System76 Adder WS

System76 Adder WS Laptop Review

In Product Review, Video by dbtech

The System76 Adder WS laptop is a beast of a machine. System76 was gracious enough to let me borrow a custom-spec’ed laptop to do a couple of videos on.

Here are the specs that I went with for my setup:


  • 9th Gen Intel i7-9750H
  • 6 cores / 12 threads
  • 2.6GHz Base Clock
  • 4.5GHz Boost


  • 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Up to 32GB @ 3000MHz
  • Up to 64GB @ 2666MHz

System76 Adder WS DisplayVideo

  • RTX 2070
  • 1 x HDMI (w/HDCP), 1 x Mini DisplayPort (1.3), 1 x DisplayPort (1.3) over USB 3.1 Type C
  • 15.6” 4k with slim bezel
  • 4k @ 60 HDR
  • 1080p @ 120 HDR

YouTube Video Used: Costa Rica –

After deciding on what I wanted for storage, the rest of the laptop is pretty standard with the following:


  • 230w Power Brick
  • 62Wh battery
  • Battery at idle shows approx 6 hours of life
  • Actual use even during setup showed closer to 3.5 hours


  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type C) w/ DisplayPort 1.3
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 / Thunderbolt™ 3 (Type C)
  • 3 x USB 3.0 (1 x powered USB, AC/DC)
  • SD Card Reader (On the front). It also comes with an SD card insert to keep the slot from getting gunked up when not being used.


While the integrated webcam is integrated VERY well into the bezel of the screen, it’s a bit on the low end with a 1MP 720p sensor.


The speakers are okay. They get loud enough, but they are tinny with no bass.

Here are the tracks that I used in the video:

  • Lights:
  • Trap Music:

System76 Adder WS KeyboardKeyboard

The keys feel great with minimal flex. There are 7 different colors for RGB backlight and each color has multiple levels of brightness including “off”. The amount of resistance and travel is much better than I’ve experienced in other workstation laptops.

Laptop Frame

There is basically NO flex in the laptop and there is a lot of ventilation on bottom, back, and sides. There appears to be 2 fans on bottom to suck in cool are a shoot it out the back.

The Adder WS weighs about 5.5lbs (2.5kg) which is a bit heavy, but makes sure the lid opens smoothly and easily with only one hand.

The finish across the entire device is a fingerprint magnet, so it’s nice that it comes with a microfiber cloth.

Stress Tests

I did some Blender stress tests with the Adder WS and here are the tests and the associated times for each test:

  • BMW GPU 6:40
  • BMW CPU 4:59
  • Classroom 15:28

The Adder WS stayed silent until the very end and then the fans ramp up and blow stuff around on my desk. The fans work REALLY well and are pretty quiet until they ramp all the way up and then they let you know they are there.


After removing the screws from the bottom of the Adder, I fought a bit to try to get the bottom off, but it kept catching somewhere near the back third. After trying a couple of things I decided it was better to not try to force it. Let’s face it: This isn’t Linus Tech Tips and I don’t have an extra $2600 laying around to pay for it if I break it.

All that is to say that you’ll want to make sure you get the configuration you want up front as upgrading things like RAM and Storage aren’t as easy in the Adder as it is in other workstation devices I’ve used.

Overall Thoughts

While this isn’t my first workstation laptop, I can say it’s the best I’ve ever used. From the solid build quality to the exceptional specs and a display like I’ve never seen, the overall experience of using the Adder WS is like none I’ve experienced before. It’s fast, quiet and plows through anything I threw at it once I had a model that didn’t have memory issues.

Customer service from System 76 was top-notch and each person I talked to took it upon themselves to make sure my questions and issues were handled quickly and efficiently.

I understand that the $2600 price tag on the Adder WS may seem steep for some people, you’re getting a great machine and a company behind the product that really does seem to care about their customers.

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