Booting up the System76 Bonobo Professional for the first time we were greeted with the setup procedures for creating a new user account and then immediately we were able to login to the GNOME desktop. This system was running Ubuntu 9.04 x86_64 with the usual set of System76 packages to provide "out of the box" support for all of the hardware and extras such as the build-essential packages and NVIDIA proprietary driver. Everything had worked out well and we ran into no problems with their Ubuntu installation or any Linux hardware compatibility.
When it comes to the performance of this high-end (and expensive) notebook we put it through its paces using the Phoronix Test Suite. To recap, our review unit was loaded with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M 1GB graphics processor, 4GB of system RAM, and a 320GB Hitachi TS72323 SATA HDD. Linux graphics benchmarks from this notebook are available from our article last week where we published the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M test results. For covering the rest of the system we used a majority of the tests that are found within the linux-system test suite. These tests included Apache Benchmark, LAME MP3 Encoding, FFmpeg, C-Ray, timed MAFFT alignment, timed HMMer Search, GraphicsMagick, OpenSSL, Crafty, dcraw, and SQLite.
Unfortunately, as we had to return our System76 Serval Professional notebook after reviewing it and our archived results were from Ubuntu 8.10, we were unable to compare its performance to any other System76 products. However, for comparison we have thrown in the results from a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300, Intel PM965 Chipset with ICH8M-E Southbridge, 4GB of DDR2 memory, a 100GB Hitachi HTS72201 SATA 2.0 HDD, and a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M 512MB graphics processor. This system too was running Ubuntu 9.04 (x86_64).