The dream machine for Linux gamers and open source aficionados
In brief: The OEM Linux club recently saw the addition of Lenovo’s ThinkPads. If you’re not a fan of those, System76 has a different beast packed with Nvidia RTX graphics and open-source embedded controller firmware. A first for this kind of laptop.
System76 has refreshed its high-end Oryx Pro laptop for developers and Linux enthusiasts, and it now packs Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs. Specifically, you can get this with a Core i7-10875H that offers eight cores and 16 threads – essentially a more refined, 14nm version of the Skylake architecture that’s able to push 5 GHz on a single core under certain conditions.
It would have been nice to see the company offer a 4th generation AMD Ryzen CPU, especially since models like the Ryzen 9 4900HS have a significant advantage over Intel’s offering while being more energy-efficient. We know that System76 isn’t afraid to go the AMD route based on customer feedback, as it recently built a 12-core, 3rd generation Ryzen laptop called the Serval WS – so it’s not entirely off the cards.
The Core i7-10875H in the Oryx Pro is paired with up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 4 TB of NVMe storage (spread between the two M.2 slots). You can go with a 15.6-inch or a 17.3-inch, 144 Hz, 1080p, matte display, and anywhere between an Nvidia RTX 2060 to an RTX 2080 Super – this makes it pretty decent for Linux gaming, which has been given a lift by enthusiasts, as well as companies like Valve.
The Oryx Pro is tailored to be a Linux machine. It comes pre-installed with either Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or System76’s Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS distribution with full-disk encryption on by default. It also comes with System76-developed open firmware as well as open-source graphics drivers for the Nvidia GPU.
The Oryx Pro features coreboot (also known as LinuxBIOS), which disables Intel’s troublesome Management Engine that has been shown to have too many security holes. Other notable features are the aluminum construction, 73Wh battery, as well as the inclusion of a Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C port, all in a relatively lightweight package of 4.39lbs for the 15-inch version and 5.07 lbs for the 17-inch variant.
For those of you who’d like to get your hands on one, it will set you back $1,623 for the base version with 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD and $3,665 for the maxed-out configuration. The Oryx Pro ships early next month.