GS30 2M Shadow

  7 years ago
  MSI (Laptop or Netbook)
  Mint (older version)
  Works partially
What works:

- card reader
- USB 3.0
- accent lights
- laptop lid open/close sensor
- keyboard
- trackpad
- wireless networking
- wired networking
- M.2 SSD drive
- charging detection

Everything but video, see below.

What doesn't work:

Video/monitor does not work. 'nomodeset' must be set as a boot parameter for both the live DVD and the installed OS, otherwise the screen is blank.

With nomodeset, software rendering is used and there is no control over the brightness or the resolution. Battery life suffers. Forcing a different resolution or video driver in GRUB does not help.

Specifying intel_agp and i915 in the kernel drivers allows video without using nomodeset but it's still in software rendering mode.

The laptop is supplied with two M.2 SSDs in RAID 0 using Intel's RST. This obviously doesn't work in Linux, but I expected that when I purchased it.

What was done to make it work:

Ubuntu 14.10 works fine. I had to install it, then install Cinnamon and Mint packages plus change software sources to "Mintify" it.

Regarding the SSDs in RAID, the RAID array must be broken but it allows for Linux to be installed on one SSD while Windows can be installed on the other.

Additional notes:

Extremely high performance for such a small, thin and light notebook - it's really in the ultrabook size class but with much higher performance. This is Intel's second most powerful mobile processor.

The graphics are Intel's very best - Iris Pro 5200 GT3e graphics with 128 MB eDRAM cache (Crystalwell). It's a shame that Mint can't properly handle them.

Unfortunately with such powerful hardware in such a small chassis, it can get very hot very quickly. In intensive usage, the CPU fan gets very loud and the CPU can throttle as it approaches 90 C.

The backlit keyboard is excellent though I find the trackpad to be difficult to use. The only "bling" is an accent light strip across the front so the styling isn't too over-the-top for a "gaming" notebook.