Next Librem 15 Upgrade Timing

I’m a reluctant user of an aging MacBook Pro itching to upgrade to something newer and more powerful.

I’ve got my finger on the trigger about to buy a Librem 15. Love everything about what Purism is doing. However, one thing making me hesitate is the specs. I want something with more CPU and GPU power — something more along the lines of a high spec gaming laptop.

Unless Purism has imminent plans to release a more high-performance machine, I might reluctantly find a gaming laptop and put Linux on it. I’d be missing out on many of Purism’s privacy benefits, but it would at least be a step in the FLOSS direction. Then, perhaps the next time I seek to upgrade, maybe three years later, I’ll revisit Purism to see what they have on offer.

Sorry, just thinking out loud… Curious if anyone else is in a similar headspace and has any thoughts.

I’m not a gamer. I need the power for photo and video editing/rendering. I just said “gaming laptop” as a short-hand way to describe a machine that can handle lots of visual computation.

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Companies generally are reluctant to pre-announce future versions because it can kill sales (sales drought) of the current version.

CPU in current version looks reasonable provided that the priority is on low power consumption and longer time on battery between charges. CPU is biased away from high parallelism (2 core with hyperthreading, rather than 4 core with hyperthreading, or even latest models with 6 cores) - so that would have to suit your use case.

GPU is a difficult area if there are to be as few BLOBs as possible. GPU is a difficult area for open source generally. I can understand why they are avoiding a dedicated GPU and just going with the Intel integrated graphics (which probably also helps with power consumption).

If you want serious grunt, both CPU and GPU, then perhaps this laptop isn’t for you.

Indeed, perhaps a laptop period isn’t for you. I don’t know what your budget is but maybe keep your laptop / buy a laptop that suits the laptop use case - and buy a desktop for the serious grunt. Unfortunately Purism isn’t currently doing desktops. Are desktops too passe now?

My 2c


I don’t think we’ll see a gaming laptop from Purism for a long time, if ever. Linux gaming needs a lot more support, and GPUs need a lot more FOSS.

Lots of proprietary technology in the gaming industry that makes it very difficult to offer a compelling FOSS alternative that is on par.

However, there are some really nice Linux based desktop that would be great. The System76 Thelio, for example, would be awesome.


I took dlkr’s post to mean by “gaming laptop” … a laptop that has the kind of specs that gaming laptops have, and not that he wanted to do any gaming on it.

If a desktop is acceptable then I second the suggestion of a System76 Thelio. If you can’t configure that up as high as your requirements then there is probably something wrong with your requirements. :slight_smile:

Rather pricey though at the high end, mindbogglingly pricey at the absolute top end.


I would double @2disbetter in not betting on any librem notebook with good dGPU (gaming notebook) any time soon. But todd said they plan for USB-C with thunderbolt, with the external GPU thing in mind. I think it was in a AMA on reddit with him.
If i had to guess. The last CPU update on the librems was not that hard to do because not so much needed change, but adding thunderbolt probably need some more complex changes to the motherboard and if ports change maybe even case design. So i think it will need some more resources which arn’t available till the librem 5 is out. So my guess is earliest end of 2019 but more likely 2020.



FYI, this is the suite of software keeping me using Mac:
They require as much RAM and GPU power as possible to be practical, so I’m looking to max-out specs on whatever laptop I buy. I’m not aware of any FLOSS or Linux compatible equivalent of these apps

However, one compromise is potentially using a cloud-based alternative such as which is planning to eventually offer similar functionality. It’s closed-source, but by being in the cloud, local processing power won’t be an issue, and I could consider a Purism machine.

However, the Librem 15 is only worth considering if the Librem 5 is up to par and they work well together. Apart from their ethical and privacy advantages, in terms of specs, ease of use, and just “getting things done,” my sense is that both are still quite a ways off from being a step up from my current Apple devices.

As much as I dislike Apple’s many flaws, I’m mortified to admit being close to doing the unthinkable: Upgrading to a maxed-out MacBook Pro now and later even updating to the latest iPhone when it comes out in Q4. I need a phone that takes good pictures and syncs seamlessly with my laptop.

Sorry, just muttering to myself here…

Does it have to be a laptop?

That’s the crunch.

Before you do that, consider this:
I assume you have the license anyway and could try the Win-Version on Linux with Wine.

In case you lack the background: Wine is a compatibility layer to run Windows binaries on Linux (which is more comfortable/direct that using a Windows-VM would be).
Gold rating means it works well, you have to change one setting in winecfg to get started.


You should check Steam for list of Linux games and do a duckduckgo search for Linux games. You won’t find very many high end games for Linux. At least I haven’t seen much. A high end gaming system for Linux might be like buying a Corvette to drive to the neighborhood market. A lot of money and wasted power.
I did the Microsoft Windows purge over a year ago. I picked up a Linux Mint mini computer for about $300 and it works great for all the essentials except gaming and high end graphic design stuff. If you want the latest AAA games and privacy of purism, you need two separate systems. All the high end games are released on Windows, Mac, and console. I suppose there are a sprinkling of games like Arma for Linux for high end graphics, but not much beyond that. You’ll need one system for only gaming and the other for daily life computing.
Correct me if something has changed.

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for stategy there is 0 AD on gnu/linux. also nexUIZ but who has time anymore…

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