Linux Hardware – How Well Has It Performed? Part 1

📅 June 30, 2017
How have past hardware devices held up over time when used with Linux?

Time proves what works and what does not. Having used a variety of hardware with Linux, do these devices still perform today?

Here are a few devices that I have used used along with a few comparison notes between then and now.

 

Hardware

  • Mad Catz M.M.O.7 Mouse
  • Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Keyboard
  • Samsung 960 Pro 256G M.2 NVMe

Mad Catz M.M.O.7 Mouse

Mad Catz M.M.O.7 Mouse

First Use: 2013

The M.M.O.7 is the best mouse that I have ever used, and it continues to perform superbly. Four years later, this is still my favorite, and I use it constantly with Linux. Precise and reliable, this is a great mouse that is worth the money.

The other mice in this series include the Cyborg R.A.T.7 and the Albino R.A.T.7 — both of which are also excellent.

 

Cons

  • Every Linux distribution that I have used with the M.M.O.7 suffers from the same unresponsive buttons upon system boot. Even now in 2017 with the recent Xubuntu and Linux Mint, Linux will not recognize the buttons unless X is restarted. The cursor might move, but the buttons have no effect after a few moments. This is remedied by modifying xorg.conf.
  • Unavailable in many places since it seems to no longer be in production.

Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Keyboard

Corsair Vengeance K70 keyboard with the Cyborg R.A.T.7 mouse. The keyboard features a USB port that lets you connect another USB device, such as a USB mouse.

First Use: 2014

If you type or program, then you understand the importance of having a reliable keyboard. The Corsair Vengeance K70 keyboard features Cherry MX switches that make typing a tactile joy.

Three years later, this keyboard continues to be a solid performer that is 100% compatible with Linux out of the box.

 

Pros

  • All keys work.
  • The illumination is still as good.
  • None of the keys surfaces have worn down.
  • All keys retain the same sharp key lettering.
  • Red glow remains consistent. No dead LEDs.
  • Multimedia keys and volume control remain precise.
  • Absolutely no aging. It just works!

There is now an updated version of this keyboard called the Corsair K70 LUX Mechanical keyboard that is available with Cherry MX Blue/Brown/Red switches. Aside from the key letter style, the K70 and the K70 LUX keyboards appear to be identical.

The version shown here uses the Cherry MX Red switches. Combined with rubber O-rings affixed beneath the keys, the keyboard’s “clack” sound is reduced without affecting the “feel” of the key press.

Samsung 960 Pro 256G M.2 NVMe

First Use: 2016

Wow! Speed!

Jumping from SSD to M.2 NVMe breathes extra life into an existing computer. An SSD is fast, but this is faster. The Samsung 950 Pro works perfectly with Linux — even on older hardware lacking an M.2 slot on the motherboard.

Though just one year of continued use so far, the drive remains fast. No data loss or other problems experienced.

 

 

 

Pros

  • Works with Linux as the boot drive and as a system drive.
  • With an M.2-to-PCIe adapter, this can be installed into an older motherboard, such as the Z87, Z97, and the A85.
  • Better suited than the 960 EVO for motherboards lacking an M.2 port. If installing in a system lacking an M.2 port on the motherboard, I would pick the 950 Pro over the 960 EVO since Linux will not boot from the 960 EVO if the BIOS does not support NVMe while the 950 Pro will.

Cons

  • Replaced by the newer Samsung 960 EVO. This makes the 950 Pro expensive. This is relevant because the 960 EVO cannot be used as a boot drive on older motherboards that lack an M.2 port.

Conclusion

After using various Linux distributions and after performing many kernel updates, these hardware devices continue to run well with Linux to this day. There might be a few issues in some cases, but, overall, Linux is quite resilient with hardware.

 

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