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Comment: Re:America (Score 1) 117

Hell, it's 200 miles to get half-way across my country in it's narrowest dimension. We can do 450 miles for a long-weekend in Cornwall.

As someone who lives in the UK and regularly visits Cornwall: it's a bloody long way and takes ages. I *also* used to live in the US and thought much less of travelling far larger distances.

Then again crusing down the US 285 with cruise control set (tailgaiting and being tailgated by another car in the middle lane because that's how we roll in NM), one finger on the wheel and some good country music on the radio is really, really easy and causes little fatigue after hundreds of miles. Slogging through half a mile of Tooting bloody High Street on the way out of London is like trying to drive out of the 7th circle of hell and is about as tiring.

Comment: Re:No they didn't (Score 1) 129

by serviscope_minor (#49509211) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Seamicro was well positioned and had some neat tech, I think they would have been moderately successful in the data center had AMD not bought them.

Maybe. The fabric was interesting, but it's a bit meh. Don't forget that the commodity 1U servers have full ILM, and properly implemented WOL so you can power them up and down remotely to scale demand quite cleanly. While you don't have the same degree of fine grained control, it's a decent enough approximation.

I mean, it's possible. Back when seamicro was a thing, I had some money for a moderate amount of compute (not as much as a whole seamicro box), but I spent a while looking and checking price, performance and so on before making the purchase.

The thing that surprised me was how awful the "special" solutions were compared to the COTS ones. I was looking at full 5 year cost since I had to pay up front for 5 years of electricity and rack fees---it came from a grant, so it had to be included. I think the likes of SuperMicro have been putting in a lot of good effort but just don't have the hype to back it up. "we build a nice server" just doesn't sound as good for marketing :)

As for the Atom processors, I've not seen anything where they kick ass on performance/watt. Perhaps you have some links.

Well, as always of course it depends.

For workloads with weaker in-thread parallelism, the Intel Core derived processors do better than anything if you can keep the FPU busy, and the expensive OoO unit is good at doing that on a lot of workloads.

If it's a bit more static, then having a weaker speculative and out of order unit is OK because you can statically schedule things. Push that far enough and you can get GPUS, where the silly little weak AMD APUs absloloutely trash everything including the top i7s on certain workloads.

Backing up, though, fast single threaded processors are popular because they're flexible and will run any given task at a decent efficiency and a decent speed.

Going for super specialised systems can give a big win if you always fit within the envelope, but big losses if you move outside.

TL;DR: I've seen lots of special solutions come and go over the years, but the general purpose CPU ones are preenially popular because they are cheap and do everything reasonably well.

PErhaps seamicro could have carved a niche successfully, but it would be very hard to do and harder still to keep, I think.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 3, Informative) 554

But apparently our whole supply of it is made by one company in Germany, which hasdthreatened to withhold the entire US supply if it keeps being used for executions.

It's not just that they threatened to: it's flat out illegal for them under EU (and therefore German---since they ratified the treaty) law. They risk criminal sanctions for doing so.

Comment: Re:The problem isn't intelligence - per se (Score 1) 382

by serviscope_minor (#49502625) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

We've spent centuries arguing nonsense, from how three is equal to one for large values of three

three is equal to one even for regular values of three if you're working on the Galois field of integers mod 2. 3=1 is one of those ideas so mad that only a mathematician could have invented it. Yet modular arithmetic is enormously powerful and turns out to have some quite stuning practical applications too.

Yay pedantry!

Comment: Re:Haven't used it... but these laws are ridicules (Score 1, Troll) 48

So every passenger would have to checks the driver's license, registration, insurance and inspection report before getting into a cab? That is why there are taxi licenses so the passenger can be sure that these checks have already been done.

Fucking communists ruining everything for everyone. Look it's simple the bad taxi drivers will just go out of business. So, if a tax driver murders you and turns your skin into a leather jacket, just vote with your wallet and use a different company next time. Then you'll see the invisible hand do its job.

Comment: Re:Miscommunication (Score 1) 117

by serviscope_minor (#49497561) Attached to: Exploit For Crashing Minecraft Servers Made Public

I've heard that arrogance before and it's silly. If people are doing free work for you you don't get to set the terms of how they do it. This guy did free security work for them, they shouldhave been beating a path to his door to make the best use of that work. Or, you know, being entirely free to ignore it at their peril. Which they did.

Comment: Re:No they didn't (Score 1) 129

by serviscope_minor (#49496135) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

They were offering the same compute power at like 10% of the power by using low power (and low compute) processors stacked on a fabric that eliminated their weaknesses.

Except that never worked because the low power processors didn't get great ops/watt so even that wasn't much if anything of an advantage. They were using atom processors which while low power were less efficient that the server processors at many of the workloads.

The core market of this was the datacenter virtual machine market. Their servers could host unreal numbers of virtual machines due to their high IO and low latency.

They SM10000 were 5U deep. In 5U you could fit 320 AMD cores, which are faster than the 768 Atom cores that the SM10000 had. Additionally, the 1U AMD servers draw about 500W each, totalling 2.5kW, similar to the 2kW of the SM10000. The actual good stuff they had was the management, but they tried to sell it on something which was not in fact true.

That said the flexibility was not complete, since the 1U PCs supported larger system images.

Comment: Re:Return of the old (Score 1) 114

First point - granted. But if no private company has picked it up in the meantime, it's probably because it's just not profitable.

Yeah, it's not profitable because someone ELSE is paying for the roads and the congestion cost. If you're the government then YOU are paying for it. So if you save money at the cost of increased congestion, you've almost certainly damped down the economy a bit and actually lost money.

Last train driver strike, the signallers went out on strike too in sympathy. It's not as simple, once things are unionised.

Well, maybe but is there ever a recorded instance of the line going down due to a strike? I thought that driverless implied automated.

Anyway sounds likle you have a whole host of awkward problems with regard to delivery,. including a rather distant local post office. Are you sure there's no one closer? Sometimes they hide in little convenience stores. They'll redeliver them to those locations as well.

I'm not arguing against having someone deliver at a time one is actually in. That would be useful.

Comment: Re:No they didn't (Score 1) 129

by serviscope_minor (#49494691) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

So density is way overrated as a differentiator in the server market. It doesn't really matter to the bulk of the customers anyway and people that fall for the whole blade server thing but buy server chassis that are not totally full to start, are nuts. IF you cannot afford the blades now, trust me, you won't be able to get them in 2 years after they are EOL'ed by the vendor. Just buy separate servers and keep the upgrade path as simple as possible. So none of this has anything to do with the CPU vendor in the first place and AMD was barking up the wrong tree trying to play in this market.

Yep, I pointed this out at the time (not sure I could dig out the /. comments) in tha the basic commodity boxes being solde by supermicro were already as dense and often denser than the "special" solutions, as well as being, well, commodity and easily replacable.

I mean the old stuff was bad, you'd get a 2 or 4U box with a lonely little CPU floating around in the middle of it, and that WAS bad. But the modern COTS stuff is basically as space efficient as you can get without being super exotic (more so than SeaMicro). So you're right that it's no looking at a small percentage of FLOPS or RAM per entire rack and that's not worse the silly cost of "blade" servers.

I did actually do the calculations when the SeaMicro boxes were announced and they got handily trounced on every single metric by COTS 1U servers. Even the power draw they were claiming wasn't great.

Comment: Re:Return of the old (Score 1) 114

If even the unions are saying it's three times more expensive, there's a problem.

Eh, well, the government used to run the Royal Mail and the decision was less clear. If you look at the costs locally, then sure the railway is more expensive than using the roads. However, how much does it cost the economy due to increased congestion? London is already heavily congested so anything that reduces it is pretty much a net win.

Of course now it's private there's no chance of sensible decisions being made.

And, to be honest, I really don't want my post subject to both postal AND train-driver strikes, thanks very much.

You do realise it was always a driverless train, right?

"We tried to deliver your parcel at 9am but, strangely, you weren't home.... you can collect it from the post office 20 miles from you or your workplace at any time between 9-5 Mon-Fri".

They'll also send it from the sorting office where it's being held to your nearest branch. Given it's over an hour round trip on foot to the plaec that holds the parcels, I figured I'd splash out on the 70p needed to pick it up from the end of the road a good two minutes walk away.

Comment: Re:AMD has played losing strategy for too long (Score 3, Informative) 129

by serviscope_minor (#49492975) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

They were even outright leaders for a while, but failed to capitalise on that.

Because if Intel's illegal business practices, for which they didn't receive any criminal sanctions. All they had to do was pay $1e9 to AMD, which is far less than they've profited by it.

Comment: Re:Sadly, I don't see an "out" for AMD (Score 5, Insightful) 129

by serviscope_minor (#49492779) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Well, try the Phoronix benchmarks then.

In this one the FX8350 is basically comparable to the i7 3770, the contemporary intel processor. Sometimes a fair bit faster sometimes a fair bit slower, on average about the same.

Now pull up a benchmark from the other sites from a similar era. You'll find the AMD processot getting stomped all over. Given phoronix used open source software and GCC, I'm somewhat more inclined to trust it.

It also matches my experience that certain software is easily as fast on AMD as Intel, but then agan I run Linux too.

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android