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Benchmarks Of JCC Erratum: A New Intel CPU Bug With Performance Implications On Skylake Through Cascade Lake

Intel is today making public the Jump Conditional Code (JCC) erratum. This is a bug involving the CPU's Decoded ICache where on Skylake and derived CPUs where unpredictable behavior could happen when jump instructions cross cache lines. Unfortunately addressing this error in software comes with a performance penalty but ultimately Intel engineers are working to offset that through a toolchain update. Here are the exclusive benchmarks out today of the JCC erratum performance impact as well as when trying to recover that performance through the updated GNU Assembler. The microcode update prevents jump instructions from being cached in the Decoded Icache when those instructions cross a 32-byte boundary or where they end on a 32-bit boundary. Due to that change there will be more misses from the Decoded ICache and switches back to the legacy decode pipeline -- resulting in a new performance penalty. The Decoded ICache / Decoded Streaming Buffer has been around since Sandy Bridge but only Skylake and newer is affected by this erratum. Cascade Lake is affected by this erratum but Ice Lake and future iterations appears unaffected. The erratum notice officially lists Amber Lake, Cascade Lake, Coffee Lake, Comet Lake, Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Whiskey Lake as affected generations for the JCC bug. Read more

Games: Epic Games, Gravity Ace, American Truck Simulator and PPSSPP

  • Epic Games acquires Quixel with its enormous library of 3D and 2D assets

    Epic Games have reached down the back of the sofa and pulled up enough loose change to acquire Quixel. For those not familiar, Quixel are responsible for some seriously high quality 3D and 2D assets and their pretty well-known for their "Megascans". These super-high quality assets are used in plenty of AAA games, films and more. Some of what they've made is truly impressive too and Quixel have well over ten thousand assets people can use with a huge assortment of items. Since they're now owned by Epic, their library of assets are being made completely free to Unreal Engine users. Ten of these high-res packs have already been made free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, with more coming in future. However, they're not stopping developers using them elsewhere and for those who are, the subscription prices have been lowered and the resolution cap was removed.

  • Gravity Ace, a gorgeous retro 2D twin-stick shooter that looks like Thrust on some serious steroids

    Thrust is that you? Gravity Ace, a new pixel-art twin-stick shooter in development by John Watson is looking quite incredible and it's coming to Linux. Being made in the FOSS game engine Godot Engine, it's actually inspired by both the classics Thrust and Gravitar. Obviously graphically a huge amount better since they're pretty old, Gravity Ace certainly looks like it will get quite intense and you can even try it out right now.

  • How To: Fix American Truck Simulator not displaying on Linux with the latest update

    It seems the latest update of American Truck Simulator has come with a few issues, like the Linux version playing audio but seemingly displaying nothing. Here's a fix for you. Curiously, it grabs your cursor and plays audio as if it's working. However, when you ALT+TAB (at least on the KDE desktop), it will then show a very tiny window so it seems something is wrong with how they're initially detecting screens since the latest update.

  • How to Play PSP Games in Linux with PPSSPP

    PPSSPP is one of the easiest to use PSP emulators. Theoretically, you can run it, select a game file, and almost immediately you’ll see most of PlayStation Portable’s titles run on your screen without a hitch. Learn how you can install PPSSPP in Linux and customize how it works. If you have a powerful computer, you can also implement upgrades that can dramatically improve how all games are presented and perform in PPSSPP.

Here's KDE Plasma Mobile Running on the PinePhone Open Source Linux Smartphone

KDE developer Bhushan Shah posted today on Twitter a photo of his PinePhone open source Linux-powered smartphone from PINE64 running the latest KDE Plasma Mobile, which is mostly an open-source user interface designed for small screens, like those on phones and tablets. KDE Plasma Mobile is currently available from various Linux OS makers, including KDE neon, Debian GNU/Linux, and postmarketOS. Of all three, KDE neon is the recommended choice for installing a Linux-based operating system on a supported devices to run the latest KDE Plasma Mobile user interface. Read more

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