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Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:25 pm
by HurricaneJames
First, a caveat, I build websites for a living and dabble in modern VR and vintage SGIs as my current hobbies, so my needs are fairly sparse. I love the security aspect of it, and that it is as close to owning a modern machine as you can get. However, I'm left wondering what to do with it. I suppose it could make for a decent server for the security conscious, but what else?

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:51 pm
by guardian452
HurricaneJames wrote:However, I'm left wondering what to do with it.

I'm sure CHC can fill us in on the details, but I was under the impression that it ran standard PPC linux?

"open" is very different from being supported by more than two or three distros tho. Look at vs320 support, and that is x86 based!

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:53 pm
by ClassicHasClass
The major part of the added cost was the workstation video card. The rest of it was pretty close to retail, so I just threw it all in so it can come ready to go.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:55 pm
by Dodoid
Extremely tempting product, would probably go with the 2 CPU bundle and add in the rest of the parts. I very much like the 100% free software aspect of it, though even at it's current (very good) price, the price of any high-end computing hardware can be hard to stomach. The CPUs are surprisingly cheap, but that makes sense seeing as IBM is a big company and is likely producing a decent quantity of them.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:51 pm
by guardian452
Dodoid wrote:The CPUs are surprisingly cheap

Is this pair of chips competitive on a performance basis with e.g. the new AMD Threadripper?

Board and chips are about double what a new TR4 system costs. I doubt it's double the performance, but if it's on par at least... This board looks a ton nicer than the current selection of TR4 boards (tho I know looks don't count for much...) I bet this one has a much longer lifespan, too. I've been missing having a real workstation ever since I sold the cheesegrater mac pro.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:29 pm
by heavyfuel
ClassicHasClass wrote:I'm in. Ordered today with the specification above.



Hey, have you already received your Talos? :D This project looks really interesting even though I might never buy one... I play many games that are x86(-64) and don't even work reliably outside Windows.

Besides open source games, Minecraft should work... or at least I suppose Java is available for Power too? One of my favorites was ported too :D
--> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05NNFJj3Mrw

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:36 pm
by ClassicHasClass
No, not yet. GA for the POWER9 should be around the end of the year and I expect the system shortly after that.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:19 pm
by ClassicHasClass
Update from Raptor:

Also, for those of you in the Q4 2017 order batch, we are unfortunately expecting a delay of 3-4 weeks versus the original anticipated shipment date of late December 2017. This was due to a key supplier unexpectedly missing their commit date, and the associated interaction with the Christmas / New Year holidays in the United States. We will continue to keep you up to date as to the status of these orders, and rest assured that those in the Q44 order batch will be the first to receive Talos II systems and parts.


They're offering the 8-core Sforzas now as a BTO on previous orders for $190/ea. This is a damn good price but it bumps the TDP per CPU from 90W on the 4-core to 190W. These are SMT-4 parts, so you still get 16 threads even on the original 4-core CPU. I'm weighing this because the price is really tempting but the power increase (I bought a two-CPU system so I could have eight cores) gives me pause.

I was one of the August orders, so I should be one of the first in line when they start shipping. I'm guessing end of January.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:47 am
by spiroyster
I love the idea of OpenPOWER being an alternative platform to x64, but I do worry it will all be dead in the water as a 'workstation' platform until there is a decent software catalog behind it. The only way it's going to win that is by undercutting x64 in the price/performance (what x86 did to MIPS basically), and this may only be achieved first by virtualizing x64 better than x64 can perform itself. Most of the Autodesk applications in the industry I work in (AEC/BIM) aren't even native OSX, and Autodesk themselves suggest running in a VM (same hardware ecosystem?). Also given the rise of Vulkan (now consuming OpenCL)... GPU is king, and thats until the cloud properly matures. It wouldn't surprise me if in 5/10 years workstation workloads will be done entirely remotely, mitigating the need for the 'Personal Computer' altogether.

Like vish, my daily driver (when I need it) is a Supermicro 7046GT (incidentally, same chasis the raptor comes in iirc) circa 2011/12. 32GB RAM, 2x5620 (8C/16T total), and thats literally for 'running the numbers' with older engines that aren't OpenCL/Cuda... and only required for really 'meaty' jobs. Virtualization could be better, but thats my only complaint about it tbh.

Kitting it out with Noctua's, SQ PSU's (to allow it in my office, the stock 1400W Supermicro ones are leeeeooooowd) and 1TB of SSD's, it still came to fraction of the price of the raptor. I doubt I'll be replacing it soon, and the next upgrade will probably be GPU's, more of them (can have up to 4 :)), or better ones since the CPU is only really getting used for GUI and scheduling these days o.0.

@CHC
I hope you give us an in depth analysis of it when it arrives. It does intrigue me o.0

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:20 pm
by ClassicHasClass
POWER is never going undercut x86_64 on cost because it's up against Chipzilla; Intel will always have the economy of scale. IBM's not a chip company anymore, and hasn't been for years. Where POWER is going to succeed is if they can capitalize on painting Intel as taking control of your system away with crap like ME and AMT, and distinguish itself on certain workloads (it already does on highly multithreaded ones). It won't be mainstream but I think it has a strong potential to return as a major second architecture because aarch64 just hasn't impressed in grunty computing tasks, MIPS is racing to the bottom, SPARC64 is being slowly strangled by Larry Ellison for sexual gratification and RISC-V is overhyped and underdelivering.

ppc64le also has a big advantage over prior Power ISA outings in that it's much more strongly little-endian than prior generations of POWER; a lot of source code will now "just work." I'm sad because I "think big-endian" but little-endian won, and I think that will make the software catalogue problem a lot less of an issue than before.

I'll do a full unbox and review when it comes, natch.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:18 am
by GRudolf94
Eagerly awaiting Classic's review of the Talos. If only it didn't cost more than the sum of all my most prized possessions...

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:40 pm
by bifo
Given the recent fundamental design flaw in the intel x64 line, I'm hoping Talos gets some extra interest. Still likely to be far outside of my price range for the foreseeable sadly, but I'm eagerly awaiting updates.

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:52 pm
by GRudolf94
I wouldn't worry myself sick about Intel's CVE-2017-5712 bug, or anything related to it, such as KPTI patches. BIOS updates that patch the ME firmware should deal with that.

Still, it won't change the existence of ME firmware...and that makes me want a Talos.

I'd be fine using whatever other non-x86 arch, but like said before in this thread, SPARC started dying when Larry Ellison put his grubby paws on it, and MIPS started dying when SGI commited to that Itanium blunder. I would try buying a G5 PowerMac, but those are big, loud, still expensive around here and suck power like there's no tomorrow...plus support is waning

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:37 am
by bifo

Re: Talos Secure Workstation

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:25 pm
by GRudolf94
-5712 has to do with ME. Spectre/Meltdown (-5753/5754/5715) are indeed a separate issue (of which I wasn't aware until little time ago)

Anyway, I hope these branch prediction vulnerabilities highlight the necessity of other computing platforms. That's what Intel gets for reusing most of the decades-old P6 core.