Friday, May 15


Daily News Stuff 14 May 2020

So We Put A Cloud In Your Cloud Edition

Tech News

  • Nvidia has announced their Ampere A100 accelerator card thingy.  (AnandTech)

    This is a 54 billion transistor, 400W, 826mm2 chip built on TSMC's 7nm process, with 40GB of HBM2 memory which is odd becuase the photo shows six HBM2 stacks.

    For compute, it offers 50% more single and double precision throughput than the Radeon Pro VII.  It's a custom NVLink module, though, not a PCIe card.

  • So if you want something you can buy and put straight into your workstation or server, AMD's new Radeon Pro VII that I just mentioned is probably a better bet.  (AnandTech)

    This is a dual-precision-unlocked Radeon VII, offering nearly twice the DP compute performance at 20% less power....  For 150% more money than the consumer card.

    It does have six mini DisplayPort outputs so if you need to run a lot of monitors and a lot of compute and have access to the corporate credit card, maybe not a bad choice.

  • Intel has launched their Xeon W-1200 series.  (AnandTech)

    These are the exact same Comet Lake CPUs with the exact same chipset only the names have been changed and they're not cross-compatible.

    I think I said before that these were server processors, but they're actually workstation processors, though some dedicated hosting companies do put them in servers.  That means the same 235W power consumption on ten cores.  The server models usually try to tame that a little.

  • Nvidia also announced their new DGX A100 supercomputer module.  (WCCFTech)

    This incorporates eight of the A100 compute modules, 320GB total GPU memory, 1TB system memory, eight 200Gb/s InfiniBand/Ethernet ports, six NVMe drives, and dual 64 core AMD Epyc CPUs into a 6U 123kg rack-mount unit.

    I'm guessing they needed PCIe 4.0 bandwidth and Intel was late to the party.

    Oh, and it uses 6.5kW of power at full load, though I'm not sure how since the GPUs only account for half of that.

  • Your laptop may be faster than your server.

    If you're deploying to the cloud - whether that's Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or IBM - you're probably getting power-optimised CPUs running at around 2GHz and with very limited turbo boost.  Disks are network-attached and bandwidth and IOPS limited.

    Your laptop - if it's a recent model - can probably boost to 4GHz or faster and has an NVMe drive capable of a couple of gigabytes per second and hundreds of thousands of IOPS.

    So performance on test can be significantly better than in production.

    We solved this at my day job by building our own cloud on Threadripper-based servers.  Zoom zoom.  Three times faster than our old cloud servers at one fifth the cost.

    A whole lot of work though.

  • Proxmox VE 6.2 is out.  (Serve the Home)

    I tried out Proxmox VE back when I was trying to deploy Mari.  It worked, but didn't solve my networking problems with LXD (which I have now figured out).

    I'm minded to create a simple, open-source, LXD management panel that applies everything I've learned.

  • Every Wordpress plugin contains critical security flaws.  (Bleeping Computer)

    If Google can't get it right...  Wait, Google is run by idiots these days.  I guess this doesn't really prove anything.

  • Amazon's new Fire HD 8 is the iPad for the under-$100 crowd.  (ZDNet)

    It bumps memory from 1.5GB to 2GB - or 3GB on the HD 8 Plus.  But it keeps the same old 1280x800 display, which simply isn't enough for reading books.

    Also, the Kindle Fire is not only not available from Amazon Australia, Amazon US refuses to ship it to an Australian address.

    Why they persist with this fuckery I have no idea.  Regular Kindles, Fire TV, Echo, and Ring devices - all the other Amazon electronic devices - are available here.  Just not the one worth buying.

  • The TCL 10 Pro costs $450.  (ZDNet)

    6.47" 2340x1080 AMOLED display, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 64MP main camera plus untra-wide, macro, and low-light cameras, plus a 24MP selfie camera in a teardrop notch.  Headphone jack and microSD slot, and an in-display fingerprint scanner.  Oh, and NFC, an FM radio, and an IR port.

    All powered by a Snapdragon 675, which is not a high-end part, but is better than Qualcomm's specifications make it sound.  They list it as an eight-core Kryo 460, which sounds like one of those cheap eight-core A53 Mediatek parts.

    But in fact two of cores are A76 and will deliver fairly solid performance, though still a good 30% slower than a current A77.  (And worse on multi-threaded loads, since it only has two fast cores, not four.)

    Still, it ticks all the feature boxes and the price isn't bad.

  • Deno is node only TypeScript.  (ZDNet)

    Built in Rust.

    Which makes my head hurt.

    It does sound better engineered than Node, but since Node is a train wreck where the train is made of burning garbage, that is not hard.

  • Google's Pixel 4 is not selling.  (

    This is because the Pixel 4 is not a good device, which is because Google is run by idiots.

  • PrintDemon considered harmful.  (ZDNet)

    It contains a local privilege escalation flaw - in every version of Windows dating back to NT 4.0.

    It can't be exploited remotely, so it's not a disaster.  If you download and run something nasty on your Windows computer you're in deep trouble even without it stealing admin access.

    A patch is available now.

Disclaimer: Zero deaths recorded in Australia in the past few days.  Oh, wait, that's just from Bat Plague?  Never mind then.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:14 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 The development server my company uses for my product died a couple months back and they spun up a replacement.  Sadly, the "new" one was a formerly-retired production server, and it's quite a bit slower.  We had a PowerEdge with a pair of 8-core Xeons, I don't recall which model CPU, but something that would've been pretty new about 3 years ago, that had a fairly high clock rate.  The replacement is something from 6-8 years ago with a 2.5GHz base.  You can feel the difference, and it's annoying.  Fortunately we actually do most of our development from our desktops these days--I picked the specs on them and they're quite a bit faster--and we mainly use the server only for release builds & source repo.

Posted by: Rick C at Friday, May 15 2020 02:55 AM (Iwkd4)

2 I bought one of the $50 Fire 7s when they first came out.  I had a bigger time with the display quality than the resolution.  It was usable, although I didn't do a lot of book reading on it, but it had that shimmery-silver quality reminiscent of older LCDs.
I don't see mention of which specific CPU the new model uses.  I assume it has a garbage GPU.

Posted by: Rick C at Friday, May 15 2020 03:00 AM (Iwkd4)

3 Apparently the TCL 10 Pro will actually have all 5 of Verizon's LTE bands, which the Poco doesn't.

Posted by: Rick C at Friday, May 15 2020 03:03 AM (Iwkd4)

4 Pretty sure the Fire HD 8 is a quad-core 2GHz A53.  Possibly an A55 now.  Definitely not an A7x.

Which is fine for reading and adequate for web browsing and checking email.  It would certainly outrun my Nexus 7 which is still my main tablet for reading at night.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, May 15 2020 10:54 AM (PiXy!)

5 Yeah, at those prices I doubt they're using the high-powered cores. (IIRC the first $50 one, the Fire 7, was a quad A7!
Even the 53s are not bad--I had a Moto G5S+ that was an octocore A53, and it was fine for everything except 3D gaming, and even then it was passable.

Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, May 16 2020 12:11 AM (Iwkd4)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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