* Posts by Fenton

271 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Feb 2008


Mac shipments slump as Apple finally bitten by glum PC demand


Entry level is not too bad

Entry level Mac mini is a great machine for the price, however upgrades to future proof the machine are just stupid, £200 per 8 GB of Memory, £200 to go from 256GB to 512GB storage is just stupid and you can't upgrade it at a later point.

This is likely the biggest sticking point for people likely looking at the Mac. It's a pity the PC ecosystem does not have suplier with the same design flair.

Chinese boffins call for research on ‘countermeasures’ to US chip bans


Just invade Taiwan

This is the scary thing. They just need to invade Taiwan and they can get their hands on all those nice TMSC fabs and hold the west to ransom

Warren Buffet cashes out of TSMC, which splashes cash on fabs



Unless he has had news that China is about to invade Taiwan? Then we can all go home until local Chips fabs come online.

James Webb Space Telescope suffers another hitch: Instrument down


R2 Unit

They should have sent up an R2 unit with Webb for all those little fixes, especially if mechanical in nature.

AMD says it's looking into gaming performance issues on Ryzen 7000



You don't have multiple CCDs on consoles



Yes it looks like a bit of a bug in the OS, the real issue for AMD is pricing of the lower end parts.

At the high end, i.e. 7950X they still beat the 13900K in a lot of gaming and productivity benchmarks (a big fix will hopefully help them get over the CCD issue).

It's the 7700x and 7600x that need at least a $50 price drop.

However the price is worth it from a long term investment point of view. With AM5 we have at least two more CPUs we can drop into the motherboard. With 13th Gen intel a new motherboard will be required to go to 14th/15th gen.

From what I can gather from various rumors and Roadmaps 8th Gen Ryzen will have new Power cores and 4th gen Cores will be used as efficiency cores (albeit with less cache, i.e. Zen 4C).

AMD’s latest, greatest Radeon graphics card $600 cheaper than Nvidia’s top RTX 4090


4080 competitor

This card is not a competitor for the 4090 but a competitor for the 4080 and 4080ti.

Rumor has it this card could clock to 3Ghz, some AIBs may bring out cards with 3x 8 pin power connectors.

The race will be interesting, given we all have to tighten our belts I think AMD are going for bang per buck rather

than best performance, but given the chiplett design they could quite easily come out with a faster chip

AMD's Epyc 4 will likely beat Intel Sapphire Rapids to market


4/8 Socket

I just wish AMD would get into the 4 and 8 Socket market for Memory requirements > 6TB (yes I know you could use 256GB and larger DIMMs, but reliability goes down)

Intel's 13th-gen CPUs are hot, hungry, loaded with cores



It looks like the 7000 chips are a bit of a monster and in ECO (65W) mode can get 80% of peak performance. And they have not yet announced the 3D cache versions. They also have room to drop prices, 13th Gen may well be a difficult sell especially as there is no upgrade path as 14th Gen will be a new socket. AMD will have 8000/9000 series on the same AM5 motherboard

Last week Intel killed Optane. Today, Kioxia and Everspin announced comparable tech


Not good enough in most segments

As a persistent memory architecture it was just not fast enough and useless in large virtual clusters where you have no idea where the VM is likely to restart. So is was really just a bare metal solution only.

Memory hungry applications tend to be memory bandwidth and latency dependent, so to get the required performance you ended up having to run in a 1:1 DIMM to Optane configuration.

As a storage solution (sitting on the PCIE BUS) is was far too expensive and again was local to a physical machine, so at best it was a good caching mechanism before writing to a fast remote storage device, but then again, an array of fast nvme drives would have been just as fast and cheaper for the same capacity.

Intel says Sapphire Rapids CPU delay will help AMD catch up


mmmmm AMD already have surpassed Intel on core count and power efficiency in the DC.

Milan vs Ice lake single core performance is roughly on par, with 64 Cores vs 40.

Sapphire Rapids is based on the Alderlake chips which on the desktop only just beats AMD in single threaded performance.

Current leaks of Zen 4 show a minimum (AMD sandbagging) 15% ST improvement and Genoa will be up to 128 cores per socket (96 pretty much confirmed).

Sapphire Rapids = 8 Memory Channels

Genoa = 12 Memory Channels

The only advantage I can see with intel will be in the 4/8 and beyond socket market (needs 4 sockets to compete with AMDs 2 socket)

AMD approaches '30%' x86 CPU market share, thanks to servers 'n' laptops



The Epyc chips are a thing of wonder though.

The compute density is off the charts, even Sapphire Rapids won't compete here.

It looks like Zen4 based Epyc processors will have upto 96 Cores per socket, giving you 384 vCPU for a 2 Socket Pizza Box.

The only place where intel can compete is in the 4 Socket + area for very large memory configurations, even then it looks like a 2 socket Genoa could handle 12TB of memory assuming 1 slot per memory channel and 512GB Dimms.

Come on AMD produce a 4 Socket Box, that will even eat into the Intel 8 Socket business.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


Re: Standard desktop

A standard single app is fine, say gimp or libra office.

The second you want to do anything out of the ordinary, say set up a development environment, it's one package after another.

I'm a noob programmer (Basic and Fortran from the 80s is where I cut my teeth).

On Windows I just install Visual Studio and have a single environment with everything I require, right there. The programing language, the Editor and any dependencies, I can then download any add-ons via a menu and the entire environment is set up for me.

On linux, setting up something as a simple Python development system, involved command line after command line of installs.


Standard desktop

To make headway on the desktop, Linux needs to standardize on a single desktop environment that looks good out of the box on every distro.

Yes make it customizable for those who want to, but the majority of end users will at the most want to change the background picture and that is it.

It needs a standardized App store that is cross Linux compatible, i.e. double click the app you want to install and the store automatically determines

which distro you are using.

And fix application dependencies. I use various UNIX/Linux/Windows/Mac computers on a day to day basis.

90% of the pain on Linux is fixing apps at the command line to install dependencies as all the documentation, discussions all focus on fixing via

command line. The average user does not want to touch the command line.

SAP users struggling with data management for S/4HANA migration


Not a system issue

This is always a business issue. Bob from accounts insisting 15 year old data has to be online and nearline is not good enough. Because he has to run that 15 year old badly written report, despite the fact the data already exists in that expensive Data warehouse and analytics tool.

Always in the too hard to break through the politics bracket.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call


The interesting bits

The CPU count and performance is not actually interesting.

What is interesting is all of the other accelerators, which may mean more people move over

to the apple ecosystem. This may worry Microsoft.

Once we get some real world benchmarks and these machines prove to out perform more expensive

intel equivalents, they may well cause a shift to apple which will hit Microsoft/Intel/Nvidia/AMD.

Hopefully this will spur the traditional makers to start implementing accelerators/extensions into x86


In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done


If only

If only modern programmers had the sort of discipline, so keep code so lean without all the horrid bloat we see today

Apple is beginning to undo decades of Intel, x86 dominance in PC market


Power Mac?

It will be interesting to see where Apple go with the next gen PowerMac.

Are they really going to produce an SoC with 2TB of Memory, or will they go

with an expandable slot design and PCIE slots for dedicated GPUs?

And what about devices that sit between the PowerMac with its stupidly high prices

and the iMac pro/Mac Mini. I'd still love to see an expandable Apple desktop, that can grow

with me/my business.

Gartner's Windows 11 adoption advice: Explore but don't rush


Cut and Paste

if there is one think that annoys we with Windows 11 (although has been very stable whilst I've been testing), is the change in right click behaviour.

Since windows 3.1 Cut/copy/paste was always in the same same position on the right click menu.

Now there is either an icon at the top or the bottom of the menu or you have to go into the more options menu.

This has slowed me down quite a bit (yes I know there are keyboard short cuts).

Intel scoops out five flavours of Ice Lake Xeons for workstations


Supply and Demand

The problem is AMD are pretty much selling everything they've got, so Intel is the only alternative, also don't look at list prices, there will be massive discount to workstation builders and intel will push heavily on price per core.

SAP's home crowd fails to RISE to the bait with lift-and-shift-to-the-cloud offer


That can happen no matter where your ERP system is hosted, unless it is hosted on site.

Serco bags £322m contract extension for Test and Trace, is still struggling to share data with local authorities



How can this cost this much money?

It just seems ridiculous, with this sort of budget you could set up a whole new cloud company role out a track and trace app and give everybody in the country a budget mobile phone.

AMD teases '3D V-Cache' tech that stacks cores and SRAM, delivers 15% boost to today's Ryzen CPUs


Re: Heat?

Should not be an issue, Cache does not get that hot. They are stacking the SRAM on top of the cache rather than the logic chips.



This will be interesting, so much cache + DDR 5 will make these chips a real memory throughput monster.

They probably don't even need to change much on the Zen architecture as it was always rather memory starved.

Oracle sues Envisage claiming unauthorized database use amid licensing crackdown


Re: You want to move your DB to the cloud

I meant if you want to move your Oracle Database to the cloud you have to pay cloud licensing which is double the on-prem licence


You want to move your DB to the cloud

And if you want to move to the cloud, you only have a few choices and pay double for the privilege.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community


Developers develop for developers first

As somebody who has used pretty much most version of Unix (Solaris,HP-UX,AIX,BSD,SCO, etc), OS-X and Windows since the 90s either in a professional or personal capacity, my conclusion is that Unix/Linux, is developed by developers for developers or highly experienced IT people. Yes from a functional point of view they are far superior being far more flexible, but there are also issues with that in itself.

Even an experienced user can make fundamental mistakes as their knowledge is based on experience. E.g. used to configuring a VM to run with a Netapp filer, suddenly presented with an EMC Isilon, will make the wrong assumptions and wonder why things run slowly.

But on the personal PC front, the end user should be at the forefront of the developers focus. They want to install the OS without any issues and the hardware should just work (which it does the majority of Windows installs, because of third party support).

They want to install apps without the need to go down to the cli (which is still to often a requirement) and run them.

Apple have managed to do this on top of OpenBSD, the Linux community needs to stop the UI wars and focus on a single UI that looks great and is easy to use for an end user.

By all means have all the useful stuff, but hide it away so it doesn't confuse the end user.

AMD is now following More's Law: More chips, more money, more pressure on Intel, more competition in the x86 space


Non AMD compatible

The only piece of Enterprise software I know that does not run on AMD is SAP HANA, but this is purely an artificial limitation imposed by SAP (I have heard AMD themselves are running HANA on Epyc).

To get this market and in light of Intels delays, AMD really need to think about the 4 Socket market for very large memory foot prints e.g. larger than 8TB, where they can then also start competing with IBM and Power.

AMD have always been great innovators, first to dual core, first to SIMD instructions, first to integrated memory controller, and first to x86-64, I see the as a modern day digital/Sun. Great innovators not neseccarily good at execution/marketing but Lisa sure is turning that around.

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors


8 Channel Memory will however give it a massive performance boost in some scenarios

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump



At least his idea of raking a forest was harmless.

His idea of buying Greenland was bonkers but again relatively harmless (diplomacy aside)

His idea of building a well, financially bonkers but not a killer (directly anyway)

But mentioning fish tank cleaner and bleach to cure Covid is beyond the pale especially as he knows

he has a lot of uneducated supporters (not showing your love of them here are you Trump)

Surly somebody in his family has to guts to tell him to think before he

opens his mouth.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce hit eject on hybrid-electric airliner testbed after E-Fan X project fails to get off the ground


Re: Electric planes?

Weight problem aside you can increase efficiency quite a bit by having a central engine charging a small amount of batteries which power electric motors. The problem with gas turbines is they are very efficient at constant load (e.g. cruise), but quite fuel hungry at full boost (take off/Landing) also they don't respond. that quickly to changes in speed.

Whereas an electric motor responds very quickly to speed changes and if you have enough battery power (generated during cruise or charged on the ground) for the high thrust parts of the flight envelope you can increase efficiency quite a bit.

Needs a new generation of solid state batteries to work properly in an aircraft setting mind.

NASA to launch 247 petabytes of data into AWS – but forgot about eye-watering cloudy egress costs before lift-off


Egress? Surely this is ingress!

You pay for Egress but generally not for ingress.

In deepest darkest Surrey, an on-prem SAP system running 17-year-old software is about to die....


Re: Someone tell them about AWS

Cloning is not possible if it's a RISC based system.

AppSheet. Gesundheit! Oh, we see – it's Google pulling no-code development into a cloudy embrace


Spreadsheet replacement

There has to be room for something to sit between a properly developed app and a spreadsheet.

Myself as a non-developer have created a number of "applications" in excel, only to find out that a spreadsheet is totally the wrong tool.

It needs to be duplicated again and again for each project (surely just needs a project key field), then you have endless tables for lookups (mmmm maybe a relational database is needed), very quickly the spreadsheet goes out of control taking 30mins on a fast machine, because I've updated one key field and 1000s of rows and 10s of tabs will suddenly be updated.

The closest I've found is "access" and Googles App Maker, but again if you want to do anything remotely interesting or outside of the tutorials or templates you need to be in full developer mode and any documentation for the intermediate user is non existent.

AMD rips covers off 64-core Threadripper desktop monster, plus laptop chips, leaving Intel gesturing vaguely at 2021


Re: AMD must be more broad in software support

I think that is a little unfair, we just don't hear much about the Linux/Enterprise side. Given the rise of EPYC and the use of EPYC CPUs and Navi GPUs for Google Stadia which is based on Linux.


Thats why you have EPYC which can support 4TB per Socket.

Google throws new version of Dart at the desktop, will be hoping it sticks with app devs


What about a language for mere mortals

I'm still waiting for a cross platform environment for simpletons like me.

The closest I've found has been visual basic for the desktop and appmaker.

But I often feel developers develop languages for full time developers, Rather than somebody who just wants to build a quick and dirty tool as they have exhausted what they can do in a spreadsheet.

DXC Technology warns techies that all travel MUST now be authorised


Not a new Policy

This was in place at CSC years ago.

Hard work trying to tell a customer you could not see them for two weeks when they had an urgent request for help.

Also budget was £20 a night for food. So glad I left.

Tech lobbyists turn on Trump over Mexican tariffs, then quickly try to smooth the waters


Re: Trump is right

This just makes the situation worse.

A) Any goods coming from Mexico will just be more expensive for the average US consumer causing inflation which in turn will mean higher interest rates.

B) Hardship in Mexico will be even worse driving more people towards the boarder and the so called promised land.

Trust the public cloud Big Three to make non-volatile storage volatile


Not surprising

Same will happen in any environment where Nvme drives are locally attached.

Same would happen in a VMware environment unless you Vmote the storage.

At some point remote storage in Cloud (and on Prem.) Will move to Nvme.

So personally I don't see the problem.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads


Re: Future ARM laptops

The latency will kill you when moving around a 3D wire mesh, the more complex the object the more the latency will kill you. I doubt the average browser will be able to cache the size of a typical CAD file

If you want to rent AMD Epyc bare-metal boxes in the cloud, Oracle hopes you see red


Want to run Oracle on the server? That will be 64cores if licenses please. Plus the $0.03 per core per hour.

Cisco turns to AMD Epyc for the first time in new UCS model


Re: hot chips

Cisco do a C880 (which is actually a OEM Fujitsu), HPE (who now own SGI) and also Atos Bull all do 8 Socket boxes as well as IBM Power

But if you need any sort of high availability you will always need at least two.

If your workload can be split up much better going for smaller nodes with one spare.

Industry whispers: Qualcomm mulls Arm server processor exit


Memory Costs

These days with such high core counts it's generally the memory costs that determine the server cost.

Do you run a single server with high core counts and high memory requiring 64GB or 128GB Dimms or lost of small ARM servers with 16/32GB Dimms. All of a sudden real estate becomes an issue.

Why a merged Apple OS is one mash-up too far


Nothing wrong with a merger OS

Having a common kernel is a good idea, what Apple should do is think about different personae depending on form factor which will have to be adhered to my software vendors, I.e. a cut down interface with different functionality in mobile mode and a full desktop experience when linked to a monitor and keyboard/mouse.

I actually quite like some of the touch features in windows 10 in desktop mode

NAND chips are going to stay too pricey for flash to slit disk's throat...


Cost per GB per IOP

When taking IOPS into account the price per GB goes up massively with spinning rust.

Many cabinets of spinning rust can be replaced by a few U of SSDs.

Say HCI is an enhanced server. If you don't already sell 'em, it could be game over, man



Scale-up seems to have been forgotten here and what about Azure stack. Again DellEmc has an advantage here.

Three become one: Dell EMC's VxBlock range is now a seriously big iron


Re: "Hyperconverged"

Now Hyperconverged is something entirely different.

But converged/Hyperconverged also means, get all your support and lifecycle management from one place. Rather than constant finger pointing and time wasted working out which patches/firmware updates work together across different vendors.

Honda pores over in-car navigation software with Alibaba – report


Android auto or Apple Car

I've given up on the built in SatNav, even on the new car. Most car systems are now Android Auto or apple car compatible, with Waze now available as an Android Auto enabled app (Yippeeee)