Difficulties finding the right hardware


I have issues finding suitable hardware with a rather low budget. Normally I would prefer components based on AMD with iGPU, but the prices for AMD Ryzen processors are ridiculous high and there are no signs of relaxation in europe. Maybe I’m paranoid but since Meltdown, Spectre, Intel ME and other incidents I trust AMD a bit more than Intel. But I’m not an expert so it’s a kind of ‘feeling’.

Buying a cheap Laptop becomes a gamble in my opinion because even when CPU + Chipset + BIOS supports HVM and IOMMU I had a lot of trouble with energy saving and fan controls with Linux Laptops in the past. Another issue is that cheap laptops often have 6W TDP CPUs and crazy RAM limitations like 8 GB or 12 GB Max.

My use cases…

I would like to use Whonix with at least 2 Standalone VMs running at the same time. I guess that I need at least 16 GB RAM for that, but is it possible to tell how much RAM is needed without my custom VMs so I can calculate minimum RAM depending on my needs?

Another use case is a Standalone VM for watching Full HD streams like News, Television, Youtube, etc. in Firefox Browser. I could always shut down the VMs from the previous use case so this is probably no question of RAM but I read about issues with poor video playback due to GPU limitations. Is the new GUI Domain a game changer?

And what kind of CPUs are recommended for the mentioned use cases? I know that this depends on what my VMs are doing but maybe it’s possible to tell what CPUs are already busy using Whonix or video playback with Full HD so I can choose a better CPU. What do you think about the following “cheap” CPUs…
AMD Athlon 3000G (2C/4T)
Intel Celeron N4020 (2C/2T)
AMD Ryzen 3 1200 (4C/4T) (I know I will ned a PCIe-GPU but maybe this could improve video playback?)

Since Qubes 4.0 will be deprecated sooner or later I think that all decisions should be based on the new 4.1 release even when I read that people noticed lags after upgrading.

Thank you so much and best regards

what is your budget, either way 16gb or greater helps.
or buy an old thinkpad, and upgrade it to 16gb with an SSD
maybe 2 SSDs
thats what I did

if your going to do a ton of HD graphics, maybe you need a bigger budget, I’d guess for a newer stinkpad, if your just looking at laptops?

I would have expected someone more knowledgeable than me would have posted by now.

I bought a Lenovo X 230. If you look at the Qubes Certifified hardware, one of them is based on X230. but with modifications.

You can upgrade memory to 16 GB. There are wide variations in prices of sellers of x230.

Maybe I have two options for you … What is your budget and where do you live?

All the previous answers are good answers. A used ThinkPad X230 or T430 with 16GB RAM and an SSD is certainly an excellent choice.

You have however expressed the wish to have an AMD based computer. The following machines appear to be worth a look:

  1. Lenovo ThinkBook 14 G2 ARE
  2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3
  3. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IV-HA112R 14”
  4. Acer Nitro 5 AN515-45
  5. GPD Win Max 2021

The two Lenovo’s seem to pretty much work out of the box. The Asus has suspend issues and the Acer and GDP require some more troubleshooting (as outlined by the reporters).

Between those 5 you should find something that fits your needs. Good luck!

Moved to ‘User Support | Hardware Issues’