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Raptor Launching Talos II Lite POWER9 Computer System At A Lower Cost

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  • #21
    I've been wanting a POWER workstation for a long time. I'll be saving up for this. If only RAM prices weren't insane.

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    • #22
      Hmm. Do I recall correctly that the firmware for AMD GPUs is proprietary? So if I want a system fully open down to firmware I'll have to stick to older Nvidia generations with the Nouveau driver and its open-source firmware?

      Also, are there any options for storage devices without proprietary firmware? HDD drive firmware backdoors have already been demonstrated. I recall something about a push for SSDs in raw access mode where the host OS plays the role of the load-balancing SSD controller, but I don't know the keywords to search for.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Shnatsel View Post
        Hmm. Do I recall correctly that the firmware for AMD GPUs is proprietary? So if I want a system fully open down to firmware I'll have to stick to older Nvidia generations with the Nouveau driver and its open-source firmware?

        Also, are there any options for storage devices without proprietary firmware? HDD drive firmware backdoors have already been demonstrated. I recall something about a push for SSDs in raw access mode where the host OS plays the role of the load-balancing SSD controller, but I don't know the keywords to search for.
        Yeah that's the issue. Unfortunately there are no ways to get a fully open system, mostly because of SSDs.
        ## VGA ##
        AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
        Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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        • #24
          By the way, what's the fastest video card without proprietary firmware that you can buy?
          ## VGA ##
          AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
          Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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          • #25
            Originally posted by darkbasic View Post
            By the way, what's the fastest video card without proprietary firmware that you can buy?
            GeForce GTX 780 Ti AFAIK
            Michael Larabel
            http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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            • #26
              Originally posted by madscientist159 View Post
              While we understand this, bear in mind that Talos II is the only actually owner-controlled system in this performance class. TR4/SP3 both require a massive amount of signed proprietary "black box" code to function; this can never be replaced. Combined with vendors such as Intel actively preventing research and reverse engineering, this may not be a good place to be for privacy-conscious people or those processing high value data.
              I guess so.

              Originally posted by madscientist159 View Post
              On the PCIe front, we offer an optional PCIe to 4x OCuLink card on the checkout page, along with U.2 cables. Basically you can attach four U.2 drives to the Lite board this way, while still leaving the x16 slot open. Bear in mind the Talos II endpoints are all PCIe Generation 4 as well, and that the POWER9 is highly optimized for fast I/O. You might just be surprised what you can do with the Lite system!

              If you really want to get creative, there are even boards that will take the U.2 connector back to x4 PCIe slots. Octopus, anyone?
              But with OCuLink/U.2 you are again looking at serious $$$.

              But as you are apparently familiar with the Talos II Lite:
              • Does it support PCIe bifurcation to allow M.2 riser cards with multiple sockets?
              • Does the x8 slot have its rear side open, and are components on the mobo arranged in a way that an x16 card would physically fit?
              In that case the PCIe/storage situation would still be bad, but at least manageable within reasonable cost.

              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              Originally posted by darkbasic View Post
              By the way, what's the fastest video card without proprietary firmware that you can buy?
              GeForce GTX 780 Ti AFAIK
              I think in principle the Kepler Titan can be supported by Nouveau with free firmware, however the Nouveau project doesn't have a card to develop on currently.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by darkbasic View Post
                Yeah that's the issue. Unfortunately there are no ways to get a fully open system, mostly because of SSDs.
                Yeah, because mechanical hard drives don't have storage controllers. Nor do USB flash drives nor any other storage device presenting itself as a "block device".

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                • #28
                  Why would anyone buy a slow POWER9 when you can get a fast x86? The benchmarks tell us that POWER9 is not fast at all:
                  https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...pyc-xeon&num=1

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                  • #29
                    pavlerson
                    Because the platform is FOSS down to the firmware level. Previously, there was less choice, like ASUS KCMA-D8 with Opteron and libreboot.

                    If you don't care about FOSS, then the Talos II Lite is probably not for you.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by pavlerson View Post
                      Why would anyone buy a slow POWER9 when you can get a fast x86? The benchmarks tell us that POWER9 is not fast at all:
                      https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...pyc-xeon&num=1
                      Why would anyone post some trolling without even reading the intro paragraph on the main site?

                      For those that have been interested in the Talos II POWER-based system that is fully open-source down to the firmware but have been put off by its cost, Raptor Computer Systems today announced the Talos II Lite that is a slightly cut-down version of the Talos II Workstation.

                      It's right there man and this isn't even the first time we got articles about Talos II POWER-based stuff.

                      These systems are the only thing left (with a future anyway, you can still buy older Opterons and some old mobos for them) with a decent computing power that lack bullshit "security coprocessors" (ME/PSP) and all the circus following that.
                      Last edited by starshipeleven; 05-17-2018, 09:16 AM.

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