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System76 Darter Pro 9 / Serval WS 13 / Galago Pro 7 Land In Upstream Coreboot

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  • System76 Darter Pro 9 / Serval WS 13 / Galago Pro 7 Land In Upstream Coreboot

    Phoronix: System76 Darter Pro 9 / Serval WS 13 / Galago Pro 7 Land In Upstream Coreboot

    Just days after System76 upstreamed Intel Raptor Lake HX and their new Adder WS 3 laptop into Coreboot, three more of their laptops have now made their way to upstream Coreboot...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    mmstick Totally unrelated to this article....I was reading the article down, ASUS making Intel NUCs, and an idea for a new type of PC line struck me.

    I was wondering if y'all have considered making what I'd call the Mini Tall form factor for home and small business file server PCs. It'd basically be the same thing as the Meerkat but it'd be about 8 or so inches taller so it can accommodate at least (3) HDDs (3.5") or 4 SSDs (2.5") in addition to one or two NVMes , maybe 1.5" wider to give it room for a case fan to keep the storage cool, and it'd have 2 or more ethernet ports because it's designed as a server.

    Since something like that doesn't need massive amounts of computing power, 4c/8t, 6c12t at the most, it could be a great way to burn off old DDR4 CPUs and to just keep costs down period in regards to DDR5.

    What would be a neat feature would be the addition of PCIe extension cables to extend some PCIe ports to the outside of the case so various cases that hold a GPU/data accelerator, more storage, battery backups, etc could be add-on accessories. Heck, if designed right it could have both 4x (small) and 16x (big) PCIe ports in different locations and the battery backup working off the power plug for multiple add-ons all at an old Sega Genesis with the SegaCD and the 32x add-on. Old game consoles are my inspiration for that feature.

    The Mini PC That You Can Build As Big As You Need


    • #3
      skeevy420 I'd recommend the Thelio. It's 32.7cm × 20.7cm × 29.1cm (12.88" x 8.15" x 11.46"). You can find the current thelio-b4 tech specs here. It supports four 2.5" SATA drives, two NVMe Gen 4 SSDs, and one NVME Gen 3 or SATA SSD.

      For a server, you would typically want RAM with error correction so that reads and writes to storage aren't potentially corrupted. Officially, ECC memory support is reserved to the higher-end CPUs, as in the Thelio Massive. But as someone who's run home servers for many years with DDR3 and DDR4, it's generally fine for that purpose. The higher the density of RAM, the higher the chance of bit flips from cosmic rays though.

      Alternatively, you could purchase a Nebula case, so you could custom build a server. The nebula19 has the same dimensions as the thelio-b4. Same compact cooling solution as the Thelio. Takes a mini-ITX board.
      Last edited by mmstick; 19 July 2023, 12:49 PM.


      • #4
        I'd have replied sooner but I had a long day yesterday. Welding outdoors in the sun in 95F (115F index) zaps the life out of you. Today I'm gonna wire wheel the rust off of old steel and prime it for long-term storage. It's forecasted to be even hotter today. Yay .

        The Thelio is basically what I have now (in regards to specs) so that isn't what I'm after.

        What I'm after is a device no bigger than a 9" box that is just enough to hold a CPU, an OS NVMe, an extra NVME, and 3/4 SATA ports for 3/4 drives (size dependent). That's an OS, a RAID, and a caching drive. A simple, basic headless setup no bigger than a jewelry box. The Base Box. Anything else would be attached as an external add-on.

        In regards to ECC, I know that, on AM4 at least, AMD has unofficial support on their lower end units. If you want a good laugh, I bought an AMD Pro APU on the grey market for ECC support and then changed my mind and bought DDR4-3800 because it's faster . I know, right . I wouldn't be too surprised if AMD has a surplus of AM4 Pro APUs. They'd be great for this purpose. I have no clue about Intel low end ECC. In all honesty, I only pay attention to high end Intel parts in benchmark results.

        This is a product that keeps on selling itself. For, I dunno, starting at $800 people would get the 9" Base Box with a low powered 4 to 8 core CPU, a 128GB OS NVMe, and options to fill the rest of the SATA and NVMe ports.

        In the future (or at purchase), say they want to play with CUDA or ROCm? They can buy the Graphics Box add-on and put in their choice of GPU model. They run out of storage? They can buy the Storage Box add-on (with or without drives). Is their power unreliable? They can buy a Battery Box. Do they want to turn it into a desktop? They can buy an Extended IO Box with more USB ports, card readers, a place for a disk drive (CD/DVD/BD) with a SATA>USB converter built in. The add-on potential is endless.

        And further in the future when new technology becomes available they can buy the Base Box MK2 and move their add-ons and OS disk from the old to the new and everything will just work because Linux is good like that. The add-on concept allows y'all to monetize every aspect of a PC while allowing add-ons to be forwards and backwards compatible makes y'all not look like money grubbing bastards like Apple.

        I'm also torn on iGPU vs headless. The more advanced you are, the less you would need an iGPU. In regards to money, making it headless would force more people into buying a Graphics Box, but it would also allow better performing CPUs. Pros and Cons for both options.

        Anyways, that's what I want in a commercial PC. A small, core system that I can expand and grow as necessary from a company that won't depreciate add-ons and accessories between product generations. I'd hate to spend hundreds to thousands on add-ons only to not be able to use them with the MK2 unit.

        Feel free to take this idea and run with it without giving me credit.