How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
35% (7)
Good
 
25% (5)
Fair
 
10% (2)
Poor
 
20% (4)
Unusable
 
10% (2)

Dell Precision M4800

Introduction

This is a template for a future compatibility guide to running Linux with the Dell Precision M4800 laptop. If you have the Dell Precision M4800 and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Dell Precision M4800 specifications page.

NameDell Precision M4800
Processor4th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to Core i7 Extreme Edition, Intel vPro advanced management on select CPUs
Screen15.6“ HD (1366×768)
15.6” FHD (1920×1080)
15.6“ QHD+ (3200×1800)
RAMUp to 32GB
HDD7200rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 320GB up to 750GB; 5400rpm 500GB FIPS Certified Self Encrypting Drive
7200rpm SATA 3Gb/s 500GB or 1TB hybrid hard drive with up to 32GB of integrated solid state storage
SSD (Solid state drive) from 128GB to 512GB SATA 6Gb/s
Solid State Mini-Card storage device from 128GB to 512GB
Optical DriveDVD-ROM; Slot load DVD+/-RW; Blu-ray Disc writer
GraphicsAMD FirePro M5100 Mobility Pro
NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
NetworkIntegrated Intel 82579M/V 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (802.11n 3×3)
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 7260 (802.11ac)
Dell Wireless 1550 (802.11 a/c)

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorNot Tested
ScreenNot Tested
HDDNot Tested
Graphics ChipNot Tested
VGA OutNot Tested
HDMI OutNot Tested
Display PortNot Tested
Optical DriveNot Tested
SoundNot Tested
MicrophoneNot Tested
Headphone PortNot Tested
Microphone-In PortNot Tested
EthernetNot Tested
WirelessNot Tested
BluetoothNot Tested
USBNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Express CardNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
WebcamNot Tested
ESATA PortNot Tested
KeyboardNot Tested
TouchPadNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested
SmartCard InterfaceNot Tested
Suspend/ResumeNot Tested

Notes

You can enter any specific notes with running Linux on the Dell Precision M4800 here.

Summary

You can enter a summary of how well the Dell Precision M4800 works with Linux here.


Discussion

Ed Santiago, 2014/11/25 17:18

I've been running Gentoo on mine for about a month now. Mostly stable, but only with 3.17.2-gentoo kernel. (I think 3.16 was OK but am no longer sure. 3.14 was unusable). Nouveau driver is, sadly, unusable: text rendering problems, random crashes, suspend/resume completely crashes X (this is on QHD HiDPI display). Nvidia proprietary blob 343.22-r2 mostly works except for DPMS (once activated you must Ctrl-Alt-F1 then Alt-F7 to restore) and the text consoles (Alt-F1 -F6) which are entirely black-on-black. Wifi works perfectly. Battery life is pitiful (2 hours) but I have yet to fine-tune.

Pascal Obry, 2014/11/16 07:59

Have you tried disabling OPTIMUS system (Intel card) in the BIOS? I'm only using the NVIDIA card on my side all all is fine with the display on my side using GNU/Debian sid with NVIDIA 340.46 but it was fine with previous version too.

Bob, 2014/11/16 02:57

Installed Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04, Mint but all had display issues (flickers, shows multiple display in the settings when I have no other display connected) and wifi drops. Tried openSUSE and it works. everything is working fine except a learning curve to use non-debian system. Wish to go back to Ubuntu but screen flickering drives me crazy.

Config:
i7-4710MQ
32gb RAM
AMD FirePro M100 w/2GB GDDR5 (should have gotten nvidia)
Intel dual band wireless-AC 7260

Georg Lundesgaard, 2014/06/11 14:20

I tried installing Fedora 20 on a M4800 laptop with the QHD screen (GPU: Quadro K2100M). Everything except the display seems to work out the box and the NVidia drivers are an easy install. But, I have a issues with how Xorg works, both in single display mode and multiple display mode:

When locking the laptop display blacks out and wont come back on before I either restarts Xorg or the laptop or disables and enabled the display in Settings after unlocking. Unlocking usually works when running mulitple monitors, but I'm lost when running just the internal monitor. Usually hard reset is the only way out of this when I cannot maneuver the GUI blind and restart Xorg.

Have anyone here experienced something similar to this? And maybe have a solution to how to fix it if it's not a bug in the driver or the hardware (hopefully not as it does work well under Windows).

And if anyone have an Xorg.conf that works with multiple monitors with half resolution on the internal screen or tips on how to set it up, that would be great!

Rich Mingin, 2014/04/19 19:26

I have a M4800, selected my components after more research than most, zero issues. Some selections I made, and why:

CPU/motherboard/wired networking/disks/APCI/etc: No issues.

Graphics: Selected K2100M, as I have had good luck with Nvidia and Linux. FirePro M5100P offers the possibility of a fully open setup at a later date, in exchange for more issues in the short term. This can be changed post-purchase via eBay sourcing of the parts and a good technician. MXM is excellent.

Wireless: This is the big deal breaker for many. The Dell 1601 card uses Atheros for WLAN and Wilocity for wireless doc and 802.11ad. Problematic at the very least. The Dell 1550 802.11ac card is slightly less trouble, but the Broadcom chipset used is very new. This may be the best long-term option. The Intel 7260AC works well, but requires a non-free firmware and is currently under heavy development.

The Intel and Broadcom (DW1550) options are only available with the FHD screen, NOT the QHD one. This seems to be a bad design choice by Dell. One of several, see Screen.

Screen: Two main choices are available, a FHD (1920×1080) option and a QHD (3200×1800) one. The QHD option seems to have been added fairly late in the design cycle, and it caused several design changes with drawbacks. Particularly, having the QHD screen prevents graphics switching tech from functioning. This cuts the battery runtime from about 6 hours down to about 3. It also causes the laptop to run hotter and the fans to engage more often. It also restricts what wireless options are available.

Patrick, 2014/04/01 13:53

Hi all

I suffered quite a bit, trying to get my M4800 working (see config below). It turned out, that probing the WLAN card, a Wilocity Wil6200, would lock-up the system completely.

Symptoms were, that the system hung during boot or at a later stage in the installation process.
I've tried several distros from OpenSuse 13.1, Fedora 19 and 20, over Ubuntu 12.04, Arch Linux, Debian Testing “Jessie” to Linux Mint 16. All to no avail…
Only with Arch Linux, I've been able to setup a very minimal system, but failed to start X.
By accident, I've discovered, that multiple calls to lspci would lock up the system in a reproducable way.
I.e., the first call was fine and providing the expected infos, but the second call always failed and hung the system.
To narrow down the problem, I've disabled all SATA ports, wireless and other devices in the BIOS.
To my surprise, I was able to boot Linux Mint 16 XFCE Live from a USB stick then, up to the desktop (note to append nomodeset to the kernel boot args).
Re-enabling the devices one by one, I've found out, that the WLAN card was the problematic one.
No idea yet, whether I will replace the card or whether there's a chance to get it working, but at least, I'm finally able to use the machine with Linux.
Just thought, I should share my experiences, so that my time was not completely wasted… ;-)

Best regards,

Patrick

Configuration:
- i7-7900MQ
- 16GB RAM
- QHD+ 3200×1800 Display
- NVIDIA Quadro K2100M 2GB
- Dell Wireless 1601 (2×2, 802.11n, Bluetooth, 60 GHz, WiGig)
- BIOS A07

lspci output with WLAN card enabled (crashing):

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor DRAM Controller (rev 06)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor PCI Express x16 Controller (rev 06)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I217-LM (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB EHCI #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #1 (rev d4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #3 (rev d4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #4 (rev d4)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #5 (rev d4)
00:1c.6 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #7 (rev d4)
00:1c.7 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #8 (rev d4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB EHCI #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation QM87 Express LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK106GLM [Quadro K2100M] (rev a1)
01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GK106 HDMI Audio Controller (rev a1)
03:00.0 PCI bridge: Wilocity Ltd. Wil6200 PCI Express Root Port (rev 03)
04:00.0 PCI bridge: Wilocity Ltd. Wil6200 Wireless PCI Express Port (rev 03)
04:01.0 PCI bridge: Wilocity Ltd. Wil6200 Wireless PCI Express Port (rev ff)
04:02.0 PCI bridge: Wilocity Ltd. Wil6200 Wireless PCI Express Port (rev 03)
04:03.0 PCI bridge: Wilocity Ltd. Wil6200 Wireless PCI Express Port (rev 03)
05:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
06:00.0 Ethernet controller: Wilocity Ltd. Wil6200 802.11ad Wireless Network Adapter (rev ff)
16:00.0 SD Host controller: O2 Micro, Inc. Device 8520 (rev 01)

lspci output with WLAN card disabled (working):

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor DRAM Controller (rev 06)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor PCI Express x16 Controller (rev 06)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I217-LM (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB EHCI #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #1 (rev d4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #4 (rev d4)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #5 (rev d4)
00:1c.6 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #7 (rev d4)
00:1c.7 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #8 (rev d4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB EHCI #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation QM87 Express LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK106GLM [Quadro K2100M] (rev a1)
01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GK106 HDMI Audio Controller (rev a1)
10:00.0 SD Host controller: O2 Micro, Inc. Device 8520 (rev 01)

Fredrik Liljegren, 2014/03/29 07:42

Installed debian testing from USB stick.

I had to install proprietary nvidia-kernel-dkms from non-free to get any X at all. After that, all worked well.

No trouble with wifi. The switch on the side does nothing, though - wifi light always on and wifi still active with switch off.

With a normal HD monitor on display port, expect the luxury-problem of messing around with HiDPI settings - either font is huge on external monitor, or unreadably small on laptop (QHD 3200×1800 version).

I've had no problem with back light osd…

Pascal Obry, 2014/02/05 10:30

I have no problem with the wifi. Working fine. I had to disable the dual video card in the bios. It is possible to run with both cards, but you need bumblebee (working great BTW) but I have not been able to setup the external HDMI output. Since I need to plug my computer to video projector, I have settle for now on single video card (nvidia) and disbled the intel one.

Everything else seems to be working.

2 annoying issues:

- the light for the wifi status is always on, the swicth on the side seems no working.

- the on-screen-display for the back light is slow, very slow.

Hope this helps.

Robert Forsman, 2014/01/30 22:36

I own one of the M4800 variants. I had a little difficulty getting the nvidia graphics working. I haven't tested to see if disabling the GPU switching in the BIOS settings was the fix, but it seems to work now.

The BCM4352 wifi/bluetooth chipset is still not supported as of 2014-Jan (by free or proprietary drivers), so you can't use the wifi until the drivers catch up. The device is visible to iwconfig, but appears to have “no wireless extensions” just like other network devices.

The ethernet uses the e1000e module.

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dell_precision_m4800.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/16 03:37 (external edit)
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