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The Entroware 'Proteus' Gaming Laptop, Reviewed For Linux

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Continuing my test of the Proteus from Entroware, I tested it in some real world gaming situations, and hammered it with the Unigine Heaven benchmarking software, so I really did put it through its paces.

Game tests
I gave the laptop a really good crack at a number of different games, and it performed admirably! It looks like the Nvidia GTX 860M is an outstanding chip for laptop gamers. It actually gave me just as good, if not better performance than my original desktop card, the 560ti, and for a laptop chip I find that astonishing. It really does surprise me what you can fit into smaller form factors now.

I was actually expecting a single graphics chip due to how terrible dual chips have been in the past, but I was shocked at how far Linux has come in that department. The Nvidia drivers came pre-installed and allowed me to switch between the Intel and Nvidia chip, something not too long ago was a severe pain to do. This is also thanks to Entroware for setting it all up of course, and you can expect the same when you buy with them.

There is still a minor drawback though, as when switching between chips you do need to logout and log back in, so it still has some way to go before it’s a seamless experience.

One thing Entroware do need to do is be more clear about it, as I couldn’t find any mention on their website that it has dual graphics chips.

Borderlands 2
I cranked up the settings to high, and the resolution up to 1080p and wow, the game managed to always stay above 40FPS, reaching highs of middle 60’s. It feels smooth, responsive and was a blast to play.

Not sure if that’s due to the powerhouse graphics chip or Aspyr’s excellent porting, but the game ran really well on the Proteus.

Dying Light
I know, not the best choice, but stick with me. Even with the major OpenGL performance problems with this game it’s interesting to see how a laptop chip can perform against my desktop card.
Note: Dying Light doesn’t officially support any mobile chip, this is just for fun.

I was really surprised by this one, as with settings on Low, and AA on, the game actually managed to keep at about 17-20FPS (only about 9FPS lower than my desktop!), and considering Dying Light hasn’t had the OpenGL performance patches yet, I can imagine it even being playable on this unit in future.

UPDATE: I re-tested this unit with the new Dying Light patch, and with everything on Medium at 1080p, well, it was amazingly playable, see the screenshot below:
image
Click it for a bigger image.

The Witcher 2 (Latest beta)
This is my biggest surprise. Testing it on High, with the 1080p resolution was pretty damn smooth. It was mostly at about 30FPS, with the occasional, but not often, drop below, and often highs nearing 40FPS.
The Proteus is constantly surprising me at how well it performs even in such intensive games.

Unigine Heaven
Without Tessellation
Running the benchmark on High, with 2x AA:
FPS: 32.5
Score: 818
Min FPS: 7.8
Max FPS: 55.0

Running it again on Medium, with 2x AA:
FPS: 37.1
Score: 933
Min FPS: 16.1
Max FPS: 59.6

Considering how demanding such a benchmark is, to get above 30FPS on High settings is actually really quite good, especially for a laptop.

With Tessellation
Running it on High, with 2x AA, and Normal Tessellation:
FPS: 29.3
Score: 738
Min FPS: 7.3
Max FPS: 54.1

Running it again on Medium, with 2x AA, and Normal Tessellation:
FPS: 33.0
Score: 832
Min FPS: 7.7
Max FPS: 59.2

It’s worth nothing that the unit gets hot, really hot. The fan does a good job of pumping that heat out too, and gaming with this in the winter will probably keep you pretty warm indeed.

image
It has a single fan on the underside of the unit to the left, so it would be a good idea when using it to make sure that it has a bit of room to breathe.

Final Thoughts
Can I keep it?

If you’re looking for Linux hardware then it looks like Entroware are a serious contender, and I hope they continue to do well. For a startup that hasn’t been around very long, they seem to have a really good unit ready for the masses that need gaming on the go.

The Proteus was a powerful beast to take a look at, and impressed me constantly to the point of seriously wanting to own one, and I’m very sad it’s out of my price range right now.

I will certainly be looking to Entroware if I want to buy a machine with Linux pre-loaded on it. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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nvllsvm 10 March 2015 at 12:22 pm UTC
For those curious, this is actually a rebranded Clevo W230SS. In the US, a company called Sager sells this as the NP7338.

I've had the Sager for roughly a year (i7-4910mq, 16gb RAM) and this thing is a complete beast. Battery life ranges from 3.5 to 5.5 hours.
dubigrasu 10 March 2015 at 12:40 pm UTC
Congratulations to GamingOnLinux for the first hardware review and good luck to Entroware
STiAT 10 March 2015 at 12:50 pm UTC
Most importantly: matte display .

The config option I'd use would be pretty expensive, but I'll need a new laptop this year, so I'll probably give it a look later this year.
LeonardK 10 March 2015 at 1:26 pm UTC
What? nVidia allows switching the graphics cards? Since when? What driver version do you have?

Currently being back at nouveau which at least works - kinda.
minj 10 March 2015 at 2:03 pm UTC
Is it just me or 1080p for 13.3" is a total overkill?
Liam Dawe 10 March 2015 at 2:06 pm UTC
LeonardKWhat? nVidia allows switching the graphics cards? Since when? What driver version do you have?

Currently being back at nouveau which at least works - kinda.
It seems to use Nvidia-prime from what I can tell, and it works quite well.
N30N 10 March 2015 at 2:24 pm UTC
liamdaweThe touchpad scrolling is a little iffy, as I had to turn off two finger scrolling as it didn't work a good 70% of the time, and seemed to work at random.
I'd suspect it's one of those cheap touchpads missing multi touch support then (but I agree, at lease it doesn't click ). If so the two finger emulation is done via pressure, so just press a bit harder. Once you know this it shouldn't be an issue (and lots of tweaking and other options are always available via the synaptics driver settings).
FutureSuture 10 March 2015 at 2:38 pm UTC
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I have known about Entroware for a while but am genuinely surprised to see this review. Very out of the blue! Glad to see that Entroware and GamingOnLinux have found each other. A pleasant surprise indeed. With how small our market share is, building off of one another is quite necessary.
Segata Sanshiro 10 March 2015 at 3:32 pm UTC
Am I seeing wrong or is the screen 4:3?? Who makes screens like that anymore?
FutureSuture 10 March 2015 at 3:38 pm UTC
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  • Contributing Editor
minjIs it just me or 1080p for 13.3" is a total overkill?
1920x1080 is the lowest resolution option for this laptop. Next up is 3200x1800.
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