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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:49 pm

Redocbew wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
The problem is we have 3 tiers of memory/storage now when previously there were only 2.


Having three tiers instead of two is nothing new. We've seen that before with other types of storage caches. The average consumer isn't going to have any idea what Optane is, so they're not going to be confused at all by seeing one more bullet point about it. The only things they're looking for is:

1. Lots of gigahertz
2. Lots of RAMs
3. A "big" hard drive.

Anything else probably isn't really going to register, and if I had to guess I'd say this change in marketing has nothing to do with performance.

Yeah, but they're lumping both the RAM and Optane under "memory", which I agree is borderline deceptive. As usual, the uneducated consumer gets duped into thinking they're getting a great deal, when in fact they are not.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:55 pm

Yep. The fact that it's Optane being used for the cache this time doesn't really change anything(except maybe the economics as other posters have said). It's still just a storage cache using NVMe like any other SSD would be. At least I hope it'd be using NVMe and there's no OEMs hooking their Optane cache up to the same SATA bus used by the spinner in order to save a few pennies, but I wouldn't put it past them.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:42 pm

NTMBK wrote:
Is the optane "memory" byte addressable? No? Then stop calling it memory. It's storage.


Optane does seem to be byte-addressable. However, all the details seem to be hidden inside Intel's "Memory Drive Technology" software. If it blurs the line between DRAM and Optane well enough then the random access time for a single byte (or any small transfer size) is difficult or impossible to benchmark.

Keep in mind that even RAM is not byte-addressable, at least not for the purpose of measuring latency; the smallest unit of data transfer between a CPU and RAM is one cache line (64 bytes).
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:28 pm

NTMBK wrote:
Is the optane "memory" byte addressable? No? Then stop calling it memory. It's storage.


To be fair, DDR4 RAM is typically Burst-Length 8 on 64-bit bus, so DDR4 is actually 64-byte addressable at best. Soooo... at best you'd call DDR4 RAM to be 64-byte addressable (due to BL8), maybe 1kB addressable (1024 byte "rows" which are addressed with a RAS command).

IMO, "RAM" is that thing that is ~100ns of latency with ~40GBps of bandwidth on typical computers. Optaine doesn't have those characteristics, so it is misleading to call it "RAM". (Note that "Flash NAND" is technically RAM, but no one misleads consumers into calling Flash storage as "RAM")
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:12 pm

I don't like this, but I can't say that it's much worse than, for example, advertising a CPU's single core turbo speed as generic "clock speed" which happens more than it should. Plus there's the issue that both the performance and system architecture of small Optane modules make it something that doesn't fit nicely into either of the data-storage buckets that the typical customer are familiar with.
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:35 am

NovusBogus wrote:
I don't like this, but I can't say that it's much worse than, for example, advertising a CPU's single core turbo speed as generic "clock speed" which happens more than it should. Plus there's the issue that both the performance and system architecture of small Optane modules make it something that doesn't fit nicely into either of the data-storage buckets that the typical customer are familiar with.

This is worse because it's not Optane as memory, it's Optane as storage and they know it.

We're not talking about machines using Optane memory devices here (i.e. this is not Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs which exist and go in DIMM slots on a server motherboard), these are Optane storage devices, 16 GB M.2 NVMe products.

These laptops e.g. Dell Inspiron 15 5570 typically seem to have a single SO-DIMM of DDR4 2400, which has a write latency of ~50 ns and write b/w ~19 GB/s ; their Optane M.2 16 GB device has a spec'd write latency of 30 μs and peak theoretical write bandwidth 145 MB/s

That review tested a 64 and a 32 GB version with spec of 640 and 290 MB/s write and they delivered at QD1 random write performance of 129.9 and 97.5 i.e. 1/5th and 1/3rd peak bandwidth respectively. Apply that to the 16 GB model and you get (being kind) maybe 45 MB/s

So, the ratio here versus actual memory is 600 on latency and 130 to 390 on bandwidth.

i.e. 30,000 vs 50 ns (where bigger is worse) and
50-145 vs 19,000 MB/s (where smaller is worse).

In the case of those CPU turbo vs base clock speeds that you mention, it's nothing like as bad though, because they are the same thing and the effect is a factor of 2-3 not a factor of 600.

e.g. the i7-8500Y with 4.2 GHz 1T boost clock and 1.5 GHz base clock, and IRL the clocks will mostly be up nearer the 4 GHz than the 1.5 GHz level.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:19 pm

biffzinker wrote:
No worse than AMD proclaiming the FX 8150/8350 is a eight core CPU when in reality it was a quad core with 8 threads. But those last four threads did have dedicated hardware unlike SMT that soaks up under utilized resources in the core.

Except it was an 8 core CPU for integer ops with shared hardware for floating point ops (and depending on the instructions issued it was either 8 wide or 4 wide). It's like reverse SMT, and it was technically different enough (and I'm using the engineering definition of technically, not a technicality) to warrant it being labeled as an 8 core CPU.

The lawsuit against them is stupid, technically incompetent, and it better die out before really going anywhere.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:46 pm

There once was a day when "Storage" was memory. In the days of getmains, and so forth.

And disk space was "DASD".

Now RAM is memory, even though disk and solid state media can be accessed randomly too. And disk is storage, even though memory still "stores" data.

The longer I stay in this industry, the confuseder I get.

Did we ever refer to punched cards, paper tape, or tape as "storage"? The first two were before my time, but now they're gone, as is tape. If you want tape, it's available virtually...which means it resides on disk. I mean storage. :P ;)
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:00 pm

Tape is still alive and well. It's still called storage (though it's called offline storage more often these days).
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:51 pm

Yup, tape is still very much a thing. No other tech can touch its cost per byte, and properly stored it has excellent archival characteristics. It's just an entirely "behind the scenes" enterprise data center tech these days, having disappeared from home and (most) office environments.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:25 am

My dad was nearly misled by this marketing chicanery. He was in the market for a new laptop. I told him I'll help him buy one when I visit home, but he went ahead and got one anyways.

Called me from the store and bragged that he got a "great deal" on a HP laptop with 24GB of memory. I told him that it wasn't possible to get 24GB of memory at that price point, but he insisted so - because that's what the store people told him.

I asked him to send me a picture of the configuration and I realized what he was talking about.

Bought him a new laptop with 16GB of *real* memory instead
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:52 am

Yep. It's working exactly as they intended. :(
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:10 am

I'm still in the camp that 8+16 will perform just as good as 16+0 for the regular consumer, especially at a lower price point *shrug*
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:22 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I'm still in the camp that 8+16 will perform just as good as 16+0 for the regular consumer, especially at a lower price point *shrug*

A storage acceleration cache cannot make up for lack of DRAM. There are many orders of magnitude difference in performance (both bandwidth and latency) once you get out of local memory.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:44 am

I get that in theory. I don’t think that it is noticeable to a general consumer and have not seen any anecdotal experience to that effect either.
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:48 am

I feel like comparing an 8+16 machine to a 16+0 is an apples and oranges comparison. If the 16+0 has only a standard mechanical hard drive then one has better memory while the other has better storage. Each is better in a different way.

I would also reiterate that Amazon listings for these are literally marking them as having "24GB DDR4" RAM in the tech spec. It doesn't consistently call it memory. It calls it RAM and DDR4 at that. It doesn't matter how they perform, the consumer is being lied to and that's wrong.
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:56 am

Any machine made within the past ten years will be fine for the "general consumer", so according to that logic why should OEMs bother with any attempt at accurately describing the components of the machine? Why not make claims that are completely outrageous and blatantly false just to help it sell? They can't, because that's called fraud.

I'm not trying to go all super hyperbolic about this. I really just don't understand how this could be defended as anything other than a cheap trick.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:57 am

The first one I found. I have no problem with how this is written. I don’t think it is disingenuous.

HP 17.3" HD+ Laptop, Intel Quad Core i5-8250U Processor up to 3.4 GHz, 24GB Memory (16GB Intel Optane + 8GB RAM), 1TB Hard Drive, DVD-RW, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Backlit Keyboard https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F3FQQ8L/re ... wCbG0KZSZQ


Edit: did some more digging. This is kinda what you are talking about. It is disingenuous. They should have taken the word “RAM” out of the subject and just left it as “24GB Memory”

2019 Newest Flagship HP High Performance 2-in-1 Convertible x360 Laptop, 15.6” FHD Touch-Screen IPS Display, Latest Intel Quad-Core Processor, 24GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, 802.11AC, Windows 10 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KSPDM8V/re ... wCbM2BMQWX
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:01 pm

The economics aren't that, those 2 configs costs are quite different so to do a real comparison you'd need to go for
16 GB DDR4 RAM + 0 GB NVMe storage cache + 1 TB SATA == 8 GB DDR4 RAM + 32 GB NVMe storage cache + 1 TB SATA bulk storage

and at that level, it might start to make sense to put in the Optane NVMe part.

Problem is, this is happening due to price constraints, with
4 GB DDR4 RAM + 16 GB NVMe storage cache + 1 TB SATA bulk storage == 8 GB DDR4 RAM + 0 GB NVMe storage cache + 1 TB SATA bulk storage

Or even less RAM, i.e. the system is woefully inadequate in some important respect.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:04 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
The first one I found. I have no problem with how this is written. I don’t think it is disingenuous.

HP 17.3" HD+ Laptop, Intel Quad Core i5-8250U Processor up to 3.4 GHz, 24GB Memory (16GB Intel Optane + 8GB RAM), 1TB Hard Drive, DVD-RW, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Backlit Keyboard https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F3FQQ8L/re ... wCbG0KZSZQ


Edit: did some more digging. This is kinda what you are talking about. It is disingenuous. They should have taken the word “RAM” out of the subject and just left it as “24GB Memory”

2019 Newest Flagship HP High Performance 2-in-1 Convertible x360 Laptop, 15.6” FHD Touch-Screen IPS Display, Latest Intel Quad-Core Processor, 24GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, 802.11AC, Windows 10 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KSPDM8V/re ... wCbM2BMQWX

It is disingenous to put Optane NVMe storage in the memory part of the description.

This is not using Optane memory devices in DIMM format, if it were I couldn't call it disingenous.

Edit:
8 GB DDR4 DIMM + 16 GB Optane DIMM + 1000 GB SATA HDD == 24 GB Memory + 1000 GB Storage
8 GB DDR4 DIMM + 16 GB Optane NVMe drive + 1000 GB SATA HDD == 8 GB Memory + 1016 GB Storage

The latter is what is being made, and it is being sold as if it were the former.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:11 pm

Redocbew wrote:
I'm not trying to go all super hyperbolic about this. I really just don't understand how this could be defended as anything other than a cheap trick.

I think where I’m differing is that to me this isn’t anything over and above normal Marketing truth-stretching. For example calling a tv 240hz when that is the internal refresh not an input frequency. Or a projector 1080p when it is 720p native resolution and just scales down to that. Or a 40” screen “42-inch class”

If you have just as much of a problem with those type things as the Optane wording, then I agree completely with you.
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:20 pm

Topinio wrote:
It is disingenous to put Optane NVMe storage in the memory part of the description.

This is not using Optane memory devices in DIMM format, if it were I couldn't call it disingenous.

Even Optane DIMMs are wildly different than DRAM, though. They don't add to the memory pool (at least, there are no implementations that do that yet) so they can only really be used by specialized applications (nothing a consumer will run) or as storage acceleration. There's just no way for them to make up for a lack of DRAM as a storage accelerator.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:11 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I'm still in the camp that 8+16 will perform just as good as 16+0 for the regular consumer, especially at a lower price point *shrug*


Absolutely not. This isn't NVDIMM.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:43 pm

How about this:

If the "memory" is in a ram slot (dimm or so dimm) then it is RAM.
If the "memory" is in a storage device slot (sata, ida, m.2, scsi, PCIe) then it is STORAGE.

It is not about speed, it is about how close the processor is it?

or in more simple terms is it attached to the north bridge or the south bridge? (back when we had these things...)
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:22 pm

MOSFET wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I'm still in the camp that 8+16 will perform just as good as 16+0 for the regular consumer, especially at a lower price point *shrug*


Absolutely not. This isn't NVDIMM.

There is a obvious lack of data in this conversation, admittedly from both sides. I'd love to see some real-world usage results (not synthetic benchmarks) regarding various configurations of RAM, Optane, SSD, & spinning disk HDD's.
How about:
8+16+0+1000
16+0+256+0
4+16+0+1000
 
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:39 pm

MOSFET wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I'm still in the camp that 8+16 will perform just as good as 16+0 for the regular consumer, especially at a lower price point *shrug*


Absolutely not. This isn't NVDIMM.

It all depends on how much storage they use. If they're basically booting into Windows, opening Chrome, and maybe editing an offline Office doc (i.e. not using an online document solution like GDocs) then sure, I could see his point. But they're absolutely not the same thing and should not be marketed as such.
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Re: Annoying marketing trend

Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:00 pm

Aranarth wrote:
How about this:

If the "memory" is in a ram slot (dimm or so dimm) then it is RAM.
If the "memory" is in a storage device slot (sata, ida, m.2, scsi, PCIe) then it is STORAGE.

No no no. NVDIMM is not RAM since it is not addressable or usable by consumer OSes or applications.
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