Thank You System76

2016-07-01

Two years later my System76 Oryx Pro v1 is still running strong.

It’s not just the regular cleaning or standard computer upkeep that’s been keeping it alive so well - it’s the amazing software support that System76 has provided throughout it’s lifetime.

When I first got my laptop, I was already very happy with my purchase, and Linux just worked like I so desired.

Now, with two years of software and firmware updates from System76, my laptop is actually running just as well - if not better - than it was when I first received it.

Here’s a short list of the features I’ve most appreciated from these software/firmware updates:

  • Nvidia Drivers
    • Switching between integrated Intel graphics and the dedicated GTX970M is now as simple as pressing a button and a quick reboot!
    • System76 has provided graphics drivers updates the whole time, with each update coming in without any issues or problems with graphics performance.
    • The System76 Nvidia CUDA PPA has been extremely useful, and it even helped a friend on a Dell XPS laptop get CUDA working!
    • The built-in screen in my laptop now runs at a 120hz native refresh rate thanks to the updates. (That’s still with G-Sync on an IPS Panel!)

120hz option in Gnome Display Settings

(Yes it looks like the hardware really does run faster than 60hz! I know because my other monitor is 144hz and I can spot the 60hz difference.)

  • Pop_OS!
    • Even though I’m not a direct user of their new Ubuntu-based operating system, I’ve found that a lot of their work there has been extremely beneficial to me even as I continue to boot the stock Ubuntu images.
    • The UI changes and clean design work makes the desktop feel much more modern again. This includes things like power profile switching, which I’m using on stock Ubuntu!

Performance/Balanced/Powersave and Nvidia/Intel switching!

  • Intel IME
    • They wrote their own firmware update process to disable the Intel Management Engine!
    • Was really easy and well-integrated. Had no problems flashing the firmware.

System76 Firmware Update Tool

These efforts are not to be taken lightly!

As a Reddit user u/reconditus replied to one of my comments in r/linux:

System76 deserve more recognition for the work they do. I recently bought the Sager-badged equivalent of the current-gen Oryx Pro (Clevo P955ER) because I had a ton of Amazon store credit burning a hole on my pocket, and Sager was available through them while System76 only sells direct. Big mistake. I have Linux running smoothly now, but only after wrestling through a handful of ACPI issues and lots of beating my head against a desk getting NVIDIA/Bumblebee to work properly (which it still only kind-of does). The TuxedoPC clevo-xsm-wmi module at least built cleanly, but even that could be a chore for someone not used to building from source.

They’re doing a lot more than just re-badging, and given the option again I would have just sucked it up and paid System76’s premium/foregone the Amazon credit for the ease of a properly supported system.

That aside, the hardware is wonderful. Would highly recommend the new Oryx Pro.

To the future

When I see a “Lifetime Support” offer on a product, I normally don’t think too much of it. With System76, their support has been amazingly easy to work with!

I’ve had 4 open tickets on different topics, all of which were addressed timely and with good responses! They even helped me to diagnose a bad RAM stick even after the hardware warranty was over.

Since acquiring my Oryx Pro 2 years ago, many of my Linux using friends are now looking towards the options from System76. And when a friend bought a Gazelle for personal use, I knew I only wanted to further spread the word.

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