I Miss My MacBook Pro, Buggy Iris Graphics Gives Headaches
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 28 May 2014 at 08:24 AM EDT. 68 Comments
As many Phoronix readers will recall, I switched from a Retina MacBook Pro to an ASUS Zenbook Prime ultrabook. After overcoming some issues, the setup was nice, but I'm already having some regrets and issues.

The ASUS Zenbook UX301LAA Haswell ultrabook was originally running wonderful under Ubuntu Linux... No problems at all, aside from potentially shorter battery-life compared to my older Apple Retina MacBook Pro and what the Zenbook Prime can achieve under Windows.

However, in the past few weeks, the system has begun rebooting at random while idling... When the system is completely idle, the system will suddenly reboot itself. I've tried various software combinations, including different kernels and other key configuration changes, and so far it looks like it might be a RAM or thermal problem.

In the process of trying out the different software possibilities, I decided to give the Linux 3.15 kernel a try. I did notice reduced power use with the new kernel, but font rendering regularly breaks and turns into a horrible mess...

Overall, it's a big mess. Here's a video example of weird rendering issues with the Iris 5100 Graphics on the ASUS Zenbook UX301LAA when upgrading to the Linux 3.15 Git kernel:

Aside from the rendering issues that are fairly frequent and make most text unreadable, my main concern is about the ultrabook's sudden reboots that have happened frequently as of late... I've contacted ASUS and will see what they have to say; hopefully, they don't recommend Windows as the "easy fix", unlike their competitors. In the several years of using MacBook Pros and virtualizing Ubuntu Linux with VMware, I never encountered such hardware problems and always tended to be smooth sailing... Another major benefit has also been longer battery life (than running Linux bare metal on the device) when virtualized.

Stay tuned for updates...

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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