A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

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Irinikus
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:18 pm

The Talos II looks like a really nice system and has some really nice features like being one of the first systems to sport PCIe 4.0 and I also believe that X86 does need some good competition, as diversity in the market is a good thing.

My only problem is that I do like to play the odd game and that's currently one of the main drivers for me to go out and shell out the cash to buy a high performance computer.

What do you intend using it for? (Work that involves high performance computing and graphics, that is?)
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby vishnu » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:23 pm

Hopefully Power keeps hangin' in there. And AMD has had Intel doing the headless chicken a few times over the years, maybe they can pull another rabbit out of the hat... :|
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby alexott » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:43 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:I'm not picking on you, Alex, but I think if price is the only benchmark we're going to be putting all our eggs in one x86 basket when it comes to high-performance systems. What happens when the next critical CPU flaw is found and there aren't any alternatives? I get it that folks are on a budget; just don't crap on those of us who actually have the choice and prioritize architectural diversity over cost. :P

Maybe one day when our goverment will close all import, I will fly for Talos instead of our local Elbrus 401-PC crap which currently costs $3454 :lol:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbrus-2S%2B

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 am

Krokodil wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:
alexott wrote:Talos is absolutely a no go with such high price. For that amount of money I can build a Xeon monster


Go for it. Just don't complain in 10 years when your only choice is Intel no matter how much you pay.


That's a depressing and bleak dystopian future. :(

Arm seems to be doing well ;) many more systems sold than intel...

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Irinikus » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:08 am

Intel has the niche market for now, but quantum machines are on the rise and it doesn't look like intel is doing as much research in this field as they need to.

Wait until there is a breakthrough in this field, allowing quantum machines to operate at room temperature. When this happens, silicon will more than likely be a thing of the past. (The correct application of Quasicrystals may be the answer here.)

As far as I'm concerned, a good future design concept for computers is one where you have a 3-dimensional hyper-cubic general purpose compute matrix (replacing CPU's, GPU's and memory) in which memory and compute function are unified with quantum paring being used for system control (rather than physical wiring, in order to increase system density). In such a system information stored at random positions within the compute matrix can be paired with other information stored at other random positions, to form registers of an n-length without having to move information around at all.

Information is processed where it's stored, no need for buses, prefetching or caching. You could probably have millions of parallel executions taking place in such a system simultaneously. (The concept of the thread would also essentially be out of the window in such a system)

This is just a dream for now.

Watch out for the likes of Nvidia in the future, as modern day GPU's are the closest thing to the type of system that I've described above at this point in time. (They just have take on a 3-dimentional hyper-cubic design and they will be a step closer.)

My name for such a system would be a UCM (Universal Compute Matrix)

For now, Power PC and ARM will just have to do.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:26 pm

guardian452 wrote:
Krokodil wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:
alexott wrote:Talos is absolutely a no go with such high price. For that amount of money I can build a Xeon monster


Go for it. Just don't complain in 10 years when your only choice is Intel no matter how much you pay.


That's a depressing and bleak dystopian future. :(

Arm seems to be doing well ;) many more systems sold than intel...


Not really in the same performance class, though (with the possible -- possible -- exception of some of the Apple designs, but you're never going to see those outside of Apple anytime soon).
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Shiunbird » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:14 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:Not really in the same performance class, though (with the possible -- possible -- exception of some of the Apple designs, but you're never going to see those outside of Apple anytime soon).


Is Apple prototyping ARM workstations?
Or did I get what you meant wrongly?
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Irinikus » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:14 am

All of Apple’s “A” processors found in iPhone’s and iPad’s are in fact ARM processors, from what I understand.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby spiroyster » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:47 am

Shiunbird wrote:Is Apple prototyping ARM workstations? Or did I get what you meant wrongly?

This has been rumoured for a while now. It is also rumoured that Apple want to bring their iOS ecosystem to macOS (might even see it in June or whenever is national macOS day), and various ARM support has been found in macOS a year or two ago, kinda hinting this next epoch in Apples hardware setup.
http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/09/30 ... arm-chips/

It would make sense since x86 performance requirements for all but a few applications plateaued a few years back. ARM on the other hand has been found to be more than enough for 100% of Apple iOS users, and is improving. It's not x86 performance, but nothing on iOS needs that performance. GPU is king these days, and integrated GPU's (powerVR found on all iOS devices) have reduced bandwidth requirements... all adding to the relegation of the CPU to a glorified scheduler... something which many x86 CPU's for the past 10 years have been overkill for.

This and the condensation of the cloud means we have gone full circle (client/mainframe->PC->tablet/cloud). In 5-10 years, even the most demanding users will be using 'thin' clients with all processing done somewhere cold with lots of racks... like Iceland or something o.0. Workstations will be loud, power hungry foot-stools/heaters, depicting glory days of a bygone era.

Or.. maybe it boils down to the fact that Intel have always charged a lot of monies compared to ARM.

just my 0.02 bitcoins (actually quite a lot of money at the moment :shock: , not that current bitcoin value adds merit to anything I have said though :D)...

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:44 am

The A-series chip in the iPad Pro is actually getting into the low performance range for Intel designs -- I'd say it's even competitive with, though clearly does not eclipse, i3 -- but I think we have a long way before there are Apple ARMbooks. When Apple moved from 68K to PowerPC, the 601 ran rings around the 68040 in native code and could emulate it sufficiently well to be faster in many cases (to be fair, this was damning with faint praise until the 603e, but it wasn't a situation of "LOL"). When Apple moved from PowerPC to Intel, the story was a bit more complicated because the G5 could get past a Core Solo with both running native code but the Core Solos were intended for laptops where they were faster than the G4e on native code, and the G5's eventual Xeon Mac Pro replacement was faster than the G5 on native code, and both could emulate PowerPC sufficiently though the performance delta was not as wide as 68K->PPC (see inter alia http://barefeats.com/quad06.html).

Now with the Intel Macs, Apple has painted themselves into a corner; there is no real alternative to x86_64. In the laptop low-power space all the other options are laughable, and on the workstation side Apple wouldn't like the PR debacle of "retreating to Power ISA." I'd also argue there is a massive library of Intel software, possibly larger than what Apple left behind in the PPC days, which Apple would now have to come to grips with. The end of 32-bit compatibility helps to relieve some of the legacy requirements but only makes the performance delta required to emulate the new platform greater.

Until we see iPad Pro systems that exceed, say, a Core i5 in native code performance, I don't think an Apple ARM system is viable to replace the Intel Mac because it won't be able to make emulation practical (let alone things like virtualization). And you'll know it's coming because Apple will trial those processors in the iOS ecosystem first. We haven't seen anything close to such a chip, so I doubt it currently exists.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby guardian452 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:00 pm

ClassicHasClass wrote:The A-series chip in the iPad Pro is actually getting into the low performance range for Intel designs -- I'd say it's even competitive with, though clearly does not eclipse, i3 -- but I think we have a long way before there are Apple ARMbooks.

My ipad pro is right on par with the i7 in my razer gamer-laptop (i7-7500u) according to geekbench, and feels a lot faster for some intensive tasks (maybe just lightworks vs. imovie? windows vs. ios? All I really do that's intensive is rendering video etc...) I'm sure it could beat the 12" macbook i7 hands-down with it's dinky <5w tdp...

Oh and the iphone 8 and X are decently faster than the ipad pro. :twisted:

Of course, you can't plug the ipad into a big-boy GPU to play "real" games... yet. So comparing the cpu of a gaming PC with the CPU of an ipad is a bit silly, you can't fit geforce in an ipad. Nintendo switch has a vent and it pumps out a lot of hot air!

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:12 pm

My ipad pro is right on par with the i7 in my razer gamer-laptop (i7-7500u) according to geekbench,


Eh? This sounds hinky. Are geekbench scores really comparable across architectures/OSes?
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Shiunbird » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:42 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:Now with the Intel Macs, Apple has painted themselves into a corner; there is no real alternative to x86_64. In the laptop low-power space all the other options are laughable, and on the workstation side Apple wouldn't like the PR debacle of "retreating to Power ISA." I'd also argue there is a massive library of Intel software, possibly larger than what Apple left behind in the PPC days, which Apple would now have to come to grips with. The end of 32-bit compatibility helps to relieve some of the legacy requirements but only makes the performance delta required to emulate the new platform greater.


I'm not a programmer, but...
With the vast majority of software development for Macs happening using Apple's standard development tools and Apple APIs, would not be trivial to port a lot of what's there to a new architecture?

I'm not sure a lot of what's out there is heavily optimized on the level of chip-specific SIMD, would be affected by endianness, etc..
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby guardian452 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:50 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:
My ipad pro is right on par with the i7 in my razer gamer-laptop (i7-7500u) according to geekbench,


Eh? This sounds hinky. Are geekbench scores really comparable across architectures/OSes?

Geekbench claims it to be true for most workloads. That’s kinda their schtick.

The ipad certainly *feels* faster but as I said above it’s not running windows, either.

Either machine would still be clobbered by a full-on workstation, intel or otherwise, but nobody uses those things anymore. 8-) (we actually just purchased a precision tower @work, holy smokes!)

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby spiroyster » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:23 am

The requirement bestowed on software/computers that we use and the way we use them is changing and isn't the same when the last PPC->x86 transition happened.

If what is required is moooaaar powaaah then yes, it wouldn't make sense to migrate to ARM over x86, but thats not the way the computer/software industry is/has been going. SaaS is more and more prominent, even the likes of Autodesk have perpetual lics these days and iOS apps for AutoCAD etc. As we embrace SaaS more, the emphasis and workloads will be hosted (perhaps the other side of the office, or other side of the planet, but not for each 'seat'). There are already web apps (https://app.formit.autodesk.com/) and then look at otoy and other online renderers. Everything we do will be streamed soon... even 4K gaming. It's already happening!

The battle ground won't be between vendors trying to get their workstations to their clients, it will be between providing a collaborative solution for workflows.... and data centres. First stop... proving these web portals can provide the functionality...done! next stop, reaching out to all those customers and businesses who don't want to buy expensive PC's for each one of their designers/engineers. All it needs to do is be web (2018) friendly, and most computers in the last number of years have been that.

A bit like bitcoin mining, gone are the days when anyone who could afford it go out and get 4xTitans. These days you need to be part of a collaborative team (or have a shite load of CPU power...or hack UK government computers idle time http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43025788). No more is this a game for someone with an above average PC. Remove bitcoin mining and insert another CPU/GPU intensive workload and the same applies.... specialist PC workloads have become so intensive that its no longer viable to do them on a PC... especially when the 'access to the outside world' bandwidth is so great theses days.

It wouldn't surprise me if in 10 years or so we will be reminiscing about being able to install fully featured applications on clients (PC's) and run them without phoning home…. Non SaaSy!


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