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The Razer Blade Pro

Discussion in 'Systems' started by technokat, Oct 20, 2016.

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  1. syscrusher

    syscrusher Member

    Which UNIX/Linux are you considering? I've got an RBP on order right now, and when I receive it I'm either going to dual boot Linux or run it in VMware. I need to do some testing and, frankly, some thinking about how I want to operate, before I decide which way to configure.

    I am basically a Linux professional but right now use a Macbook Pro because of company standards. If I had my choice, I'd single-boot Linux and forget the rest, but I still need some tools that only are available on Windows. Most of my content creation tools are now cross-platform, so I am considering a dual-boot Win/Lin on my new RBP now and then a gradual migration to Linux over time as my tooling permits.

    OTOH, I run a ton of Linux in virtual machines right now, and Linux is so darned fast and efficient in virtual machines that I'm wondering if it's really worth repartitioning and reinstalling to get dual boot, plus having a less-flexible disk space allocation. So I may just boot Windows and run Linux virtuals for now. With 32GB of RAM, I can boot an entire test LAN full of Linux servers inside VMware.

    The other complication is that an Ubuntu 14 subsystem is now available from the Microsoft/Canonical partnership, so it's possible that may meet a lot of my needs.

    With tools like Blender, Lightworks, Substance Designer, Substance Painter, GIMP, Audacity, and Unity all available on multiple platforms, it's a really good -- but complicated! -- time to be a 3D content creator with a Linux preference.

    To address your specific technical question, I expect (but of course can't test until I have my machine) that Linux will work pretty well on the RBP because it does not use Nvidia's Optimus technology to share VRAM with the Intel GPU. It's possible to run Linux on Optimus hardware, but a bit tricky. The Internet is full of talk about how Linux won't support high-DPI displays, but in my experience that's nonsense. I routinely use Linux desktop (xfce4 is my preference) at 2880x1800 resolution on my Macbook Pro. 3640x2160 is not a huge step up from that.

    I would not expect to find Linux drivers for the Chroma keyboard configuration, but maybe someone is working on this. I don't know how Razer is doing their SSD RAID0 config -- is it BIOS, hardware, or just software RAID in Windows 10? But Linux can easily do RAID0 or RAID1 in software, as can Windows and OSX.

    From what I've read, the likely trouble spot will be the Killer wifi and Ethernet NIC. I haven't researched Linux drivers for that yet.

    Regardless what final configuration I choose, I will at a minimum boot up Xubuntu from a USB stick just to see how it behaves. I'll certainly report on that to the community.

    If you wish, feel free to start a Linux-on-RBP thread, and I'll gladly follow and contribute to that discussion.

    UPDATE: Here is a relevant thread. The trackpad reportedly works as a mouse but is not customizable yet in Linux.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
    123than likes this.
  2. Aquaheatbyte936

    Aquaheatbyte936 New Member

    I have both problems, and every game that loads constantly jumps vertically in what I would call a white scanline effect.
  3. Mindinversion

    Mindinversion Active Member

    If you can get your hands on a bona fide high speed thunderbolt 3 external drive cage you could probably throw in an SSD and run any VM image that way

    Razer's 1080 is not yet on Nvidia's list of certified cards: that's why drivers won't install. There is a way to hack them to get them to work, you can find Hoofhearted's explanation in the Razer forums over at forum.notebookreview.com.

    As for the banding. . . it's there I guess, but it wasn't really prevalent on mine. Could be something with Gsync, could be the new panel. . hard to say.
  4. If I leave GSync enabled, then I have problems with WoW. Load screens flash between color/black and white with scan lines, and image slightly jumps vertically. I also see this problem intermittently during play if I pan the camera .

    If I turn off GSync, then WoW runs great cranked to 10.

    Tomb Raider runs great with GSync enabled with graphics on Ultra.

    There was some game loaded on the machine, which I have since deleted so can't remember the name, but it also had the intermittent black and white scan line glitches with GSync enabled.
  5. Mindinversion

    Mindinversion Active Member

  6. Mindinversion, your post that you subsequently had crashes has me nervous. I'd rather not use GSync for now if there is a possibility of crashes, because games are running perfectly without GSync, and my machine has not crashed once.

    But thanks for the link!
  7. Mindinversion

    Mindinversion Active Member

    It's not a software problem, it's a hardware problem where when the processor starts cycling down during luls in HoTS, the power falls off on the CPU side and the computer shuts off. My problem was *NOT* a software issue, it's a hardware power delivery issue [verified this in Event Viewer]

    The driver is perfectly safe to use unless you have a defective machine.

    Keep in mind once it started, I could use the ship with drivers, the drivers I linked to, or even the latest drivers from NVidia [Modified to install on the Blade Pro] and continued to have the same issue.
  8. oh ok, so this is just a defective hardware issue with your particular machine.
    thanks! I'll try the drivers.

    Mindinversion. I installed the new driver and yes that fixed the problem. GSync now works in WoW!

    Thanks for the help!!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2016
  9. NekuSenpai

    NekuSenpai New Member

    lmao, I want this.
  10. wnl5010

    wnl5010 New Member

    The toaster is sadly never happening, theres no way enough people like that page
  11. Dylanbasson2003

    Dylanbasson2003 New Member

    Razer, all your electronics are awesome!!!
  12. Dinero

    Dinero New Member

    I really wish the Swithcblade UI would come back. But for now, its gone. Goodbye dear switchblade UI, you will be missed.
  13. syscrusher

    syscrusher Member

    Yeah, I intend to get a TBolt 3 drive at some point, for backups, but right now my bank account is pretty tapped out because I just bought a Razer Blade Pro. :D

    I need about 200G total for my virtual machines, so they should fit just fine on the internal SSDs (I ordered the 2 TB machine, because my Unity game engine projects can get really large, and so can my VMs).

    I'm fortunate in that, while I need to run a lot of VMs, most of them have small dedicated virtual disks and use VMware Tools to mount my physical-host home directory as a shared filesystem. I have a couple of large ones, though.

    The main question of VM vs. dual-boot Linux will come down to how well OpenGL support works in a virtual Linux. If I can get fast and reliable OpenGL 4.5 performance in VMware on Windows, I'll just virtualize Linux.

    VMs are great for dev/test systems because you can so easily back them up and because of disk snapshots. When the guest system is shut down, the host sees it as just a bunch of large binary files, which you can back up like any other files.

    I'll be able to start my testing soon, though. My system shipped yesterday and is in transit now. :)
  14. jasonj566

    jasonj566 Member

    I bought the 1 tb version just received it, opened it up and a huge scratch on the lcd screen, and it must be on inside underneath, because it won't wipe up. So annoying, the scratch is right above the "S" on Submit picture. Not a dead pixel either.

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  15. syscrusher

    syscrusher Member

    That's a bummer. Is it possible this is a stray bit of adhesive from the assembly process? Can you feel it with a fingertip or nail? I suggest you contact Razer Support before trying any solvents on it, if it is on the surface, because there may be a fragile antiglare coating on the screen.
  16. jasonj566

    jasonj566 Member

    can't fill it with fingertip or nail, so must be inside. HIDevolution set me an RMA number to ship back defect unit, and I already ordered new on and they offered to open new seal box to QC it, to check for defects, and if none send to me for delivery tuesday
    Syscrusher likes this.
  17. .Z4x.

    .Z4x. Active Member

    I don't have any answers for you, I just wanted to comment on the dual boot vs VM dilemma. Personally, I find dual boot to be a major inconvenience (since that implies no simultaneous access to both worlds ever), and I've been doing it for a long time before VM:s matured enough to be usable without major compromises. BUT: since I only use Windows for gaming and testing, I run Linux as my host and Windows in a VM (with the right GPU passed through). Perhaps, that's something to consider for you as well...

    Exactly... it's not worth it; especially when you also consider that you won't have access to both at the same time. Do you _really_ want to reboot to test something in the other OS. Boot back to implement a fix. Reboot again... (-;
    I wouldn't think so.

    Since you are a "Linux professional", I'm not sure why you'd pick Windows for host, and WMware for virtualization. I'm assuming Optimus may have something to do with your choice, although I've never used that AFAICR.

    The resolution is not an issue. I'm typing this running Linux on a Dell Precision 7710 with a 4k display. No problems (although Dell wouldn't sell you their Ubuntu setup with the 4k display claiming clearly non-existent incompatibilities) at all.

    Of course, this is a workstation class machine with no Optimus to potentially complicate things. I'm running X on the Intel GPU and use the Quadro mostly for number-crunching (this is my relatively new work rig, where I haven't even started messing with a Windows VM, although the Quadro _SHOULD_ support passthrough; less sure about the 1080, and no idea about how Optimus affects this).
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2016
    Syscrusher likes this.
  18. campJellyBeanbit607

    campJellyBeanbit607 New Member

    I got my Razer Blade Pro last week. Love it so far! Question for you guys that have one- does your trackpad make a click sound when you barely touch it (not pressing down all the way)? Mine clicks like it is loose until i get near the top of it. It isnt like a Macbook Pro trackpad. Is mine defective or is this just how it is built? The screen on this beast is freaking amazing though. I love the screen brightness and quality
  19. syscrusher

    syscrusher Member

    I'm in 100% agreement about the inconvenience of dual boot, for exactly the reason you state.

    The problem with running Windows in a VM is that I've never found a way to enable DX11 graphics if anything other than Windows is the host o.s. If you have a way to do that, please share, and you'll absolutely make my day. :)

    I'm really leaning toward Windows host o.s. and Linux virtual, since Linux is so VM-friendly. I've also done some quick testing with Microsoft's new Ubuntu subsystem under Win10, and that looks promising.

    It's not so much a matter of "picking" windows as "being driven to it". I am doing a lot of development in the Unity game engine, and although Unity fully supports Linux as a build target, the Linux-native version of the editor is still experimental and unsupported. That's why I'm viewing Windows host o.s. as a "today" and not "forever" situation. I want to be able to participate in testing the Linux version of Unity editor, but I can't yet rely on it for customer-facing production work.

    Unity also runs natively on Mac, but the new Macbook Pro machines have forgotten what "Pro" is supposed to mean, with anemic GPUs and that silly Touch Bar that displaces the Fkeys and Escape key that developers need constantly.

    As I mentioned, that was my theory, and I thank you sincerely for confirming it in the real world since I've not yet had the hardware to test. I wonder if some of the companies claiming Linux won't support 4K just don't have anyone on their staff who knows how to set Linux DPI?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Razer Blade Pro has no Optimus either, because Optimus and G-Sync are mutually exclusive.

    There is an open source project that has Optimus working in Linux, but I'm glad not to have to deal with that extra layer of plumbing.

    I would be very interested in hearing more about how you're doing passthrough graphics, and which hypervisor you are using.

    This subtopic has gotten lively in the past couple of days. Should I go start a new forum thread for Linux and virtual machines on the new RBP so we aren't hijacking this one?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2016
  20. Ivan McKinnon_no_id

    Ivan McKinnon_no_id New Member

    It's not just gaming, though that it what I'd primarily use it for. Sounds awesome.
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