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Intel Making Improvements On FreeBSD Power Management

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  • Intel Making Improvements On FreeBSD Power Management

    Phoronix: Intel Making Improvements On FreeBSD Power Management

    After working on the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver for nearly a decade, Ben Widawsky of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center shifted roles to focus on Intel enablement for FreeBSD. In this role over the past several months he has been focusing on FreeBSD power management improvements for Intel hardware...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-FreeBSD-Power

  • #2
    I hope this won't result in resources being diverted away from Linux driver development to FreeBSD.

    Nothing against FreeBSD, but their kernel hardware support is so bad that virtually none of my stuff will work properly on a BSD. And much of the open source software consider Linux a Tier-1 platform and actively ensure non-breakage on it, while the BSDs are usually Tier-2 or lower, which get little to no attention upstream (e.g.: Firefox).

    And since I consider upstream or principal support to be paramount, FreeBSD and its community-maintained versions of applications is a no-go for me. It's either Linux or Windows.

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    • #3
      Hm - I wonder.....given Intel is planning to make more powerful GPUs......and the PlayStation uses FreeBSD. Maybe they're planning to compete with AMD and NVIDIA in the console market? Pure speculation at this point.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
        Hm - I wonder.....given Intel is planning to make more powerful GPUs......and the PlayStation uses FreeBSD. Maybe they're planning to compete with AMD and NVIDIA in the console market? Pure speculation at this point.
        I doubt Intel would be interested in such a small margin market to be honest.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
          Hm - I wonder.....given Intel is planning to make more powerful GPUs......and the PlayStation uses FreeBSD. Maybe they're planning to compete with AMD and NVIDIA in the console market? Pure speculation at this point.
          Gaming console graphics does run much closer to "bare metal", since hardware is a known , there is no need for abstraction layers between hardware and games. API's like OpenGL, Vulcan and DirectX are necessary precisely because of that - massive amount of combinations in regards of GPU or GPUS.
          Originally posted by numacross View Post
          I doubt Intel would be interested in such a small margin market to be honest.
          Gaming console market share is in fact slightly bigger than that of PC gaming.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
            I hope this won't result in resources being diverted away from Linux driver development to FreeBSD.
            Nothing against FreeBSD, but their kernel hardware support is so bad that virtually none of my stuff will work properly on a BSD. And much of the open source software consider Linux a Tier-1 platform and actively ensure non-breakage on it, while the BSDs are usually Tier-2 or lower, which get little to no attention upstream (e.g.: Firefox).
            And since I consider upstream or principal support to be paramount, FreeBSD and its community-maintained versions of applications is a no-go for me. It's either Linux or Windows.
            Have you ever bought hardware with Linux compatibility in mind? At some point in history you simply had to. Same with a BSD. You have to know what you are buying and there are far fewer problems. Laptops not running Linux properly still crop up as well, time to time. OEM branded wifi, OEM branded 3G/LTE modems, quirky ACPI, OEM branded GPU - some of it could always be problematic.

            I do test new laptop out in store beforehand, using FreeBSD installation DVD - if the store does not allow advance boot test - I'll walk out. Easy as that. To put ball back to your side of the playing field, my old Dell Inspiron 17R N7110 (I like sturdier old machines) does not like quite a few Linux distros as well - it has Optimus graphics with no option in BIOS for turning it off. I can get it going on FreeBSD though.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by aht0 View Post
              Gaming console market share is in fact slightly bigger than that of PC gaming.
              In what metric? Games sold or revenue in general? Mobile gaming has broken the combined levels of PC+console anyway so it would make more sense for Intel to invest into that market instead. But I don't think they will after their initial trials with Atoms for phones.

              As for consoles it's the hardware we're talking about and Intel is not interested in selling parts for a 500$ machine while they can use the same manufacturing facilities to make and sell Xeons worth 15k$ each. Their gross margin for Q3'2018 was 64.5% for a reason. Not to mention they are now having capacity problems for the mainstream market anyway.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by numacross View Post

                In what metric? Games sold or revenue in general?
                All console platforms combined. Mobile gaming does not fall under console gaming - primary purpose for the devices is something else. Nor could you shove it under PC gaming. Sort of a"gray" area IMHO.

                You should think of certain peculiarities, for example, gaming consoles are far more popular gaming platforms compared to PC in U.S. Reverse but in lesser degree is truth for Europe : PC gaming is more popular but difference is not so drastic.

                When you pick-and-choose console platforms, like Playstations/Nintendo (BSD-based) vs PC - then PC would win. But you cannot claim that console gaming is not significant at all.
                Last edited by aht0; 11-22-2018, 05:34 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by numacross View Post
                  As for consoles it's the hardware we're talking about and Intel is not interested in selling parts for a 500$ machine while they can use the same manufacturing facilities to make and sell Xeons worth 15k$ each. Their gross margin for Q3'2018 was 64.5% for a reason. Not to mention they are now having capacity problems for the mainstream market anyway.
                  So far gaming consoles based on x86 architecture have been built using AMD's tech, not Intel's.

                  Intel's interest in selling 15k$ CPU's only is debatable. Intel is more or less forced to produce for "500$ machines" as well. Waffers that failed get used for lower-end CPU's because of cost-cutting reasons. With bigger CPU's, Intel does have more partially failed waffers. It's side effect of Intel's manufacturing process. It's part of the reason it's high end CPU's are so outrageously expensive: manufacturing cost + mandatory profit margin combined.

                  When you don't care about having integral GPU then you can in fact use Xeon in your PC. All you need is a motherboard with a proper chipset supporting it. It might even be cheaper combo than getting equivalent i7's. Some of the motherboard manufacturers have gone that way and have produced Xeon-based gaming boards sporting chipsets normally seen only in workstations. Mainstream consumer CPU Xeon-equivalents are not that much more expensive and may actually be cheaper.
                  Last edited by aht0; 11-22-2018, 05:45 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aht0 View Post
                    So far gaming consoles based on x86 architecture have been built using AMD's tech, not Intel's.
                    This makes it even harder for Intel to compete in the same market. Microsoft/Sony won't change from a working design and architecture (those consoles are amd64, but are not PC-compatible). They have backwards compatibility to consider as well since games are very tuned to the underlying hardware. The PS4 Pro when playing a PS4-only game is actually turning the "upgraded" hardware off and changing frequencies to match the base model exactly.

                    Originally posted by aht0 View Post
                    Intel's interest in selling 15k$ CPU's only is debatable. Intel is more or less forced to produce for "500$ machines" as well. Waffers that failed get used for lower-end CPU's because of cost-cutting reasons. With bigger CPU's, Intel does have more partially failed waffers. It's side effect of Intel's manufacturing process. It's part of the reason it's high end CPU's are so outrageously expensive: manufacturing cost + mandatory profit margin combined.
                    They do not. The client (mainstream) version is using a different design and is only shared with the entry level Xeons (E3 v6 is Kaby Lake, Xeon E is Coffee Lake). Intel is using 3 main types of designs for current server CPUs: LCC (up to 10 cores), HCC (up to 18 cores) and XCC (up to 28 cores). They don't turn bad XCCs into Core i3 for example.

                    Their total capacity of wafers used for CPUs is divided between those.

                    Originally posted by aht0 View Post
                    When you don't care about having integral GPU then you can in fact use Xeon in your PC. All you need is a motherboard with a proper chipset supporting it. It might even be cheaper combo than getting equivalent i7's. Some of the motherboard manufacturers have gone that way and have produced Xeon-based gaming boards sporting chipsets normally seen only in workstations. Mainstream consumer CPU Xeon-equivalents are not that much more expensive and may actually be cheaper.
                    The mainstream Xeons (E3 or E) can have a GPU and they do not differ from their mainstream counterparts. There are Xeons and there are "Xeons". The latter are just mainstream chips with GPUs enabled/disabled depending on SKU and ECC. The "main" Xeons are totally different and are shared partially only with the HEDT platform.

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