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Messages - Hasturtium

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edit: I had hit a stumbling block of frustration after a number of other stressors in my life built to a peak this past week. If I were to sell the Power9 so soon after getting it, I would regret it a lot. This machine's been a wonderful learning experience, and is a lot of fun to use.

After a period of initial experimentation I've come to the conclusion that the ppc64le architecture will not serve my needs the way I had hoped. All my equipment is in perfect working order, and has spent its life under light load and connected to a high quality UPS. Here is what I am offering.

- Blackbird mainboard, v2.00
- 8 core CPU (v2)
- 3U heatsink, with fan direction reversed to work better in most PC cases
- 2x16GiB ECC DDR4 registered memory
- 8GB Radeon Pro W5500 with original box and accessories
- screwdriver for installing the heat sink (optional)

I am in the continental United States - the Dallas area of Texas, specifically - and will pack all items well and securely for shipment. While I would prefer to ship within the U.S. I am not opposed to international shipping; we can work something out. PM me here, or email me at freontrip -at- live -dot- com directly. I have a specific price in mind, but I am willing to keep the graphics card and sell the rest if that works better for you. Thanks for looking.

As an update, our very own tle attempted to get an A770 working, to no avail. It appears Intel has not refactored the driver for non-x86 platforms yet. They’ve made statements previously about doing so, and it was reported in a quick piece on Phoronix, so let’s hope progress is made there in the near future.

GPU Compute / Accelerators / Re: Intel Arc A770 - failed experiment
« on: November 03, 2022, 10:04:54 am »
Thanks for doing so much investigating here. I'm sad to hear Arc isn't working for Power yet, but hopefully Intel's driver team will clean up the issues soon. To contribute a little that I've learned so far:

- ReBAR's reportedly a PCIe 3.0 feature, so I'm a little surprised Blackbird and Talos don't support it. The feature is important for maximizing hardware performance on Arc / Alchemist, but I don't know how drastic a difference it would make for the less game-centric 3D use cases of a typical Power9 build.

- The video encoding and decoding are not impacted by ReBAR at all. The A750 in my Windows machine is able to transcode a 1080p MKV from Blu-ray quality to a rough equivalent of x264's Slow quality at north of 325 frames per second. Better still, the video encoder is a constant for the product line - to my knowledge the A380 is just as proficient for encoding and decoding video as an A770. Given Power9's relatively pokey SIMD and the agonizing wait we've endured to see x264 adopt optimized vector code into the codebase, a $140 USD Arc A380 could improve video encoding on the platform by a factor of ten, and more in the case of h.265 and AV1. Even with ReBAR disabled, that card would probably deliver performance north of a Radeon RX 560.

- Arc also benefits from PCIe link state power management - would you need to pass i915.aspm=0 until someone at Intel manages to get that covered as well?

Applications and Porting / Re: Clion, VSCode, IDE options?
« on: September 26, 2022, 09:16:24 pm »
VScode is up-to-date on Void and works

Yep, seconding this - works fine for Python, C, and C++. Only wrinkle was that I needed to enable 2D canvas rendering, otherwise the integrated terminal didn't properly render text. I do hope VSCode continues to be supported with the switch to Chimera.

User Zone / Re: Void Linux thread
« on: September 17, 2022, 10:35:56 am »
Just a heads up - it looks like Void Linux ppc64 is winding down, and will be replaced by Chimera Linux going forward. Details outlined here.

Talos II / Re: Arctic Tern bracket?
« on: September 11, 2022, 01:18:32 pm »
I don't have an answer for this, but I do wonder if someone's 3D printed a bracket that would work.

Unfortunately, as expected, the performance of the card is laughable like any other Intel GPU. The only interesting thing is the price.

I dunno about laughable, it's just inconsistent. These are still raw drivers, especially on the OpenGL side. It's a little startling to see a Radeon 5500XT walk away from it so often - I don't feel bad about running a W5500 in my Blackbird. Nevertheless AV1 encode/decode, out-of-the-box OpenCL, raytracing support, and the low price point are pretty appealing. Maybe I'll stash one of these in a testbed x86_64 machine I'm thinking of putting together later this year and putting it through its paces in Linux.

Talos II / Re: Damaged motherboard?
« on: August 26, 2022, 10:42:28 pm »
You're not wrong to be observant. I'd be more concerned about the solder on the DIMM than discoloration on the socketed chip, but wait and see what support says. Good on you for being proactive and documenting with photos, and keep us updated.

Hey, that’s cool. I don’t think it’d be faster than the Radeon Pro W5500 I’m using now, though Arc supports raytracing. Who wants to jump on the grenade and see if 5.20, Arc, and ppc64le get along?

User Zone / Re: Void Linux thread
« on: August 16, 2022, 10:58:23 am »
Another dumb question: I've installed xscreensaver and would like to use it instead of xfce4-screensaver. However, disabling xfce4-screensaver at startup via the Settings Manager's Session and Startup Application Autostart entry doesn't appear to do the trick. And despite entering xscreensaver settings manually and asserting that I want it to run, xfce4-screensaver periodically restarts itself and interferes with the process. What's the best procedure to follow?

Firmware / Re: network card to reduce attack surface?
« on: August 14, 2022, 07:08:43 pm »
so to clarify, the BMC on the blackbird is isolated and not accessible if one has network access on the other two ethernet ports. correct?

By all accounts that’s correct- the official documentation says that much, and it’s repeated on several pages on the official wiki.

User Zone / Re: Calling for gaming experiences
« on: August 11, 2022, 07:00:53 pm »
Quake III should run beautifully with a 3D card of nearly any stripe. Even a Radeon 5450 would manage. And Stalker would scoot along happily on an Athlon64 with a fifteen year old Radeon, so Power9 should be WAY beyond that. I’d forgotten how old it is - it really may be possible to just brute force it acceptably. I guess I’ll add it to my list, maybe start by installing it to the little Ryzen mini PC I keep for my Windows-limited stuff to get a baseline of expectation.

I can’t speak to the state of CS: GO’s source leak, but a friend of mine worked at Valve for years and was very familiar with the Source engine. Your biggest impediment would be the low-level optimizations, which as far as I know were hooked into x86 SIMD optimizations and not messed with a lot. There probably isn’t much AVX code there, if any, so xmmintrin.h could come to the rescue if you were brazen enough to port an illegally leaked pile of source code. Have fun and let me know how that goes if you do.

User Zone / Re: Calling for gaming experiences
« on: August 11, 2022, 07:54:44 am »
Also, what kind of performance could one expect to get vs x86? would it be sufficient / "good enuff"

A lot would depend on what you're running. I'd have concerns about a lack of VMX/VSX SIMD optimizations within Stalker's physics engine dragging down performance in a worst-case scenario, but for older titles I wouldn't expect Power9 to be at a noticeable disadvantage versus, say, Zen+. We need more data points, and I'm happy to provide mine as time allows. (edit: Looks like someone's already taken the time to incorporate sse2neon for arm64 builds, so we should probably introduce the project to x86intrin.h and other translators, and compare results versus compiling and running on an x86 machine.

Compiled vkQuake with little hassle on Void Linux last night, and other than needing to sanitize my Quake folder's contents to lowercase, it has purred right along with no incident. During compilation DXX-Rebirth seems to have trouble seeing my SDL headers despite having SDL and SDL2 dev libraries installed, so I'm backburnering that for now and turning my attention to GZDoom. After that, I may kick the tires on Void's build of DOSbox before I try to suss out the non-trunk state of x264 on Power... I'd expected progress on VMX/VSX optimizations on that codec to be further along in the official repo than they are by now. Never a dull moment!

GPU Compute / Accelerators / Re: Which GPU would *you* choose?
« on: August 10, 2022, 10:12:19 am »
for the least headache, should one go with a wx7100 currently, or would i be okay with an rx 580 or vega 64? looking for the easiest gpu solution. this is for desktop/games not so much workstation stuff.

I wouldn't worry too much, then. RX 580 or Vega should be fine with the amdgpu driver at this point, so long as you're running a 4KB page size kernel. I slapped a little info into a thread that could be useful if you want to boot with integrated skiroot graphics and then switch to your GPU within X/Wayland. Do post in the game thread with whatever results you have - I'm keen to start testing games myself, and will start posting some resources and results there soon.

GPU Compute / Accelerators / Re: Necessary firmware for Navi14
« on: August 05, 2022, 07:33:43 pm »
The same is written on the Wiki.
On Void you can choose active Kernels like 5.4 / 5.10 / 5.15 / 5.18.
All needed patches on Void are included. Means you don't need "amdgpu.aspm=0" anymore. Apart from Kernel 5.15.x, IIRC.

Edit: Already added in Kernel 5.15.54. 5.16 and 5.17 are already EOL.

I’ll update my config soon. Thank you!

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