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Thread: System 76... Good or Bad?

  1. #1
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    System 76... Good or Bad?

    Can anyone tell me if buying a system 76 laptop would be worth it? I have read reviews online and I have seen more bad than good.

  2. #2
    PaulW2U is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    Thread moved to System76 Support.

    I've moved your post here but could you tell us about any particular concerns that you have?

  3. #3
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    System76 is a systems integrator. Clevo Computer Company (a very large computer mfg from Taiwan and China Mainland build some of their PC's. They may have other Asian mfg sources also.) System76 evaluates the mfg's core offerings, and specifies any engineering and configs required, writes or modifies custom drivers, and supports customers pre & post purchase.

    They've been very responsive re my questions, but I personally have zero issues on a Galago Ultra Pro (loaded) running Ubuntu 15.04. My system runs (since Dec 2014) between 4 to 12 hrs daily. Absolutely Zero issues, and everything worked "out of the box".

    The only minor issue some have is the Galago (& perhaps other laptops are 100% plastic cases) - - no brushed metal, etc. But the construction (albeit light) seems more than solid enough for my use & needs. Outstanding graphics/resolution, average decent quality keyboard, above average trackpad, 2/3 usb ports use v3. Re the internals, excellent options available for user via the website order process. All components are first-tier known high quality (intel, samsung, kingston, crucial, etc. (no cheap junk).

    So, it's a decent laptop, and should last for years unless you drop a 2 or 3 pound rock on it. I plan to buy from System76 in future (desktops and laptops) . . . and no, I have no vested interests in the company.
    Last edited by Geoffrey_Arndt; September 6th, 2015 at 05:37 AM. Reason: typos & mo info.

  4. #4
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    Having been using the Lemur 5 for the last few months (since June), I have to say that System 76 is the way to go if you want a decent computer running Ubuntu from the get go. Runs quickly, smoothly, and everything works without any issues, even after a reinstall due to an SSD upgrade (didn't add one in during my initial purchase since I already had one). Just had to reinstall the System 76 drivers and I was off to the races.

    They also offer a payment plan for those of us (i.e. myself) who cannot afford to drop money down on a laptop all at once.
    System76 Lemur5 (64-bit) - Antergos
    Dell Dimension 4500 (32-bit) - Win XP Pro (Down)
    Gateway NV59C (64-bit) - Ubuntu Mate 16.04
    2014 Mac mini - Sierra

  5. #5
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    I have had a Gazelle Pro since April 2014 and it has been perfect; fast and reliable. Purchase process was easy with lots of support. I would definitely go back for my next laptop, but realistically that will not befor a while as this one just works.
    A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

    From Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams

  6. #6
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    Pretty good. I got a Kudu Pro a little over a year ago.

    I was at first very skeptical--especially of their choice to support Ubuntu. However, it appears that this combination of hardware(Clevo)/firmware (They probably changed more than just add the pretty logo in the BIOS.) is really low-maintenance with Linux. (Also, Ubuntu is so widely used now I suspect it is in a position to start defining conventions.)

    Kudu runs like a sick dog in FreeBSD but so do most other Haswell/Intel i7 systems. FreeBSD, famous for its stability, locks up hard in painfully slow, unaccellerated Xorg. But they never said it was a good FreeBSD machine....

    It also makes a fantastic Hackintosh as Apple STILL does not offer a 17" matte laptop with ENOUGH USB ports. Intel HD4600 is now fully supported in Yosemite, with some minor DSDT hacking.

    But I spend most of my time in Ubuntu: This has been the most trouble-free Linux system I have ever used and it is the first serious alternative to Macintosh that I have considered since 2003. (For me, the dealbreaker with Mac is that there is nothing native that is even close to ZFS for backups and snapshots. Yes, you can install ZFS on mac, but then what's the point if you can't use Spotlight/TimeMachine.... but that's another rant.)

    Kudu's video performance is also lacklustre, probably due to corporate hostility to Linux/Open Source more than anything else: Netflix is a little choppy in Chrome/Linux but completely flawless in Mac OS X Yosemite/AnyBrowser. I did not test 3D since there is no dedicated graphics processor.

    The audio quality for some reason is inconsistently not spectacular (VT1802) in Linux but always just fine with Hackintosh Yosemite using the VoodooHDA driver.

    It's good enough for movies and games, but not for quiet-room listening with decent quality headphones. For a while, I thought it had something to do with using Amarok/Rhythmbox/Banshee or their interaction with gstreamer backend(s?) but I give up: too much silly-named, duplicated effort in the Linux audio player world! I'm also suspicious of pulseaudio sound server but it is a big hairy mess I do not feel inclined to learn about. It seems a crazy amount of complexity just to be able to have more than one process access the audio hardware simultaneously, a feature I didn't know I needed.

    So in a nutshell, neither Ubuntu Linux nor Mac EASILY, OOB, is completely satisfactory, but with System76, at least you know you have decent Linux hardware support: You're not going to be spending ages picking apart DSDT/SSDT to make the function keys work; you're not going to be stuck running framebuffer Xorg or dealing with strange hardware problems because only you and about 20 other people have tested your hardware on Linux; sound and video will work tolerably well OOB; unlike in the world of MSFT, AAPL hardware you'll still have the option to be able to boot your computer from a variety of USB/DVD media.
    Last edited by mike353; September 10th, 2015 at 07:36 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    Very good, got myself a Galago UltraPro last year. Never had any issues, runs fast and smooth with everything. Only complaint I would have is the audio isn't that great on it. (then again laptop audio usually sucks on everything)

    Have no idea what support is like but I haven't had any need to contact support just yet.
    Projects - PhotoFlare Image Editor | Xwii | URT-2D | BHR
    Hardware - System 76 - Galago UltraPro

  8. #8
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    I got interested in the audio issue again and now I'm pretty sure it is pulseaudio. I have no idea how to disable this in stock Ubuntu so I booted Lubuntu from a USB stick and sound quality is consistently better using ALSA and any player you want.

    In fact, so much of the annoying U-bloat ("integration" with creepy Facebook, yahoo, amazon, google spyware, worthless disk indexing that never seems to find anything, and silly, ugly clunktackular Unity UI) is gone that I'm considering installing it for real.

    Try it and see how your sound is. With a decent set of headphones, like the Grado SR-80, the sound isn't too bad.

  9. #9
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    Hmm, Mike353 . . did you try Pulse Audio Manager app to fully config/tweak the audio?

    Re your comments about Ubuntu's desktops (DE's) . . . I'm of the school that appreciates user choice and options . My personal production systems all use Unity. A couple older test machines run about a dozen variations of cinnamon, mate, openbox, fluxbox, kde/plasma, DDE, and my own customizations. None are as "elegant" and functional (excluding sysadmin) as Unity (although Gnome3 is now close). But. let each user decide which DE is best for them and their specific hardware.

    (in IT terms, "elegant" refers to a systems capability to achieve a functional goal in a lean, error-free, intuitive manner).
    Last edited by Geoffrey_Arndt; September 21st, 2015 at 06:01 PM. Reason: clarity

  10. #10
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    Re: System 76... Good or Bad?

    I bought a Kudu Pro with quad core i7 processors. I find that the fan is loud and runs more than I expected. No other complaints.

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