System76 Serval Professional Sandy Bridge
The past few months on Phoronix and OpenBenchmarking.org you may have noticed several Intel Core i7 "Sandy Bridge" mobile benchmarks. This Linux mobile SNB testing was being done from a System76 Serval Professional notebook. Here is a look at this Linux-friendly notebook that ships with Ubuntu 10.10.
Back in 2009 we reviewed a System76 Serval Professional notebook, but back then it was with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS graphics, but now they're Linux-friendly notebooks are using Intel second-generation Core "Sandy Bridge" CPUs and NVIDIA Fermi graphics.
The particular Serval Pro model that System76 had sent over to let us use for a few months (due to sending out the laptop prior to Intel's Cougar Point chipset recall and then not needing it back until they were shipping the revised models, which they are now using) had an Intel Core i7 2820QM CPU, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, 80GB Intel SSDSA2M080, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M graphics.
This Sandy Bridge notebook was shipping with Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit in System76's standard configuration. Upon performing a clean vanilla install of Ubuntu 10.10, everything had worked fine except for the wireless adapter, but with the retail models shipping from System76 they are using a different and better-supported chipset.