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The POWER and PowerPC General Discussion / News Thread



Implying I have time to study this shit. I would absolutely love to do it, but I really don’t have the time. Gotta pay the bills.


Doesn’t take much time really. I watch XXC3 videos and listen to Defcon while I’m working just so I’m not bored out of my mind.


Might have to do that then. (once this shitfest blows over)


Been wanting to play around with PPC for awhile, what is something cheap that isn’t an emac that works?


Whats your goal? Fuck around on the internet? Play with BSD? Or what I’m doing and just diving into assembly?


Mostly BSD and see what things I can get it to do. Hard to really be specific untill I have played around with it and got an idea of what I can do with it. Only time I have really messed with one was when diablo 2 came out.


Well then you have a few choices then.

I like ibook G4’s myself.

Specifically the 12 inch ones for convenience. Slow cache, but fast proc speeds and thanks to some unpatchable bugs in OpenFirmware you can overclock the fuck out of these things. If you want that angle, a 14 inch 1.42 GHZ one would be best.

Then you have the G5 Quads.

A These are rare, B they are more powerful than an i7 3770K overclocked going by complete MIPS benchmarking, and C they are great for modders. If you get one, re-do the water cooling or do it all custom and save yourself the effort.

Then you have SAMS based machines, which I only know how to get through Amiga resellers.

They’re expensive, but theres not a big market. But, the chips are new. Not overpowering any 3770K any time soon, but good enough for whatever you might want to do. Or at least I would think so.

Then lastly you can probably find some POWER based servers for cheap, or crack a PS3 or Xbox 360 for some fun.


Think I’ll grab one when I get paid. That and more powerline adapters. Something about using a Samsung N210’s WiFi hooked up to an 8 port switch for wired connections in the basement…


Man, those G5s are beef.


How do you mean?


I thought a quad G5 from 2006 would be piss weak, but if they are on a 3770-level like you say they are, that’s pretty beefy.


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.