Raptor Computing Systems Community Forums (BETA)

Water Cooler => General OpenPOWER Discussion => Topic started by: surf on July 30, 2020, 06:14:32 pm

Title: News?
Post by: surf on July 30, 2020, 06:14:32 pm
I was wondering if there is any news about Raptor.  They don't seem to post any news here or on their web page.  Do they have any new products coming out?  How are they weathering the plague?  etc.?

The talospace blog seems to be the best source of power9 and/or Raptor news that I've seen...

Title: Re: News?
Post by: pocock on July 31, 2020, 08:07:30 am
Personally, I can empathize with all those small businesses operating in the free and open source technology space who may also be impacted by things out of their control, whether it is a loss of sales, loss of colleagues, loss of family or all of the above.  On the other hand, I don't want to speculate about Raptor or any other specific business.

If any small business is looking for community support at this time, I hope they will be able to reach out to the right supporters in the community and find a constructive way forward.

Looking at Raptor in particular: I had deferred buying new workstations for a number of years.  But with the increase in working from home, it became important for me to get a new workstation in 2020 and Raptor was high on my list.  Not everybody is fortunate enough to be purchasing a workstation this year but if you know people who need to maximize their productivity while working from home, suggesting they consider Raptor's products may be helpful.  That is why I tried to capture some of my own purchasing experience here (https://forums.raptorcs.com/index.php/topic,167.0.html).
Title: Re: News?
Post by: ClassicHasClass on July 31, 2020, 10:03:22 am
The talospace blog seems to be the best source of power9 and/or Raptor news that I've seen...

*bows slightly*

Raptor does have a Twitter. Quitting Twitter and Facebook was one of the best things I did in my life, but they do put things on @raptorcompsys.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: SiteAdmin on July 31, 2020, 03:52:38 pm
Indeed, our Twitter feed is the main place we tend to post minor updates or news articles.  That said with the COVID19 situation we've been a bit less active with the global community overall; our intent is that once things return to more normal we'll be able to ramp up our social media and marketing again.

We miss you all at the face to face conferences; those were excellent venues for more niche product lines like ours and we have yet to find a viable substitute.  Here's hoping 2021 will bring back the more decentralized physical events (i.e. supplant the Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Intel/AMD-dominated online events) and we'll get you see you in person with some of the technologies we're working on for 2021 / 2022!

Side note: Condor was in fact cancelled due to COVID19.  We didn't want to have to do that, but economic concerns regarding launching a brand new product into a soft market with limited IBM support won out in the end.  We're focusing our efforts on other open, owner controlled, ppc64le technologies, so stay tuned!  8)
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on August 06, 2020, 06:59:26 pm
Indeed, our Twitter feed is the main place we tend to post minor updates or news articles.

Thanks for the reply.  I wish you guys luck with your open source projects, and I will stay tuned!

FWIW when I go to the twitter web page I get a cute blue cartoon picture of a bird.  If you (or someone) could post relevant news here or on the Raptor web page I would appreciate it.

Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on August 07, 2020, 08:17:24 am
Second that. A Raptor news section would be good on this board. I only joined Twitter because of Raptor ...
Title: Re: News?
Post by: pocock on August 07, 2020, 09:46:00 am
Raptor may not want to have all these extra chores though.  A lot of organizations recently started hiring people in eastern European countries to help with things like this.

For example,


The wage expectations vary, starting from about $300/month for a student in a non-technical field.  There are a small number of really good developers there but they insist on globally competitive rates of pay.  In between those two extremes there are many possibilities or opportunities to piggy back on other groups there.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MauryG5 on August 07, 2020, 01:45:05 pm
We miss you all at the face to face conferences; those were excellent venues for more niche product lines like ours and we have yet to find a viable substitute.  Here's hoping 2021 will bring back the more decentralized physical events (i.e. supplant the Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Intel/AMD-dominated online events) and we'll get you see you in person with some of the technologies we're working on for 2021 / 2022!

I always hope to know more about Axon AIO, especially now that Power 10 is still far away ...! I hope you will soon give us some news of what these new Power 9s will look like and if we can use them to upgrade, obviously accompanied by the new RAM that AXON AIO requires ... We always stay connected ... :-)
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on September 15, 2020, 08:55:04 am
The Blackbird shows 'backordered' on the Raptor web page.  Anyone know when it will be available again?

Title: Re: News?
Post by: pocock on September 15, 2020, 09:05:22 am
I don't have an answer about the Blackbird

From my personal analysis, I feel that many people considering a Blackbird might get more advantages from a Talos II Lite, it is only about 10% more expensive but there are benefits as outlined on the comparison page here (https://wiki.raptorcs.com/wiki/RCS_Platform_Comparison).

In particular, using more than 2 memory channels or more than 8 cores both give you significant performance benefits if that is necessary for your workload.  It can also take a GPU wider than 2 slots because there is nothing else beyond the GPU slot.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Borley on September 19, 2020, 02:41:48 pm
The Blackbird shows 'backordered' on the Raptor web page.  Anyone know when it will be available again?

I do not know anything about their manufacturing approach, but it may be the kind of thing that production is awaiting a certain number of orders to be reached before making a run of boards.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on September 19, 2020, 05:09:32 pm
Raptor don't wait for orders. A new batch of Blackbird mainboards is on the way (https://twitter.com/RaptorCompSys/status/1277419609684140033?s=20).
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Borley on November 15, 2020, 04:58:40 pm
Raptor don't wait for orders. A new batch of Blackbird mainboards is on the way (https://twitter.com/RaptorCompSys/status/1277419609684140033?s=20).

Thanks. I already placed an order for a 2nd board, since right now I am not in a position experiment on my flagship and all of my X86 systems are currently tied up with distributed computing projects.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on November 21, 2020, 08:19:25 am
The Blackbird shows 'backordered' on the Raptor web page.

Does anyone have news about this?  I emailed raptor a month ago and never heard back...
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on November 21, 2020, 10:16:32 am
Only this (https://twitter.com/RaptorCompSys/status/1312169464465514496?s=20). But it's already more than six weeks old.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on November 29, 2020, 08:14:12 am
As of today, sadly no news. (https://twitter.com/RaptorCompSys/status/1332962121315999745?s=20)
I think, I would pick a Talos-II lite if I want to buy a POWER9 mainboard.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: pocock on January 04, 2021, 11:44:59 am
Please have a good look at my comments comparing Blackbird with Talos II Lite (https://danielpocock.com/talos-II-quickstart/)

Basically, for anybody choosing between Blackbird and the Talos II Lite, I feel that Talos II Lite is the better choice.  It only costs a little bit more, maybe 10% extra but it gives you 4 memory channels and supports up to 22 core CPUs.

The new Radeon RX 6800 XT appears to be an optimal choice for multi-seat, multi-monitor or graphics-intensive workloads.  Unfortunately, it is wider than 2 slots.  If you put it in a Blackbird then it overhangs the 8x slot.  On a Talos II Lite, the 16x slot is on the other side so a large GPU doesn't overhang the 8x slot.

The Talos II Lite mainboard is in stock (https://www.raptorcs.com/content/TL1MB1/intro.html)

The web site doesn't give a bundle price but you can email Raptor and ask them if they will offer a bundle.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on January 14, 2021, 12:41:57 pm
I still have not seen replies to emails or any updates on their web site.  However, they did answer the phone and I was told that they are currently expecting blackbird boards to be fabricated in February.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on February 26, 2021, 10:15:31 am
Any updates?  I think I saw Talospace mention an IRC conversation...
Title: Re: News?
Post by: tle on March 05, 2021, 10:07:53 pm
Please have a good look at my comments comparing Blackbird with Talos II Lite (https://danielpocock.com/talos-II-quickstart/)

Basically, for anybody choosing between Blackbird and the Talos II Lite, I feel that Talos II Lite is the better choice.  It only costs a little bit more, maybe 10% extra but it gives you 4 memory channels and supports up to 22 core CPUs.

The new Radeon RX 6800 XT appears to be an optimal choice for multi-seat, multi-monitor or graphics-intensive workloads.  Unfortunately, it is wider than 2 slots.  If you put it in a Blackbird then it overhangs the 8x slot.  On a Talos II Lite, the 16x slot is on the other side so a large GPU doesn't overhang the 8x slot.

The Talos II Lite mainboard is in stock (https://www.raptorcs.com/content/TL1MB1/intro.html)

The web site doesn't give a bundle price but you can email Raptor and ask them if they will offer a bundle.

I believe the company is fully aware of those drawbacks and going to address them in the next revision of Blackbird.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: pocock on March 06, 2021, 11:21:40 am
When the new Blackbird is available I'll be happy to update my blog about it

I suspect each user has different priorities:

- for some users the GPU width is the biggest issue

- for other users the CPU core limit is the biggest issue

I suspect fewer people will be worried about the 2 memory channel issue but as part of the overall picture, it swayed me towards the bigger boards.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MauryG5 on March 06, 2021, 03:20:50 pm
I am of the opinion that what the Power line lacks is an ATX form factor. I hope at this point that having already made the prototype of the Condor, Raptor will restart from that board to make a new motherboard with this form factor and I am sure that he will please everyone without distinction. The ATX format can guarantee multiple memory channels, multiple PCIe ports and everything you need for a single CPU sock, so the best of Talos but more compact and for a single microprocessor.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on March 11, 2021, 12:30:46 pm
Where are you guys getting your information?

I still have not seen any updates here or on their web page, so I emailed and called Raptor, and left a voice mail...  no response in any form so far.  Is Raptor still in business?
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MauryG5 on March 11, 2021, 03:31:13 pm
Hi, yes of course it is in business, only it has more difficulty managing communication due to the negative period caused by Covid. Have patience they will answer ...
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Corvidae on June 29, 2021, 09:12:36 pm
Has anyone heard any news about when Blackbirds will be coming back in stock? I tried asking Raptor support and got not response. It's also been almost a year since I originally ordered, so I'm wondering if they will even come back at all at this point. I understand Covid probably doesn't help this situation, but I wish they kept us in the loop, even if the news isn't good ;)

As an aside, I know the T2 Lite exists, but I was going to use this for a workstation with somewhat limited space, so having a micro ATX board is helpful. It's too late for that now anyway, since T2 Lites are backordered too...
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on June 30, 2021, 11:46:53 am
To be honest, I would change the order to a Talos-II lite. I don't think they will have the Blackbird back in stock quickly.
Price-wise, it hardly makes a difference. But you need a bigger case, of course, unfortunately.

How about the Dune Pro (https://www.dunecase.com)?

If you can't reach anyone via support, I would try Twitter. If you don't have a Twitter account, you can give me your ticket number and I'll write to Raptor.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Corvidae on June 30, 2021, 03:15:09 pm
Quote
To be honest, I would change the order to a Talos-II lite. I don't think they will have the Blackbird back in stock quickly.
Price-wise, it hardly makes a difference. But you need a bigger case, of course, unfortunately.
I just double-checked the T2 lite specs and in addition to the case size, which is a bit annoying but probably workable with a case like you suggested, there were a couple of other Blackbird-specific features I wanted (mostly to reuse hardware I already have):
So assuming I also wanted to add a GPU, getting equivalent features would probably require 3 slots, but the T2 lite only has 2, so that is a bit of a problem.

Quote
If you can't reach anyone via support, I would try Twitter. If you don't have a Twitter account, you can give me your ticket number and I'll write to Raptor.
I don't have a Twitter account, but if you could have them look at ticket #337978 it would be much appreciated.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on June 30, 2021, 03:29:43 pm
You're welcome.
https://twitter.com/mpc7500v2/status/1410334278186160136

Yes, Blackbird has audio, SATA and HDMI. But the number of PCIe slots are equal.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on June 30, 2021, 04:19:17 pm
Here you will find a comparison of the different mainboards:
https://wiki.raptorcs.com/wiki/RCS_Platform_Comparison
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Corvidae on June 30, 2021, 07:02:55 pm
You're welcome.
https://twitter.com/mpc7500v2/status/1410334278186160136

Yes, Blackbird has audio, SATA and HDMI. But the number of PCIe slots are equal.

Thank you :). And when I was referencing the slots, I meant that since the Blackbird has built-in audio and SATA, I wouldn't need cards for that, so I would have 1 spare PCIe slot instead of being 1 short. I probably should have been more clear about that. Not to mention the optional SAS/SATA addon has closed firmware according to the wiki, which while the disks themselves would all have closed firmware anyway, I'm trying to avoid as much as possible.

Here you will find a comparison of the different mainboards:
https://wiki.raptorcs.com/wiki/RCS_Platform_Comparison

That's a handy little comparison chart. That kind of stuff is very helpful, not sure if that exact page is one I saw but the wiki was super helpful for me back when I placed my order. It's a shame though, if the T2 Lite had either of the Blackbird's integrated components, I could make some room and get that instead (if it wasn't backordered, that is).
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on July 01, 2021, 05:25:41 am
You're right. As for audio, you could use a cheap USB sound device. I'm using my AMD graphic card with Kernel 5.4.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Corvidae on July 01, 2021, 11:31:04 am
So I did get a response from Raptor (thank you for the help with that), this is what they said:
Quote from: Raptor Support
... we have not been wanting to give a date only to have it pushed back again as the latest supply chain cut or manufacturing delay happens. That said, we have a *tentative* in-stock date of August 2021 at this point, without any known blockers that would delay it further.

So there's some good news at least, with it (hopefully) only being a few months away. I've waited this long, so I might as well wait a bit longer ;)
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on July 01, 2021, 12:45:43 pm
That's very good news for you. Fingers crosed :)
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MauryG5 on July 01, 2021, 03:55:05 pm
You're right. As for audio, you could use a cheap USB sound device. I'm using my AMD graphic card with Kernel 5.4.
Hey MPC, but do you still use kernel 5.4 today?
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on July 01, 2021, 05:07:22 pm
Yes, correct
Title: Re: News?
Post by: Borley on July 01, 2021, 05:53:22 pm
The integrated audio on the Blackbird is weak on lows and bass, and the mic input needs to be turned all the way up seemingly. So you're not missing much in that regard. Like you, I am patiently awaiting more Blackbird stock. It would be neat if RCS could share which parts are holding up the process, so at least we could monitor component stock through customs channels. Its a shame that these made-in-USA boards all use parts from overseas anyway.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: pocock on July 01, 2021, 06:07:29 pm
That's a handy little comparison chart.

Thanks for this feedback

The integrated audio on the Blackbird is weak on lows and bass, and the mic input needs to be turned all the way up seemingly.

I'm using the Soundblaster X-Fi USB device

Output:   Talos II -> USB cable -> X-Fi -> S/PDIF (fibre optic, digital) -> Harmon Kardon AV system -> B&W DM604

Input: Rode lapel mic -> TRRS / 3.5mm converter -> 1/4" converter -> X-FI -> USB -> Talos II

It is working really well

For digital output to S/PDIF you don't need expensive hardware, any USB-to-S/PDIF device is satisfactory

Output is easy, but for microphone input, every component is significant.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MauryG5 on July 02, 2021, 01:40:38 pm
Yes, correct
I suppose you are doing this because if I remember correctly when Kernel 5.6 came out you started having audio problems via HDMI from the GPU. But haven't you tried with the latest versions and compiling a kernel with 4k pages in order to get the GPU working properly and see how the audio is now? It is a pity that for such a thing you have to remain anchored to an old kernel ... For example, I realized that up to version 5.6.19, the web cam through applications usable through browsers for example, did not work. As soon as I used newer Kernel versions like 5.10, the web cam started working fine, so they added or updated drivers to use this feature. And I think that, like this one, also others so it is a pity that we must remain tied to kernels that are now outdated in my opinion ...
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MPC7500 on July 02, 2021, 02:14:45 pm
The page size doesn’t make any difference.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: MauryG5 on July 02, 2021, 05:05:44 pm
If I do not set the page size in 4K, Linux does not start with the Navi 10 GPU, we have already seen it some time ago with our friend Pocock, even the latest Kernel Fedora, which people like TLE, have made work with Nano GPU , it doesn't work for me with Navi 10, I have to set the page in 4K and from that moment in fact the Kernels compile them myself and they go great.
Title: Re: News?
Post by: surf on September 12, 2021, 05:51:43 pm
I was reading something elsewhere and happend upon some raptor news:

https://nitter.net/RaptorCompSys/status/1435510763402244105