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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    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.
    Better explanations in Talos, Open Power in a post x86 world.

    https://player.vimeo.com/video/187042841

    and slides also https://static.rpteng.com/TALOS/asse...beyond_x86.pdf

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    • #32
      Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
      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".
      Well, they are no longer IDE.

      For those that didn't get the joke, IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics. Before that the mainboard controlled the drive more directly.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by chithanh View Post
        I guess so.

        But with OCuLink/U.2 you are again looking at serious $$$.

        But as you are apparently familiar with the Talos II Lite:[LIST][*]Does it support PCIe bifurcation to allow M.2 riser cards with multiple sockets?
        While the full Talos II has a slot that can be bifurcated on the second CPU, the Lite version doesn't support further bifurcation that what is already routed to the slots on the board.
        Originally posted by chithanh View Post
        [*]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?
        This is a good question. While the slot is not currently open on the back edge, at first glance there doesn't seem to be an issue with components past the back of the slot. Tolerances will be very right, but it might be possible to open that back edge up.

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        • #34
          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
          Those benchmarks inadvertently compared a Spectre and Meltdown-proof CPU (the POWER9) to Intel and AMD systems that were vulnerable to Spectre v2. Intel in particular has since released mitigations that have dropped its benchmark performance significantly, while we have also released information on how to turn off the Spectre protections on POWER9 if desired (see link) to raise performance on machines running trusted code.

          At the moment the CPU industry is still reeling from the effects of Meltdown and Spectre, and it has become somewhat routine to compare vulnerable processors against hardened or mitigated ones, since the hardened / mitigated processors nearly always run slower. When looking at benchmarks, always look for the status of Spectre v2 user-mode separation -- that is the one that kills interpreted language performance across architectures.

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          • #35
            So the Talos II Lite uses the Talos II mainboard with the second socket and extra ram slots removed, correct? So its a large EATX board with room for just one socket. Is this correct?

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            • #36
              What kind of certification does “This desktop development system is sold for use as a POWER9 development platform only. Purchaser is responsible for certification and compliance if required in the destination environment.” mean? Does it mean the hardware lacks CE certification?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by madscientist159 View Post
                This is a good question. While the slot is not currently open on the back edge, at first glance there doesn't seem to be an issue with components past the back of the slot. Tolerances will be very right, but it might be possible to open that back edge up.
                While I'm aware that this is probably very secondary, I think that designing all PCIe slot areas to accomodate phisically a longer card, and installing pcie connectors that are open on one end is a great thing.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by hsivonen View Post
                  What kind of certification does “This desktop development system is sold for use as a POWER9 development platform only. Purchaser is responsible for certification and compliance if required in the destination environment.” mean? Does it mean the hardware lacks CE certification?
                  It means that it's not certified, FCC, CE, you name it. Certification process is a massive PITA and expensive, this product is already very expensive as-is due to low production volumes.

                  CE certification is bullshit though, it just requires a statement from the manufacturer where they say that they are following some guidelines. A ton of chinese manufacturers selling total garbage have genuine CE certifications (not the markings, the actual paperwork)

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by toguro123 View Post
                    So the Talos II Lite uses the Talos II mainboard with the second socket and extra ram slots removed, correct? So its a large EATX board with room for just one socket. Is this correct?
                    In an nutshell, yes. For various reasons this was the cheapest path forward, and we passed the savings directly on via the lower pricing.

                    Originally posted by hsivonen View Post
                    What kind of certification does “This desktop development system is sold for use as a POWER9 development platform only. Purchaser is responsible for certification and compliance if required in the destination environment.” mean? Does it mean the hardware lacks CE certification?
                    This is mainly aimed at our corporate customer base. While the chassis, etc has CE and FCC certification, which is sufficient for most use cases, the entire package is not certified as a unit (this includes no software certifications, which can be important for corporate users). This may or may not be an issue based on local regulations and/or company policy. For end users, the certifications are in place from the chassis manufacturer and there should be no trouble using or importing the system.

                    It would not make much sense to e.g. certify the development system hardware for proper operation on SUSE, but our workstation and server products are working toward that goal.

                    Does that help clarify?

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                      While I'm aware that this is probably very secondary, I think that designing all PCIe slot areas to accomodate phisically a longer card, and installing pcie connectors that are open on one end is a great thing.
                      So interestingly it's not the design that's the issue here, it's that actually obtaining the open slot PCIe connectors as an OEM is quite difficult. They seem to have fallen out of favor; we had investigated installing an open slot PCIe connector in the x8 slot before, but no one is making (quality) compatible edge connectors.

                      The only option may be carefully cutting off the end of the edge connector. If this is done in a way that doesn't damage the board, this isn't something we would void warranty for.

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