High-end workstation/gaming laptop for GNU/Linux

biolinguist

New Member
Hi All,

I am currently looking for a high-end notebook, at least a RTX 2080 (preferably, non-MQ) and i7 (prefer 9700K, but okay with laptop CPUs too), to run GNU/Linux on. I am open to dual-booting, as long as the GNU/Linux installation is hassle-free and their are no weird BIOS lockdowns.

It will be mostly used for post-doctoral research (computational cognitive biology, with lots of magnetic and electro-magnetic image visualizations), high-resolution editing, knowledge-based computational development, biological modelling etc., and also for gaming. It has to be a laptop, so desktops are a no-go. My budget is rather flexible, anything in the Canadian $3500 - $4000 range. Either 15" or 17".

I am currently considering either a Eurocom Sky X7C (Clevo P775TM1-G) or the MSI GE75 Raider (i7 9th Gen + RTX 2080). I am wondering what the GNU/Linux support is like on the MSI. Eurocom supplies GNU/Linux pre-installed, but the Clevo is rather unwieldly to be honest. So I am kind of inclined to get the MSI, but I am holding back to due to some horror stories I have read about MSI's BIOS.

Can anyone shed some light on their experiences with MSI gaming laptops and GNU/Linux? Also, if you have any other suggestions besides the two laptops I mentioned, please feel free to suggest them.
 


Mastabruce

New Member
Hi there @biolinguist,
I don't have a ton of experience with other MSI laptops, but my current Mint 19.2 setup is running on an MSI CX61 2QC and I have never experienced any problems loading a linux distro onto it. Drivers for audio, wifi, and networking have almost alwasy been loaded right on initial boot. Mine is obviously an older laptop, but my experience with MSI laptops and Linux has been good :)
 

biolinguist

New Member
Hi there @biolinguist,
I don't have a ton of experience with other MSI laptops, but my current Mint 19.2 setup is running on an MSI CX61 2QC and I have never experienced any problems loading a linux distro onto it. Drivers for audio, wifi, and networking have almost alwasy been loaded right on initial boot. Mine is obviously an older laptop, but my experience with MSI laptops and Linux has been good :)
Thanks mate!
 

JulienCC

Active Member
Hi there,

Having a laptop shipped with linux will at least give you some right to complain if something goes wrong.
You can always check the components individually to see if it's going to be OK with your favorite distro.

What do you mean by weird bios lockdown ? Do you plan to do something special that would require a highly configurable bios ?

I once had a MSI gaming laptop and it was totally fine under linux. It even worked better than windows because of poor UAPSD handling by the windows driver. But what I can tell you from an european perspective is that their customer support is inexistant and if something goes wrong you'd better fix the hardware yourself than relying on their RMA service. When I got my computer back, the problem was not solved, the case was missing screws and the system was totally infected by various spywares.

Still it was a great computer for the price, just pray for a fully working model with no factory problem.

Offtopic but Since you're are about to put some serious documents on a mobile device don't forget to set a proper backup plan.
 

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