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FSF Certifies Another New But Old Re-Branded Opteron Board For Its Freedom

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  • FSF Certifies Another New But Old Re-Branded Opteron Board For Its Freedom

    Phoronix: FSF Certifies Another New But Old Re-Branded Opteron Board For Its Freedom

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has certified the Vikings D8 motherboard and D8 workstation as they "Respect Your Freedom" as the newest endorsed hardware...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...D8-RYF-Certify

  • #2
    At the price Vikings is selling the workstation build, I'd rather spend a bit more on a Raptor Talos, honestly. Certainly a more interesting machine, if nothing else.

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    • #3
      This price can only be a joke.

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      • #4
        I kind of fail to see the point of this, since you still need to use a CPU with proprietary microcode and TrustZone backdoor. As another poster noted, given the price one would be much better off with a Talos. It sacrifices binary compatibility but at least you get a real Free(dom) computer.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jacob View Post
          I kind of fail to see the point of this, since you still need to use a CPU with proprietary microcode and TrustZone backdoor. As another poster noted, given the price one would be much better off with a Talos. It sacrifices binary compatibility but at least you get a real Free(dom) computer.
          If I understand right, TrustZone is only relevant on Ryzen, and the KCMA-D8 only supports up to a Piledriver Opteron.

          I use a KCMA-D8 right now with Coreboot and 2 Opteron 4386's. I don't need microcode to boot the system, and don't include updated microcode in Coreboot either, but Fedora handles hot-patching the microcode.

          I paid about $300 in all for the motherboard ($175), 2 processors ($90), and 16GB non-ECC RAM. At Viking's price, I'd recommend Talos as well. But if anything, I'm curious as to what ECC RAM they found that works with Coreboot; I tried a few different sticks and they all didn't work.
          Last edited by Espionage724; 02-07-2019, 11:41 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Espionage724 View Post
            But if anything, I'm curious as to what ECC RAM they found that works with Coreboot; I tried a few different sticks and they all didn't work.
            According to Viking:
            Ram: "ECC Unbuffered DIMMs this system comes with"

            CPU: "This system comes with an 8-core AMD Opteron 4200-series CPUs installed [note - room for up to 2 Opterons]. Available is:
            • a high performant (95W TDP) 8-core Opteron 4284 CPU with 3.0/3.3/3.7 GHz (base/full load turbo/half load turbo)
            • a highly power efficient (35W TDP) 8-core Opteron 4256 EE CPU with 1.6/1.9/2.8 GHz (base/full load turbo/half load turbo)"

            They are a small outfit in Germany, just making a few systems at a time. Thus, the higher price.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jacob View Post
              I kind of fail to see the point of this, since you still need to use a CPU with proprietary microcode and TrustZone backdoor. As another poster noted, given the price one would be much better off with a Talos. It sacrifices binary compatibility but at least you get a real Free(dom) computer.
              Honestly, why do you think IBM CPUs would be an iota better than the rest?
              IBM has been US government stapleware nigh on since its inception.

              Today it's more like choosing your side than being "spy-free".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by milkylainen View Post

                Honestly, why do you think IBM CPUs would be an iota better than the rest?
                IBM has been US government stapleware nigh on since its inception.

                Today it's more like choosing your side than being "spy-free".
                Aren't the POWER9 CPUs entirely owner-controlled and open to audit down to the microcode?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jacob View Post
                  I kind of fail to see the point of this, since you still need to use a CPU with proprietary microcode and TrustZone backdoor. As another poster noted, given the price one would be much better off with a Talos. It sacrifices binary compatibility but at least you get a real Free(dom) computer.
                  This is the last gen of AMD hardware where you don't have PSP and the board firmware is opensource (as at the times the AGESA was still opensource).

                  Only blob is CPU microcodes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by milkylainen View Post

                    Honestly, why do you think IBM CPUs would be an iota better than the rest?
                    IBM has been US government stapleware nigh on since its inception.

                    Today it's more like choosing your side than being "spy-free".
                    IBM didn't implement a fully separate CPU running a fully proprietary OS to run at higher privilege than the main CPU and OS, so there is that.

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