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16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

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  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    Phoronix: 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-LX2K-Sep-Perf

  • #2
    Pair that with an RX 560 and that should make one really nice workstation.

    I figure the actual cost will be closer to $800-$1000 by the time one adds in ram, storage, a case, a power supply, and a dedicated GPU.

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    • #3
      I'm assuming from what I'm reading about this chip that it does not have built in Mali graphics, is that correct? If it did, this would make an interesting test for the Panfrost free video driver.

      Also, this might be the most affordable new workstation in years that does not have Intel's proprietary management engine black box or AMD's PSP. The Talon Blackbird is going to start at abouti a thousand dollars more once you buy a Power9 chip. This device is intriguing from a freedom/price perspective.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by andyprough View Post
        I'm assuming from what I'm reading about this chip that it does not have built in Mali graphics, is that correct? If it did, this would make an interesting test for the Panfrost free video driver.

        Also, this might be the most affordable new workstation in years that does not have Intel's proprietary management engine black box or AMD's PSP. The Talon Blackbird is going to start at abouti a thousand dollars more once you buy a Power9 chip. This device is intriguing from a freedom/price perspective.
        I was wondering about in-chip graphics myself. Since I'm not seeing it mentioned anywhere nor did I notice any video output ports on the motherboard I'm assuming that's what the pcie slot is for...unless it does HDMI via USB3 or something like that...

        Still, $550 is just the cost of the SOC. It still needs the rest of a computer to actually be functional which raises the initial cost quite a bit. 2 sticks of DDR4 (~$100), some form of storage ($25 if we're going to seriously consider microsd for an OS), a case ($50+), power supply ($50+), and a GPU ($75+...RX 550/1080p). That's an extra $300 if we're using the bare minimum, bottom of the barrel parts. Switch to a better GPU and better storage and that's at least an extra $75 on top of that.

        Not saying it isn't a bad deal or worth having, just that the price is similar to a low end Talon or a dedicated 1080p to 2K Gaming PC by the time we add in all the extras it needs.

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        • #5
          Wow, Im actually very impressed. If someone wanted to write code and do work in a 100% ARM environment, this work station should do very nicely.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post

            I was wondering about in-chip graphics myself. Since I'm not seeing it mentioned anywhere nor did I notice any video output ports on the motherboard I'm assuming that's what the pcie slot is for...unless it does HDMI via USB3 or something like that...

            Still, $550 is just the cost of the SOC. It still needs the rest of a computer to actually be functional which raises the initial cost quite a bit. 2 sticks of DDR4 (~$100), some form of storage ($25 if we're going to seriously consider microsd for an OS), a case ($50+), power supply ($50+), and a GPU ($75+...RX 550/1080p). That's an extra $300 if we're using the bare minimum, bottom of the barrel parts. Switch to a better GPU and better storage and that's an extra $75 on top of that.

            Not saying it isn't a bad deal or worth having, just that the price is similar to a low end Talon or a dedicated 1080p to 2K Gaming PC by the time we add in all the extras it needs.
            There is no integrated graphics. I am currently testing with a Radeon RX550. There are actually some ARM64 bugs that I am tracking down in Xorg/Xwayland but I have a work around and GNOME-shell runs really well.

            Yes $550 is the COM Express 7 card with SOC and the mini-itx motherboard. If you go with a smaller build 16GBs of memory and 256GBs of NVME case, power supply you can do a build for around $800...if you really stack the build then you can easily hit $1300-$1500. Still much less than other ARM Workstation class hardware that is available.

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            • #7
              Just a quick fill in of why I used Fedora 30 for the benchmarks. In GCC 9 and glibc 2.29 some optimizations were added for ARM64 that x86_64 has been benefitting from for quite a while. https://community.arm.com/developer/...nu-performance Since I was focusing on multi-threaded compute benchmarks I figured that these leveled the playing field a bit more.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by andyprough View Post
                this would make an interesting test for the Panfrost free video driver.
                Panfrost do accelerate Mutter at this moment, but anything more complicated, like LibreOffice over xorg modesetting, rendering folder copying process in mc for long period of time, heavy pages in Firefox (software rendering; hardware rendering fail to initialize) etc. cause significant rendering slowdown, rendering artifacts and sometimes Xorg crash. Wayland session is not available with Panfrost for some reason.

                Anyway, it's very impressing what Panfrost developers achieved in relatively short period of time. I hope that in a year or so it will be stable enough for "office" (or development) work.
                Last edited by RussianNeuroMancer; 09-16-2019, 05:46 PM.

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                • #9
                  How big is power-consumption of this thing during load and idle? I would be interested in comparison with Ryzen CPU(s) having similar performance results.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kravemir View Post
                    How big is power-consumption of this thing during load and idle? I would be interested in comparison with Ryzen CPU(s) having similar performance results.
                    Currently, (Note the software is still baking) at idle without frequency scaling, 32GBs of memory and a 1TB nvme drive I am idling at about 26 watts. At full load things hover at just about 50 watts. This is measured at the input of the PSU so the power supply inefficiency's are also included in those numbers. The SOC has 8 clusters of 2 cores, so hopefully with additional work we can drop the idle consumption down.

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