for me?

  40. I solved my issue by replacing Nouveau with the properitary NVidia driver.

  41. Thanks for the follow up! Sorry I didn’t respond to your first post but I was on vacations until recently.

  42. Hi Marios,

    Thanks for answering, I hope you had a good time at the vacation. :)

    About the WLAN drivers… it seems that Realtek updated them yesterday. :)
    (At least for me – RTL8191SE here.)

    http://218.210.127.131/downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=48&PFid=48&Level=5&Conn=4&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false&Downloads=true

    About the Fn keys – with Nouveau it seemed to recognize the Fn+F9 combo (Gnome’s brigtness applet popped up), but not Fn+F8…

    The volume keys worked for a fed days, then stopped working after I reinstalled the system. I wonder what software I might be missing…

  43. “fed days” = “few days”, obviously. (sorry for the typo.)

  44. The brightness’ keys are recognized but the various applets do not know how to change the brightness as there isn’t an interface available from the current kernel or the nvidia drivers, I don’t know about nouveau though.

    A funny thing about the wifi card is that for some reason it can’t connect to unprotected networks in linux. I will give the new drivers a try.

    Also I just tried the volume keys and indeed they do not seem to work except the mute button. Maybe you just have to set the appropriate shortcuts in your system settings.

  45. Marios, this is exactly what I have been looking for to help me decide which
    laptop to buy, thank you for writing such a detailed review! I have had
    similar problems with the X3100 and I can finally afford to buy a new laptop,
    so I will most likely get a Fujitsu Amilo Pi 3560.

    I would appreciate it if you could answer a couple of questions:

    How difficult is it to remove and clean the fan (compared to other laptops
    you used)?

    Is the hardware easily accessible for upgrades (RAM, HDD, CPU, graphics card)?
    Can the graphics card be removed or is it soldered in?

    Could you post some photos of the laptop with the bottom panels removed?

    For everyone else who has an issue with the absence of keyboard and
    HDD activity LEDs, here are some software based workarounds:

    gkleds – GKrellM plugin for monitoring/setting/displaying keyboard LEDs
    http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~oyvinha/files/files

    KKeyLed – KDE utility for monitoring/setting/displaying keyboard LEDs
    http://www.truesoft.ch/dieter/kkeyled.html

    wmhdplop / gkhdplop – dockapp for monitoring/displaying HDD activity
    http://hules.free.fr/wmhdplop/

  46. Actually I haven’t really bothered with these but my guess would be:
    - RAM: easily upgradeable, though 4GB sticks will be expensive
    - HDD: easily upgradeable
    - CPU: may be upgradeable but realistically you won’t upgrade it because I don’t think it will worth it
    - GPU: I highly doubt it is upgradeable

    Keep in mind that with the money for these upgrades and the money you can get from selling the laptop two years from now you could probably buy a new one.

    The fan has a filter installed so you do not need to open the panel to clean it. If you blow it from outside (with compressed air), the filter will cleanse easily.

    I think I’ve opened the panel once but I am not sure. I will take some photos if I remember it but please understand that my machine never shuts down so it may take quite a time before I get to it. My uptime before I went off to vacations was 70 days…

    The most annoying thing until now I think it proved to be the wifi. I use it very rarely but usually these times it doesn’t work. When I reviewed the laptop it worked, but after some kernel updates and some driver updates the situation doesn’t seem that good. There are times it connects and times it doesn’t and it always refuses to connect to unprotected networks. If only realtek provided proper drivers which could be added to the kernel tree…

  47. Hi again, :)

    For me, WLAN works flawlessly since compiling and installing those new drivers. I can also connect to unprotected networks. (Tested this week.)

    Not sure why, but the volume control keys (Fn+F4 and Fn+F5) magically started working yesterday, even though I haven’t touched anything that might affect them.
    (This might have to do something with the new kernel update, or some package updates, but I’m not sure.)

  48. Hi,

    Thanks for the review and continuing discussion. I have this laptop and have been uneasy about dumping Windows 7 due to WLAN driver issue. The HDD performance is really poor compared to other stats, but the warranty I got from the retail is rather good so I don’t want to risk that because of the HDD replacement.

    I will be trying to install a dual booting to Ubuntu first thanks to this discussion.

  49. I installed Kubuntu [KDE-Ubuntu] in April. Amilo Pi 3560. Since May 2010, the Wifi has been fixed in the kernel, no need to do anything to get it working now.

    Kubuntu works great [stable version 10.04 LTS] – I recommend.

    The only thing still broken is the backlight brightness control:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nvidia-graphics-drivers/+bug/551668

    Please add your voice to this bug, to get it fixed!!

  50. HELLO.
    I using Kubuntu 11.10
    My not workint wi-fi,bluetoot, canon lpb-2900 printer..)

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