I have a Dell Vostro 3550 with Ubuntu 12.04 since around one year now.
The laptop worked fine, it was pretty fast, building a lot of projects in the same time, etc.
I complained with:
- the temperature was really hot (sensors said between 80°C and 95°C all of the time). Sometime, the temperature was critical and the system shutted down.
- due to the previous point, the fan was very noisy
- the battery autonomy was average
This laptop use dual graphic cards: Intel SGI graphic card (to reduce energy consumption), and AMD Radeon HD 6600M (for 3D enhanced graphics and HD videos).
When I got this laptop, I tried to install the fglrx open source drivers a couple of times. Without success: it seems that the Radeon card was not fully supported.
As the laptop ran really fine (unity was fast, vlc was able to read HD videos without problem, etc), I stayed with the Intel Xorg driver.
Yesterday evening, watching a movie, the laptop was so hot that I have to use a pillow to avoid to burn my legs 😉
So today, I decided to find a solution.
As the fglrx open source drivers didn’t work, I try to proprietary AMD Catalyst drivers.
And now, ALL IS DIFFERENT 😉
The temperature stays around 70/80°C, so the fan are pretty quite, and the system is even faster than before.
More over, the admcccle (Catalyst Console) allows you to tweak the graphic card configuration. You can also choose and switch between the Intel SGI card or the RADEON one (it required a reboot).
To summarize, for all Dell Vostro users on Ubuntu (and more generally on Linux), install the ADM Catalyst graphics drivers 😉