Linux on Kaby Lake: System76 now offers 7th generation Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GTX 10-series GPUs
System76 is perhaps the most popular Linux laptop retailer. The company has made a name for itself selling notebooks that offer a wide array of component choice and run the latest version of Ubuntu. It’s good to see, then, that System76 is keeping pace with its Windows-based rivals and selling notebooks with Kaby Lake processors and GPUs from NVIDIA’s GTX 10 series.
The Lemur, System76’s entry-level ultrabook, has been available for sale with a Kaby Lake Core i3 or i7 for a few months now. It’s a decent enough notebook geared towards users who like Linux but don’t need lots of raw power. Higher end options, such as the Oryx Pro or Serval WS, offer more power. Until recently, they were stuck with last gen Skylake chips. Now, prospective buyers can configure the devices with the latest Kaby Lake processors and an NVIDIA GTX 1060, 1070, or 1080 (depending on the model).
Users that need some serious power can opt for the Bonobo WS. Based on the Clevo P870DM3-G (the same body as Schenker’s XMG U727), the Bonobo can be specced all the way up to a Core i7-7700K overclockable desktop CPU, 64 GB of RAM, 2 TB of NVMe storage, 8 TB of SATA SSD storage, and two GTX 1080 graphics cards. Get ready for the sticker shock: getting that much power in a (somewhat) portable Linux package will cost upwards of $9,800.
System76 offers their notebooks with Ubuntu 16.04 (which just got an update) or 16.10 and fully support the machines and OS for at least a year. In a world where high-end laptops are almost exclusively running Windows, it’s always interesting to see what’s happening in the land of Linux. Looks like the open-source OS is keeping pace just fine.