release plan continues as follows:
- two weeks to let the alpha version stabilize, and only merge small
features along with bug fixes
- RC1 release on September 5th, Friday
- RC2 release on September 12th, Friday
- hopefully no more bugfixing much
- 1.6.0 release on September 19th, Friday
- at some point later master branch opens again for all new things.
Yesterday I shared some benchmarks showing Intel Sandy Bridge HD Graphics performance increasing on Linux 3.17 for this several year old architecture. This came as a surprise but the good news is the performance improvements on this new Linux kernel don't stop with OpenGL but extend to CPU performance too.
Besides the recent work to support OpenGL Geometry Shaders for Sandy Bridge in Mesa, users of Intel "Sandy Bridge" HD Graphics can also be thankful for the forthcoming Linux 3.17 kernel. Early testing of Linux 3.17 has revealed that for at least some Intel Sandy Bridge hardware are OpenGL performance improvements with the newer kernel code.
Tests I carried out last month with a Haswell-based Apple MacBook Air showed Linux largely smashing OS X 10.9 with the latest open-source graphics driver code on Linux over Apple's OpenGL driver. Today I'm testing the latest OS X 10.9.4 state against the newest Linux kernel and Intel Mesa driver code on Ubuntu while this time using an older Sandy Bridge era Apple Mac Mini.
Early benchmarking of the Linux 3.17 kernel have indicated faster performance for AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver thanks to Radeon DRM improvements.
There's plenty of Radeon changes for Linux 3.17 among which is properly-working AMD Radeon R9 290 (Hawaii) graphics support after these high-end GPUs were busted on the open-source Linux driver for countless months. Linux 3.17 also expands where Radeon Dynamic Power Management (DPM) is enabled, supports uncached and write-combined GTT buffers, Userptr support, and there's GPU VM improvements among other fixes and improvements.
AMD's proprietary Catalyst Linux driver installer is interestingly being prepared for an environment without an X.Org Server.
While there's no announcement out of AMD indicating any future support directions for their Catalyst Linux driver, it seems their Catalyst driver will soon be equipped with an option for building the driver packages without X.Org Server support, a.k.a. no building of the fglrx DDX driver.
For those living on the Mesa 10.2 stable series rather than the experimental Mesa 10.3 code, there's a new point release out today.
Carl Worth of Intel released Mesa 10.2.6 as the latest bug-fix update. Mesa 10.2.6 has at least 28 bugs fixed, including many affecting core Mesa, some AMD RadeonSI fixes (affecting Hawall and Tahiti hardware), and various other fixes. Anuj Phogat contributed the most fixes at 15 followed by Marek Olšák at 4.
While Mesa is still racing towards OpenGL 4.0 compliance, another OpenGL 4.5 extension can now be crossed off the Mesa TODO list.
Some Mesa developers have already started tackling some of the easier OpenGL 4.5 extensions and today another can be crossed off the list. Thanks to Tobias Klausmann. GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted is now supported by Mesa. The core work for GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted is complete and is implemented currently by the Gallium3D-based Nouveau NVC0 (Fermi+), Softpipe, and LLVMpipe drivers. Support will surely come in time for mainline Mesa with this extension for the RadeonSI Gallium3D and Intel drivers.
Nouveau developer Martin Peres has published a set of ten Nouveau DRM patches working towards proper fan/power management support for NVIDIA's latest "Maxwell" GPUs.
The patches by the long-time Nouveau contributor from France adds Maxwell support for fan management, changes to fan handling, PWM fan support (Pulse Width Modulation) support, and other power/fan related fixes and improvements.
As a continuation to yesterday's brief GCC 4.9 vs. GCC 4.10 (GCC 5.0) comparison with the AMD A10 A-Series "Kaveri" APU, here's some benchmarks when using the GCC 4.10 development snapshot and trying a variety of CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS to see the current impact on their performance for a variety of Linux benchmarks.