Starting out the last week of July's Linux benchmarking on Phoronix is a fresh comparison of several NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards when comparing the performance of the latest open-source Nouveau driver against the latest NVIDIA proprietary Linux graphics driver. While the Kepler cards now support GPU re-clocking, the results aren't quite ideal yet.
AMD Hawaii support works with GLAMOR (both with the external library and the internal support found in X.Org Server 1.16), is running a variety of Steam games, etc. As a word of caution, MSAA might be one of the currently broken Hawaii features unless additionally applying a libdrm patch. Among the titles people are reportedly trying with the Hawaii GPU on RadeonSI Gallium3D include Civilization 5, Half-Life 2, Metro: Last Light, Portal 2, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The performance on the open driver is said to be satisfactory in most situations but with XCOM for instance the frame-rate on a R9 290 class GPU is under ten frames per second and there's also issues with GPU stalls. A big problem reported by a user comes down to very poor performance in playback of video streams, such as from Twitch.
For the better part of a year, the X.Org Foundation has been evaluating a possible merger with SPI. That work is still ongoing and could be put up for a vote in the weeks ahead.
At yesterday's X.Org Board of Directors' meeting (IRC log), an update was shared and comes down to Keith Packard working with the SPI on constructing a resolution to bring to the SPI board. However, first the X.Org board will need to review the draft, etc. Assuming the SPI board votes in favor of this resolution, the following step is then to take the revised X.Org Foundation member by-laws to a vote by all X.Org Foundation members.
As the second part of our Linux graphics testing this week after a Radeon R600/RadeonSI performance update with the Linux 3.16 kernel and Mesa 10.3-devel are some comparative numbers that include Intel's Haswell HD Graphics and various NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards on the Nouveau driver.
What we have for this article are the benchmarks of an assortment of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs (and the integrated HD Graphics of the Core i7 Devil's Canyon processor used for testing all the hardware) with the latest open-source graphics drivers using Linux 3.16 and Mesa 10.3-devel. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was running on the system with using the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA for the latest kernel and the Oibaf PPA for the updated graphics drivers.
As the first part of an upcoming series of tests benchmarking the latest open-source and closed-source Linux graphics drivers for AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce hardware, here's some benchmark results for several recent Radeon GPUs when tested on the current Git version of the Linux 3.16 kernel and a recent Mesa 10.3-devel snapshot.
Those wishing to see the Raspberry Pi B+ performance benchmarks with a Debian Linux host, the results are available from 1407220-BY-1407183GL47. To see how the results compare against your own Linux systems, with the Phoronix Test Suite you simply need to run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1407220-BY-1407183GL47 to conduct a quick, fully-automated, side-by-side performance comparison.
I’m sorry for the late announcement. Here’s a tentative schedule for the 3.5 release.
July 21: Branch for 3.5 release.
- All features should be near completion. Changes to complete existing features will be accepted until the end of testing phase I. But they should *not* be major (i.e., large) changes. If they are, they may be rejected.
Earlier this month AMD published an open-source HSA Linux driver for exploiting the potential of their much-promoted Heterogeneous System Architecture. This driver, now known as the "AMDKFD" driver, is up to its second revision and continues being analyzed by developers on the mailing list.
The aforelinked article goes over all the basic AMD HSA Linux driver details while its the AMD-specific HSA driver that's being worked on the most and discussed. Version two of the "AMDKFD" driver came out on Thursday and lives under the DRM Radeon GPU driver as the "AMDKFD" to provide the "HSA kernel driver for AMD Radeon devices."
Just a very short time after Nouveau added support for OpenGL 4 indirect drawing, AMD developers have now added support for the related OpenGL 4.x extensions to the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.
The extensions newly supported by the RadeonSI Gallium3D code in mainline Git is OpenGL 4.0's GL_ARB_draw_indirect and OpenGL 4.3's GL_ARB_multi_draw_indirect. This work is just about the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and not R600g. These extensions are also enabled for the Gallium3D Softpipe and LLVMpipe fallback drivers too, besides the Nouveau NVC0 and Intel i965 support too.
The X.Org Server 1.16 release has almost 35,000 lines of new/changed code, per Keith's notes. X.Org Server 1.16 is one of the more exciting releases in recent times and represents about six months of development work. X.Org Server 1.17 is now on the table for late this year or early 2015. X.Org Server 1.16 is codenamed Marionberry Pie.
As it's been some months since last running any Linux vs. Mac OS X performance benchmarks, up today are benchmarks of the latest OS X 10.9.4 release on a Haswell-based Apple MacBook Air compared to running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on the same hardware with also upgrading against the Linux 3.16 development kernel.
RedHat Enterprise Linux is an enterprise-grade Linux distribution, which is frequently used in corporate data centers as an operating system for NAS storage devices. From the performance point of view, the new Linux kernel and the new default file system may have a significant impact on a NAS storage device and therefore it is very important to understand how the newly released RedHat Enterprise Linux version 7.0 compares to the last stable version 6.5.
One of the biggest challenges with the Nouveau open-source graphics driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware in recent times has been with regard to GPU / video memory re-clocking. As a minor step forward, NVIDIA has contributed re-clocking patches for the GK20A graphics processor.
Re-clocking has long been a big challenge for the Nouveau driver to obtain maximum graphics performance while also maintaining optimal performance-per-Watt and being efficient while idling. With the Linux 3.16 kernel for select generations of GPUs is faster performance but it can be buggy while now today for Tegra K1 owners NVIDIA has come to the table with re-clocking code for the "GK20A" GPU found within this high-end NVIDIA ARM SoC.
AMD has just published a massive patch-set for the Linux kernel that finally implements a HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) in open-source. The set of 83 patches implement a Linux HSA driver for Radeon family GPUs and serves too as a sample driver for other HSA-compatible devices. This big driver in part is what well known Phoronix contributor John Bridgman has been working on at AMD.
In this article just for putting the initial CentOS/SL results into some perspective, I have some initial data from a single Intel Core i7 system running these new releases plus Fedora and Ubuntu Linux. Just as some initial metrics to get started with our benchmarking, from an Intel Core i7 4770K system with 8GB of RAM, 150GB Western Digital VelociRaptor HDD, and Intel HD Graphics 4600, I tested the four Linux distributions. The hardware and its settings were maintained the same during testing.
Originally for this first article I also hoped to test Scientific Linux / CentOS 6.5 too, but after doing the 7.0 tests and trying to boot the 6.5 releases, there was a kernel error preventing the testing from being realized (on initial boot was the i915 DRM error about detecting more than eight display outputs; when booting without DRM/KMS mode-setting support, there would be an agpgart error.) The i915 issue is corrected on future kernel revisions but for this system it was preventing the 6.5 releases from running nicely. From an older, more workstation focused system I will be running the new vs. old CentOS/SL releases.
Succeeding last month's NVIDIA 340.17 Linux driver beta is now the first official release in the 340.xx driver series for Linux / Solaris / BSD. The NVIDIA 340.24 driver was released this morning with new features but is heavier on the fixing side.
The main feature to the NVIDIA 340.24 driver (and carried over from the 340.17 driver) is initial support on Linux for G-SYNC monitors. The proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver now has support for dealing with G-SYNC (NVIDIA's variable refresh-rate technology similar in nature to AMD FreeSync and VESA Adaptive-Sync -- the support came just months after we reported NVIDIA was working on G-SYNC Linux support.
In complementing the earlier Linux 3.16 file-system tests on an SSD (and the later Btrfs testing), here are benchmarks of EXT4, XFS, and Btrfs from the Linux 3.15 and 3.16 kernels being compared from a traditional rotating hard drive.
As has become common practice at Phoronix, for each new development kernel we end up benchmarking the most commonly used, mainline Linux file-systems on a hard drive and solid state drive. With the SSD results out there in the aforelinked articles, in this article are results using a high-performance Western Digital HDD from a Core i7 Haswell system running Ubuntu and comparing the mainline stable Linux 3.15 kernel against a daily snapshot of Linux 3.16 from this week.
X.Org Server 1.16 has been delayed. However, it's not been delayed like in some of the more notorious past releases due to outstanding bugs, etc, but over letting in a late feature to this latest revision of the X11 server.
There was a lot of developer interest and pressure to let non-PCI device support get merged for the 1.16 stable release. This non-PCI support is needed for allowing the NVIDIA Tegra (open-source) graphics driver to work properly in an easy manner since it's not exposed as a PCI VGA device. Thierry Reding at NVIDIA along with support from other developers worked out adding this non-PCI graphics support on the X.Org Server side.