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The POWER and PowerPC General Discussion / News Thread



How long have you been using PPC Aremis?


4 years interested, 3 years poking.

And honestly just like my 4 or so years hitting amiga’s and pentium 4’s with a hammer, theres little documentation that I want to actually put in the effort to dig out of the crusty rust at the bottom of the barrel of the internet to see the really defining differences in a PPC 7447A/A1/A2 and a 7450e, so I just fiund example of both and fuck with them a lot.


That’s bizarre. Has anyone tried to patch the executable loader to choose the optimized code correctly? That could make an interesting DefCon/CCC talk too.

I’m definitively on team Linux/BSD/Illumos, but it’s always fun to hear about people supporting old OSes they love. Be it through applications, like TenFourFox; or rewriting parts or all of the OS, like FreeDOS, Haiku, ReactOS, MorphOS, and ArcaOS. (disclaimer; those last two are partly proprietary)


Thats how I’m guessing it works. Its behaviour I’ve only seen with large apps. I honestly have no clue if thats how it 1:1 works but ripping the extra code out with monoL seemsto do the trick.

Nener heard of arca.


@olddellian @geeklife

Here you guys wanted an example. On the left, my ibook at 1.33 ghz, a 7447A. On the right, my new 1.67 ghz powerbook, a 7447A1. The powerbook also has sata and ddr2.

Now monolingual deleting this shit.

And now look at the geekbench score.

You see what I mean?

When I shit on the Ubuntu Mate devs for doing a shit job and not knowing the platform past “hey this would be cool” this is what I mean. A 7450e based chipset is much different than a 7400. Yeah, its a powerpc platform. Cool. But the G3 didn’t have the… Whatever the hell causes Meltdown and Spectre to be a thing. I’m too tired to remember. But G3’s are literally immobile on that front. G4’s and G5’s are. And then past that theres VSX2 on G5’s I think, and other extensions. G4’s have DIFFERENT STAGES OF G4. Theres 3 GENS OF G4 okay? When I say motorolla lost their mind, they really really did. And the G5 was IBM saying “Alright yall are done” and killing the shotgunning effect.

In any case. The performance of my powerbook has doubled from removing extra shit. And I still have no idea how it works exactly but I can only assume tchat my description is how it is because of BS like this.


Me and some people at #talos-workstation on freenode are working on porting Chromium to PPC64(LE).

If you’re interested, check out the progress on the wiki and stop by the IRC.

The goal is to get a browser with a Javascript JIT working on the Talos workstations, as web browsing is a little painful without one. Chromium was chosen because its javascript engine V8 already has a PPC64 JIT, so we just need to port some dependencies and Chromium itself.

Firefox runs on ppc64, but with a JS interpreter. Porting Firefox’s JIT (IonMonkey) is another possibility, but would be a much more involved effort.


I absolutely will! Do you guys have a Talos to work with? And do you think the code will backport?


I personally have a Talos and I believe other contributors do as well.

If you’re serious about contributing and don’t have one though, you may be able to request a POWER9 VM from raptor for development work.

As for backporting, it seems that a lot of chrome dependencies have already been ported to ppc64 but not ppc, so it would take a lot more work to port it to those older machines. For 64-bit machines like the G5s though, the work may be completely transferable (assuming it’s running linux).


MacOS binaries are multiplataform in a sense. Instead of ELF they use a format called Mach-O (which I think is related to the Mach microkernel). They carry the executable information for multiple archs and an index which point to the appropriate binary code that should be used depending on platform. Hence why they are called fat binaries. I remember comparing the size of /bin/ls between Lion and FreeBSD 8 and the difference was dramatic.

And that’s how Apple transitioned seemlessly between PPC to x86. AFAIK you can still build binaries like this with the Xcode compiler. I’m not sure If the current macOS carries multi architecture information but I imagine this is probably bring used to share stuff between iOS ARM and macOS.

So from what I’ve seen from this thread Leopard and Tiger Mach-O multiarch binaries cause a huge performance penalty on PPC systems and by somewhat stripping the x84 code from the Mach-O fat binaries you get huge performance gains. Is that right?


By stripping arch’s that aren’t going to be used at all, like G5 arm and X86, yes you get a huge jump.


You uh, you wanna buy me one?


Wait I’m wrong. It’s not Mach-O. Monolingual actually remove support for other languages and Multiarch applications and libraries so the performance issue must be related to Rosetta or similar system.

I’m actually curious about this.


Yeah I’ve been trying to figure it out for over a year. I’ve gotten it down to that faster ram and more ram helps system reliability, and having Swap doesn’t really do anything. Core clock doesn’t seem to matter, my ibook can get a 605 on geekbench I just haven’t cleaned it up in a while, and the faster your machine gets depends on memory and CPU cache.

The G4 is kind of a mess. And making it run well is a challenge and invelves, more or less, having the most minimal system possible. Its why I want Void Linux on these. They would run better than the Core 2 Duo macbooks up to the 2009 models. At least I think so.


Heh, well if you are in the market you may be interested to hear that Raptor recently released the Talos II Lite which carries a much lower price tag


Thats the machine I’ve been looking at. 2 grand for just the mobo and the CPU.


I’m probably going to order a Talos II next year. I need to get a new Thinkpad for my infosec work before I can buy another computer just for geeking out.


Buy one from me lel


You guys talking got me to googling.

And the power9 has 4 or 8 smt. That is pretty mind blowing. And it supports NVME.

Saw some Phoronix benchmarks, tho, and Linux needs to optimize the cpu some more it seems.

But pretty cool stuff overall. If only the prices for the mainboard were more consumer friendly. CPUS seem to be at a pretty nice price point.

Wonder how well gaming on this would be /s


Like actually? Not… Not bad. If the math works out in my head like I think it does it’d be pretty decent for more chill games like Cities Skylines where theres less graphical data to project. Source games would also run at a decent FPS. I’m actually pissed that source never got onto PPC.

Overall tho

It annoys the piss out of me that the attitude is that every CPU is the same when literally every POWER or PowerPC CPU is a completely different animal to the others. And making generic executeables doesn’t work. Like at all. Its why tenfourfox has DIFFERENT VERSIONS for each PPC CPU in macs.

Yet even the basic understanding of that doesn’t sit in anyone’s head at all. And it really does piss me off. So when people tell me I’m flaming about this sorta stuff it really is me trying to point this shit out.

Soon as I can buy a talos I am pumping apps out brother.


@shawnanastasio if you have one of those talos boxes what GPU do you have in it?

Also I just noticed on the Talos site that Sfor0za chips are coming in Q3 some time this year…

@stenstorp what was the difference again? Memory pipelines?