System76 overhauls Thelio desktop line, adds new lower-cost Spark model

System76, the leading US-based Linux computer and keyboard manufacturer, made several new changes to their desktop line in order to optimize AI workloads and other fields reliant on heavy component use. The main focus: An airflow optimization that prevents throttling, putting their desktops at the top of performance charts. A new starter desktop, Thelio Spark, will also debut as a productivity desktop for everyday users.

System76 seems to have redesigned the thermal solution on the machines, and judging by the various photos I’ve seen on Mastodon, they look good. System76 also sells the cases for the Thelio separately – they’re slightly different, though – and the company is sending me that case for review, and I’m curious to finally take a closer look.

The Thelio Spark, the new kid in town, brings the Thelio line to a more affordable audience, with more affordable specifications. Of course, you’re always going to be paying a prebuilt tax, as well as the custom case tax, but if you want to ensure a plug-and-play Linux experience that isn’t just parts in a random case you can get anywhere else, there aren’t a lot of other options in the market.