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System76 Preparing To Roll Out Their First Coreboot-Enabled Laptop

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  • #21
    Dumb question, but is there any documentation on what Coreboot + various BIOS/EFI payloads support in terms of features? I've seen plenty of writeups on how to get coreboot INSTALLED on a device, but not much on what I can actually do with it.

    I understand and greatly appreciate the simplicity and security of removing proprietary firmware blobs, but I'd like to still have some control over things like CPU over/underclocking, undervolting, power management controls, fan controls, etc.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by DoMiNeLa10 View Post
      It's sad that these ship with low-end Intel chips that will get slower with every coming month.

      Where are mobile Threadrippers or EPYC chips? I feel like the mobile workstation market is ignored.
      That's because it isn't a very popular market while being expensive to develop for. It's hard enough to find a laptop that can sufficiently cool off 6c/12t, not to mention, a battery that will actually keep up. If you try addressing either of those issues, the device is no longer portable. If you want a beefy workstation on-the-go, you're better off just building a PC in a suitcase and use something like a Chromebook as a thin client to access it.


      Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
      And parallel instruction sets like SSE and AVX (yeah, we do have Neon in the ARM side but that's like a subset).
      SSE support is nice, but hardly anything uses/needs AVX. Besides, AVX is very power hungry; I'd rather have a laptop with good battery life than cutting-edge performance. As long as it gives me a smooth experience, I for one don't care how much faster an alternative could be. To buy a laptop for the sake of performance just doesn't really make sense to me. That being said:
      OK, what about compiling or some other hardcore task?

      You want me to remove it? Sure, if that's the case. I guess waiting 10 seconds for one C file to compile is fine while the same file takes less than half second under x86.
      How much are you in a rush in life where 10 seconds is too long of a wait? If a half-second is that important to you, why stop there? Why use a laptop, when you could use an overclocked desktop that can compile the file so fast that you're actually bottlenecked by storage I/O rather than CPU power? If your job revolves around heavy compute workloads, why are you even considering ARM in the first place? wizard69 isn't wrong - ARM is plenty fast enough for the average user's daily needs. Kind of the point of a laptop is to be portable, and a passively-cooled CPU that can easily fit on a tiny motherboard and offer several more hours of battery life is a very portable system. Waiting a little bit longer for the occasional heavy workload is hardly a noteworthy sacrifice. That's like buying an economy car and complaining at how it sucks at towing a boat, as though that's something the average economy car does on a regular basis.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

        Microsoft tried and failed with the Surface RT. MICROSOFT. If they can't do it, then I fail to see how others will make them popular (bar Apple, as they have a specific set of customers *and* tighter app system).
        The CPU was not the whole story there, they didn't ship an intel DBT, and they messed with the rest of the system. Their new ARM efforts w/ Qualcomm are a lot more believable.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

          Microsoft tried and failed with the Surface RT. MICROSOFT. If they can't do it, then I fail to see how others will make them popular (bar Apple, as they have a specific set of customers *and* tighter app system).
          Windows RT failed because it was so restricted. Only store apps are allowed to run. But the new Windows on ARM isn't and can run any win32 apps. It even supports running x86 binaries

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          • #25
            Firstly kudos to System76.

            Originally posted by mmstick View Post
            I wouldn't call the i7-8565U low-end.
            I don't think DoMiNeLa10 was concerned about TDP or cost. From that perspective I would call it low-end even when comparing it to other mobile chips like the Core i7-8750H and the Xeon E-2176M and not something crazy like a Threadripper. Compared to current average laptop the i7-8565U is not low-end.

            Cinebench scores:
            100% ~4376 Threadripper 2970WX
            26% ~1116 i7-8750H
            13% ~581 i7-8565U

            It's more that Intel offers more support in this space. AMD would have to convince Clevo (ODM) to design mainboards and chassis options with their processors. Then System76 (OEM) would be able to provide AMD as an option.
            This makes sense. Do you know if System76 using a ODM for their current systems? I would assume that their parts are too specialized, but I'm no expect on this. I'm just curious.

            Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
            That's because it isn't a very popular market while being expensive to develop for. It's hard enough to find a laptop that can sufficiently cool off 6c/12t, not to mention, a battery that will actually keep up. If you try addressing either of those issues, the device is no longer portable. If you want a beefy workstation on-the-go, you're better off just building a PC in a suitcase and use something like a Chromebook as a thin client to access it.
            You're probably right but that has not stopped Alienware, SAGER, and Eurocom from putting desktop grade CPU and GPU parts into "laptop" form factors for gamers though. Yes the batteries in those systems would last somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes. Not that I would ever want to use a system like that, but I can see some advantages of it. One thing to configure, insure and carry... If you live close enough to work you can leave your compiler on while you drive home LOL!

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            • #26
              Originally posted by phuclv View Post

              Windows RT failed because it was so restricted. Only store apps are allowed to run.
              Wrong. I ran ARM Windows binaries outside of the Store just fine during the brief time that I had the RT. So no, it was not restricted to the Store.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                That's because it isn't a very popular market while being expensive to develop for. It's hard enough to find a laptop that can sufficiently cool off 6c/12t, not to mention, a battery that will actually keep up. If you try addressing either of those issues, the device is no longer portable. If you want a beefy workstation on-the-go, you're better off just building a PC in a suitcase and use something like a Chromebook as a thin client to access it.
                It's not a problem if you are willing to sacrifice portability like me. I'm fine with a battery that lasts long enough to move a laptop from room to room and plug it in. It can be as thick as it has to be to have proper cooling. Workstation laptops exist for a reason, and I'd rather have something that isn't a piece of plastic crap like "gaming" laptops, which are a budget version of a proper workstation, like older W series ThinkPads.

                There are cases when you're expected to be able to work on the go, and it would be nice to not be held back by the hardware you're using. Being able to carry a machine with yourself, plug it in, and start working without spending majority of your time waiting for your hardware to catch up with you isn't crazy, there is a market for such hardware, even if it costs a premium.

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                • #28
                  Would this work on Clevo Models from other vendors (Tuxedo) as well?

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                    Wrong. I ran ARM Windows binaries outside of the Store just fine during the brief time that I had the RT. So no, it was not restricted to the Store.
                    NO. You can't run unsigned binaries unless your RT was jailbreaked

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