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Messages - vikings.thum

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Perhaps you could send this over to us (Aachen, Germany) for ~three weeks?

I'm waiting for Tim to fix some listing/pricing issues (e.g. bundle more expensive than individual pieces) before ordering Blackbird boards. In the meantime, I want to see if our newly ordered TFX PSUs can adequately cool the CPU with a 2U passive heatsink, if we need to print an air shroud, and also find other desktop, under-desk, and media center cases to improve our listings (

I could then forward it to whomever you want after.

General Discussion / Re: HighPoint SSD7505 RAID tools for ppc?
« on: August 12, 2022, 09:00:06 am »
Slightly off topic:
What is your reasoning behind "mdraid is not optimal for SSD/NVMe devices"?

In my experience the exact opposite is the case: hardware RAIDs are inflexible, often require proprietary tools (as is the case with the HighPoint adapters) and can't be fixed without the device/propr. driver/tools . If there's an issue with an mdraid I can fix it with any other computer and with tools I have ready on any other computer.

In our data center HBAs with mdraid are the gold standard if a RAID is required.

I can host this machine in our data center in Germany if it is used for development of libre software on PPC.

Talos II / Re: Indium pads required for 18-core CPU on Talos II Lite?
« on: July 30, 2022, 04:15:03 am »
Both thermal paste and thermal pads have their advantages. As system integrators we found that Indium pads produce (very slightly, to the point of "meh" unless you go for every single degree C) worse thermal results and are harder to handle (gloves and razor blade required to remove the pad if you want to re-use and it's still fiddly).

For someone who only assembles their computer once and then forgets about it, thermal pads are fine. The same goes for thermal paste.

If you want to go with thermal pads we found that the brand shouldn't matter as long as the product is targeted towards CPU cooling. Because of the high pressure system the pads become heavily compressed, more than with known x86 sockets, so that thermal conductivity or thickness didn't make a difference worth mentioning for the small selection of pads we've tested (IIRC RCS's brand and Arctic Performance)

I'd recommend using thermal paste (or pads) on all CPUs, including the 4c, because the CPU will run cooler and more quiet under load.

I'm aware of the RCS wiki disagreeing with most of the above.

General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: Raptor CS fediverse presence?
« on: July 08, 2022, 04:00:52 am »
FWIW Raptor Engineering has a/an low-volume/abandoned GNU social presence:

Mastodon seems to be under more heavy development compared to GNU social, so using that instead would probably be a good idea if you want constant new features and bug fixes. At least if you don't care that the maintenance of Mastodon can be a PITA sometimes. Using a hosted instance is the 2nd best alternative. I've heard is quite nice.

General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: Raptor CS fediverse presence?
« on: June 18, 2022, 10:06:17 am »

General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: Story Time
« on: May 05, 2022, 03:42:39 pm »
The die hard D16 board. We still have some of those running, fully specced with dual CPU and 256GB RAM. Rarely any issues and the only server-grade X86 hardware that runs coreboot without blobs (except CPU microcode updates you probably want). They are okay while they last - though we prefer the Talos II line-up for the well functioning BMC, better performance and much more RAM. I'm planning to replace all D16 boards with Talos II by 2023 for our hosting offers.

There is someone who recently started coding new boot firmware for the D16, which probably will add a couple of years to its live-span if that will work well:

What I find odd is that they ignored the KCMA-D8 so far.

the price of the equipment increased by 6.5% in a month :(

Yes, this sucks! We are currently seeing the biggest inflation rates in decades, worldwide. Small manufacturers are not only the first to feel this, but also the first to go down if they do not act in time. Broken supply chains are the next problem that play into this. Even without covid and a full on war going on, the inflation would've been around 4% p.a. (instead of the ~8% we can except right now). For some categories, e.g. energy, inflation is expected to be more than 30% in 2022. Right now, things are looking really bleak, but we all have to accept the new reality and that it won't be over anytime soon and that waiting for prices to improve could be a bad decision: it's been a while since there's been deflation

That's what you get for hijacking a thread; another rant  :D

Mod Zone / Re: 2U or 3U Heatsink Assembly Wanted
« on: December 22, 2021, 04:20:04 am »
I'm probably able to help out.

General CPU Discussion / Re: POWER9 water cooling kit
« on: October 20, 2021, 02:42:46 pm »
No, I saw that; just checking it didn't change. Thanks!

What changed in fact is that this isn't a high-pressure mount. This was unrealistic for our budget because it would've required a custom made water cooler. I would've preferred to do just that, but... Perhaps next year :-)

General CPU Discussion / Re: POWER9 water cooling kit
« on: October 20, 2021, 03:04:21 am »
Are you planning to sell fluid as well, or if not,

Yes, though it should be pretty easy to make a solution yourself.

what's your specific recommendation?
Please see reply #20 from a while ago above, perhaps you've missed that.

How good is the mounting pressure on these?
We try to prevent over-tightening by choosing a short screw correspondingly, so that it shouldn't be possible to tighten it too much. The mounting mechanism is somewhat improvised to be low-cost, so high pressure, e.g. with IBM's 90kg high-pressure system, would bend the mechanism and probably destroy the water cooler as well.

General CPU Discussion / POWER9 water cooling kit soon available
« on: October 19, 2021, 02:27:52 pm »
Glide, O sparkling waves and murmur softly...

We now have a second revision of our improvized mounting mechanism in place, made of stainless steel and a couple of other small improvements. The mounting mechanism is in production and will be available in approx. 2 to 4 weeks  together with a water cooling kit for all RaptorCS mainboards. We'll also make it available with just the cooler (because the mechanism is made for a specific cooler), just in case people want to use existing pumps/radiators.

I'll send another update here once we have them in stock.

General CPU Discussion / Re: POWER9 water cooling kit
« on: June 22, 2021, 02:45:14 pm »
Nice temperature reduction! I'm pretty confident all those problems are solvable.
I'm pretty confident as well, the manufacturer has been helpful so far.

Also, what fluid did you use?
We use DM or osmosis water (better avoid distilled water from the supermarket, it's often a bit on the acidic side) and a glycol without additives somewhere around a ratio of 1:20 (or even less), I've never ran into problems with that but this also depends on what tubing you use (PVC tubing can be problematic with very high glycol contents). There are also ready-to-use solutions available for PC watercooling enthusiasts, AFAIK most of those also use glycol/water but are more expensive, some contain glutaral (even though very little) which I would be a bit scared of to be honest. Correct me if I'm wrong :)

Cooling solutions that contains glycol must be disposed of properly. In Germany for example municipalities accept it free of charge as hazardous waste in small quantities.

General CPU Discussion / Re: POWER9 water cooling kit
« on: June 22, 2021, 10:18:28 am »
Hello there,

We were finally able to give this a quick run today and prepare some comparisons :)

Specs: Talos 2 with 1x 02CY296 (22-core, 88 threads)
Setup 1: HSF, 3U IBM HSF
Setup 2: Water cooling system heatsink, 120mm / 4.7″ radiator, 120mm / 4,7″ PWM fan, Laing DC pump, compression fittings and TPV (EPDM/PP) tubes.
Setup 3: Identical to setup 2, with MX5 thermal paste
Stressing the CPU: $ sudo sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=990000000 --threads=90 run

We stressed each setup for 15 minutes / 9e+11 nanoseconds, both fans (HSF and the fan attached to the radiator) are PWM fans, controlled by Talos 2.

Compared to setup 1, setup 2 showed similar core temperatures, though quieter. Which makes sense since this mechanism can't deliver the high pressure of 90 kg (200 lbs) the IBM HSF can.
Setup 3 showed the best results which were roughly 10 °C / 50 °F below the present temperatures at the 15 minute / / 9e+11 nanoseconds mark and roughly 20 °C / 68 °F below the "highest" temperature of setup 1 and 2. Quite honestly this is as positive surprise.

I'd expect even better results with a larger 240mm / 9.45″ radiator.

Unfortunately, the upper plate of the mechanism had warped during the first attempts (which ist a quality issue and shouldn't have happened) and the mechanism as a whole is too tight against the compression fittings (perhaps that's not an issue with angled fittings). It's easy to overtighten the screw of the mechanism because it's unclear how much force is necessary to hold the heat sink in place and provide enough pressure for a sufficient cooling result. 
All in all this seems to be very usable in principle, but there are some improvements to be made before we're happy enough with the quality and if we want to use standard components (esp. a standard water cooled heat sink) that doesn't break the bank.

From left to right: watercooled with thermal paste / watercooled without thermal paste / IBM HSF

Blackbird / Re: Price of Blackbird went up $1,144 from April 2020
« on: April 12, 2021, 12:59:57 pm »
You should get everything you need to know by using

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