The New Thelio From System76 Is the Linux Desktop PC to Beat – How-To Geek

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Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers. Read more…
System76 Thelio Desktop in red color
System76 is a Denver-based company that sells desktops and laptops with Linux pre-installed. It has offered a high-end “Thelio” line of desktops since 2018, and now it is being updated.
The line of Thelio desktops, which can be configured with anything from mid-range Ryzen or Intel Core CPUs to high-end Threadripper and Xeon processors, have received many positive reviews over the past few years. The wood paneling gave it a unique look, and on the inside, custom firmware and optimization by System76 ensured it worked well with just about any Linux distribution — or even Windows, if needed.
System76 has now updated the case design on the Thelio, higher-end Thelio Mira, and the four-GPU Thelio Massive. There’s less wood paneling, which helped the original model stand out from the crowd, but System76 says it “has made the manufacturing process much more efficient.” The change did leave room for a larger sketch of the Rocky Mountains, though. Owners can swap the wood panel for different colors without taking the computer apart. System76 is introducing two new accent colors: a pink color and aluminum with PCB traces.
System76 currently sells five different Thelio desktop computers, all designed for workstation use with Linux. The base Thelio starts at $1,099, with a 12th-gen Intel Pentium Gold G4700 and 8 GB RAM, but can be configured with different processors and graphics cards. The most expensive Thelio Massive is built to handle dual Intel Xeon chips, with up to 1.5 TB of ECC memory and four graphics cards — perfect for generating AI art, right?
The Thelio lineup is still pricer than similarly-powerful desktops from other manufacturers or a custom-built PC. However, not everyone wants to build their own computer, and dedicated support for Linux workstations is still rare. System76 also designs and manufactures the desktops in-house, and they use as much open-source hardware as possible. They also ship with the company’s Pop!_OS Linux distribution, which is popular in its own right, but you can also buy it with Ubuntu installed (or replace it with any other distro yourself).
The new case designs will be available for purchase soon. If you’re more interested in laptops, the HP Dev One that System76 helped design is worth a look.
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