Real GPU consideration for the next Purims batch

Hi Folks,

While I’m close to buy one of the Purism laptop, I see two critical things that are missing on the 15". The RJ45 port which is surprisingly present on the 13". In many pro environment WIFI does not offer the same versatility (I know that usb plugs is proposed but this should be seriously considered for the next release of the 15"). But my real concern is about the GPU. Now that Nouveau is really close to compute support for the NVidia GPUs (at least for Fermi and Kepler) and now that Maxwell signed firmware has been released for Nouveau, including (optional) a nice GPU (for OpenCL/CUDA dev’) would make the Purism 15" a real Macbook Pro killer with the most “free” hardware currently possible. This is also a good way to reach consumer that do not really care about the “free” side but want a nice, eye candy, linux optimized laptop but need a real GPU (potentially used along with Nv’s blob). Please, as you guys have considered an Nvidia GPU in the first place, you really should rethink now for the next release…

We are already discussing the ethernet port but nvidia GPU is out of question. We are focused on Freedom, privacy and security and using nvidia would just put as back from our goal even more. It requires proprietary firmware to function properly so that is not acceptable for us. We aren’t even considering using the blob - our goal is to reach Freedom not going further away from it.

Btw, Iris 6100 has good computing power and we are also discussing Iris Pro 5200/6200. Not the most powerful graphics but Iris Pro 6200 is somewhere in range of nvidia 750 series. (although we seem to be facing a similar issue with modern Intel graphics - they appear to include a must have proprietary firmware but we are still working on this)

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Hi thanks for replying,

The thing with Intel iGPU is their absence of FP64 support [yet]. And that is really critical for computing task. So what you said about comparable computing power between Intel vs Nvidia is wrong because only the latter support FP64 (real computing!).

While I understand your statement about the NV’s blob, you should follow what’s going up on the Nouveau side. Recent post on the IRC channel even recently mentioned OpenCL support for Fermi/Kepler GPU which do not come with any binary firmware, as opposed to the more recent Maxwell. Note that on the AMD side things are quite similar as well as they also need binary firmware along with either binary/open-source drivers, just like Nvidia with Nouveau. And finally as you said, Intel is also moving to this blob firmware trend as well…so I’m afraid that you will just have to deal with this for the coming i/dGPU whatever they come from Intel, AMD or Nvidia.

Good thing that you guys are thinking of the RJ45 port for the 15".

Thanks for spending the time to reply, I really appreciate. I might consider buying the librem once there is a GPU supporting FP64.

We are monitoring all the time changes in FLOSS ecosystem regarding GPUs. Yes, you are correct - AMD has the same issues as Nvidia. Regarding Intel problem, we are actively looking into it (there is some talk regarding the firmware - having some features disabled why still having functional GPU - Regarding the FP64 - yes, I agree with you and we all hope that one can be tackled off soon by Intel.

Thanks for your input - it is really appreciated as we always want more and better input from our community (we should probably have some posts about community participation - afterall we are all together in this ship :slight_smile: ). - it is getting close :wink:

> “But my real concern is about the GPU. Now that Nouveau is really close to compute support for the NVidia GPUs”

I still remember when Purism was under fire for considering Nvidia’s GPU :slight_smile: and by “under fire” I meant full-blown artillery bombardment :smiley: there was some pretty cruel words back then.

Now they’re under fire for not using Nvidia’s GPU :smiley:

Sometimes you just can not win, LOL.

Myself I fully understand that this is a process. A journey to a better future.
And Purism took the first step on this (hardware / laptop) - and bear the consequences.

For that, I am eternally grateful.

Thank you guys. May you become successful on reaching your destination.

cheers, HS

Hopefully, in the future, external GPUs with type-c connections will be more common and usable on Linux.

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