Main » Discussion » Computer Hardware News » New reply
    New reply
    Post help

    Presentation

    [b]…[/b] — bold type
    [i]…[/i] — italic
    [u]…[/u] — underlined
    [s]…[/s] — strikethrough
    [code]…[/code] — code block
    [spoiler]…[/spoiler] — spoiler block
    [spoiler=…]…[/spoiler]
    [source]…[/source] — colorcoded block, assuming C#
    [source=…]…[/source] — colorcoded block, specific language[which?]
    [abbr=…]…[/abbr] — abbreviation
    [color=…]…[/color] — set text color
    [jest]…[/jest] — you're kidding
    [sarcasm]…[/sarcasm] — you're not kidding

    Links

    [img]http://…[/img] — insert image
    [url]http://…[/url]
    [url=http://…]…[/url]
    >>… — link to post by ID
    [user=##] — link to user's profile by ID

    Quotations

    [quote]…[/quote] — untitled quote
    [quote=…]…[/quote] — "Posted by …"
    [quote="…" id="…"]…[/quote] — ""Post by …" with link by post ID

    Embeds

    [youtube]…[/youtube] — video ID only please
    Thread review
    tomman Cool, now let's compare apples to apples.

    The Surface X is a fine machine, but not the class of computer people would buy for doing "pro stuff", i.e., the class of stuff most Mac users used to do (edit video/audio/images, creative stuff, developing software on languages other than JavaScript).

    Anyway, more bad news if you liked having a real GPU on your Mac: kiss goodbye your Radeons, as Apple is envisioning an "all-Apple" hardware strategy:
    https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2020/10631
    https://twitter.com/never_released/status/1280207485278789633
    Yes, that means the only GPUs you'll get on those new ARMacs are custom iGPUs. Makes a lot of sense for their portables an low-end desktops, but this also spells more doom for the Pro lines. This effectively kills Mac as a gaming platform (unless that by "gaming" you mean "cellphone pay2win junk", and in that case you have no business at all buying computers). I don't envision AAA+++ game publishers porting their $60 flagships to ARMac - but then few of them really cared about the platform in first place (and you thought we Linux gamers already had it very rough), and I seriously doubt Apple can come up with a Radeon/GeForce-killer silicon.

    Let's recap the whole GPU-on-Mac ordeal: nVidia was already "persona non grata" on recent MacOS versions, Intel is getting ejected even before the Xe becomes a retail product (if ever), and now AMD has been shown the way out of the building. I HOPE external Thunderbolt GPUs still remain a viable workaround for the few pros still commited to stay at the Apple camp, but knowing Apple, they don't want you making blockbuster movies or platinum disc music albums anymore on their computers - their platform still survives basically for iOS development.

    But then, who knows? Maybe I'm wrong, a naysayer, have no dog on this race, and Apple does the impossible and convinces every pundit in the industry that x86 is dead and ARM is the new PC revolution and only dinosaurs will stick to Linux-powered x86 relics... but I'm not holding my breath for that. Too bad AMD can't just buy Intel and opensource the x86 architecture to everybody :/
    kode54 Their prototype development hardware is benching faster at virtual x86 than Microsoft’s Surface Pro X does running the native ARM version of the same benchmark. Sweet.
    tomman
    Posted by CaptainJistuce
    Posted by Covarr
    Give it another fifteen years. They'll introduce a brand new architecture that they can control from start to finish, with no license fees of any sort. That'll show everyone.
    Ah, the long-awaited iProc.

    Complete with fashion designer ISA: "You're Assembling It Wrong™".

    They will also take away the ALU because Courage™.
    CaptainJistuce
    Posted by Covarr
    Give it another fifteen years. They'll introduce a brand new architecture that they can control from start to finish, with no license fees of any sort. That'll show everyone.
    Ah, the long-awaited iProc.
    Covarr Give it another fifteen years. They'll introduce a brand new architecture that they can control from start to finish, with no license fees of any sort. That'll show everyone.
    kode54 Hey, if it manages to eat more market share, nice. Hurt intel plenty, please. And I’ll probably be trying to get ahold of one of these things eventually.

    Btw, one thing I’ve learned from someone actually testing these things. The Application Binary Interface is identical to iOS.

    One person I saw compiled something with the beta Universal Xcode, a console app. Then successfully ran it on their jailbroken iPhone.
    tomman I think you can blame Jef Raskin for that - Jobs just stole realized his original vision of the Mac into an actual shipping product... and it has been all downhill since then. However, I can't remember when the Mac became a cult.

    Remember: it was Jobs who didn't wanted to have videogames or a color screen back when the competition was using those features to sell (even Apple's own Apple ][ line was among those)

    My prediction: the new ARM Macs will sell, but mostly to people deeply invested into the Apple ecosystem (i.e. fanboys, Starbucks customers, iOS developers), while they will lose a sizeable chunk of market among the professional sector.

    However, anything that hurts Intel is A-OK on my book, even if it comes from Apple!
    CaptainJistuce I thought Apple made fashion accesories that you can compute with.
    funkyass Apple makes appliances that people compute with, not computers.
    tomman
    Posted by Nicholas Steel
    If they wanted to distance themselves from Intel, wouldn't it be far simpler to just go with AMD?

    Apple wants to control the entire supply chain.

    Since Intel won't license x86 to them and they are still butthurt with PPC, their next best choice is ARM, where they already hold a design license allowing them to own and mess up to the last transistor on their custom A-series silicon.

    For those still waiting those Threadripper cheesegraters: wake up, it won't happen, the dream is over. Your options are sucktastic Wintendo Diez which breaks all your shit twice a year, and sucktastic Loonix with no proprietary applications you want to run.

    But then, it's not only Apple ditching Intel at the "very expensive designer computers" end: at the very niche but highly lucrative supercomputer market, Fujitsu is moping the floor with them with their newest baby, Fugaku. Yes, you've read it right: it's a half-EXAFLOP (that is, 500PFLOPS) beast... and that's because it's not finished yet - the final design calls for a whooping ONE EXAFLOP, and that will be for early 2021. When it's done, it will be more powerful than the next 10 machines on the TOP500, with plenty of muscle to spare.

    And it's being done with ARM64 cores - 150K of 'em. Because Fujitsu (which was the last SPARC holdover besides Orrible) has seen the writing on the wall. But then, supercomputers are not exactly the first things you would think when Joe Gamer, Fred Videncoder or Tim Starbucks from Javascripts'R'Us thinks about "high performance computing". Also, IPC is a thing, and supercomputers cover very different use cases we're not likely to see at home or work.
    Nicholas Steel If they wanted to distance themselves from Intel, wouldn't it be far simpler to just go with AMD?
    BearOso
    Posted by tomman
    It's official now: the Mac is DEAD officially switching to ARM:
    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/06/apple-announces-mac-transition-to-apple-silicon/
    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Apple-Going-In-House-Silicon

    This now puts those longstanding rumors to rest: Intel is dead to Apple, and so are Real Computers for them too.
    A matching macOS release has now been announced too ("Big Sur", WTF is with those silly codenames!?) with Rosetta 2 for limited x86 compatibility. Oh, and the convergence of macOS and iAppliancesOS is happening too, as those new Macs will natively run iDevices apps (so I guess those will be getting touchscreens out of the box?)

    Kiss goodbye your very expensive creative tools and Steam games, Mac guys. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

    No word on the future of the Mac Pro.

    Apple could have revived PowerPC (remember that they bought a PPC arch licensee years ago, PA Semi), but nope, they had to switch to cellphone CPUs :/ Today is a sad day for the future of personal computers, no matter what lies those ARM pundits want us to believe. Oh, this also kills Boot Camp and seriously threaten the future of bare metal Linux on Macs (for those that actually see Macs as "overpriced half-decent PCs" instead of "Think Different™") - Apple's "solution" to the latter is "you can always have VMs" instead of "wipe macOS and install Debian".


    Don't worry about that. Just sit back with your Netflix and Youtube and Facepage and let the Geniuses at Apple handle the programming.
    tomman It's official now: the Mac is DEAD officially switching to ARM:
    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/06/apple-announces-mac-transition-to-apple-silicon/
    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Apple-Going-In-House-Silicon

    This now puts those longstanding rumors to rest: Intel is dead to Apple, and so are Real Computers for them too.
    A matching macOS release has now been announced too ("Big Sur", WTF is with those silly codenames!?) with Rosetta 2 for limited x86 compatibility. Oh, and the convergence of macOS and iAppliancesOS is happening too, as those new Macs will natively run iDevices apps (so I guess those will be getting touchscreens out of the box?)

    Kiss goodbye your very expensive creative tools and Steam games, Mac guys. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

    No word on the future of the Mac Pro.

    Apple could have revived PowerPC (remember that they bought a PPC arch licensee years ago, PA Semi), but nope, they had to switch to cellphone CPUs :/ Today is a sad day for the future of personal computers, no matter what lies those ARM pundits want us to believe. Oh, this also kills Boot Camp and seriously threaten the future of bare metal Linux on Macs (for those that actually see Macs as "overpriced half-decent PCs" instead of "Think Different™") - Apple's "solution" to the latter is "you can always have VMs" instead of "wipe macOS and install Debian".
    Nicholas Steel And apparently Western Digital is the only one to put SMR drives in a NAS oriented product line.
    tomman Some nerds figured out that SMR drives are indeed "unfit for NAS usage" and you should avoid any SMR drive if you plan to deploy them on your NAS - particularly if said specific SMR specimens says "Western Digital Red" and "NASware" on the label. They're just too slow for extended writes of big chunks of data, and most NASes out there just can't wait so they will assume the drive died and mark your RAID as failed. Oh, and your RAID rebuild times go straight to the moon and back.

    ...then they got the lawyers involved, 'murica style:
    https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/20/05/29/2340240/western-digital-gets-sued-for-sneaking-smr-disks-into-its-nas-channel

    Too bad the most likely outcome of this lawsuit -should WD lose- is a $5 coupon good for a discount in your next HDD purchase from WD. Oh, and a bunch of slimy lawyers getting stinkin' rich :/

    For desktop usage, SMR is fine - my WD is doing fine so far and I haven't changed my usual desktop usage patterns so I haven't experienced long stalls, and I let my machine TRIM the drive weekly around midnight.
    tomman More damage control.

    But hey, they didn't forgot to bring the buzzword bingo!
    Using machine learning and pattern recognition in our system, the drive detects types of data so that we can coalesce similar data types together to maximize performance.


    They also said how good SMR is for data integrity at the user-area level...
    Data integrity — Because DMSMR drives put data down sequentially, track ECC (accumulation of parity information on a per-track basis) can be placed at the end of each data track. It enables the drive to correct up to 8K bytes of data per track during read, with near on-the-fly performance. This exceptions-handling capability is especially beneficial in event of shock, fan vibration, grown defects or other less-than-ideal operating environments. This development of data protection power during read comes naturally in a SMR architecture.

    ...while failing to address the more vulnerable, highly complex firmware architecture that will nuke your data as soon as the LBA translation tables get corrupted, which seems to be a popular issue with some of those WD drives. (For reference: this could happen too to older WD drives, but most of the times it was an easy fix, doable at home even, with free or cheap tools! While the only equivalent for those SMR drives involves the purchase of thousands in American money of Soviet-made software with heavy DRM and -possibly- more $$$ in a new PCB for your drive since HDD OEMs doesn't want people tampering inside their drives since the NSA had their fun with firmware-level spyware, and Suckgate got into the data recovery biz).

    Oh, that article does mention some WD models that are NOT listed on WD's blog (mainly external drives)

    At least they're being honest (for once!) with the main disadvantage of SMR:
    Data movement requires idle time — One of the most discussed about topics in DMSMR drives, is data movement. This is, by LBA Indirection nature, the other side of the same coin. To be able to move the data freely requires the drive to have idle time to perform these tasks in the background. Without the ability to preemptively maintain disk space, the drive, under specific conditions, may take longer to complete a command as its resources dwindle.

    ...hence reminding you that knowing your workloads is of vital importance when picking your next HDD.

    I'm not against SMR at all (once again, they have their place in our data hoarder lives). I'm against scumbag companies pretending that everybody of us are dumb (just like dictators and presidents!), while they keep lowering the quality of their products without us realizing all and any possible savings.

    UPDATE: And now the Toshiba beancounters (which are used to deceiving customers, just ask their nuclear guys) are feeling the pressure, as the company is now disclosing which of their HDD product lines are using SMR:
    https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/ap-en/company/news/news-topics/2020/04/storage-20200428-1.html

    So far Suckgate has yet to make their move (aside of teling Ars that "our NAS drives aren't shingled, no sir!"), and considering how terrible are their product lines (particularly how nasty their mobile drives have become) this isn't surprising at all.

    UPDATE 2: The Toshiba P300/DT02 series is actually a rebadged Hitachi... kinda, sorta? Well... I thought the WD/Toshiba HDD divestment agreement ended with the DT01 series (which IS still in production - damn, those are probably the LAST GOOD HDD drives still made!), but if you look at the pics, you can see that Toshiba is still evolving that former Hitachi design (which also implies that the WD/HGST merger stuff let them with full IP rights over those designs, instead of just allowing Toshiba to build rebadged drives under license, a-la Excelstor). However, those drives don't seem to be fully Hitachi under the hood:

    - For starters, HGST didn't used that chassis for their native air-based 6TB drives.
    - Look closer at the DT02 PCB: that thing looks more like a native Toshiba PCB (barcode label designs are clearly unique to OEMs), and it's less shiny (again, a trait of native Toshiba PCBs)
    - Firmware revision KQ000A, which is clearly a Toshiba version string (Hitachi ones look like "MXO1A1BB", that is, 8 characters... a trait inherited from the IBM generations)
    - These drives are SMR, of course. To date, no Hitachi/HGST drive is known to be using SMR (and that includes anything released under the WD brands)

    ...so, what the hell, Toshiba?! Time to look up some reviews! Of course, being SMR it means you won't be slapping those Half-tachis inside your NAS or DVR anytime soon!
    Nicholas Steel Western Digital has just now released this new blog post on how SMR works: https://blog.westerndigital.com/dmsmr-device-managed-shingled-magnetic-recording/
    CaptainJistuce I feel dumb now.
    tomman
    Posted by CaptainJistuce
    It actually occurs to me that shingled recording drives should benefit a lot from developments intended to help flash drives, as they have a simidar weakness(read small chunks, write big chunks).
    ...
    Do shingled drives support trim?

    Quoting myself:
    Posted by tomman
    Well, almost ordinary: the only hint you get from those that they're not normal drives is a bit on the ATA IDENTIFY structures claiming that those drives support TRIM. Wait, what?! "Butbutbut wasn't TRIM only for solid state cards!?" Not exactly. Due to physics being a bitch, on SMR drives write heads are wider than read heads, this is why write speeds can tank when drive is being filled, as your lone "write a bunch of sectors" operation has become a VERY EXPENSIVE "read a bunch of sectors, including some that are completely unrelated to the ones you're going to write, modify them on memory, then rewrite several tracks at a time". In other words: you've got a really crappy SSD with moving parts, and therefore in order to preserve performance, you must treat those as such - if you're using Windows 7+ or most modern Linux distros, you're set: enable TRIM (periodic is highly recommended over continuous), set your filesystem mount options to "noatime", and try to not do any heavy random write workloads on those drives (I can guess swap space and mailservers/databases are right out of the question).


    And from the actual drive itself:
    tomman@himawari:~$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda

    /dev/sda:

    ATA device, with non-removable media
    Model Number: WDC WD10SPZX-11Z10T0
    Serial Number: WD-WXA1AAXXXXXX
    Firmware Revision: 01.01A01
    Transport: Serial, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5, SATA Rev 2.6, SATA Rev 3.0
    Standards:
    Used: unknown (minor revision code 0x006d)
    Supported: 10 9 8 7 6 5
    Likely used: 10
    Configuration:
    Logical max current
    cylinders 16383 0
    heads 16 0
    sectors/track 63 0
    --
    LBA user addressable sectors: 268435455
    LBA48 user addressable sectors: 1953525168
    Logical Sector size: 512 bytes
    Physical Sector size: 4096 bytes
    Logical Sector-0 offset: 0 bytes
    device size with M = 1024*1024: 953869 MBytes
    device size with M = 1000*1000: 1000204 MBytes (1000 GB)
    cache/buffer size = unknown
    Form Factor: 2.5 inch
    Nominal Media Rotation Rate: 5400
    Capabilities:
    LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
    Queue depth: 32
    Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, with device specific minimum
    R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16 Current = 16
    Advanced power management level: 254
    DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
    Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
    PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
    Cycle time: no flow control=120ns IORDY flow control=120ns
    Commands/features:
    Enabled Supported:
    * SMART feature set
    Security Mode feature set
    * Power Management feature set
    * Write cache
    * Look-ahead
    * WRITE_BUFFER command
    * READ_BUFFER command
    * NOP cmd
    * DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
    * Advanced Power Management feature set
    Power-Up In Standby feature set
    * SET_FEATURES required to spinup after power up
    * 48-bit Address feature set
    * Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
    * FLUSH_CACHE_EXT
    * SMART error logging
    * SMART self-test
    * General Purpose Logging feature set
    * 64-bit World wide name
    * IDLE_IMMEDIATE with UNLOAD
    * {READ,WRITE}_DMA_EXT_GPL commands
    * Segmented DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
    * Gen1 signaling speed (1.5Gb/s)
    * Gen2 signaling speed (3.0Gb/s)
    * Gen3 signaling speed (6.0Gb/s)
    * Native Command Queueing (NCQ)
    * Host-initiated interface power management
    * Phy event counters
    * Idle-Unload when NCQ is active
    * NCQ priority information
    * READ_LOG_DMA_EXT equivalent to READ_LOG_EXT
    * DMA Setup Auto-Activate optimization
    * Device-initiated interface power management
    * Software settings preservation
    * SMART Command Transport (SCT) feature set
    * SCT Write Same (AC2)
    * SCT Features Control (AC4)
    * SCT Data Tables (AC5)
    unknown 206[12] (vendor specific)
    unknown 206[13] (vendor specific)
    unknown 206[14] (vendor specific)
    * reserved 69[3]
    * DOWNLOAD MICROCODE DMA command
    * WRITE BUFFER DMA command
    * READ BUFFER DMA command
    * Data Set Management TRIM supported (limit 10 blocks)
    * Deterministic read data after TRIM
    Security:
    Master password revision code = 65534
    supported
    not enabled
    not locked
    frozen
    not expired: security count
    supported: enhanced erase
    184min for SECURITY ERASE UNIT. 184min for ENHANCED SECURITY ERASE UNIT.
    Logical Unit WWN Device Identifier: 50014eexxxxxxxxx
    NAA : 5
    IEEE OUI : 0014ee
    Unique ID : xxxxxxxxx
    Checksum: correct
    Nicholas Steel
    Posted by CaptainJistuce
    It actually occurs to me that shingled recording drives should benefit a lot from developments intended to help flash drives, as they have a simidar weakness(read small chunks, write big chunks).
    ...
    Do shingled drives support trim?
    Yes.
      Main » Discussion » Computer Hardware News » New reply
      [Your ad here? Why not!]