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Author Topic: Acer Aspire 5 (Ryzen 3 3200u; Radeon Vega 3 graphics)  (Read 281 times)

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Offline az2020

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Acer Aspire 5 (Ryzen 3 3200u; Radeon Vega 3 graphics)
« on: January 26, 2020, 05:18:48 pm »
I installed Peppermint 10 (Dec. 2019 respin) on this laptop (model: A515-43-R19L). My bios is v1.06. I did the following to install Peppermint:

1. Enter bios with F2 as soon as keyboard lights up. If you wait until the Acer splash screen appears, it's probably too late.

2. Arrow-right to "Main"
.... Enable "F12 Boot Menu"
.... Disable "Fast Boot" (Note: I re-enabled this after install and it worked fine. Not sure to what extent disabling this is required/desirable. I gathered from googling that being enabled is a common install problem.).
.... I also change "Function key behavior" to "Function Key." That's not necessary, but makes more sense to me. (If I want the "media" keys, I'll press the "fn" key to get there.).
3. Arrow-right to "Security"
.... Set "Supervisor Password" to something you'll remember. You have to do this for "Secure Boot" to be modifiable.  (I didn't set "User Password.").

.... .... NOTE: I've read reports that "Secure Boot" can mysteriously re-enable if Supervisor pw is blank. I believe I experienced that once while installing various distros. I cleared the pw and things worked fine. But, at some point Secure Boot was enabled. I had to set the Supervisor pw to disable it. (I've left the pw set.).

4. Arrow-right to "Boot"
.... Disable "Secure Boot" (you can't edit this field without first setting the Supervisor password. It appears that you can remove that password after disabling secure boot. Secure boot seems to remain disabled.).

This machine seems overkill for Peppermint.[1] But, I spent $200 USD for my older Toshiba Satellite C55-B. That cpu had a benchmark 960. This new one has 4570. So, for $120 more... wowee! (Smokin fast! And, I haven't even added the 2nd memory module for dual-channel performance.).

It seems to be a big seller on Amazon. I imagine people will be googling if Linux works. I wanted to get this published so people know Peppermint installs fine. Being a lighter-weight distro, Peppermint is super fast on this laptop.  Won't be disappointed! (I found a couple reports that this machine works with Mint & Archlinux. That helped me buy it. I just wanted to add another report.).

[1] It seems to be a fantastic value ($320 USD on Amazon). It's an "Amazon Choice." Comes with 4g ram (one chip, single-channel. $20 buys a 2nd chip for 8g dual-channel). Comes with 128g SSD, and has space for adding SATA3. (I plan to install "/" on SSD, and "/home" on a $30 SATA3 500g. This is my first SSD drive. For now, I'll feel better with my /home folder on a "real" drive.). It also has a 1920x1080 screen resolution. It looks very nice. Text is a little too small for my older eyes. But, font size can be increased in the distro's settings.

Code: [Select]
inxi -Fz
System:    Host: mark-Aspire-A515-43 Kernel: 5.3.0-26-generic x86_64 bits: 64
           Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Ten
Machine:   Device: laptop System: Acer product: Aspire A515-43 v: V1.06 serial: N/A
           Mobo: PK model: Grumpy_PK v: V1.06 serial: N/A
           UEFI: Insyde v: V1.06 date: 09/26/2019
Battery    BAT1: charge: 46.5 Wh 100.0% condition: 46.5/47.9 Wh (97%)
CPU:       Dual core AMD Ryzen 3 3200U with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx (-MT-MCP-)
           cache: 1024 KB
           clock speeds: max: 2600 MHz 1: 1418 MHz 2: 1380 MHz 3: 1174 MHz
           4: 1196 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Picasso
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.20.4 )
           drivers: ati,amdgpu (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@59.98hz
           OpenGL: renderer: AMD RAVEN2 (DRM 3.33.0, 5.3.0-26-generic, LLVM 8.0.0)
           version: 4.5 Mesa 19.0.8
Audio:     Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Raven/Raven2/Fenghuang HDMI/DP Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 17h (Models 10h-1fh) HD Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k5.3.0-26-generic
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCIE Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169
           IF: enp3s0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Wireless 7265 driver: iwlwifi
           IF: wlp4s0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 132.1GB (7.2% used)
           ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 model: HFM128GDJTNG size: 128.0GB
           ID-2: USB /dev/sda model: U3_Cruzer_Micro size: 4.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 117G used: 7.4G (7%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: No active sensors found. Have you configured your sensors yet? mobo: N/A
Info:      Processes: 219 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 477.1/3431.8MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.3.56

« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 06:17:48 pm by az2020 »

Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Acer Aspire 5 (Ryzen 3 3200u; Radeon Vega 3 graphics)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 03:34:23 am »
Hi az2020,

Thank you very much for posting this how-to for the Acer Aspire 5 with Ryzen 3 3200u and Radeon Vega 3 graphics. Makes me want to purchase one right now!  ;) 8)


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Offline az2020

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Re: Acer Aspire 5 (Ryzen 3 3200u; Radeon Vega 3 graphics)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 01:04:34 pm »
Thank you very much for posting this how-to for the Acer Aspire 5 with Ryzen 3 3200u and Radeon Vega 3 graphics. Makes me want to purchase one right now!  ;) 8)

I'm glad the info is helpful. I was worried I might sound too spammy/advocating. I'm sure there's other good machines out there. I'm excited because I was expecting to buy another budget $200 laptop. (My Toshiba Satellite C55-B is three yeas old. I thought it would be wise to go ahead and upgrade to a new laptop, keep the old one as a backup. It's always rough when your only computer dies, have to find a replacement using a phone, or at local stores.). When I started comparing on Amazon, this Acer Apsire 5 (A515-43-R19L) looked like the best value (price, performance). It's not that much more expensive than the $200 budget range. 5 times more CPU benchmark.

I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of perceived speed (and how well Linux plays with it). The speed is awesome. I haven't had a super-fast machine in a long time. It reminds me of when I got my first 486 (and Win 3.1 ran this fast on it). It has that massive "step up" feel. Like I said, it's not that much more expensive.

I've installed Lubuntu & Xubuntu 19.10; Peppermint 10-respin; Neon KDE 20200116. MX & Antix 19 don't support the hardware yet (but, that's ok. I value their emphasis on stability, and being more cautious about bringing in newer drivers and kernels.). MX recently added an "advanced hardware" repo which is considered unstable/experimental. Someone pointed me to an unofficial ISO built with that. This laptop installed it. So, I anticipate MX 19.1 will install on this machine. (MX 19.1 is expected to provide an official "alternate" ISO built that way. Eventually hardware support in that repo will end up in the stable repo and a person should use the normal ISO. I think the anticipated "ahs" alternate ISO will be a bleeding edge for those who want to try it.). 

I haven't permanently installed Peppermint yet. You might remember last April I was distro-hopping after 4 years with Lubuntu. I was comparing how light/heavy different distros were. I posted a table of that info in another thread. I thought I would recreate those metrics on this machine. But, apparently there's a significant difference between mem usage in a virtual machine (like those stats last year) and on real hardware. Real drivers for real hardware use more resources than generic drivers in an idealized virtual environment.

So, I'm installing different distros just to gather some datapoints about what works with this machine. Then I'll install Peppermint, and officially be a Peppermintarian (until I decide to distro hop again in 6-12 months). At that point I'll do the mem-use comparison in Virtual Box/QEMU like last time. I'll probably wait for the *ubuntu 20.4 releases. That's just a couple months away. 

It will be much easier to do those mem-usage comparisons on this machine (in virutal machines). Those installs last April were a bit slow on that budget Celeron. (I'm probably going to need to buy the 2nd ram module. 4g single-channel could be a little tight running virtual machines. I had 8g on the budget Celeron. I have to decide whether to spend $20 on the 2nd 4g, or make it more future-proof with two 8gs (for 16g total. It will accept two 16g for 32g total). The $20 additional 4g module looks like the easy choice. I just hate to spend $20 when I imagine 8g will probably be considered low in 2-3 years. Buying two 8g is in the $60 USD range. It's hard to decide.

I'll post the distro mem-usage comparison when I have it.  I'm collecting that info from these installs (directly onto this machine). The distros look similar (in how they rank against each other). But, they're all ~30% higher because they're using real hardware.  Comparing them in a virtual machine will make the info more comparable (to my last exercise, and if anyone else wants to compare).