Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - pocock

Pages: 1 ... 13 14 [15]
211
Blackbird / power consumption figures?
« on: June 01, 2020, 04:25:21 pm »

The wiki has some rough power figures for Talos II

Could anybody provide similar figures for basic Blackbird builds, with bare minimum spec, no GPU?

E.g.
Blackbird + 32GB + basic SSD + CPU (4 core v2 idle) = ? Watts
Blackbird + 32GB + basic SSD + CPU (4 core v2 100% utilization) = ? Watts
Blackbird + 32GB + basic SSD + CPU (8 core v2 idle) = ? Watts
Blackbird + 32GB + basic SSD + CPU (8 core v2 100% utilization) = ? Watts

This type of detail is really useful for anybody trying to estimate PSU requirements, runtime on a UPS and heat output of the box

In comparison, HP provides a couple of example builds for each of their Z workstations in quickspecs documents like this (see page 26).  Most people can extrapolate from one of the examples to their own use case.

212
General Discussion / LSI HBAs on ordering page - blobs?
« on: June 01, 2020, 04:03:11 pm »
The Raptor ordering page includes some LSI HBAs for SATA / SAS:

  • LSI 9300-8i 8-port Internal SAS 3.0 HBA
  • LSI 9300-8e 8-port External SAS 3.0 HBA
  • MegaRAID 9361 8-port Internal SAS HBA w/ BBU
  • MegaRAID 9361 16-port Internal SAS HBA w/ BBU

The non-RAID cards have a PowerPC 476 running firmware from LSI.  The RAID cards have some kind of RAID SoC, I haven't looked at the details but it also includes firmware.

Is there any particular reason these are recommended in the ordering process or is source code available now?

Do these cards allow people to replace the firmware or do they expect cryptographically signed blobs from the vendor?

213
Talos II / OCuLink ambiguity
« on: June 01, 2020, 02:05:08 am »

When I look at the ordering pages on the Raptor site, it offers various OCuLink products:

  • 4x OCuLink PCIe Expander (Gen 3)
  • OCuLink to U.2 Cable

The manual:
https://wiki.raptorcs.com/w/images/e/e3/T2P9D01_users_guide_version_1_0.pdf

includes errata stating that

ER0001
╬╝PCIe connector (J10108) is incorrectly identified as OCuLink (SFF-8621) due to errors that were discovered post-production in IBM OpenPOWER reference designs.  While the physical connector is the same as OCuLink ports, the wiring is different, notably in the presence detect / clocking pins.  As such, while an OCuLink peripheral is unlikely to be damaged by being plugged in to the ╬╝PCIe port, it will not function while attached.


If that is the case, buyers selecting the OCuLink products will not be able to use them - or has the board design been changed somehow to make OCuLink work?

214

Some cases (e.g. the Fractal Define 7 XL) offer metal side panels with acoustic dampening or tempered glass as an alternative.

For systems built with the various Raptor motherboards, Talos II and Blackbird, what are the real world observations about noise levels?

Is anybody going to notice the difference in acoustic emissions if they choose tempered glass cases over the fully sound dampened cases?

215
I didn't see anything about this when interacting with sales or when looking at the order page

When I do a search for Vikings on all raptorcs.com it only returns one link:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Araptorcs.com+vikings
=> https://wiki.raptorcs.com/wiki/Events

If choices like this are not obvious to purchasers then some people won't look for them, they will simply leave the site without any purchase.

It would also be helpful if you can clarify:
- is Vikings responsible for support, warranty, etc?
- does this also serve Switzerland and potentially the post-Brexit UK?

A web search for Vikings doesn't always return anything useful as it is a very generic word.  Vikings web site:
https://vikings.net/


216
There are a few comments about this topic in other threads (search for Europe to find them) but I thought it is worth having its own thread.

To summarize the problems:

- delivery from the US means longer delay, higher shipping costs and uncertain administrative charges at customs clearance

- if a product has to be returned under warranty, there are extra taxes in each direction, on top of the extra shipping cost and delay

- if a product being returned is completely dead on arrival or subsequently failed beyond repair, it is a horrendous waste of money to pay more taxes for a round-trip through customs

- overall, the type of person who buys this product is probably an experienced user who is aware of all these risks and may be deterred from purchasing

There are other products with similar challenges, for example, the LimeSDR.  In their case, it is even worse, because they are based in the UK, they asked Europeans to support them in crowdfunding but they decided to outsource all shipping to a US company:
https://discourse.myriadrf.org/t/shipping-from-europe/310

Here is why the issue is really important for OpenPOWER:

- most EU countries have a single market and there is a possibility the UK will participate in the single market after Brexit.

- Switzerland is not in the single market but some logistics companies have been very effective at setting up customs-bonded warehouses near the border and they can deliver into either the EU or Swiss markets without extra burden.  Example: Basel (CH) airport is actually on French territory, in the EU.

- a lot of the developers on related projects are in the European countries.  Looking at the Raptor wiki, the Firefox and Tor issues are on the front page, both of these groups have a lot of people in Europe.

What can be done about this, for the OpenPOWER products but also for other products like LimeSDR?

Please feel free to share any ideas

217
General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: next generation Blackbird ideas
« on: May 09, 2020, 07:16:15 pm »

Condor release is coming after all.  Beware...
https://www.kptv.com/news/oregon-zoo-welcomes-first-condor-eggs-of-2020/article_91490aba-540c-11ea-b34e-87c36640b987.html

But in our case, it looks like Raptor's Condor has half of what is discussed in this thread.

DisplayPort would be completely acceptable in lieu of HDMI.  Most good monitors seem to have at least one of each these days.

The Condor wiki page doesn't mention plans for M.2 or bifurcation.

218
General OpenPOWER Discussion / next generation Blackbird ideas
« on: May 08, 2020, 06:04:11 pm »
I had a look over the various specs and blogs that people wrote about experiences with Blackbird and Talos II boards.

Here are some observations, maybe a wish list for future board designs:

Blackbird only supports 2 DIMMs / 2 memory channels, but for the price of these boards and CPUs I feel that it is very compelling to have 4 channels, as in the Talos II Lite, which is only a little bit more expensive than Blackbird anyway.

With only two PCIe slots on the Blackbird and Talos II Lite and no support for PCIe bifurcation, it is difficult for people to do NVMe RAID.  It would be really useful to have a couple of M.2 slots on the board so that people can have up to two NVMe SSDs and still keep the PCIe slots free.

4K monitors are much more common today than they were when POWER9 was launched.  It would be nice to have basic 2D support for a 4K display on the built-in HDMI port.  From practical experience running Debian and GNOME, I found that small 4K graphics cards, like the NVIDIA K420 with 2GB were unstable but cards with 4GB or more have been trouble-free for a development desktop.

On size, it could be bigger than Blackboard but it really needs to be smaller than Talos II (Lite) to open up a wider choice of cases.

A board with all of the above would probably be somewhere between Blackbird and Talos II Lite.

219
General CPU Discussion / POWER9 water cooling kit
« on: May 08, 2020, 03:06:30 am »

This article has a photo of a POWER9 with a water cooling kit

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tiriasresearch/2017/12/08/why-ibm-launched-instead-of-power9/

Water cooling could be a useful solution for people who are trying to minimize noise levels.

It can also be useful for moving heat further away from the place where equipment is used, if sufficient pipework can be installed.

220
General Discussion / Fractal Design cases
« on: May 07, 2020, 06:12:53 pm »

Here is a photo of another board in this particular case, does it appear suitable for Talos II?
https://support.fractal-design.com/support/solutions/articles/4000154671-define-7-xl-ssi-eeb-support

More about the case:
https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/define/define-7-xl/black/

Some of their cases also appear suitable for Blackbird.

Searching their support page produces some measurements and screenshots for SSI and E-ATX:

https://support.fractal-design.com/support/search/solutions?term=ssi

https://support.fractal-design.com/support/search/solutions?term=e-atx

For example, this appears to rule out their R6 E-ATX case for Talos II:

https://support.fractal-design.com/support/solutions/articles/4000114307-define-r6-e-atx-ssi-ceb-ssi-eeb-motherboard-support


221
GPU Compute / Accelerators / the microcode question
« on: May 07, 2020, 05:18:02 pm »
Raptor's workstations come with the AMD WX7100 GPU by default

While AMD is officially engaged in the production of the free/open source amdgpu driver, the AMD cards still require some microcode / blobs.

From the perspective of Talos II buyers/users, can anybody make suggestions about the best links/documents for helping decide upon the graphics and GPU strategy?

To put that another way: given that Talos II has VGA and the Blackbird's built-in HDMI can only do Full HD (1080p), if somebody wants to have one or more 4K displays and they don't need 3D, what are the recommended options without any microcode?

222
General Discussion / heat and noise / remote KVM access
« on: May 07, 2020, 03:36:00 pm »
For many European users in older buildings, there is no air conditioning.  Heat and noise from workstations can be a drain on productivity.

Can anybody comment on solutions for operating HDMI, keyboard and mouse over non-trivial distances, e.g. when hiding the workstation in another room with the door closed or even confining it to a basement or in-building data center?

For most Talos II and Blackbird users, I feel that there will be a particular interest in solutions to this problem that are secure and not dependent on proprietary technologies.

223

The Blackbird and Lite motherboard only have 2 PCIe slots and the full motherboard only supports 2 out of 5 slots if a single CPU is fitted.

Furthermore, I read that PCIe bifurcation is not supported on the Blackbird and Lite, so they can't have multiple NVMe SSDs on a single PCIe card.

Does Thunderbolt 3 provide an answer to this problem?

I searched for Thunderbolt in the forum and wiki and couldn't find anything about it.

For example, Thunderbolt 3 can connect multiple SSDs, 4k displays and 10GbE NICs, reducing the number of things that have to go in the two PCIe slots.

Here are a couple of the Thunderbolt 3 cards I found at a local supplier:

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard-Accessories/ThunderboltEX-3/

https://www.asrock.com/mb/spec/product.asp?Model=Thunderbolt%203%20AIC%20R2.0


Some of the issues that come to mind:


- does the PCI card work at all in non-x86 boards?

- can it boot from an NVMe SSD on Thunderbolt 3?

- does the Linux kernel compiled for ppc64 support Thunderbolt 3 boards like this?

Has anybody tried this already or is anybody in a position to try one of these cards?

One downside of using Thunderbolt 3 is the security risk.  Having storage outside the main PC case is not always a good idea.  Attackers with physical access to a Thunderbolt port may also be able to use the port to scrape the contents of RAM
http://blog.frizk.net/2016/10/dma-attacking-over-usb-c-and.html


Pages: 1 ... 13 14 [15]