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System76 Moves Thelio to Latest Intel & AMD Chips

System76 adds the availability of Intel’s and AMD’s latest while it’s in the middle of a Halloween sale, sweetening the pot for those in the market for a high quality Linux computer.

Screenshot of System76 during sale
A screenshot of a Thelio landing page on System76’s website during the current Halloween sale.

System 76 announced today that its now offering the latest and greatest from both Intel and AMD for those looking for a state-of-the-art Linux box. The company said in a statement that Thelio and Thelio Mira, its top-shelf lines of desktop computers, can now be ordered with the new Intel 13th Gen CPUs and new AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU.

“What sets the Thelio desktop line apart from other desktops is its system-specific thermal engineering,” the company said in a statement when announcing the new availability. “The internals are engineered for optimal airflow, allowing the user’s components to perform at their best. Now, with the addition of Intel and AMD’s latest processors, Thelio and Thelio Mira will see boosted performance thanks to enhancements from CPU manufacturers.”

Today’s announcement comes less than a month after the company announced a major upgrade to it’s top tier Oryx Pro line of Linux laptops.

The Saga of Preinstalled Linux

In case this is your first county fair, System76 is a Colorado-based company that specializes in offering computers that it builds in-house, all of which are preinstalled with Linux.

In addition to its hardware, several years back the company developed it’s own Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, Pop!_OS, which is now not only the default operating system installed on its desktops and laptops, but has become a popular distro among desktop Linux advocates outside the System76 ecosphere as well.

In a way, System76 was created to fill a perceived niche in Linux space.

Back in the late 1990s, and through the first decade of the 21st century, it was widely believed that the only thing that was keeping Linux from becoming a dominant operating system on the desktop was its lack of availability as a preinstalled option from computer makers. It was thought by many that if Linux was offered as an option that people could choose when ordering machines from the likes of Dell, HP, or Lenovo (or which could sit alongside Windows boxes at your neighborhood Best Buy), that Linux would quickly experience increased market share as people recognized its superiority over Microsoft’s OS.

When System76 was founded in 2005 as a Linux-focused computer maker, it was pretty much your only way of purchasing a computer with Linux preinstalled, although there had been a few unsuccessful attempts to market preinstalled Linux by Dell and Lenovo.

These days the options are much better, with a variety of Linux-focused independents offering Linux hardware, and with all of the major OEMs also offering select models with Linux as an option.

So why hasn’t this led to Linux’s dominance as everyone predicted?

I’m just guessing here, but it might have something to do with the fact that everything being offered tends to be at the high end, and designed for developers. The choices are still few when it comes to preinstalled Linux on inexpensive machines for the entry level consumer.

Lightening Fast Linux Machines

Today’s announcement from System76 means that purchasers can configure Thelio and Thelio Mira desktops at the time of purchase with an AMD Ryzen 7000-series CPU. This will be important for some users because AMD’s new 7000 series Ryzen processors feature a significantly higher clock speed over the previous generation, now reaching around 4.5-5.7 GHz compared to around 3.4-5.0 GHz with the Ryzen 6000-series.

Intel has also been making sizable improvements in performance, with 13th Gen chips now clocking about 40% faster with multithreaded tasks than its 12th Gen chips.

All This and a Sale Too

Coincidentally (or not, I haven’t asked), the availability of AMD’s and Intel’s latest and greatest on all things Thelio comes at a time when the folks from Denver are having a big sale (and no, this is not a commercial — I just like these guys, think they’re an important part of our community, and don’t mind helping them get the word out).

Anyway, during the sale, discounts begin from the moment you pick out what machine you want to buy — for example, a Thelio Mira that normally sells for $1,199 with default options now runs $999 for a reduction of $200 — and when you start souping your machine up, the discounts keep coming.

The folks at System76 tell me that during the sale, it’s possible to save up to $225 on its Meerkat line, up to $470 on laptops, and up to a whopping $2,200 on Thelios — if you go all in on a Thelio Massive. In other words, right now might be a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

To participate, just go to the System76 website and start shopping.

As they say: sale ends November 1, so hurry.

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