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Gateway_600

This article is part of the Hardware series.
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Contents

Overview

The Gateway 600 series notebook is a full-size desktop replacement notebook was made 2002-2003 by Gateway. There were two different versions, the YGR and YG2 versions, with the YG2 being newer. There are 15.0" XGA and 15.7" SXGA models. However, all have the same 3-spindle modular chassis and weigh 8-9 pounds. The CPUs are Intel Pentium 4-M Northwood CPUs with a 400 MHz FSB and clock speeds ranged from 1.8 to 2.6 GHz. Most had a floppy drive and a CD-ROM or CD-RW, and the later ones have DVD-R drives. Some models have 802.11b mini-PCI WLAN cards, and all have 2 USB 1.1 ports, a 4-pin IEEE 1394a connection, and an ESS Allegro PCI soundcard, as well as some form of ATI Radeon Mobility GPU.

Kernel

This machine has run on kernels back to the 2.4.x lineage as I have run Linux on it for years, but now runs on the latest i686 Gentoo kernel, which is currently 2.6.16-suspend2-r8.

Hardware

My particular machine has the following specifications:

CPU: 2.2A GHz Intel Pentium 4-M Northwood (400 MHz FSB) Chipset: Intel 845MP (Brookdale)
RAM: Originally came with 2x256MB generic 200-pin DDR 266 SODIMMs. Currently holds its maximum of 2x512MB DDR 266.
HDD: Originally came with a 60GB Toshiba 4200rpm drive, replaced with a Hitachi 5K100 when the Toshiba died.
Screen: 15.7" 1280x1024 digital TFT LCD
GPU: ATI Radeon Mobility 9000, 64MB VRAM, 4x AGP
Drives: Floppy, 10x4x24x8x CD-RW/DVD-ROM
NICs: Integrated Intel PRO/100VE Ethernet, Lucent ORiNOCO WaveLan 802.11b WLAN

/usr/sbin/lspci output:

Code: #lspci
00:00.0 Host Bridge: Intel Corporation 82845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge (rev 04)
00:01.0 PCI Bridge: Intel Corporation 82845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)
00:1d:0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #1) (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #1) (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI Bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 42)
00:1f.0 ISA Bridge: Intel Corporation 82801CAM Mobile ISA Bridge (LPC) (rev 42)
00:1f.1 IDE Interface: Intel Corporation 82801CAM IDE U100 (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM SMBus Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon 250 [Radeon Mobility 9200] (rev 01)
02:02.0 CardBus Bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1520 PC card CardBus Controller (rev 01)
02:01.1 CardBus Bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1520 PC card CardBus Controller (rev 01)
02:03.0 Multimedia audio controller: ESS Technology ES1988 Allegro-1 (rev 12)
02:04.0 CardBus Bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1410 PC card CardBus Controller (rev 01)
02:05.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394) Texas Instruments TSB43AB21 IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/link)
02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82801CAM (ICH3) PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller (rev 42)

CPU

The processor is a Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M, which is a desktop Northwood "A" core with a reduced Vcore and SpeedStep processor frequency scaling present. The chip has two speeds, one is the full rated speed (1.4 to 2.6 GHz) and the second is 1.2 GHz. It runs at a low 1.30 Vcore and can withstand 100 C. Its TDP is 45 W, so it does run a little warm- the fan trip points are 58 and 65 C, with the fan going at top speed at 75 C.

To enable the frequency scaling, you need to compile ACPI and the frequency scaling governors into the kernel. This chip's particular driver is the Intel ICH-M SpeedStep driver, NOT the Enhanced SpeedStep. That is for the later Pentium M processors. You must load ACPI and cpufreqd upon startup. There is a very good HOWTO for getting any laptop-related issues like CPU frequency scaling and suspend2 working. It is covered in detail there.

Networking

Ethernet

See this guide.

WLAN

The ORiNOCO 802.11b WLAN NIC is an 802.11b card and needs the "orinoco_cs" module to work. This is a native driver and I can get the card to scan using iwlist.

Hard Drive

The original drive was a 4200rpm 60GB Toshiba MK6021GAS with 2MB cache and uttered the "squeal of death" after about 3 years of working. Now it has a 100GB 5400rpm Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 with 8MB cache. Both are ATA/100 drives. The 5400 rpm drive is much faster than the 4200rpm one. You can use up to and including a 120GB drive in this unit. Gateway has not released a 48-bit LBA compliant BIOS, so you are limited to 137GB for an internal HDD.

Modem

The modem is an Intel 537 winmodem, but I have gotten it to work in the past using Smartlink Softmodem. It would appear as /dev/ttySLO. However, I have not had to use dialup in the past two years, so I cannot give any more information other that to remember to compile PPP in the kernel.

Parallel Port

This works if you have parallel port support in the kernel.

Serial Port

Never used it. I suppose it works.

Sensors

The computer has an SMBus, but I have had bad luck with the i2c module in my desktop (caused the heatsink fan to shut off, having my CPU reach 121 C !!) and thus have not tried compiling i2c and lm_sensors in.

Sound

The ESS Allegro 3 module does the job.

Special Function Keys

Most return an X event, except for a few of the front ones- volume up and down do not seem to work. If you run Gnome, you can map them in the Control Center, if you run KDE, you have to use lineakd. I have gotten them to work with lineakd, but it's a little of a pain.

USB

The ports are USB 1.1 and work fine under Linux at their rated 12 Mbps. You cannot boot the machine from a USB device though.

Video

The ATI card is supposedly supported bu ATI's fglrx driver, but fglrx causes X to act crazy at best and simply refuse to start at worst. The OSS "radeon" driver works fine though. Direct rendering works on this card with the OSS drivers.

CFLAGS

I used the CFLAGS of

-02 -march=pentium4 -ffast-math -mfpmath=sse -mmmx -msse -msse2 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer 

They are rather safe but give enough speed to keep me reasonably happy. A few things die when -O3 was enabled, so I use -O2 and it is all fine.

Software

I installed a Stage3 i686 install from the minimal CD as per the Gentoo Handbook's x86 installation handbook. This is a Linux-only system so I wiped the HDD clean and made a 50MB /boot (ext2), 2GB swap, 20GB / (XFS) and the rest was for /home (also XFS.) You will want at least 10GB between /tmp and /var to be able to compile big things like KDE and especially OpenOffice, which needs 5.1 GB HDD space in /var to successfully compile. I had the base system compiled and configured in about 90 minutes. I did use ccache to speed things up during the initial compile. Note that you have to use a CC= argument to compile the kernel and use ccache if you use genkernel. I installed X next and that took about another 90 minutes to compile.

After I emerged X and had Xorg.conf set up (I used the Synaptics guide in the Laptop HOWTO to get that set up) I emerged distcc (http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/distcc.xml) so that I could hook my laptop into my 100 Mbps router and have my Athlon 64 X2 desktop do the bulk of the compiling. You will want at least 2 MB/sec actual throughput bidirectionally in the connection between the computers or else distcc will spend most of its time sending data to and from the laptop and distcc helper machine. (This means no 802.11b; 802.11g is sketchy, so is 10 Mbps Standard Ethernet in full-duplex mode. In half-duplex, it is too slow.) This can greatly speed up compiles, but only about 2/3 of the application I tried to emerge successfully compiled using distcc. Perhaps this was because the desktop was running the AMD64 version of Gentoo 2006.0 and was cross-compiling, but you will likely want to watch the laptop carefully and export FEATURES= without distcc and then retry emerging that package if it failed using distcc.

Distcc helped me emerge KDE in several hours. Emerging KDE puts a large strain on the distcc-running computers and the LAN as the files are ~5-6 MB, the effort pegged the CPUs at 100%, and caused a RAM usage of ~500 MB just for the compiler on the helper box. But most of KDE can use distcc effectively. You will want to use distcc if at all possible as the Gateway 600 isn't all that fast and the CPU fan is extremely noisy. But if you do not have access to another computer to use distcc on, the computer is fast enough to get Gentoo, KDE, Firefox, and OpenOffice installed in about 36 hours. OpenOffice takes about half a day, >5GB work space, and 300MB RAM to compile, so it might be wise to just grab the binary. It also fails using distcc about 2 hours into the compile.

Software Suspend 2

Swsusp2 as included in the suspend2-sources kernel sources works perfectly for me once I configured it using the laptop HOWTO's instructions. Suspend to RAM does not work, and has never worked in any Linux that has been on the computer. Even Windows XP and Gateway's drivers that originally shipped on the computer like it does on all OEM machines, often blue-screened at resuming from suspend-to-RAM.

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Last modified: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 06:44:00 +0000 Hits: 7,617