[...]. Either we buy Optimus laptops, use crap instead proper gfx card and have power consumption sky rockets or... buy laptops with Ati
That is decission which nVidia did for as, dumb Linux users with "no Optimus for Linux" policy.
Unfortunately, it is really so bad:
I used Linux for more than 6 years on NVIDIA based PCs and Laptops without (mayor) problems. A week ago I ordered the new Dell XPS Laptop with the I5-560 CPU and the GT420m gfx card. For me personally it was a perfect combination. Three days ago I had to cancel the order after I realized that there is absolutely no way of using the GT420m with Linux. (You could use the Intel GMA HD but who wants this...)
However, I still needed a new Laptop and my requirements were (in this order):
1. Running Linux
2. Efficient (dualcore) CPU
3. NVIDIA-based middle class gfx-card, if possible with CUDA-support
After comparing endless combinations here are my results:
1. Forget about the I5 and buy a quadcore CPU, (i.e. I7-QM740m) and any NVIDIA-card you like
=> ca. 150 USD more expensive, higher power consummation (10Watts), more heat and less battery time, ... for really nothing if you have no use for more than 4 threads ....
2. Look for a nice, modern CPU and choose NVIDIA-card which surely does not support Optimus.
=> Hard to find, mostly older models with (older) CPUs and which are expensive in comparison with newer models.
3. Look for a nice CPU, a new NVIDIA-card but make sure the Laptop does not support Optimus .
=> I could not found one which *surely* does not support Optimus.
Have I missed a possible solution? If not, my next Laptop will run Linux and will have a I5 CPU.
All the best