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Johnny_B
10-26-2011, 01:01 AM
Hello all! First i just want to say that a few of my questions were addressed in other posts but I'm still unclear on procedures. I'm not new to computers, but I am new to modifying/changing things about them. My extent of knowledge is how to use emulators and such. Hopefully I can be helped and I thank you all who read this in advance.

Here are my specs. I've read talk about other things but I'll include everything i can get from right-click-> My Computer-> Properties

Rating: 5.9 (weird everyone else has 7.2, i never changed anything and this has always been this way. I noticed that someone had this problem after updating a driver; however, as I already stated, I haven't done so)

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)

i7-2630QM CPU @
2.00GHz 2.0GHz

Installed memory (RAM): 12.0 GB
System Type: 64-Bit Operating System
Pen and Touch: No Pen or Touch Input is
available for this display

Extras (noted on sticker from manufacturer or retailer)

ODD: 4x BLU-RAY
HDD: 750+750GB
nVidia 3DTV Play
DirectX11
Wider Backlit Keyboard
Easy Access Cover for Upgrading
nVidia GTX 560M 3GB <---- (different sticker)

1. Linux Possibilities?
First things first, I'm curious about running this side by side with Linux. I've heard a bunch about this and I'm just curious as to what the experience really entails and the usefulness of it. My problem here is, I have absolutely no clue where to even begin to try this.

2. Clean Install
Probably not important but it seems some people (from what I've read) ALWAYS re-install/re-format their computers/OSs for clean installs. I've never had to set up a computer so I wouldn't know exactly how to set it up even if i did know how to wipe it in the first place. Also, it would be pointless for me right now because I wouldn't know what drivers to install and which ones to ditch. That's another problem.
I would like to keep all the necessary drivers for operation, of course, and i ask for recommendations on what else to keep (there are a few things I'd like to keep but again I don't know what's required so they may already be a part of what I have to re-install.

3. 3D Functionality
Question about 3D functionality in this laptop. Would 3D glasses be needed? If so, would I need the "real" glasses or would the cheapo red and blue ones work (from what I've read they wouldn't but why not ask anyway since I'm here).

4. Overclocking
I know it has a 1-touch overclocking button, and honestly I probably won't be doing anymore overclocking than pressing that button; however, I feel the more knowledgeable about the additional options the better. This is a gaming rig and I intend to start using it as such in the near future so why not learn about it now

5. Overall Set-up
This on is opinionated of course. That's exactly what I'm looking for. users who have this laptop, or something similar where applicable. Just looking for any hints/tips or recommendations for set ups (e.g. dual boot with ubuntu to extend battery life, or take the battery out and just use it with the charger attached if possible, etc.) <-- things I've seen in reference to laptops in my earlier searches.

Sorry for my vast variety of questions I'm new to forums and I'm not exactly sure If i should have made 5 separate topics or if this one is okay. I didn't see any new users or general topic or anything similar so I figured it would be okay to start this. All in all, whatever it takes, I'm just ready to get this laptop to it's full potential.

Additionally:

1. using shift and then characters on the numpad allows me to use alternate symbols (perhaps the fix was installed before this arrived?)

2. Laptop was purchased NEW on Amazon (don't remember the URL though)

3. Just wondering if anyone knows about the ODD. I know it comes with Blu-Ray and it comes Blu-Ray/Burner. Are they both capable of Burning CDs/DVDs and only the second option can burn Blu-Rays or is it that only the second can burn at all?

4. ASUS Virtual Cam did nothing for me. it would appear in the tray once i activated it but no interface would ever show up for taking pictures/videos/etc. A quick Google search and I got the message that there was no actual utility installed for such a thing. Made sense as messengers could see me via video calls and even the pre-installed smart-logon face detection could see me. I now use ManyCam (I say used but I actually haven't used it at all yet.) Any recommendations on this is greatly appreciated as well. Time to end this Post and I'm sorry for the eyes of everyone who reads this long book, but I promise you. I am very grateful ")

Sorry If I'm asking too much, I'm used to reading forums about phones (I have a Droid 2) and they're usually very descriptive and step-by-step more so than get X and update to Y reboot and re-install Z. I'm not lazy, just not very knowledgeable and believe me, I have been Googling all day, apparently very few people have linux on their asus g74 and those who do, already knew how and just commented on having linux on the 74, nothing giving any insight as how to. I'd LOVE to just experiment buut unfortunately I'm in college, not rich, and don't have time to wait to send it in, have it fixed, get it back. My English teacher will have buried me in Homework by then :p.

Again thanks ^_^

JRd1st
10-26-2011, 01:23 AM
The 5.9 is because of the HDD's. If you get an SSD the rating will go way up.

Exactly which model did you buy? I don't know anything about a 1 touch overclock on the G74's

Personally, I believe a clean install is what EVERYONE that buys one of these should do. And after Win7 Home Premium is installed, don't install ANYTHING from the driver CD except Intel Turbo Boost monitor.

You can download a Win7 install ISO here - http://techdows.com/2011/07/download-windows-7-integrated-with-sp1-iso-official-direct-download-links.html

IMO, Linux is a toy; something to play with on a PC unless you're really into it.

The only things I install of the Asus apps are Power4Gear, Wireless Console 3, Fast Boot, Life Frame 3.

When you get your basic setup, and you're satisfied buy Acronis TrueImage Home 2012 and make a backup image of your system drive. You'll save yourself a ton of time in the future.

And most importantly, read this and do what it says - http://www.asusrog.com/forums/showthread.php?5126-Any-Kind-of-Lag-and-Atheros-WiFi-Card The WiFi driver this laptop ships with causes more problems than you would believe.

You'll notice I only answered some of the questions. I don't care about 3D or overclocking. lol

ScottinSoCal
10-26-2011, 02:33 AM
3. 3D Functionality
Question about 3D functionality in this laptop. Would 3D glasses be needed? If so, would I need the "real" glasses or would the cheapo red and blue ones work (from what I've read they wouldn't but why not ask anyway since I'm here).

Only one of the G74 models will do 3D on the laptop, and you don't say which model you have, so I can't say whether yours will do it or not. If so, you need specific 3D glasses for it. If you're going off that "nVidia 3DTV Play", that's a way to stream 3D to a compatible 3D TV.


Just looking for any hints/tips or recommendations for set ups (e.g. dual boot with ubuntu to extend battery life, or take the battery out and just use it with the charger attached if possible, etc.) <-- things I've seen in reference to laptops in my earlier searches.

I plan to buy (I don't have it yet) the G74SX-A1, which comes with two hard drives. I'll install Ubuntu on the second hard drive and leave Windows on the first. Have you installed a linux operating system on a computer before? You'll need to be familiar with Grub and configuring the menu. Before I install Ubuntu, I'll replace the Atheros network card with an Intel (Atheros sucks in any OS, and especially doesn't play well with Ubuntu). I'll also put in 16GB of RAM, to balance out the memory. With that I expect I'll have a screaming machine in both Windows (for a few apps) and Ubuntu (for most of what I'll be doing).

irdmoose
10-26-2011, 03:54 AM
As far as the one-touch overclock I think Johnny's referring to the Turbo Mode button (the tachometer looking button on the top left). I typically leave it enabled.

+1 to JRd1st on the reinstall tip. That's probably the best route if you want to squeeze the maximum out of your system (it'll also free up the recovery partition).

If you're interested in running Linux, I would recommend downloading a copy of VirtualBox and installing Ubuntu in a virtual machine to see if you even like it. Linux is still a bit fiddly for my taste, and it tends to take a lot of configuring to get things to work just right. Plus, if you're planning on doing games, it's been very difficult in the past.

The 3D support (unless your model was bought in the US and ends in a -3D) is only for 3D TVs and external 3D monitors. Otherwise it would have shipped with a set of Nvidia 3D Active Shutter Glasses.

As for the Blu-ray/Burner... I believe (and I'll be corrected fairly quickly if I'm wrong) but the BluRay DVDR/W drives can burn BluRay, CD and DVD discs, while the BluRay Combo Drives can only playback BluRay discs and can burn CDs and DVDs, and finally the DVD Combo Drives can't read BluRays and can burn DVDs and CDs.

HTH,
Moose

fostert
10-26-2011, 04:11 AM
My thoughts...not sure if all of this will be understandable (depends on your level of experience).

1) Linux: I just put Debian Linux (stable v.6.0.3) on my new G74 today. Every piece of hardware is recognized and works fine, but you'll have to live without the fancy bells like the keyboard backlight, calculator button, and power profiles with the ROG button. Fortunately the GTX-560M is as raging fast as ever in Linux thanks to the latest linux drivers from NVIDIA.

5) Overall Setup: I have set up a dual-boot with Win7 HP and Linux using grub as the bootloader. Between my two 500 GB drives, I gave Windows a 70 GB partition of its own, and let Linux have the rest (save for an 8 GB swap partition at the front of the second drive), which I made into one ~900 GB partition with LVM.

Linux is no toy, but a serious OS for scientists and engineers. As the former I personally could not do my job without a UNIX OS. Debian for instance comes with thousands of packages with everything that any kind of working scientist (biology to mathematician) could want, plus every development language and IDE known to man for the comp scientist in you too. If you want you can actually run Windows 7 in a virtual machine (e.g. VMWare) under Linux too; back in the XP days Windows actually ran more stable with less BSODs when its resources were managed by Linux through a virtual machine, albeit it is about 10% slower than in a native boot. I only keep a native Windows 7 partition around for high-performance model calculations in Excel, and also because my wife likes her games on it (hey, its a gaming notebook after all, so somebody's gotta game!). I guess from my perspective then Windows is the toy... ;)

Of course if all you want to do is game, then windows only is obviously best...

2) Clean Install: by all means do it! If you're gonna make your system into a dual boot, you might as well turf the Windows partition and the hidden 25GB recovery partition, and start from scratch by repartitioning your drives the way you want them. You don't need to buy anything to do this, or even to make a backup image of your finalized Windows install: Hiren's BootCD is free and does that.

3) not a 3D guy, sorry.

4) Can't overclock the G74 via BIOS since 1) the core i7 2630QM is multiplier locked, and 2) the ASUS BIOS has absolutely nothing in it to control voltages, memory timings, and even turbo boost and hyperthreading, etc. You probably could overclock the GPU in windows using rivatuner or something software like that, but haven't tried: likely someone around the forums here who has done this?

Feel free to ask me to clarify something.

Johnny_B
10-26-2011, 04:26 AM
^^ Many thanks for the many replies. I'm unsure as to if it supports 3D or no, i simply wrote what was on the sticker. and some software actually stated something about implementing 3d (and some variants of it) and 2d. Not sure of the actual name. On the sticker, it simply states G74S. I tried to put out as many specs as I could particularly becaus eI'm unsure of my exact model and even how to check.

Overclocking was just for informational purposes basically

Linux is moreso something I want to try out and see if I like it

I appreciate the help and the advice but my problem is still that I wouldnt know how to start any of this, not even the clean install

also, no, I have ever installed linux. only read about it. From what I've read, I should start out with ubuntu. Im not asking for anyone to hold my hand through this but perhaps a link that wont brick my new laptop friend and is easy enough to understand for someone who knows some about computers but isnt very tec savvy in the least when it comes to these aspects.

EDIT: Also, yes. Bought in the US and I reside in the US.

JRd1st
10-26-2011, 10:47 AM
If you bought it on Amazon, you can look at your past orders in your account info for the model number.

ScottinSoCal
10-26-2011, 11:07 AM
Linux is moreso something I want to try out and see if I like it [...] also, no, I have ever installed linux. only read about it.

Ubuntu is a good place to start. I've used several distributions, and found Ubuntu is the best balance (for me) of easy to use and easy to configure. It's specifically designed for people new to linux and most of the non-standard stuff is handled automatically. There's also a huge forum for support.

I'd suggest getting yourself an 8gb usb memory stick and installing Ubuntu on that. You can boot off the USB and try it out before you commit your machine to it. If you get it installed on your machine and decide it isn't for you, it'll be tough to remove it with your level of computer experience.

I was down to the System76 Bonobo Professional laptop, or the Asus G74SX-A1, and the Asus won. I like the looks, video card and memory better.

Johnny_B
10-26-2011, 08:41 PM
Thanks, there are a few peple I've talked to at my college who also have windows 7 laptops and use linux and I'm sure they would be able to help me with the tecnical stuff if ever needed. I just thought that in addition to researching, I should actually interact with others with a similar computer who also are experienced with linux and udal booting to see if there were any specifics to be aware of and the best way to enter the world of linux and dual booting.

While researching I've also come across posts talking about installing mac (i believe thats what OS X is) has anyone tried that, is it any better? I ask because Mac is generally told to be superior of Windows but WIndows ahs more support and uses. Just looking for experiences with this. I will probably try all 3 if at all possible and see what I like best. Again thank you all ^_^

EDIT: I do have a 2TB external WD Hardrive. You mentioned an 8GB USB drive, would this be sufficient?
Of course 2TB > 8GB but if it will take over the entire hard drive then it is nowhere near worth it. Just checking to see if it will only take up 8GB or if the hard drive will only be useable for the linux boot.

ScottinSoCal
10-26-2011, 11:13 PM
Thanks, there are a few peple I've talked to at my college who also have windows 7 laptops and use linux and I'm sure they would be able to help me with the tecnical stuff if ever needed.

With that as a resource, you should be fine. You'll be overwriting your boot sector on the hard drive, and if you just reformat your Ubuntu HD, you'll essentially brick your machine until someone can fix the boot sector. So don't reformat. If you decide you don't like it, have someone familiar with the process help you remove it.

I've been using Ubuntu at home as my primary OS for about 4 years, and I like it enough that I talked my company's IT department into letting me run it at work, on my company machine. I just got out of a meeting where another department manager told me he has "desktop envy". LOL. His Windoze machine is old and slow. My Ubuntu machine is old and still blazes. And Compiz is the Best Thing Ever Invented For Computers.


While researching I've also come across posts talking about installing mac (i believe thats what OS X is) has anyone tried that, is it any better?

It's possible to crack the MacOS and install it on a PC, since they started using PC hardware to build Macs, but it involves quite a bit of tweaking to both hardware and software, and it's very picky about what hardware you can use. I don't know if the G74 will do it or not. Probably best to cut your teeth on Ubuntu, then graduate to something like MacOS if you decide you like it. At home I have a Mac laptop, a Windows 7 laptop, and a (recently deceased) Ubuntu laptop. The Ubuntu machine got the hardest workout - that's why it's dead and the other two are still with us. My new G74 will replace the dead Ubuntu and the Windows 7 machines. Craigslist here I come....


EDIT: I do have a 2TB external WD Hardrive. You mentioned an 8GB USB drive, would this be sufficient?

You could, but you wouldn't want to. This will install a full, functional version of Ubuntu on the USB memory. You'd lose whatever was on the drive, and it wouldn't be good for anything but running Ubuntu. it was designed specifically for trying Ubuntu out on a small, cheap item before you commit to it.

Johnny_B
10-27-2011, 03:30 AM
I borrowed a CD which a friend used to load ubuntu (he has many) it's version 10.4 It seems pretty sweet. Incidentally, there is a windows skin that you can put on and it looks just like ubuntu. It's an android theme for windows but behaves a lot like the ubuntu start screen. Even the boot image is changed. Looks pretty good, a different friend found this one. so the CD image saved me the troubles ^^.

Also the way i see it, this laptop supports SD cards. I haven't shopped for USB drives but SD cards seem pretty cheap to me with 16GB cards being around $10 last time i checked (of course this was microSDHC thought; however, in my exoerience these were costlier than their SD counterparts)

I see you said i shouldn't do a clean install, why not? Others agreed that a clean install would be good. Can you explain this? I want to get rid of a lot of the bloatware and freshly install all drivers. As I have never done this before or read much on it, all input is helpful and if you have a reason I shouldn't, I surely would love to hear it.