Decent enough mid-grade laptop?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Token CDN, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    I've done the same in addition to DNS because even blocking it I found it running installs anyway. I just permit the one domain entry for checking / notifying at this point.

    I had a helluva time tracking down an issue last Dec/Jan where it would spontaneously reboot and the only event viewer entry was "kernel power" and it turned out to be an Intel update after ruling out the brick / a new brick and running Linux for a couple of days ruled out an actual power issue.

    There's always going to be an oddity that occurs that can throw you for a loop on occasion.
     
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  2. N2ishun

    N2ishun Notebook Evangelist

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    I've found if you -force a HOSTS file and have windowsupdate in it update will reroute to *some other* IP and run anyway.
    They try really hard not to play fair or nice.
    External real firewalling is best...because internal damn sure won't help.
     
  3. Token CDN

    Token CDN Notebook Evangelist

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    This whole update thing is one of the many reasons I'm planning to use Linux as primary OS.
    As soon as I learned how to disable driver updates, I've been doing it. For kicks I once let MS pick my drivers… once. The network driver alone jumped my idle power consumption by 10W. I've been deliberately using ancient audio drivers since MS/Acer removed to option to disable power management and the speakers pop loudly when the sound wakes up.

    Who are good manf. for keeping drivers updated these days? Acer and MSi (old Vista era machine - not sure if they've improved since) have been pretty meh, IMO

    I'm definitely leaning towards that Lenovo with the 16:10 screen (unless I can find a smokin deal on a previous gen. system). Anybody else offer a comparable option?
     
  4. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    That's so archaic .I use Pihole for DNS and block by domain instead of trying to keep track of the IP's and everything else. I just wildcard things and it catches all the backdoor attempts to force updates.

    I keep an eye on Pi through the logging in real time in an SSH session and restart things to see what kind of traffic is being produced to make a list of blocks.

    My server comprises of many features from a networking standpoint. I use it as a router / switch / wifi / firewall / dvr / media / NAS and so on. I have complete control of what goes in / out and can be granular down to the bit. I was being aggressive at one point auto blocking IP's from non-initiated traffic and auto adding them to a list but, it got to be a PITA removing subsets due to load balancers sending back traffic on different IP's than session originated. Google being the top pain to keep working with this method. Now I simplified things a bit and just DROP anything that isn't originating from inside and review logs to just keep an eye on things. I found NtopNG to be useful in inspecting / logging traffic flows / bandwidth monitoring for spikes that could indicate an issue. I blocked out the ISP DNS as well from ever being used by modifying the DHCP lease file to specify a DNS to be used when rebooting and reconnecting to the VPN that auto connects at boot as well. I don't use the VPN DNS either because in the past it's been poisoned and caused issues.

    It varies depending on W vs L. W best option is go straight to the source instead of letting it decide for you. L there's some repo's you can use specifically more so for Video drivers that are a bit more niche depending on what you're using the GPU for. Most of the mainline repo's work just fine for daily updates. I was on a weekly Kernel update schedule staying up to date w/ releases but, they dropped support for my NIC that causes a hang on reboot and requires a reversion to 5.14.rc7. I sent them a note on it but, it hasn't been reinserted in the kernel releases yet. Its' a 5GE 4-port NIC that's relatively new so, it should be supported in current / RC releases.

    Lenovo for W offers an update website that's somewhat useful but, it doesn't offer anything you can't pick up directly from vendors and then scan for updates occasionally. I've been finding drivers cause anomalies from version to version. One driver might keep my CPU @ ~20% while another lets it drop down to ~5% hen just idle. Then again changes in Chrome tend to influence things as well. I found a script to kill DWM from time to time to purge the memory it's using / bloating up to over a GB when it should be staying around 100MB.

    This is all more about taking back the power from these developers and more of a power user approach. "Normal" people probably don't give 2 cents about most of these things and just want to hit YT / FB / watch cat videos.
     
  5. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The drivers installed with the OS are generally more than sufficient. The only ones you may need to worry about updating on your own are the GPU and possibly the WiFi card, which you can easily get from the individual chipset manufacturers.
     
  6. Token CDN

    Token CDN Notebook Evangelist

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    Been reading a few reviews lately, and I have a general question
    LOTS of reviews mention that the laptops have high DPC latency out of the box. Is this down to poor drivers/bios or just bad hardware?
     

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