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For $3100 USD You Can Have A Fast, Fully-Free-Software Workstation

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  • For $3100 USD You Can Have A Fast, Fully-Free-Software Workstation

    Phoronix: For $3100 USD You Can Have A Fast, Fully-Free-Software Workstation

    Last week I brought up the Talos Secure Workstation as a $3100 USD system that's fully free and open down to the firmware and with an open-source friendly processor design while being high performance. Since then, I've had access to test out the hardware making up this POWER8-powered system to see how fast a fully-open system can be. Here is more information on the proposed Talos Workstation along with a few early Linux benchmarks.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=22801

  • #2
    " It's still being decided, but loaded in the test system we had access to was an AMD Radeon R9 290X."

    Yeah, so to actually have graphics you need to go non-free because even AMD's open-source drivers require binary firmware blobs and if you are that paranoid about some evil binary firmware then the GPU counts too.

    Or, to put it another way, this is a really expensive workstation and they needed an advertising angle so OMG REGULAR PCs EMIT MIND CONTROL RAYS it is.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chuckula View Post
      " It's still being decided, but loaded in the test system we had access to was an AMD Radeon R9 290X."

      Yeah, so to actually have graphics you need to go non-free because even AMD's open-source drivers require binary firmware blobs and if you are that paranoid about some evil binary firmware then the GPU counts too.

      Or, to put it another way, this is a really expensive workstation and they needed an advertising angle so OMG REGULAR PCs EMIT MIND CONTROL RAYS it is.
      Well, keep in mind that Debian for instance by default doesn't even ship the Radeon firmware blobs. The GNU-Linux-libre folks also regularly complain about such blobs.

      Or they could just use Kepler without any signed blobs.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by phoronix View Post
        Phoronix: For $3100 USD You Can Have A Fast, Fully-Free-Software Workstation

        Last week I brought up the Talos Secure Workstation as a $3100 USD system that's fully free and open down to the firmware and with an open-source friendly processor design while being high performance. Since then, I've had access to test out the hardware making up this POWER8-powered system to see how fast a fully-open system can be. Here is more information on the proposed Talos Workstation along with a few early Linux benchmarks.

        http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=22801
        Would it be possible to benchmark the memory bandwidth? L1 cache bandwidth? Single threaded and 57-threaded.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by atomsymbol View Post

          Would it be possible to benchmark the memory bandwidth? L1 cache bandwidth? Single threaded and 57-threaded.
          It's too late now, didn't have much time with the system. if I get access to it again, planning for many more benchmarks.
          Michael Larabel
          http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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          • #6
            This looks like a pretty sweet workstation, and at a compelling price point. It's competitors are Apple Mac Pro and Dell Precision workstations, both of which cost more when similarly spec'd. I'll certainly be giving this POWER based machine a hard look when I replace my workstation later this year.

            It's sad that the workstation market really only has two COTS vendors for 3D graphics. Intel has some compelling GPU designs, but they're sold only as integrated. I'd love it if intel would sell discrete PCI-E graphics cards.

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            • #7
              Does this run Trisquel GNU/Linux as the main OS?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                This looks like a pretty sweet workstation, and at a compelling price point. It's competitors are Apple Mac Pro and Dell Precision workstations, both of which cost more when similarly spec'd. I'll certainly be giving this POWER based machine a hard look when I replace my workstation later this year.
                The thing is, if you need something like this, the cost of the hardware is peanuts. It's the software that runs on it that counts. And the availability of such software.

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                • #9
                  Looks like I might have more benchmarking time on the system this weekend.
                  Michael Larabel
                  http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chuckula View Post
                    Yeah, so to actually have graphics you need to go non-free because even AMD's open-source drivers require binary firmware blobs
                    binary firmware is not worse than hardware, so this is pure opensource

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