Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

15″ Retina MacBook Pro Late 2013 vs. Dell XPS

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

People who know me certainly know by now how disappointed and frustrated I became over the last years with Apple’s MacBook lineup and their hardware refresh. Or better, the lack of it, …

The other month Dell was so kind to send a Dell XPS 15 to me to give it a try. While I’m still writing on a full review I wanted to share a first performance figure compiling the Linux 4.7 kernel from an external USB3 SSD, both with 16GB RAM.

rMacBookPro late-2013 w/ i7-4850HQ CPU @ 2.30GHz: 20m48s, 145m40s
Dell XPS 15 w/  i7-6700HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz: 13m32s, 92m14s

The first time is total wall clock time, the second is total CPU time due parallelism as shown by time(2).

Yep, that is some whooping 35% faster

And a contributing factor for Apple’s MacBook loosing so much is also the notoriously underdesigned thermal system, fans, and heatsink and such. As the Linux kernel points out quite some thermal throttling on the Apple machine, but not on the Dell:


CPU5: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU1: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU3: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU2: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU4: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU6: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU7: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU0: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
CPU1: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
mce: [Hardware Error]: Machine check events logged
CPU5: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 1)
mce: [Hardware Error]: Machine check events logged

The sad state of silicon

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

So I wanted to do some Qemu/KVM tests. Turns out all my aging local AMD boards have not yet an IOMMU in the chipset, sigh (though it sounds like the AMD Phenom II cpus would otherwise include one already?).

I wish I could already buy some AMD Zen silicon - just to support them, you know, …

So I looked at Intel for some single socket heavy multi core CPU.

Turns out their situation around Xeon CPUs is totally ridiculous. If you want more than a couple of cores you are left with 3++ years old silicon, look here:
Xeon e3 v5 (Skylake) about up to 8 cores

Xeon e3 v4 (Broadwell) somehow also only up to 8 cores
Only Xeon e3 v3 (Haswell) exist the heavy up to 18 !!!! cores per modul, beasts … :-/
ok, that thing is some 6000 EUR, maybe I do not really want that ;-)
18 cores, 36 threads
and right now at Xeon v5 just 4 cores, 8 threads???
Everyone is talking about how little AMD is delivering - but seriously, what crazy outdated silicon is that at Intel?

If I am going to spent some 1000++ EUR for a CPU, I will definitely not award it toward a 3++ years old chip architecture, … :-/

Mac OS X Disable System Integrity Protection

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

As Mac OS X requires booting the recovery partition to disable SIP. What does the command:

csrutil disabled

actually do?

Looks like it sets

csr-active-config w%00%00%00

in the nvram.

Phone vendors can not earn as much as Apple

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Why most (if not next to all) smartphone vendors can not be as successful as Apple:

For one simple economic reason: They do not own an AppStore, and thus Samsung, Sony, etc. pp can not cash in the 30% of all transactions made for apps and other content within.

Basically all HTC & Co can earn is the “small” profit on the initial hardware sale. Apple on the other hand makes plenty of surplus money on all third-party software and content sales thereafter. All they do is having the monopoly on the distribution hub.

Lucky Apple for this coincidence. And initially, with the introduction of the original, 1st-gen iPhone Steve Jobs did not even wanted to allow native Apps on iPhoneOS, … I have the feeling even he did not foresee this billions coming.