Entroware Apollo – More details

So, I did some test of my new Entroware Apollo and got some nice results. Running on GNOME 3, realtime kernel and nothing much more (not even by boosting CPUs) the system performances are already very good, although none of the stability definitions have been respected.

But let’s go with order.

First of all the test bed. I booted into my Arch Linux + Gnome 3 and hooked the sound-card (Focusrite Scarlett 2i4) to the USB 2 port and the midi controller (M Audio Keystation Mini 32) to the USB 3 port.

Audio optimization is achieved by rtirq, pam, noatime mount option, low swappiness and RT kernel.

The procedure was a trial and error of jack setups until a xrun-free one was found. Then, latency assessment.

The latency has been measured using jack_iodelay with a feedback loop from output 1 to input 1 of the soundcard. This page has been followed, but resistors are not necessary. Just set preamp and output to reasonable levels. Start from all knobs to zero and slowly raise, don’t risk to overdrive the card! Also, use the jack_iodelay command instead of jack_delay. A succinct How-To is presented here.

The xrun frequency has been measured recording with Ardour from all the inputs while supplying monitoring to all the outputs. Ten takes one minute long each have been used. All the data have been put into the definition in this post.
The results are as follows:


/usr/bin/jackd -t5000 -dalsa -r96000 -p128 -n3 -D -Chw:USB -Phw:USB

With this configuration the xrun frequency is 0 Hz (no xruns), but the latency is a little more than 8 ms, failing to reach the conditions of the Lowlatency definition. Lowering the Periods/Buffer lowers the latency, but it is never stable enough to record with Ardour: xruns pop up a lot. However, it is stable enough to use Guitarix and Calf, making possible to use the machine as a Lowlatency effect processor.

As a conclusion, the results are impressive. In fact, with a fairly heavy (and, to be honest, even a little bit bloated) Desktop Environment, without killing unused services and programs, without acting on CPU governors and not even by killing pulseaudio, the computer operates very nicely if using an RT kernel. So, if the remaining adjustments are done and a lighter DE is installed, very good performances should be achieved. However, I don’t want to install an alternate DE at this moment as I like my system simple. Also, I don’t want to kill other services as I want my setup to be multipurpose. Finally, I prefer to save battery and use the ondemand CPU governor. As such, I will left my computer as it is for now.

If you wanna see it in action, check my YouTube channel.

A comparison with a Mac Book Air can be retrieved here.

Here a review of the laptop performances after a year of usage.

Few pictures

After I got few comments asking for more info, here few pictures showing the laptop construction.

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12 thoughts on “Entroware Apollo – More details

    1. Oh DANG! No problems whatsoever with mine… You could try to see how it works with some other Linux distro, maybe just with a bootlable pendrive, so to exclude the software problem. If you think you have an hardware problem contact Entroware, your product has a year long warranty if I am not wrong. I think they can replace it.

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    1. Hi. I am still very happy with it. I am actually glad I got one every time I use it. It is still behaving as brand new, a part for battery duration which I feel is shorter now. If you wish I can try to time discharge cycles again.

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      1. I think that’s not a problem as I actually expect not that good battery duration.
        A few more things:
        I heared that charging is kind of slow. Have you tried using a different charger with more power? And is it possible to charge the laptop over the USB-C port?

        Is is possible to remove the hard drives? As I maybe want to remove the HDD.

        Is it possible to replace the battery? If yes are there spare parts?

        How is the boot time?

        Thanks in advance and great article! Very hard to find feedback for the entroware!

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      2. Hey there! I updated the article with few pictures. As you can see, RAM, hard drive and battery are readily accessible just below the back plate. I don’t know much about batteries, but this battery seems a standard unit. Probably you can find it on amazon or electronics stores (just a quick google). As for your questions about the charger, I have no mean to test them. For that you are probably better to ask Entroware. You should probably do it anyway as this is the Apollo 1000, which is an older model with respect the one they sell now.

        By the way, I forgot to mention that I boot without the quiet option, because I like to see kernel messages while booting. If I am not wrong, boot should be faster with the option enabled…

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      3. Thanks, that’s awensome! The internals looks good to me. Also very clean after over a year (or did you clean it up before :D). Probably going to get one. The XPS 13 seems a bit expensive imo.

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