I had an AMD A8 in my desktop, one of the AMD APUs which have a CPU and a nifty graphics card built in the same package. Our media computer is an A10, and that is good enough to play quite some games on. Good price-quality ratio, so why not?
However, AMD has decided to stop developing their closed-source Linux drivers (I run Ubuntu on my desktop), and switch their attention to the open-source drivers. I’m all for that: given the choice, I’d rather have good working open-source drivers. But unfortunately, the open source drivers are not at the level that the closed-source drivers are…
This meant that I got all sorts of problems. I had to boot into an older kernel to prevent endless reboot loops, and that gave all sorts of other problems too. Then one day after an update, I got standard VGA resolution, and that was the straw. I decided to switch to an Intel processor — they have a graphics card built in too, but it’s much more anemic than AMD’s. That’s not a problem for me: I’m not playing graphics-intensive games on my desktop anyway.
I did some research. Obviously switching to a CPU from a different manufacturer means a different CPU socket and thus a new motherboard. For my budget, I could get a newer i3 or a slightly older i5. I haven’t really kept up to date with CPUs, so I didn’t really know which would be the best option. In the end, I decided to go for the i5, because that would allow me to transplant my existing RAM from the A8 motherboard to the new, i5 one.
I ordered the stuff, put it together, put it in my desktop and booted. Beforehand I had made an offline backup of my home directory, expecting to have to re-install the whole system. But Ubuntu detected the hardware change, directed me to the BIOS (where I went to set up the system), and then when I tried to boot again — it all just worked, no re-install necessary.
So now things like VirtualBox work, so I can run virtual machines on my desktop too — I have some Windows-only software that I would otherwise need to use klik‘s laptop for. Now that’s not needed anymore. And things have been running very smoothly. I am very pleased.