In the past few years I bought a number of Lenovo notebooks for me, friends and family to run Ubuntu Linux on them. Most of them had AMD CPUs inside, because they had a price and performance advantage. These days, however, I’m drawn again to the Intel side for a simple reason: Integrated Wi-Fi.
In the past, no matter whether an AMD or Intel CPU was inside a notebook, Wi-Fi connectivity came on a separate PCI-express card. While good for upgrading, it was often not clear if the notebook came with a Wi-Fi card for which good driver support is available in Linux, or with some other Wi-Fi card that is not so well supported in Linux. At least not out of the box. So if a notebook came with something other than an Intel Wi-Fi card, the first thing I usually did was to replace the card and save myself a lot of trouble.
But these days, the game has changed: Intel has now included a lot of the functionality required for Wi-Fi into the general chipset. In other words, no separate PCI-express Wi-Fi module is required anymore. This makes it a no brainer. If there’s an Intel CPU inside these days, there’s Intel Wi-Fi inside. And so far, pretty much all AMD based Lenovo notebooks I’ve seen come with a different Wi-Fi chip. Too bad for them.
But choice is king and I very much hope that Wi-Fi chips of manufacturers other than Intel get their act together and include their drivers in the official kernel sources. Until then, I guess it is Intel. Sorry, AMD.