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The POWER and PowerPC General Discussion / News Thread



I don’t see why not. Apple did it with 10.5.


Cool, I found more talks on Power stuff, apparently LCA2018 just uploaded their videos:

Smith, Stewart - Modernising firmware testing on POWER with Python and pre-release everything

Bianconi, Leonardo - Challenges and discoveries bringing open source software to the PowerPC64LE world

~8 min. - difference in calling convention
12:30 - char signing differences
14:39 - frame differences
20:00 - RISC vs CISC differences
21:35 - branch offset length differences
28:56 - undefined behaviour of languages
32:25 - Q&A start


Where are the storage connectors?

I wonder how this fares in regards to the top tier EPYC server? I wonder if phoronix will get an eval board to benchmark.


Storage (except for NVMe) is managed by an optional SAS/SATA controller. The production image we have is the board without the controller, and therefore without the SAS connectors. You can see where it would have been mounted on the far right, next to the CMOS battery. Looks like it’s a ball grid array.


Yeah. I saw that. I figured they may have been doing ports on the back side of the mobo or maybe using some new technology. U know that Power 9 supports NVLink. Technically it could support storage since it is an NV proprietary PCI-e-like interface.


Well, Talos II uses Sforza modules and has no Bluelink connectors, so I don’t think NVLink 2 is an option; and I haven’t heard of using the NVLink protocol for storage (assuming Nvidia would licence it).

NVMe is there if you don’t want a proprietary solution.

I think I did read that CAPI 2 is available on at least some of the PCIe slots; theoretically you could make a CAPI 2 storage drive and use it with Talos.

Protocol Interface
NVLink 1 ?
OpenCAPI 3,
NVLink 2

By the way, there is a block diagram on the wiki now:

I’m wondering where the OCuLink is on the mainboard.

@Mastic_Warrior Phoronix said they would try to run tests when they get the chance:

Hopefully as the launch time nears we’ll be able to get remote access to a system for running some POWER9 Linux benchmarks.


EPYC vs POWER9 or 8 will be interesting to see, but they both are very very different chips. In regards to RISC design in total, they’re pretty similar I guess, but in terms of processing they will both have a lead in their own fields. POWER in batch processing, running mass services, and in dealing with audits, and EPYC in running web hosts, doing some compute (though not as effective as ARM), and probably services like google maps / earth and stuff like that.

I’m looking forward to the TALOS. As soon as it drops I’m saving up for it, and an AmigaONE X5000.


Yeah. I was more interested in Database type stuff. Also, with the core count that EPYC is able to acheive, seeing the power draw of both systems at max load. Power by nature tends to be “power” hungry, but it is most efficient at full load. x86 in the past has shown that full load is not it’s strong point.

I really want one of these Talos systems but I have more important needs ahead of this. EPYC is more feasible for me at this point in time. Hell, Threadripper is more affordable and will satisfy 90% of my needs right now as well. I need to come up with more excuses to get one of these. Help a brother out fam!


I’m tempted to try and make an old spice ad parody.

Look at your tower, now look at me,
sadly, it isn’t me,
but if you stopped running closed source firmware
it could work like me

I’m in a supercomputer ♪♫♬


The user manual for the Talos II mainboard was uploaded to the wiki, if anyone wants some light reading. :slight_smile:


Hi all,

I am new here although I have been monitoring this thread and the development of Talos for a while now. Really keen to get my hands on one but before I do I would like to see a review from the likes of Anandtech or Phoronix.

I emailed Raptor about delivery of their first batches and they said Q1 etc etc. Has anyone here actually placed an order early last year? Anyone got their hands on one yet?



No but I know some people at a college who got one for their lab. I can let you know how it pans out for them if you want.

Basically just take a PowerMac G5 Quad, and then multiply that by 400.


Yes it would be good to know how it works out for others.

I now feel so obliged that I am going to bid a second hand quad G5 to contain my “itchiness”…


Phoronix said they would try to run benchmarks remotely:

Hopefully as the launch time nears we’ll be able to get remote access to a system for running some POWER9 Linux benchmarks.

but since the main shipment has not arrived and even Integricloud has no announcement of POWER9 yet, my guess is that it might still be awhile.

The developer of TenFourFox has purchased a Talos II and seeing the testing he did with Spectre on Power, I imagine there will be benchmarks posted there when he gets his system.

I myself haven’t, I don’t have the money for this sort of thing… yet. So I live vicariously through my additions to the RCS Wiki and this thread. Although I have something at work coming up, and I’ll probably be posting less and less.

They had mentioned a supplier problem that delayed shipments to late January or February. They did already ship a system to Vikings so that it would be there for FOSDEM 2018. I assume Vikings acts as a European reseller for them.

An additional post on Twitter mentions that this first batch is a limited size:

We received a small initial shipment of #TalosII units in advance of the main batch expected later this month. One of these was rushed to #FOSDEM2018 to provide a hands-on look at a fully functional #TalosII #POWER9 system!

And while I was writing this I found on Twitter a picture of the Talos II board at FOSDEM:

Why three companies?

If you are trying to figure out what’s going for yourself, keep in mind that there are three companies that are pretty closely related:

My guess is that these are all basically the same company with Timothy Pearson at the helm, and kept separate for liability reasons.

  • Since only Raptor Engineering has a GNU Social / Fediverse account, it has sometimes posted on behalf of RCS.
  • Timothy Pearson is an employee at Raptor Engineering, but he frequently posts on the Raptor Computing Wiki and is interviewed in their press kit. No one else working at any of the three has been mentioned by name as far as I can tell.
  • Raptor Engineering has sold products in the past, but Talos is being sold through RCS, which has never sold anything before


Small thing to here: Someone on the forum is giving me a few PowerMac G5’s. He happens to have a quad, which if you don’t know is more powerful than an i7 3770, and we’ll be meeting in a month or two. What should I use them for? One will be a linux box, probably the quad, and the other 2 or 3 IDK yet. Lemme know ideas!


Build server, database server, mail server, router all in one Box. Maybe throw in some computer vision and or machine learning.


Thats a bit much to do on powerPC :stuck_out_tongue:


Benchmark them and demonstrate how it’s more powerful than an Ivybridge i7, I’m intrigued as to what benchmarks that statement is based on - something other than OSX I expect :smiley:


In native OSX a G5 quad is capable of 4K video stuff. Scrub and playback, though I’m unsure of editing personally. But based purely off of MIPS and total block processing benchmarks, they are more powerful. The Dualies at 2.7GHZ are also stupid powerful.

I’ll be benching them anyways because thats how you do hardware checks on G5’s. The sensors are touchy and sometimes don’t work well.


Whilst your insights as to how powerful the G5’s compared to newer x86 chipsets are interesting, I’ll remain skeptical until I see the numbers :smiley:

I owned a late 2005 dual core 2.3GHz, it wasn’t much better than the late 2006 macbook pro (C2D) I also owned although it was of course way faster than the older 13" G4 powerbook I’d previously had.

The late 2012 mac mini quad-core i7 I later aquired was easily the most powerful mac I’d ever used (up until that point) and was an amazing little machine. But I stopped regularly using OSX shortly after that. IMO macs were best during PPC era before the intel macs became ever more souless with each new iteration of OSX and Linux and FreeBSD matured further for the x86 desktop.

Still, I do miss my old G4 & G5 they had character - kind of in the way an old NA V8 powered car has character :smiley:

I’m looking forward to hands on reports of the new TALOS stuff, I hope people who have placed orders don’t have to wait too long.