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The POWER and PowerPC General Discussion / News Thread



They can handle 4K video and can scrub through 2K no problem. Lets put it that way.

By handle I mean playback.


Might have to get one for use as a portable Linux editing station.

derp, we’re talking about the desktop. I’m an autist, don’t pay me any mind.


There weren’t any G5 laptops :stuck_out_tongue: I would love it if there were.


I’m guessing they would melt through the floor.


They would be a fire hazard, yes. Something like 180 Watt TDP? Super computer processors aren’t REALLY meant for desktop’s… IBM P-970’s were a testament to that.


Regarding POWER and Meltdown/Spectre

IBM has a general support document on the subject, as well as a POWER-specific blog post.

@catsay’s thread about processors immune to Spectre mentions POWER6 as possibly unaffected.

Red Hat’s page on Meltdown/Spectre curiously leaves out POWER9 big endian, but this might just be because the POWER9 chips currently available are all PowerNV, and most people run Little Endian Linux on them, and Big Endian Linux under PowerVM (PowerVM optimised chips are coming out later this year). Still, it’s a strange omission.

There are 3 known CVEs related to this issue in combination with Intel, AMD, and ARM architectures. Additional exploits for other architectures are also known to exist. These include IBM System Z, POWER8 (Big Endian and Little Endian), and POWER9 (Little Endian).

If you want more in general about Meltdown/Spectre, might I shamelessly recommenced my summary post in another thread. It has a pretty table, but the SEI/CMU CERT page is more comprehensive.

Intel FUBAR ... again - Kernel memory leak in nearly every Intel CPU of the last decade (Spectre hits everyone, Meltdown still Intel exclusive)

I can’t find any info about Meltdown/Spectre on PowerPC chips from NXP though. No news from them yet, even about ARM chips.


Well, Raptor Engineering has made a GNU Social post:

#POWER8 and prerelease variants of #POWER9 vulnerable to #Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and #Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 / CVE-2017-5715). #POWER9 is being patched and will not be vulnerable at ship, and there will be no performance loss versus current #POWER9 samples. Patches coming soon.

The “and” there is worrying, are POWER9 and POWER8 actually vulnerable to Meltdown? Are “patches” just a reference to microcode, or actual differences in silicon?

The researchers say they told ARM, AMD, and Intel on 2017-06-01. I assume this means IBM didn’t know until later, but how much later? Could they have made changes to silicon?


Good question. What’s worrying you about the “and”

I don’t understand why people get so worked up about conjunctions.


Spectre vulnerability was expected, but Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) I thought was limited to Intel and some ARM. Maybe I need to add POWER to that list.


There’s no mincing words about it, they’re vulnerable to both.


If I had some spare cash I’d be tempted to pick this up for £250, mosty for nostalga, but it could run MorphOS I think:


It could, but the 450MHZ in that thing always wants to be as hot as possible. Not wurf.


I have an original phat PS3 running debian


its a VM :stuck_out_tongue: need an E3 chip to actually install linux.


True but I am running custom firmware and running all 8 SPEs with GameOS access to the hardware. Most of the HV is out of the way.


I’m extremely jealous.


Yeah but I cannot get a modern kernel on the damn thing. The 3.16 ABI break prevents kexec from loading a new kernel.

I was wondering if dropping 50USD on an E3 and another 50 on the BDROM are worth it. I am a PCC fanboy but, 256MB of real system RAM…


Drop an SSD in there and use the swap for ram, swap the system ram over to the GPU, play halo.


I was using the GPU RAM as swap. The issue was that I was working on the nouveau driver port for PS3 before the ABI break. I would like to pick that up again so that there is a fully native driver with full hardware acceleration. Can’t do that when using the GPU memory.