Originally Posted by Licaon
any reason not to use the ATi cards? they're like miles away in terms of performance
True, but fglrx drivers are pathetic compared to nvidia's. I can't even run things like compiz, video acceleration is mediocre at best and their new 2d acceleration system is nowhere close to nvidia's. On the other hand, I have another laptop with 9400M, which runs compiz, vdpau and twinview perfectly, without any lags, not even for millisecond.
So, if I needed 3d performance (like blender, games, etc.) I would enable fglrx, otherwise 9400M + nvidia's binary driver provides smoother experience. And I have setup my ubuntu installation with root fs as aufs2 (union filesystem), which allows me to quickly enable nvidia's or ati's drivers just by specifying the correct branches. This way fglrx and nvidia can coexist in the same system.
So until ATI provides better linux drivers (which I don't think will happen any time soon, considering they have evergreen and upcoming 6xxx to support), I'd like to use 9400M as primary GPU in my system. The only reason why I can't do it - is broken TwinView.
Also there is an option to go for OSS ati drivers, but i think 9400M + binary nvidia's driver will provide better performance, both in 3d and 2d.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, that fglrx is also full of hacks. For example, if I name a binary as compiz or compizXXXX or compiz<insert anything there>, glGenProgramsARB doesn't work (as in glGenProgramsARB(1, &x) always returns x == 0) (this has been tested on two systems running fglrx). This bug/hack/optimization breaks some of compiz functionality; changing the name of compiz's binary makes it's performance unusable: it takes about two seconds just to switch focus from one window to another, expo looks like a slideshow and etc. I'm just simply tired of fighting with fglrx.