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Atom Processors Set New Record For Power-Efficient Sorting

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-electron-at-a-time dept.

Power 92

schliz writes "German researchers have set a new record for energy efficient data sorting with a system based on netbook processors and Solid State Disks. The system, dubbed EcoSort, more than tripled the power efficiency of former record holders, leading one of its developers to claim: 'In the long run, many small, power-efficient and cooperating systems are going to replace the so far used, heavy weighted ones.' Records were defined by 'Sort Benchmark,' which was created by missing Microsoft scientist Jim Gray and was now managed by representatives of companies like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft."

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slow news day? (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654646)

blah blah blah moore's law...

worst troll evar (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31654892)


A couple weeks ago, while taking my asian girlfriend shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

I sat naked on the bench in the health club locker room, staring at the tiles on the floor between my feet, but really looking at nothing. I was waiting for Barack to decide to come up and talk to me. He was this muscular teenage nigger who frequented the club and had ruined my life in the last few weeks. I was ordered to sit naked on the bench without a towel or anything to cover my nakedness. I had to keep my legs spread and my cock and balls visible for the anyone in the locker room who wanted a look. I knew instantly that it had been a mistake to sign up at the inner city health club which was eighty percent black, but it was near my house and cheap which was even more important.

The harassment had started on my first visit. Dark skinned, muscular black boys bouncing around the locker room with their huge dicks and pendulous sacks of balls swinging, high fiving each other and laughing and rapping, and there I was, this moderately built white guy of thirty two.

I will never forget coming back from the shower and one chocolate skinned thug of about eighteen let out a "weeeeeeeow" kind of sound and then said very loudly to me, loudly enough for all his pals to hear, "White man, how the hell can you fuck wit such a small dick?" They all roared with laughter and I turned bright red. Before I left that first time, I met Barack. He eased up to me while I was packing my gym bag. He is one good looking darkie, I will say that for him. He flashed me a big white toothed smile and said he hoped I wasn't thinking of quitting the club. He said he was friends with the manager and they had my address and shit, and it would be really unfortunate if I decided to quit. Then he laid one large basketball player sized hand on my shoulder and said that he would see me at the same time the next day.

Well, that's how it started. It got worse each time I went to the club. Barack and the other niggers got me to get towels for them, had me scrub their backs in the shower, even made me pick their dirty stinking jock straps up off the floor. They sent their filthy jocks and socks home with me to wash for them.

Now let me state here once and for all, that I am in no way at all gay. I don't think I ever even had a gay thought. So all of this really repulsed me. They would brush up against me so their big fat black dicks rubbed my body. They would make constant jokes about me being a faggot.

So I had it out with Barack. I told him I was a single parent with a thirteen year old daughter and in no way gay, and I wanted to quit the club. That mention of my daughter was the biggest mistake of my life. Barack demanded to see a photo of her. Her name is Crissy. After that, all they talked about was "Crissy the Cunt" in the locker room.

"Some fourteen year old school boy probably shoving his dick in her right now while you is at da club." They would say things like that. Barack would ask, "Do you suppose she had ever sucked black dick?" I told them she was totally innocent, and they should keep their foul mouths to themselves. They beat the shit out of me.

I didn't go to the club for a week. All the windows were broken on my car, and my newspaper was stolen, and somebody pissed all over our door. I received a package at work, and when I opened it, there was a pile of shit in a box. I was going nuts with anguish. I thought of going to the police, but I knew I would face even worse if I did. So I went back to the club. That was two months ago. A lot had happened in those two months.

Now I sat waiting for Barack to speak with me. He walked up, stark naked. The first thing I saw were his huge brown feet next to me. I looked up at his long muscular legs. How could I miss the seven inch flaccid dick, thick as a flashlight and the ball sack that looked like it had oranges in it. It was fucking obscene. His stomach was hard and tight. His ass was one of those round tight nigger bubble butts. His chest well defined with large nipples. He had a killer smile, thick nigger lips, and dark flashing eyes that often looked drugged. He had only recently gotten out of reform school for molesting a girl on the playground.

"So, my man, how's that little dick of yours hangin'?"

I spread my legs wider so he could see my pathetic shriveled white prick and small ball sack. If I didn't keep myself on display for them at all times, they would have a wet towel snapping session where my scrotum was the target. It hurt like hell and was totally humiliating.

"So, bro, is everything set up for tomorrow?" He stood close to me...so close that his huge flaccid hunk of fuck meat brushed my shoulder. His dick was so huge, it was just fucking obscene, and that was in its flaccid state. He had not showered yet, and his body reeked of the nigger stink of his workout.

"Please. Please don't do this. I know I agreed, but that was after you had beaten me almost senseless. Please, isn't there some other way?"

He lifted one leg and put his foot on the bench next to me. His gigantic balls swung back and forth in their fleshy sack.

"Dere is no other fucking way, man. You don't wanna even think of what we gonna do to you next time you disobeys us. Dere is no other way. Now it so happens dat I needs me a new girlfriend, and your pretty little daughter fills da bill."

I felt my stomach turn over. I tried to relax, to breath deeply, but I felt like I was choking. This teenage nigger thug was talking about my daughter. My little Crissy. My thirteen year old angel. He had announced to me that he wanted her to become his girlfriend! Jesus Christ!

At first I had bluntly refused, letting my anger and disgust show. All the niggers in the club gathered around me, about fifteen of them, and Barack announced that I was racially prejudiced and didn't want him dating his white daughter. They started to slap and punch me.

"It's not that. Honest to God, I swear, it's not that you are black. It's that she is only thirteen. She's my innocent baby!"

Barack roared with laughter. "Any bitch of thirteen is totally ready for dick! She probably sucking da boys at school every day anyway by now." He looked at the photo of her which he had taken from me. "Yeah, she got real cocksucker lips, she shore do!"

"Oh God no, she's just a baby." I was crying in front of all of them.

"No, daddy, you gots it wrong. She is a babe...not a baby. Dat pretty little pussy is ready for some nigger popping!" Half the niggers surrounding me were getting hard ons, and I don't there there was one under eight and a half inches.

For weeks I had argued, begged, pleaded, tried to bargain with Barack, but he only wanted one thing. My daughter's virgin pussy. Once I stood up to them and told them I would go to the police. They had dragged me naked and screaming into the health club bathroom and forced me to eat turds out of the toilet bowl. I was sick for two days. The next time I went to the club, Barack had made me suck his dick. That was the first time I saw it erect. Over twelve inches of throbbing leaking nigger cock. I had a panic attack and literally tried to run out of the club. They held me down on a bench and Barack fed me his black fuck meat. His balls almost suffocated me. His dick choked me. He even made me suck his ass. What could I do? I agreed to let them have my daughter. I know, I am an awful man. A sinner. It is unforgivable, but I am scared out of my wits.

"So, tomorrow, I comes over to yo house dressed up real good. You introduce me to yo bitch daughter. Now when I sees her, dis is how I wants her dressed. A very tight tee shirt dat says printed on it, "I Love Nigga Dick!" She will wear no bra under it so I can see the tips of her budding little titties through the material. Den she is to wear her nice pleated cheer leader skirt like in da photo, only I don want her to wear no panties under it. From now on, yo daughter is forbidden to ever wear any panties. We want dat fresh young cunt and ass ready and available at all times. I want you to have some really top drawer booze at yo house ready for me. I am not sure what I will want, so you better have enough to satisfy me, whatever my taste might be. Who da fuck knows, I may want a cosmo, or maybe some of dat Louis XIII Brandy dat costs three hundred dollars. You better have it all. After I has a drink, you pretty little bitch and I gonna sit on da couch and get acquainted. Dat means you as da daddy get to watch me finger her cunt and play wit her titties. You gets to see her meet my big fat old dick and even lick and suck it a little. I always insists on sex on da first date, cause how else you know how a bitch perform, right? Shit, I insist on sex on every date. I mean dat is da only reason for da fucking date..to plow some pussy! Right? Otherwise I'd rather hang wit da home boys. Now she gonna be a little uptight and scared at firs...right? Specially when she see my dick and she know dat huge motherfucker is gonna plow her virgin twat! Oh yea, if she got any hair on her cunt yet, you make sure she shave it all off before tomorrow. I wanna see bald thirteen year old pussy."

While he said all of this to me at the health club, his dick got thicker and thicker and long strings of pre-fuck started to hang from the fat pisshole.

"Please don't hurt her...please." I was shaking in my naked agony.

"Hurt her? No why the fuck would I hurt my new girlfriend? I gonna love her. I gonna show her da pleasures of lovemaking. Shore, it gonna hurt a little da first time I ram my twelve and a half inch motherfucking dick balls deep into her tight little teenage pussy. Shore it gonna hurt when I pounds her as hard as I can, and den pull out and shove it as hard as I can up her little asshole. Shore dat gonna hurt a little, but dat is jus' part of growin' up. A her daddy, you understand dat. Right? Better to hab some nice boy like me who wants her for his girlfriend fucking her, den every boy at school who don't give a shit about her.

"Now don't you worry, I gonna take her into the bedroom to fuck her cunt and ass. I think dat is private. I mean, you can watch da first time she suck my balls and lick my dick and such. But fucking is between a guy and his girlfriend. I wants you dere at the start...at the sucking part, cause she is gonna be scared like I say, and you can calm her. Tell her it is a natural part of life, and she just gotta learn to please a man. She, she shoulda learned dat couple of years ago already. She is a late bloomer.

Now I am gonna want to use her bedroom for da first fuck,cause I wants to fuck her little bitch body in her teenage bed, wit all her teenage shit around. It will be so hot. But den, I is moving into your master bedroom. You can sleep on da couch. I wants a nice big bed and luxury for future fucks. I gotta fuck at least three times a day, usually more. Now of course I still going to be bangin' other cunt, but I will fuck your daughter regularly cause she is my number one girlfriend. My special bitch. I ain't gonna introduce her to my bros until after I fuck her for a week or so. Den when she broken in, I gonna share her with all da boys from dis here health club. Dere about twenty of us here as you know, so she gonna be pretty busy sucking nigga dick and getting ass and cunt fucked. We gonna do mos' of it over at yo house. You have lots of food dere at all times fo my brothers when dey comes over to fuck your daughter. Since she be fucking most every day all day and night from now on, I suggest you apply to home school her. Dat way, she don't even need to think about school and she can concentrate on nigga cock all da time."

"Please, please use condoms...." I had tears running down my face.

Barack roared with laughter. "Condoms? Shit...no. We never use condoms. It ruins da fuck. Dat little bitch gonna be pregnant in a couple of weeks at mos'. You gonna be da grand daddy of a nigga chile! And who knows. She young. If she stay tight enough and cute enough, maybe we fuck her for three or four years, you know, pass her around, pimp her out. Shit, she still young enough. She could hab five or six nigga babies! We don' allow no abortions. She gonna breed. Now my brothers and daddy be comin' over lots to fuck her too, so you better have lots of keys to yo house made, or jus' leave the fucking place unlocked. She don't leave da house without permission. I would hate it for both of you if some black bro comes over for a good hard fuck, and she not dere! Now I know you worried about her. Don' be. After a few days of getting nigga dick, she gonna love it so much, dat all she gonna live for. I seen it in young white bitches lots of times. Someday she gonna thank you for all dis. I mean how many girls her age so lucky to get ten to fifteen black cocks a day? Long as her pussy and asshole hold up, she be happy. One thing, she gonna hab to be a really good cocksucker, cause One thig is dat when da boys in my hood meet up wit guys from other gangs...we got dis thing. We hab our girlfriends suck da cocks of all da members of the other gangs, as kind of a peace signal, you know, a sign dat we is kewl and everything is okay. So she gonna pretty much hab a dick in her mouth twenty-four seven for da next few months. She gonna be sucking on nigga dick even when she getting fucked by my bros. Dis house gonna be pretty packed full of black boys! Now, after a bitch has sucked fifteen to twenty dicks a day, she often get a real tired jaw and swollen lips and a sore tongue, so you gonna have to tell her no matter how tired she get, da last dick of da day she suck, gets jus' as good a suck as da first one in da morning. You gotta make sue she understand that. I can't have no bad reports from rival gangs dat my bitch can't suck!

Now we gots one more problem. Da little bitch gonna be so busy getting fucked and sucking dick, she ain't gonna hab no proper time to clean up da dicks after dey fuck her cunt and ass! You know it da bitch's job to clean a dick wit her mouth after a brother fuck her. I mean, you can't expect a brother to walk around wit pussy slime or ass juice on his dick. But she gonna be so busy, she ain't always gonna hab time to clean up, so you my friend is going to have to step up to da plate to help her. You gonna be the official dick cleaner. You gonna lick and suck da dicks clean after dey fuck yo bitch of a daughter. I want you naked on you hands and knees at all times around da house, ready to lick and suck dick clean. And you gonna do a fine job too, I just know it. You get all dat stink off da cock. Maybe you can entertain da brothers waiting next in line to fuck yo daughter too by lickig dere balls and assholes. I never thought of dat until just now. Hot damn, dat is a good idea, ain't it? So dey don't get bored while dey waitin. And den, to keep your daughter fresh and tight, after every three or four fucks, you gonna crawl in and suck the nigga cum right outta her pussy and asshole. Think how great dat is. You gonna get to suck some thirteen year old pussy and asshole! How lucky is dat? You gonna clean out her cunt real good with yo tongue so it is ready for da next nigga.

We gonna be da happiest family you ever seen! Now come on, white boy, suck my dick, can't you see it dripping all over da floor?"

I put my mouth over the head of the huge leaking hunk of fuckmeat, and resigned myself and my daughter to our new destiny.

GNAA REBORN UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP

DiKKy Heartiez - Berlin, Norway

President timecop of the GNAA has died today. He died at the age of 55 from excessive lulz in his apartment in Tokyo, Japan while watching faggot cartoons of preteen girls beeing raped by giant testicles. The world will remember him as a total faggot douchebag who had the opportunity to unite the best trolls seen upon the face of the internet into one special hardcore machine of destruction, unfortunately he failed, instead devoting his internet carreer to animu. Although he died like a true hero he will be forever remembered as a total failure.

In the wake of his death the GNAA is thought to perish like all the other so called trolling organizations. The writing is on the wall, they say. The GNAA smells worse than BSD, they say.They have said this for a long time. The GNAA has lived, with a very faint pulse, for years.

DIKKY HEARTIEZ CLAIMS THE PRESIDENCY OF THE GNAA!!!!!!!

With the death of timecop still shocking our chats, not many are able to see ahead. But there is one visionary Nord who has great plans for the new GNAA.
"Under my leadership the GNAA will become the new home of all trolls on the internet. The GNAA will regain its old strength and will be feared by bloggers and jews alike. The time for CHANGE is now." DiKky HearTiez told a shocked audience outside the Gary Niger Memorial Plaza, Nigeria, earlier today. The GNAA will move its Internet Relayed Communications to a new location, following reports of a massive "Distributed Denial Of Service" attack on its previous location, making it unreliable.
"Our operatives are in need of a robust and safe communications service with can_flood for everyone." An anonymous source at the GNAA Black Ops department told reporters at the same conference.

KLULZ supports DiKKy Heartiez presidency!

The infamous KLULZ internet radio station supports DiKKy Heartiez for the new GNAA president.
"KLULZ is behind him 100% and will be broadcasting his speeches and support him in every way possible, we wish him the best of luck and an outstanding presidency. May many blogs burn under DiKky Hearties." This was stated by KLULZ Operations Manager and Gay Nigger g0sp when asked to comment on KLULZ involvement.

About President timecop

DEAD.

About DiKKy HearTiez

The world famous internet nord from Norway LOL HY living in a fjord LOL HY. Currently the new President of the new GNAA. He is also a radiodj on KLULZ and active in many irc chats. Known for several epic trolls in his time. Led the GNAA operation Intel Crapflood 21, who succesfully made GNAA owners of the biggest thread on Slashdot until fixed by admins. Also deeply involved in the war on blogs, and is the one who provided JesuitX with the real screenshots of Faggintosh Leopard. His leadership abilities, high iq and instoppable urge to troll, coupled with his fat Norwegian welfare check will enable him to become the best President the GNAA ever had.

About KLULZ

KLULZ is the internets radio station, bringing you news about the GNAA, hosting shows by prominent djs such as DiKKy, l0de, g0sp, jenk and many others. KLULZ supports DiKKy Heartiez. With mature content this channel is not suitable for children or people under the age of 18. Klulz radio can be heard at http://klulz.com/listen.pls

About GNAA:

GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first
organization which gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one
common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [klerck.org] ?

Are you a NIGGER [mugshots.org] ?

Are you a GAY NIGGER [gay-sex-access.com] ?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
) might be exactly what you've been looking for!

Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy
all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.

GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing
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Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!

  • First, you have to obtain a copy of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [imdb.com] and watch it. You can download the movie [idge.net] (~130mb) using BitTorrent.
  • Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA First Post [wikipedia.org] on slashdot.org [slashdot.org] , a popular "news for trolls" website.
  • Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on irc.gnaa.us, and apply for membership.

Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up
today
! Upon submitting your application, you will be required to submit
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If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network.
The correct network is Hardchats, and you can connect to
  irc.hardchats.com as our official server. Follow this link [irc] if you are using an irc client such as mIRC.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

Copyright (c) 2003-2009 Gay Nigger Association of America [www.gnaa.us]

This is the way we are headed (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654652)

As electricity and cooling bills get ever higher being more frugal with the power will count more and more on the bottom line. Congrats to the team on a new record!

Re:This is the way we are headed (0, Redundant)

geegel (1587009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654700)

Actually this is less about bills and more about battery life.

This is the Achille's heel when it comes to mobile computing and until more of these breakthroughs are made it will be the one, most important, limiting factor.

Re:This is the way we are headed (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31660316)

Uhhh...when are you gonna be doing record sorts on a mobile device? To me it is just nice that we have finally gotten off the "MOAR POWERZ!" bullshit and you can actually choose between a fire breathing monster, and ultra lower power machine, or anything in between. My new AMD 925 quad uses less power than my old P4 single core, and for when I just want to do general web surfing or A/V enjoyment (like now) this AMD Sempron I'm typing on is so whisper quiet and cool it doesn't bother me to have it running in my bedroom.

So don't think it is just about mobile. As a PC builder I'm moving a lot of the new 65w AMD machines and my customers couldn't be happier. Plenty of power for everyday tasks and even light video editing and gaming, all while staying whisper quiet and not running up their cooling and electrical costs. The amount of work that these new CPUs can do with so little watts just impresses the hell out of me, especially when compared the the Netburst space heaters of just a few years back. I for one hope this trend continues, as I would love to see a 25w quad that is powerful enough for on the fly transcoding while being cool enough one could be built into a box slightly larger than a DVD ROM.

Re:This is the way we are headed (1, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654880)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't SSDs somewhat limited in the number of read/write actions they can perform? Specifically, the ability to adequately make a distinction between a 1 and a 0 diminishes with the number of overwrites of a particular section of disk.

I'm sure I could phrase this better... I've got to admit I don't know much about low-level hard disk theory. But I do recall seeing something regarding researchers trying to extend the life of SSDs, since their life is not nearly as long as spinning platters.

If that's the case, even if researchers have made some progress, wouldn't something like sorting be exactly the WRONG application for SSDs? I mean, unless you want to spend tons of time and money (and indirectly "energy") replacing SSDs.

Re:This is the way we are headed (3, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655174)

Short answer: No.

Long answer: They sort of used to be, but nowadays the lifecycles and capacities are large enough such that you could keep the SSD's interface saturated with writes for 5-10 years straight before you start to encroach on their conservatively rated write cycle life expectancy.

How are you sure they'll last that long? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655274)

It's easy for some marketing fools to say, "Oh, for sure, it'll last 5 to 10 years." It's easy for them to print those claims on the product packaging, too. But marketing claims don't, of course, have any real impact on the lifespan of a product.

We heard the same claims for CD-Rs years back. They'd last 99 years, we'd often hear. Now, less than 10 years later, people who backed up data onto CD-Rs are running into problems. Even when storing the burned CD-Rs properly, they have nevertheless developed unrecoverable read errors because they've degraded many times faster than expected.

Frankly, we can't say that these SSD drives will last 5-10 years straight, while saturated, especially while they really haven't been around for that long. Unless you've actually taken a drive and had it perform writes continuously for a decade, and can demonstratively provide that the drives will last that long before performance degrades, we have to assume the worst.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655584)

So lets assume it takes 3 years of proper use(massive torrenting of porn and deleting it afterwards) to reach the performance of a normal slow HD?

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658960)

I have nothing to add to the debate, but I love that you define proper SSD use as "(massive torrenting of porn and deleting it afterwards)".
Kudos, good sir.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31659830)

So lets assume it takes 3 years of proper use(massive torrenting of porn and deleting it afterwards) to reach the performance of a normal slow HD?

WHAT, they get faster the more you write??

What you are forgetting is that SSD are much faster at random-reads than HD, but much much slower in writes and generally slower in sustained read too.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655684)

I think we can safely say that you can saturate it for a couple years, as I imagine someone has done that and not had any issues.

Though I haven't seen the data, I think if someone consistently showed SSDs dying at a year of saturation (which is far more than you will usually have) it would make news.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31661988)

The bigger problem is write fragmentation. I have a one year old SSD (Intel X25-M, first generation) with about 15 gigabytes of writes per day and earlier this year I had to do a secure wipe on it to reset the fragmentation tables. With TRIM support this problem should go away.

I would really like to know when RAID controllers start supporting TRIM though, and when it'll be possible to hook up a readzilla/logzilla SSD like Sun has to a server to serve as a large second level cache and non-volatile write log.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655892)

Frankly, we can't say that these SSD drives will last 5-10 years straight

Frankly, we can't say anything about many things. If the risk of a gadget failing withing 5-10 years is unbearable, buy insurance against it.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659912)

Frankly, we can say anything about anything... and some of us would mean everything we say.

That does not, however, mean we know what the hell we are talking about.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656332)

This is probably true, but it will most likely outlast most hard disks.

But it is also true that many hard disks die after a couple of years average now, sometimes less...especially those that come in the pre-built retail computer systems. In some cases if you try to use the hard disk manufacturers warranty directly, they will tell you no and suggest you call system manufacturer that sold it to you (makes me wonder if the drives are refurbs or seconds, or perhaps they were spec'd out to be cheaper models), but i digress.

This is more like 6 months to a year in a laptop that is used on the road as they are most likely gonna get banged around or bumped from time to time, and used at varying angles and so forth.

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

Xiterion (809456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656740)

You have very valid concerns over the life of solid state media, and in general I share your cynicism concerning marketing claims, however the core technology for solid state drives is a lot older than the drives themselves. Flash memory and associated wear out aren't brand new problems, and the claims for SSD life aren't that outrageous given current flash memory tech. At least clueful people are in the habit of not trusting single drives for storage of data they care about...

Re:How are you sure they'll last that long? (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31660446)

> Unless you've actually taken a drive and had it perform writes continuously for a decade

Not true at all. That's why people does statistical modeling. The failure rate usually follows a exponential distribution, so you could calibrate their behavior in a fraction of time by analyzing a big set of disks.

Re:This is the way we are headed (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657404)

This is definitely NOT true for MLC cells, for the very largest SLC arrays it might be true (Intel x-25e 64GB at max write rate would last ~3 years at rated cell life). I guess it really depends on your usage pattern.

Re:This is the way we are headed (0, Offtopic)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654984)

First off, I apologize for the off-topic post in advance. I couldn't find any contact links to report this.

The Firehose has been Spam botted. Only 3 of the current 20 or so submissions are actually story submissions, the rest are spam/adverts for everything from acai berry shit to resorts in Goa. Spam posts about every 3 mins now...

And whats with all the wall-of-text repeat troll posts? They are in pretty much every story thread these days.

Could someone that knows how, or who, to contact about this (the spam) please do so?

Re:This is the way we are headed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655990)

actually, for my laptop I care about a few things:
noise level (I love watching videos while my wife sleeps)
heat (I hate it when the laptop is hot and I actually have it on my laps ...)
autonomy (I travel quite a bit in trains and planes, and my 2 hour autonomy laptop is not so great ...)

I like powerful machines, but they usually fail for the above

So maybe my next machine will be atom/ssd based, anyway I'll certainly take a look.

Re:This is the way we are headed (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659026)

I suggest a netbook. You are limited to a 12.1 inch screen, but even the cheapest Asus will run for 4-5 hours of moderate use. Several models have 8+ hour ratings.

Re:This is the way we are headed (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31680482)

noise level (I love watching videos while my wife sleeps)
You might just wake up the wife instead of relying on videos...

heat (I hate it when the laptop is hot and I actually have it on my laps ...)
And that's a bad thing how?

autonomy (I travel quite a bit in trains and planes, and my 2 hour autonomy laptop is not so great ...)
I hope those trains and planes are often rather empty...

Re:This is the way we are headed (1)

Taxman415a (863020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657696)

If you click to the sortbenchmark.org link, and click on the Ecosort link, it links to a paper [sortbenchmark.org] by the people that put the system together. It gives much more details about their system including this about their hardware decisions:

The system is based on a Zotac IONITX-A board, equipped with an Atom 330. This processor consumes more than three times the power of an N270 (8 W TDP) but supports two cores and four hardware threads. The main advantage of this system is that its nVidia Ion chipset provides four SATA ports that can handle the SSD transfers at full speed. Moreover, it allows two DIMMs for a total of 4 GiB of RAM. The 64 bit logical address space is less prone to fragmentation, which we experienced on the 32-bit Atom N270.

Which really shows that they got a 3 times improvement by going with sub-optimal choices because that's all that was available. If there existed a two or 4 core N270 64 bit that had the necessary RAM and SATA interfaces the results would have been even better. Just think if there was an ARM chipset and motherboard that had the needed interfaces. So there is quite a ways to go with power efficient computing and that's a good thing. I'm still waiting for a low power desktop Cortex A8 or A9 system to be widely available with all the standard PC parts. It's just going to take someone putting all the pieces together right.

Now we can have... (0)

bostei2008 (1441027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654690)

...sorting farms, with thousands of netbooks...

Re:Now we can have... (2, Funny)

farlukar (225243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654720)

no no no — you're supposed to say “Can you imagine...”

Re:Now we can have... (1)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654760)

Actually I have seen pictures of server farms using massive amounts of ITX boards.

One of the added benefits is to have a RAID style set-up aka RAIN : 'Redundant Array of Inexpensive Nodes' where you just have added hardware you might not need now, but since they are cheap, you just add more and power wise it also won't hurt much.

I have to still fight with 'old-timers' who still think in 'big and powerful monolithic' systems.
If I can get 2x the power with 1/2 the costs, what will the customer take?

Re:Now we can have... (2, Insightful)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654800)

...but you should also consider the computing power density. what you're saving in power usage you're spending in the storage rent/purchase/maintenance/whatever.

power efficiency will grant you savings up to a certain point only, eventually the massive space you're using will cost more than the power you're saving - it's unclear by now if a atom based farm is above or below that point, but the evidence (aka actual trend of big players investment) would suggest that moving datacenter up north and south the globe is still the best choice to reduce the energy bills (which is balanced by latency and such - so even that is a tradeoff in functionality)

Re:Now we can have... (2, Interesting)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656784)

True, though the space used by an ITX is smaller then those for your typical blade.
You can get about 2-3 in per u.

I also think you have to calculate the power needed. Some of the systems I have seen are designed for the worst-case, yet that hardly ever happens. But the system has to have all the bling and whatnot.

Or, if you need the power, the system has been nerfed because each node costs so much.

Also not to dismiss is the cooling requirements.
I have seen nodes you could use to keep your coffee/tea warm (on the outside!).

Naturally moving the datacenters around will benefit you to a certain degree. But those are often just short term solutions. Like any other 'outsourcing' they often depend on lower wages and/or subsidies which, once they are depleted, forces the datacenter to move.

But I agree with you, we need more data and experience.

Re:Now we can have... (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657582)

If you have low CPU needs why not virtualize? You can fit one heck of a lot of ITX sized VM's on a blade chassis full of modern equipment. If fact it would be on the order of 1500 in a 10U C7000 using 8GB dimm's if your VM's were 1GB and you had no memory overcommit. One c7000 is going to be a heck of a lot more power efficient than 1500 ITX boards, cheaper and more reliable besides.

Not much in the article (4, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654712)

Good to see that Jim's work lives on...meanwhile, this is about all you get in the article:

"EcoSort set records in the Joule category, which measured the amount of energy required to sort either 10GB, 100GB or 1TB of records.

It reached a maximum efficiency of 36,400 records sorted per joule for 100GB of data, using an Intel Atom 330 processor, 4GB of RAM, and four 256GB SSDs by flash vendor Super Talent Technology.

In 2009, a team from the University of Melbourne had the 100GB record of 11,600 records sorted per joule using the OzSort system, which comprised a 2.6GHz AMD processor, 4GB of RAM, seven 160GB 7200 RPM SATA hard disks and a Linux operating System."

Sure, this is the way things are going, but until prices come down we won't be seeing SSDs replacing HDDs; work fine for the desktop, tho'

Re:Not much in the article (2, Informative)

jmak (409787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654756)

More details are here [sortbenchmark.org] . Looks like it's a tweaked merge-sort.

Re:Not much in the article (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654902)

until prices come down we won't be seeing SSDs replacing HDDs

SSDs wont be as cheap per GB as HDDs for years and years, but that doesn't mean SSDs dont have their application already today. A 80 GB SSD is already quite affordable and holds enough data to be useful for a lot of people. And of course there's always the option to put your large data on HDDs (photos, videos, music, porn, whatever), and run your OS and applications from an SSD to get the benefit of the increased access times.

Re:Not much in the article (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656006)

Sure, this is the way things are going, but until prices come down we won't be seeing SSDs replacing HDDs; work fine for the desktop, tho'

We won't be seeing SSDs replacing HDDs until people start calculating differently: (Total power consumption costs + total cooling costs + price) / years until failure or replacement. And let's face it - 128GB of storage is enough for a lot of servers.

Re:Not much in the article (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657742)

Dude, the 3 year power and cooling cost of the whole server is less than the difference between the HDD and the SSD at this point. In a couple years when a 128GB SLC SSD can be had for the same cost as a 146GB SFF HDD it will make sense, but that's definitely not where we are today (Intel x-25e 64GB is ~$750, HP 146GB 10k is ~$200). Heck even the consumer grade x25m isn't there yet at ~$450 for the 160GB model.

why is the Via C7 not more popular? (5, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654774)

The Via C7/Nano seems to be a great chip for a home/small office server, what with its built-in AES encryption making it faster than even a high end Xeon without hardware acceleration. My current setup consists of 2*WD SE16 hard drives, APC UPS, 80+ Corsair PSU, PC2500e Nano mobo with 1GB, and a couple of 80mm case fans, together running under 50W idle, and only 7W more at full CPU load. If I were to replace the Corsair with a fanless PSU good up to 80-120W I might get an extra 5-10% efficiency; I could wipe out the case fans probably with no problem (2-3W, say), especially if I replaced hard with spinning solid state storage, and that of course would shave off around 15W. Substitute a large fanless heatsink for another W (or just get a fanless motherboard/CPU in the first place). But even as-is, it's a good improvement on my previous regular desktop CPU-based setup.

For something which is on 24 hours a day, going several months between reboots and stressed only in the IO and encryption departments, I see no reason to use a full-power desktop processor. So, what problems have you guys encountered which has meant you haven't ended up with this option?

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

LordAzuzu (1701760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654822)

Well, we should be able to compare the actual computational power of the 2 processors.
Guess the Atom is more energy efficient and faster than C7 (1Ghz is quite low ). Let alone now there are dual core atom chips, requiring only 4-5 watts more than the single core ones.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654898)

Wait, what? I was talking about a specific application in the general topic of power-efficient CPUs. I've yet to see a comparison of current high end Intel vs Via, e.g. Atom D510 vs Via Nano. If you genuinely need to sort all day, you probably have the intelligence and resources to prepare yourself, so you might be better off building a hardware sorting algorithm in an FPGA. You're unlikely to cluster low-power CPUs on off-the-shelf motherboards because your interconnect will be shit.

Also, what is the 1GHz referring to? Modern Via chips typically run up to 2GHz, and are architected differently from Atoms, so a straight MHz comparison is (as always) meaningless. For example, the Atom is (afaict) still an in-order CPU.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655708)

Obviously they're looking at stock hardware. Furthermore, all CPUs are about as optimized as anything could be for sorting. Trying to roll your own in hardware isn't going to help a lot when the primary bottlenecks are memory and disk.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654942)

Is the built-in AES encryption useful on Linux installations? E.g. if I scp files, will the encryption/decryption get offloaded to hardware?

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (3, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654990)

Yes. The bottleneck for ssh probably becomes the HMAC - this thread is enlightening [mindrot.org] . SHA HMAC is afaict considered difficult to accelerate with Via's implementation, though a patch may exist. With a stock (AES-accelerated) build, software MD5 is quicker.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

thasmudyan (460603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655148)

Sort of. You have to install the VIA Java Cryptography Service Provider to use the hardware acceleration, and I have the distinct feeling that standard SSH implementations won't be able to use that unless you patch them accordingly.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (5, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655216)

Erm, no, for developers there have been Linux kernel crypto modules supporting the Via Padlock [logix.cz] included since 2.6.11, and if you don't want them, you can always use the crypto instructions directly. The Java is just an API option provided by Via.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

thasmudyan (460603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655254)

Oops. Didn't know that, thanks for clearing it up. I think I'd rather make my next home server CPU a C7 instead of an Atom then!

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (3, Interesting)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654952)

What are you using AES encryption for, hard disk encryption? If so, this is a little unusual for a server, which are normally found in secure facilities, but make sense for a home perhaps.

I'm thinking a home NAS isn't something one would want a common house-thief to walk away with. But TFA article talks about sorting, and not NAS work, hence my request for clarity. I'm curious what your application, and OS is. Your setup is certainly interesting.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (3, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655066)

Sorry - although I mentioned that the Via's great for a home/office encrypted NAS, I perhaps wasn't clear that this is precisely the application I was talking about. I was just expanding the discussion on power-efficient CPU applications, and implying that, when considering energy efficiency, a low power CPU with dedicated circuitry for popular complex operations might be the way forward.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655164)

Thank you very much for the clarification, and the original information! I never really considered a VIA NAS PC, but yeah, disk encryption makes much sense for such an application.

And I had no idea the VIA CPU offered such disk-encryption in-chip performance. As someone who really enjoys Ubuntu full-disk-encryption on notebooks, and also as someone who has considered this type of CPU for home/soho NAS-use but hasn't gotten so deep yet... Thank you very much for the low-power, home/soho security CPU tip! (I was looking for something like this for awhile)

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#31679512)

Many latest Intel processors also include AES acceleration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES_instruction_set [wikipedia.org] (too bad Intel, as is usual with them, castrates low-end too excessively)

While not really beneficial over Via in NAS scenarios, I guess you would be happy if your next laptop had such CPU...

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31657028)

What are you using AES encryption for, hard disk encryption? If so, this is a little unusual for a server, which are normally found in secure facilities, but make sense for a home perhaps.

Except when a drive fails and you have to return it to the vendor (though some offer "no return" part replacements).

There's also the fact that it will be retired sometime, at which point you have to make sure it's wiped before hand (or trust the vendor will do it).

If you want offsite, offline backup you have have to worry about data-at-rest encryption. This is handled in hardware with LTO-4 tapes, but if want to carry disks outside the secure facility you have to start worrying about it as well.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31654968)

I tried to use my C7 system as a home server with remote desktop abilities. Unfortunately there was no video driver available supporting the chipset so I could only get it to run X in 16bit and scrolling pages would take forever (framebuffer). I tried the official VIA drivers and the OS replacement drivers but none of them would fully support the chipset (I am at work so I can't lookup the model).

So the next time when I need to purchase a system it will not be a VIA due to their fake Linux support.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655300)

best steer clear of SiS then too... i have an intel mini-itx board with a crappy sis chip which refuses to work properly in linux, for the rest it is quite OK.

but besides, X on server is for wimps :P real men SSH into their boxes and just bash their way to victory!

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

pinkishpunk (1461107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655014)

Except for via`s own boards, dell blades and samsung nc20 there aint much out there actual uses it, the mainboards from intel are atleast here alot cheaper than those from via.
For the consumer its down to whats cheaper and what have they heard about, Via never ran big advertisments like intel has done for atom in different mags, so lack of knowledge of the product leads to no comsumer demant.
While the c7/nano compares favoritable to the atom, they have failed to keep up and offer a dual core version, and if you look at linux atleast the situation with via based graphics, is pretty bad compared to intel offerings.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655644)

You can get a Via C7 board for $60 [newegg.com] so I honestly don't know how much cheaper they could go. I agree that they never advertised like AMD/Intel, but from what I understand they make a good living in the ultra low power market.

That said I would probably go with the Dual Sempron [newegg.com] for just $15 more, as the Sempron is still pretty low power and it has better expansion options, better graphics from an Nvidia onboard, and dual cores. It would probably be a better deal for the Linux users as well, as from what I understand Nvidia drivers work quite well in Linux. it would probably make a great low power server or desktop.

What is nice is that now we finally have the choice to go low power, whereas before it was pretty much either run a mobile CPU in a desktop (like in the old AMD 754 days) or underclock the CPU, and now there are plenty of low power options that will do most jobs without being a space heater or breaking your wallet. I am currently typing this on a 1.8GHz Sempron and I can really tell the difference when compared to the P4 based Celeron it replaced. Almost no heat, quiet as a church mouse, and no turning my apartment into a sauna. And for just surfing, downloading, and A/V, frankly it is more than enough.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655092)

Am I the only one who read this and thought that 50W idle is insanely high? For comparison, the BeagleBoard draws under 50mW idle. If the hard disks have spun down, that should be about your total power drain. Maybe 1W if you add a very inefficient PSU. Consuming 50W while doing nothing? That's not low power, that's embarrassing.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655194)

Erm, you're comparing apples and orchards.

45-50W is including UPS, PSU and everything spinning (and miscellaneous peripherals omitted from the above list, e.g. second Ethernet PCI, floppy, DVD drive, external modem), and with a discussion on how this is far from the lowest power solution and how I could improve things. The drives spin using around 8W each, for example.

The BeagleBoard draws 50mW at 5V DC with nothing connected, and would be hopeless for the NAS (and many other) applications described because it lacks the various ports from SATA to Gb NIC (or PCI for such expansion) which a higher power chipset provides, and lacks the horsepower necessary to make up for the lack of hardware crypto acceleration. USB NIC, now?

I had an ARM-powered primary desktop between 1990 and ~2000 (Acorn A3000, RISC PC), and now have an HP 50G calculator running off 4 AA batteries with a faster ARM CPU. I do appreciate the architecture and power efficiency of ARM designs.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655312)

You can run your equipment off a series of USB enclosures and iPod wall warts, and the power you save can make up for the extra disk accesses you're going to need when you only have 128MB fixed RAM.

On a diagram, marketing is the gap between sales brochure and reality.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655340)

and now have an HP 50G calculator running off 4 AA batteries with a faster ARM CPU. I do appreciate the architecture and power efficiency of ARM designs.

Are hp still emulating the saturn processor on their arm devices? while I understand with that model they are aiming for backwards compatibility. Attaching an arm clocked at 75mhz to a measly 512kb of ram and a 131x80 pixel screen seems ridiculous.

I know it's just a calculator and there to get the job done, but native code is nice and quick and using less cpu power lets the batteries last longer.

The TI nspire seems to be the only graphic calculator out there with a modern design.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655418)

Are hp still emulating the saturn processor on their arm devices?

Yes, although some operations have been accelerated with a native rewrite. But the emulation allows a very mature product to be executed without the cost and bugs inevitable with a complete port. People don't use calculators for their horsepower, but for usability and portability. The HP RPN + CAS are very usable.

FWIW, I very quickly gave up learning Saturn assembler when I still had a real Saturn device :-). Today, there are well-known ways of escaping to native ARM.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655650)

But you forget that most of those Watts is used to cool the CPU, and other stuff. A quad core ARM CPU of the newest generation would not need a cooling system, which would mean another big amounts of watts not drawn. Heck, The fact that the quad would draw a lot less than the 5-20watt slow x86 processor would give it a nice advantage.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655894)

For CPU cooling, I have replaced the stock PC2500e fan with a 40mm Rasurbo specced at 0.6W max, which I've then further slowed down. One of the dedicated case fans is used to cool the drives (quite effectively, so it'd be there regardless of CPU), and the other may be extraneous, as the PSU draws out air. It is left over from when I had a higher power board in there, particularly because I was considering a Zalman ZM-NB47J passive cooler for the C7 CPU and then keeping that case fan to ensure good airflow over it. This'd be quieter.

Many people seem to run completely motionless Via C7 boxes, including by modding this motherboard - although more likely is that you'd start off buying a fanless board. They're commonly available clocked at 1GHz, though 1.2-1.5GHz fanless seems possible.

All this said, I'd be interested in recommendations for ARM mobo/CPU combinations suitable for homebrew NAS/gateway applications, and to hear about crypto performance on these boards.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656654)

Many people seem to run completely motionless Via C7 boxes, including by modding this motherboard - although more likely is that you'd start off buying a fanless board. They're commonly available clocked at 1GHz, though 1.2-1.5GHz fanless seems possible.

That was pretty accurate about three years ago when I built a fanless mythtv box. Still running great.

Now a days they're all 1.2GHz on a designed to be fanless, off the shelf board. ATOM based boards claim to have a higher marketing speed. No idea if they actually crunch numbers any faster, first stage in the proc might be a /2 flipflop for all I know.

http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=2 [mini-itx.com]

The reason for slow speed growth in that market sector is lack of interest... I play full screen video on my 3 year old mythtv box... so a 20% faster processor, other than emptying my wallet, would provide ... nothing ... for me.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656068)

50W is a little high but not altogether bad for a system with multiple spinning disks and fans. The Beagleboard is an embedded system. Even with the required peripherals it doesn't hold a candle performance-wise to an Atom/Nano-based server.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656788)

you're comparing a bare DC-powered embedded board which doesn't even have a NIC with a fully kitted out server? why is this modded up?

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657014)

You think the NIC accounts for three orders of magnitude more power consumption? He said idle, so the disks should be spun down and consuming 1-3W each. The BeagleBoard usage includes flash, RAM, CPU, GPU (and DSP), USB controller, and remains under 1W even under heavy load. The Atom CPU consumes more power when idle than an entire BeagleBoard system (minus monitor) does under full load.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657564)

Wotcha. I'm glad the thread's received quite a bit of interest!

(1) Why "should" disks be spun down on an idle server? It's not like CPU which can pretty much instantly switch between power modes: an HDD takes time to spin up and spin down, and its life is decreased in doing so. You may decide to spin down drives, but only after a sufficient period of idling. If you really want to save power, an idle server "should" be asleep with WakeOnLan enabled.

(2) The BeagleBoard has 128MB of what looks to be on-chip memory, which is of course going to be lower power than if you need to route to a separate connector and fit off-the-shelf DIMMs. But it is an unreasonably small amount for a server, which benefits from a large disk cache - especially when it needs to decrypt what it reads from the drives but can keep memory unencrypted.

(3) The 256MB NAND flash might be useful for a root filesystem (what's the wear-levelling algorithm on this thing?), but it's hopeless for server storage. It's true that flash is going to idle much more efficiently than an HDD, and it's one of the things I raised in OP.

(4) Could you give an example where the "Atom CPU when idle" is consuming more power than a BeagleBoard "system"? I'm not sure what sort of system you mean, but I'm obviously talking about a NAS.

That 50W is three orders of magnitude greater than 50mW is entirely irrelevant. The draw of the CPU/mobo isn't so dominant in a typical system, and you're comparing one comparatively low horsepower CPU on a low feature board with a more powerful CPU on a board with enough expandability to be applied as a small desktop/server.

The BeagleBoard is still cool, of course, but for other things. And if you compared power draw of a bare VIA mobo with the BeagleBoard, I'd expect the latter to win out.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659206)

I did also considering a bone stock 200$ eeepc 900 series draws only 36 watts under full load. Hook that up to an external monitor and keyboard and you have something much more efficient for web browsing use. Toss in an external hard disk and you're all set to go.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31660986)

The EeePc's 36W full load is quite similar to the C7's 55W, recalling that the latter has two 3.5" drives and various fans rather than SSD. If a casual browsing machine were what's required, they'd both be fit for purpose following de-moving-part-ification of the C7.

Others have mentioned laptops (including the Mac Mini, which is just half a laptop) as requiring less power. Well, yes - the aim isn't to find the lowest power machine with storage and net connectivity, as then my 4 AA cell powered ARM-based HP 50G calculator would shine. For it takes SD cards and has a TCP/IP stack written for it :-). Actually, the 8088-compatible Psion Series 3a would do better: it has a nicer keyboard than most palmtops and a screen which has lasted two decades without deterioration. Two AAs, *two* flash slots - albeit proprietary.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655816)

if I replaced hard with spinning solid state storage

I don't think that is going to help the power figures. Besides, you'd also have to work out cable tangling issues... and that can be a difficult knot to solve.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655902)

Yes, I noticed that one straight after posting. Dammit :-).

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657840)

50W idle is frankly unimpressive for such an underpowered rig. I'm running an Athlon x2 4200, 4GB of ram, 2x HDD's, tv tuner, NVidia 9600 GSO and I idle under 50W (max is about 150W).

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658224)

Which motherboard, drives, PSU? Is everything spinning?

I'm not surprised to hear that idle performance is excellent on a modern desktop CPU, and I've heard similar achievements with a single desktop HDD. The 45mm Core 2 Duos also idle very efficiently, but shoot up under load with no hardware acceleration to mitigate.

I know that I'm unlikely to get readings much below current unless I switch to a PicoPSU or similar, because inefficiencies in a desktop PSU shoot right up at very low power output.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658444)

Agree that it's unimpressive. My Mac Mini running a 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, built-in drive, assorted USB peripherals including a second drive, all running through a UPS, typically measures 5-7W at the wall when idling. From time to time I've tried to load it up so that everything is in use and the processors are pegged, but have never gotten above 70W, again measured at the wall. The graphics capabilities are pretty anemic, which may make a substantial difference relative to many systems. OS X appears to be rather aggressive about getting into that 5-7W mode.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31658632)

There is absolutely no way that you're reading 5W at the wall with one Core 2 Duo plus two spinning drives, sorry. If one of these is a 7200rpm+ desktop drive, 5W+ will be needed to spin one drive. I'm running 4 year old but stably performing WD SE16 drives, and I know I could do better, but not this well.

Re:why is the Via C7 not more popular? (1)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31661548)

Good points, and an apples-to-apples comparison is always difficult. While billed as a desktop, many of the Mini components are parts designed for mobile systems. Internal hard disk is 2.5", as is the external USB drive, and both spin down after a long enough period with no activity. Unused hardware components get powered off. The Core 2 Duo allows parts of the on-chip hardware to be shut down as well. The OS does as much with clock rates and voltage as it can, and does so aggressively. Some of Apple's literature says that the OS will, under the right conditions, slow things down between keystrokes.

Apple claims 13W idle for the new Minis (mine is a few years old now), but I consistently come in at about half that after its been sitting for several minutes. Arguably, it's not really "idling", but might be considered a semi-sleep state of some sort.

North bridge, not so much... (1, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654910)

Of course you set records, when most of your CPU actually sits in your north bridge. Yes. That thing with the large heat sink and fan, is the north bridge. Not the CPU. The CPU is that smaller chip that you thought were the NB.

It’s a fraud. Nothing else. A trick to hide their failure to get even in the same magnitude as ARM.

Re:North bridge, not so much... (2, Interesting)

VulpesFoxnik (1493687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31654934)

Here here!

If any one attempted this test with a Arm Cortex 9A with the full 4 cores, this would be blown out of the water easily.

System power is what they measure (3, Informative)

Xocet_00 (635069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655324)

They measure the power at the wall and not on the CPU specifically, so there's no 'fraud' going on. Putting processing elements on the north bridge does nothing to gain this system an advantage. Reading the contest rules, they recommend power meters like this: http://www.brandelectronics.com/meters.html [brandelectronics.com]

Re:North bridge, not so much... (1)

washu_k (1628007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656776)

What the hell are you talking about? The north bridge does not contain most of the CPU. Yes, the Atom is often paired with an inefficient north bridge which requires a fan, but that's it. If what you said was true then Nvidia's ION (which replaces the north bridge) would be impossible.

The newer Pineview Atoms do combine the Northbridge and CPU. Again this is nothing speical or any trickery, AMD has been doing this for years. You would again be wrong in your description if it was a Pineview in that the small chip is just the south bridge, not the CPU.

All thanks to Ninnle! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31654994)

What the article fails to mention is the usage of the latest version of Ninnle Linux, nicely optimized for Atom processors. (I'm using it right here on this netbook.) Thanks to Ninnle, the system could be properly optimized, something that cannot happen within the current Windoze framework.

Re:All thanks to Ninnle! (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655640)

Ok, a windows tool on a unix platform? Woot?
But seriously when you move on.... does that mean that we could actually have tested this with a quad core ARM? I think we have a winner.

Re:All thanks to Ninnle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31701626)

Well...it's simple really. It's actually a DOS utility, and you have to fire up a NinnleDOS session within your Ninnle Linux. W00t!

Hand-Optimizing for architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655076)

I had a few lectures with prof. Sanders, and as far as I remember, they try to optimize as much as possible for the target architecture by hand.
As impressive as this feat is, it is in no way generic or usable across multiple architectures as far as I remember, but I am very willing to be proven wrong.

Meme built into the summary... (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655896)

...leading one of its developers to claim: 'In the long run, many small, power-efficient and cooperating systems are going to replace the so far used, heavy weighted ones.'

They're imagining the Beowulf clusters for us...

Re:Meme built into the summary... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657134)

This is more like a Gimli cluster.

Dangerous Metric (1)

eabrek (880144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656082)

Records / joule might be interesting to some people, but it is a dangerous metric overall.

Why?

Because it ignores time.

It is accounted for somewhat in that there will be some power draw for spinning disks, or leakage; but all-in-all not good.

Personally I hope this catches on (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656416)

as this could drive the prices of ssd devices way down if big number crunching outfits decide to go with the solid state disks.

Suspicious (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656908)

Jim Gray, Tim Bray... hm. Has anyone ever seen them in the same room together ?

Imagine what a cluster of ARM CPUs can do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656958)

Similar performance, 1/10 the power consumption.

some data farms exploring cell-phone netbook chips (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657378)

The Total Cost of Operation of a data center is more than half facilities and power than the chips. It looks to be more economical (TCO) to use low-power chips, and more of them, over the long run.

Re:some data farms exploring cell-phone netbook ch (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31659826)

But you'll have less density in terms of computing power, which means more racks and more floor space. I think the trend is toward higher power density. Once you add real estate costs, it is cheaper to run everything on fewer high powered CPUs than many Atoms although it may be less power efficient.

Re:some data farms exploring cell-phone netbook ch (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31664332)

hmm... [ziilabs.com] A Cortex A8 with 64 floating point units and a video unit capable of 1080p encode on a card that measures 72mm by 50mm. This could be interesting.

Not most energy efficient sorting (1)

vaebnkehn (1751828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31657782)

This assumes that we are limiting ourselves to digital media: You can sort any number of coins using no energy at all (besides gravity). http://www.algodoo.com/algobox/details.php?id=27217 [algodoo.com]
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