A bit similar to msi-pro-z690-a-wifi-ddr4-with-alder-lake-12900k but using UEFI, a 13th gen CPU (i5-13600K), the latest iso (4.1.2), and the integrated GPU.
tl;dr; - works well with the latest kernel!
The bios version that came with the MB didn’t support 13th gen CPUs (“EZ debug led” cpu lit); upgrading to the latest MSI bios fixed that (unattented flashing simply requires pressing the “update bios” button at the back of the MB with a USB stick plugged in and the machine powered off).
Qubes OS install: unlike @renehoj, booting in legacy/csm mode didn’'t work and returned a “vbios” error (or something like that). With UEFI:
- I had to use the latest kernel (with 5.x the display was very slow - mouse pointer hopping, 2s refresh when clicking buttons, etc.)
- after a seemingly successful installation the boot device wasn’t found (booting straight into the bios); the installer likely messes something up (a fedora 36 test install worked out of the box). The official UEFI troubleshooting doc didn’t help (looks outdated, half the files mentioned aren’t in 4.1.2) but this post provided the solution: - thanks @51lieal! (note: I haven’t tried to just run
efibootmgrwith the proper args so maybe it wasn’t necessary to copy the files to boot/ - I’ll revisit that when I have a bit more time [edit:
bootx64.cfgisn’t needed- haven’t tried to remove
bootx64.efiyet]; Also found this potential workaround, it might work too).
Working out-of-the-box so far:
- usb/mouse on sys-usb
- audio (playback)
-  additional PCIE USB 3.0 controller with Fresco Logic FL1100 chipset dedicated to USB key/mouse (VIA chipsets have a bad rep under linux; an alternative would be a card with a NEC/Renesas controller).
[Edit] Working with tweaks:
- suspend/resume: requires kernel >= 6.2.10 (kernel-latest in current-testing repo at the time of writing); with older kernels either the machine wouldn’t resume (5.x kernels) or sys-firewall was unresponsive after resume (6.1.12 kernel) - issue #8139.
- nuvoton NCT6687D-W (fan speed, temperatures, etc.):
sensors-detectdoesn’t load the module, likely because it’s an unknown model; I had to use
force=1(note- the module allows reading values but not setting stuff like smart fan mode, pwm mode, …).
echo "nct6683" > /etc/modules.load.d/nct6683.conf.
echo "options nct6683 force=1" > /etc/modprobe.d/nct6683.conf.
- bluetooth (should be OK: the BT controller shows up in sys-usb as “8087:0026 Intel Corp. AX201 Bluetooth”;
dmesgshows that the firmware is successfully loaded).
- audio (recording)
 Performance tweaking:
- ‘performance’ governor
- Xen’s Citrix doc recommends using ‘performance’ for Intel CPUs; quoting: “By contrast [with AMD processors], Intel processors typically save power by entering deep C-states so the “performance” governor is preferred.”).
- The performance governor can be set with
xenpm set-scaling-governor 0-X performance(where X is the number of P-cores), or a boot time by adding
cpufreq=xen:performanceto GRUB_CMDLINE and regenerating grub’s config.
- Startup time with the default ondemand governor, from luks password prompt to a working env (sys-net, sys-firewall, 2 VMs with firefox, 1 VM with evolution, 1 VM with xterm): 59 seconds. With the performance governor: 45 seconds. → 30% improvement.
- Measured power consumption at idle state was exactly the same between performance, ondemand, and powersave governors.
- on a similar setup with Alder Lake, @renehoj measured an increase of power consumption of +30% over 6 hours with the performance gov. vs. ondemand. I don’t have a wattmeter to measure over such a long time but my short term measurement would indicate lower consumptions. Maybe Raptor Lake is more efficient. Also, lowering startup times as a whole should increase productivity.
- enabling C1E state in the bios (which for some reason is disabled by default) decreases the machine’s idling power consumption by 11W without adverse effect on startup times and performance.
- micro-managing VCPU pinning of qubes on P-cores and E-cores didn’t provide any benefits. See my post in the cpu pinning thread. It seemed to improve startup times for other people though. However, pinning dom0 vcpus to E-cores improved startup times consistency. YMMV
- by default the RAM’s clock is 2400 ; increasing it to 3200 (which the Kingston modules support) didn’t improve startup times, but increased power consumption by 7W.
- with the performance governor, with C1E enabled, and no other tweaks, the power consumption at idle (eg. typing emails) is 50W. (Seasonic 650W 80platinium, 1NVMe drive, 4 ram modules, 1 additional PCI-e USB controller card).
Offtopic: the reason for buying this specific MB was because of Dasharo/coreboot; after reading Raptor Lake related Dasharo github issues and seeing a recent coreboot patch I assumed support for 13th gen CPUs would be in Dasharo’s next release but the folks at Dasharo just told me it wasn’t 100% sure (funding issues - even if I had planned to buy a subscription to support them). We’ll see - until then the MSI bios works pretty well, that system is a huge improvement over my old trusty T450s…
Qubes-HCL-Micro_Star_International_Co___Ltd_-MS_7D25-20230413-104216.yml (783 Bytes)