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Radeon Vega Pro Introduces A "AMD Secure Processor"

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  • #31
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    Stop playing broke and sign up an NDA or whatever like all other OEMs do to get the rights and tools to make their own BIOS.

    Because that's what companies do. Modding BIOS is for kiddies and people that repurpose gaming cards in their servers.
    That's way too black and white dude. The world just isn't that clear cut, it's a jungle out there with a wide variety. EDIT: AMD would have to address a whole slew of niches that would probably total something like 10% of their customers before they could truly eliminate BIOS modding..
    Last edited by duby229; 02 August 2017, 01:59 PM.


    • #32
      Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
      Because that's what companies do. Modding BIOS is for kiddies and people that repurpose gaming cards in their servers because they are broke.
      Said like a true conformist, and elitist. Yes, obviously a company isn't going to want to modify the BIOS of a GPU they bought, because they're not going to sacrifice their warranty and product stability for minor improvements. But BIOS editing is very practical for at-home use, and many GPUs come pre-shipped with edited BIOSes.

      There are plenty of good reasons why someone would want to edit a GPU's BIOS, such as:
      * Lowering voltage. Many GPUs offer more voltage than they really need. You can usually safely lower this to reduce heat, noise, and power consumption.
      * Tweaking fan speeds - especially useful if you are using an aftermarket cooler.
      * Eliminate stuttering. Some GPUs are bad at throttling their performance, and BIOS editing can override this, giving more consistent performance.
      * Overclocking. Yes, despite what you think, OCing is still very much alive and some GPUs offer enough headroom where you can go from averaging below 60FPS to consistently above it. I personally don't OC, because I'd rather reduce fan noise, heat, and wattage with lower clocks and just turn off AA.


      • #33
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        If you could make similar changes at driver or config file level would that be sufficient ?
        Yea that would be fine...but there is still no reliable way in linux to have full control over clocks and voltages (and no way at all to control memory timings without BIOS changes).


        • #34
          Originally posted by Qaridarium
          we live in a time of post facts and ignorance... I am 100% sure AMD loses sales just because there is no FLOSS edition hardware without security engine and without closed source firmware. But ignorance is strong in these Elitist and conformist people they rater Die alone in the dessert than cooperate with customers needs.
          Oh there's no question we (and our competitors) lose potential sales in this regard - but unless the contribution from those additional sales is significantly more than the additional costs (which are higher than you seem to believe) then we would just be losing money despite the additional sales.

          There may be market corners where something like this might be possible (compute is one because that eliminates the whole video content protection concern) but in the general case the cost would be on a par with developing a new GPU generation, the market would be limited to retail channel (no robust content protection = no WHQL certification = no OEM sales) and people who didn't care about being able to play protected content.

          I'm not saying that if a large customer showed up with NRE $$ or a really large customer showed up willing to order we wouldn't do it... but so far the requests from those large customers tend to be "lock it down more" not "our information wants to be free".
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          • #35
            Originally posted by jstefanop View Post
            Yea that would be fine...but there is still no reliable way in linux to have full control over clocks and voltages (and no way at all to control memory timings without BIOS changes).
            Understood... just wanted to make sure that the need for BIOS tweaking was primarily driven by lack of driver level control, not that it was an independent requirement. Thanks !
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            • #36
              I think you are gravely over-estimating the market size of people who have the slightest interest in completely FLOSS hardware. Most such people use an open source OS like Linux or FreeBSD. Together, these OSes make up about 3% of the desktop/laptop PC market. Though I don't have data on this, I bet the majority of these users aren't upset using hardware that is locked down to some degree (most may prefer fully open-hardware, but don't care enough to do anything about it). According to Steam stats, AMD makes up roughly 25% of the GPU marketshare. Add all that up and you'll find such a market is effectively non-existent. That doesn't mean it shouldn't or couldn't exist, but there is not enough financial incentive to even glance at it.


              • #37
                Originally posted by Qaridarium
                right now? sure... but should it be this way in the future to? I do not think so... if you watch markets like russia and china where strong government force the government hardware to be opensource then it is a big market.
                Russia is kind of anti-capitalist, China is still partially communist, and both of them are afraid of being spied on. So, no surprise there. In both countries, their open-source hardware tends to be underwhelming.

                People and companies in western countries are willing to sacrifice their freedom for security, regardless of how inconvenient or insufficient that security is. I'm not sure whether I think the future should remain fully open-source, if doing so may prevent things like improving hardware. That being said, very rarely has closed source hardware negatively impacted me. It has sometimes impacted me (like fglrx, for example) but otherwise if my experience as a user is not impacted, I don't care if it is open or closed, just as long as it is easily accessible.


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Qaridarium
                  I do not believe anything but i think amd just do something wrong ... but hey just tell me how much money amd nees for NRE$$ such a gpu and then we can try to fix this problem by crowdfunding because i am sure i am not the only person who want this.

                  No its not only the compute market! you really think that in the military the people need to play protected content porn ?
                  Or do you think that in the Intelligence community the people enjoy Netflix DRM protected content?
                  Do you think on a Government computer for office work there is a need for protected content?
                  if the government office people watch commercial videos it waste millions of euros because they do not work and watch protected content instead...
                  Also for the Raptor Engeneering IBM Power9 market the power9 does not have a security engine for protected content and customers who buy this would be perfectly fine with such a solution. and this is also a OEM sale but not a Windows(WHQL)DRM sale. so you mix up different OEM markets.

                  this means the market for such a sollution is in short:

                  Government offices
                  Military computers
                  People who do not care
                  F(L)OSS workstations
                  F(L)OSS end-users who fear government Trojan horses
                  F(L)OSS people who want full control of their hardware

                  OK just tell us a $Number$ how much money AMD needs for NRE$$
                  and we will try to get the money over a grassroots crowdfunding.

                  This is just insane!!!.... really are these people just MAD?
                  Hi Qaridarium! Have you tried contacting someone from AMD with your messages regarding the availability of market for GPUs without "secure processor" backdoors? Ranging from AMD support page - (where you'd probably encounter some Indian) - to AMD high tier people at Linkedin and other media - many options are available

                  At the moment I only hope that this "secure processor" will only be a part of AMD's "Pro" GPU lines and e.g. would not be found at the upcoming RX6xx line (e.g. RX680) for example. Also, regarding the CPUs: AMD has not brought PSP into all their CPUs simultaneously, this process took like 2 years. There could be a similar situation with GPUs in the future

                  So, there is still some time to either try to convince AMD people not to follow this "secure processor" route at least for the "consumer GPUs". And, even if you would not succeed in convincing, there should be a couple of new GPU generations without that "secure backdoor BS", so that F(L)OSS people will be able to grab their latest no-backdoor most powerful GPUs from these new gens and stay on it for years