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Thread: Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    43

    Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

    Alright so as I imagine most of you already know, System 76 has put out a new addition to their laptop line: The Bonobo Extreme (bonx6). After spending the last few weeks drooling over this device and comparing it to my current panp9, I have decided to bite the bullet and buy one after watching this video review on it. Anyway the machine looks amazing. Even though my panp9 has been extremely awesome, I've decided that since my wife's Sony laptop is getting a bit long in the tooth, the time to upgrade has come and she'll be inheriting my panp9 as a result in addition to being transitioned over to Linux from Windows.

    The primary motivation for buying this laptop over my existing panp9 was the inclusion of the Nvidia GPU. Ironically enough that was also my biggest motivation for not buying it. The reason being is that after suffering with the Nvidia Linux driver for years on various machines I have come to dislike it a great deal. That dislike was reaffirmed when I realized how well the Intel HD4000 in my panp9 worked in Linux. So giving the bonx6 a chance is actually a bit of a stretch for me. Prior to buying it I asked the S76 Sales Reps a few questions concerning issues I've had with the Nvidia Linux drivers in the past (the biggest two being the inability of the Nvidia driver to detect ACPI state changes without switching to a virtual console and back and the fact that I could never seem to add custom resolutions to the Nvidia driver config and get them to work - something the Intel driver allows to happen easily using the standard xrandr tool) and they said that these issues were not issues on the bonx6 and also said that the Nvidia driver has improved a great deal over the last six months. Maybe Linus' middle finger did the trick, eh?

    Anyway - hopefully I'll have the machine by the first of the new year. It will take me some time to get it setup as I don't use Ubuntu and since this will be my first UEFI machine (yes it uses UEFI instead of the age old BIOS according to the review I linke above) transitioning my existing Arch Linux install is probably going to be tricky. When I get it, I will be sure to detail and document my experiences in this thread.

    So that brings me to my question: Has anybody else purchased this machine? If so, what do you think? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Beans
    5

    Re: Lets get this party started - Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

    I just got my Bonobo Extreme delivered a couple of hours ago. Haven't had a chance to use it yet but will post back with my thoughts on it once I get some use out of it.

    I will say, It's a big machine, which is fine with me because I don't really travel much with a laptop. If you're looking for portability, this isn't the laptop for you though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Beans
    57
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Smile Re: Lets get this party started - Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

    I got mine about a week ago. So far, no major problems, but haven't dug deep.

    I dumped Ubuntu/Unity since I loathe the interface, switched to Cinnarch. In other words, no problems installing alternative Linux flavors. So far, everything just works. But haven't tried the keyboard lights or fingerprint reader at all.

    Got the Nvidia 670, just one, and figured I'd be able to upgrade later if I needed. I'm upgrading from an Asus N73JQ, which had Nvidia 425M, so if that could handle Portal2, the 670GTX should do well. (Wikipedia specs suggest its about 5X faster.)

    Nvidia drivers work well, though dual screen can be a bit tricky sometimes. Running full screen games or even Heaven benchmark, it will choose a screen on its own based on the resolution, rather than the main screen. So, upon exit, I have to use Nvidia settings to switch back. Likely a Cinnamon problem.

    My Asus N73JQ was just as big, so I'm used to this size laptop.

    USB 3.0 ports work well, unlike my Asus. :/

    SATA-III ports work well, I get full speed out of my SSD drives. Drive slots can be a bit snug.

    I do wish the mSATA port was SATA-III, but that's a limitation of the Intel HM77 chipset, not the Bonobo. Anyone know if it's possible to software select which ports are SATA-III enabled?

    Only problem I have is eSATA is only 1.5GBps, have not figured out why. Seems consistent across other distros, yet I KNOW I have 3Gbps devices. (Same for my N73JQ recently. Might be a kernel regression?)
    Last edited by abeowitz; December 17th, 2012 at 10:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    43

    Re: Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

    Abe, did you have to do anything special in regards to the bootloader on the machine? As I understand it, the laptop uses UEFI instead of the age old BIOS. I'm actually looking to transition the existing arch install I have on the panp9 to the bonx6 when it arrives so if you have anything to add that would be most appreciated. A quick google shows me that Cinnarch comes with UEFI support out of the box. That means it might prove to be a viable option if I choose to reinstall rather than transition the existing install. I'm hoping to avoid that if at all possible though.

    Also, how does the GPU react when you unplug the laptop and plug it back in? Is it downclocking and upclocking as it should? Traditionally I've had problems with that sort of thing with Nvidia drivers (typically resolved by switching to a virtual console and back to X). In addition, have you had any luck setting up custom resolutions for the screen (mostly 16x9 stuff like 1024x576 for instance)?
    Last edited by jaylittle; December 18th, 2012 at 04:20 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Beans
    57
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Smile Re: Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

    Jaylittle,

    I was able to move the drive from my Asus to the Bonobo and boot without any modifications or problems. (Both Nvidia)

    The UEFI/BIOS supports traditionally partitioned disks and boot loaders like GRUB.

    Have not tried UEFI boot/partitions on the Bonobo, but I do have a disk I can try.

    The BIOS has an option for Windows8 UEFI mode. Guess what this does...


    Will check Nvidia/CPU power behavior tomorrow (Tues).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    43

    Re: Bonobo Extreme (bonx6)

    That's good to know. This means moving to the new machine will be quite a bit easier than I anticipated as all I will need to do is switch video drivers Thanks for the details Abe - they are most appreciated!

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