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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: Intel, AMD and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Lands A Hefty Tiger Lake Graphics Optimization - Phoronix

    From my Tiger Lake testing so far with the Core i7 1165G7, the "Gen12" Xe Graphics have been quite compelling with a very nice upgrade over Gen11 and especially obvious win over the very common still Gen9 graphics. With Mesa 20.3, another measurable performance is on the way for the Intel Vulkan driver with Tiger Lake.

    For Tiger Lake (and theoretically Rocket Lake as well), a new and significant optimization landed today in Mesa 20.3-devel. The optimization applies for Intel Gen12 graphics except for discrete/DG1 graphics.

  • Vulkan Specification Version 1.2.158 Brings Two New Extensions

    Version 1.2.158 of the Vulkan specification introduces VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate that lets developers change the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-region, per-primitive or per-draw basis and VK_KHR_shader_terminate_invocation which, together with the previously introduced VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocation extension, lets developers do a much more specific OpKill.

  • Open-Source RADV Vulkan Driver Is Seeing Work To Allow Building It On Windows - Phoronix

    An independent party has slowly begun merging patches into mainline Mesa for allowing the open-source Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" to build on Microsoft Windows.

    AMD is not behind this effort nor Valve but has been worked on in recent months for making Mesa's Radeon Vulkan driver code compatible with Windows. James Park of a little known "Lag Free Games" has been behind this initiative to bringing it to Windows and seemingly only explaining in private to upstream Mesa developers his motivations for doing so.

    RADV as a reminder is the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver started out by David Airlie of Red Hat and Bas Nieuwenhuizen of Google in the time while waiting for AMD to open-source their Vulkan driver. AMD ultimately provided "AMDVLK" as their official open-source Vulkan driver derived from their internal Vulkan driver sources and built against the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end.

Further Exploring The Intel Tiger Lake Core i7-1165G7 Performance On Ubuntu Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week I published initial benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" performance on Linux with the Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition laptop. Of most surprise from those preliminary Linux figures were finding that for some single-threaded workloads the performance was actually worse than the previous generation Ice Lake. Since then I've been running more tests around the clock with some interesting discoveries to note today. It is possible to enhance the single-threaded performance so it's performing better than Ice Lake as would be expected, but comes with lowering the multi-threaded performance compared to the results shared last week.

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Graphics: Vulkan, Intel and NVIDIA

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Vulkan 1.2.158 Released With Fragment Shading Rate Extension - Phoronix

    Vulkan 1.2.158 was released this morning with two notable extensions introduced.

    First up is VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate that allows changing the rate at which fragments are shaded. Multiple pixels can be shaded now by a single fragment shader invocation. The new extension allows controlling the fragment shading rate on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. Most notably this can be used by Vulkan-powered games for shading higher levels of detail in a scene compared to others. Or rather lower quality shading in some areas of the scene.

  • Linux 5.10 Continues Bringing Up Support For Intel's Rocket Lake - Phoronix

    Building off Linux 5.9 that featured initial support for Gen12 graphics on next year's Rocket Lake desktop platform along with other early enablement for Rocket Lake like RAPL support and other PCI ID additions, that work has continued for the Linux 5.10 cycle.

    The libata pull adds Rocket Lake PCH-H RAID PCI IDs as one of the additions.

    There is also the platform-drivers-x86 work for Linux 5.10 where Rocket Lake support is added to the intel_pmc_core driver.

  • GCC's Ada Frontend Seeing More Work On NVIDIA CUDA Support - Phoronix

    Should you want to use the Ada programming language for GPU programming, the GCC compiler has been working on CUDA support within its front-end for this safety and security minded language.

    In the past born out of academia there's been CUDA Ada bindings. There has also been Ada/SPARK GPU programming initiatives in the past with various APIs. This latest still ongoing effort is wiring up the GCC Ada front-end with CUDA support.

  • You may want to avoid Linux Kernel 5.9 if you want fully supported NVIDIA drivers | GamingOnLinux

    On the official NVIDIA forum, an employee put out an announcement warning NVIDIA GPU owners that the Linux Kernel 5.9 and later is currently unsupported. It's worth noting they posted that in the CUDA forum, so other workloads like gaming may work as normal.

    In the post they mention Kernel 5.9+ is currently "incompatible" with any of their drivers, and they're suggesting to wait until "mid-November" for a fresh NVIDIA driver update which is expected to bring support for it. They're "working diligently" to get ready to support it.

Graphics: NVIDIA, Radeon and Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Doesn't Expect To Have Linux 5.9 Driver Support For Another Month

    While NVIDIA is usually quite timely in supporting new versions of the Linux kernel and aim to have out a driver by the end of the release candidates for new series, in the case of the recently minted Linux 5.9 kernel it's taking a lot longer.

    NVIDIA sent out an advisory to their customers on Friday that they don't expect to have Linux 5.9 kernel support in their proprietary graphics driver until mid-November, or about one month after the kernel was released as stable.

  • NGG Appears To Be In Good Shape For RDNA 2 / RX 6000 Series

    NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) ended up being fairly buggy/problematic for Navi but it looks like for the upcoming Radeon RX 6000 (RDNA 2 / Navi 2) launch that it's in better shape.

    The NGG support for Navi 1x involved a lot of driver work from at times enabling it only to disable some functionality to other tweaks in avoiding hangs or other problems around it.

  • Zink In Mesa 20.3 Now Hits OpenGL 3.3, Can Run Blender With This OpenGL-on-Vulkan

    For weeks there have been patches getting the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation to OpenGL 4.6 while mainline Mesa has been at OpenGL 3.0 support. Thankfully the out-of-tree patch delta is being reduced and this week in Mesa 20.3-devel the code has been upstreamed getting the support level to OpenGL 3.3.

How Intel's Clear Linux Is Competing Against Late-2020 Linux Distributions

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Graphics/Benchmarks

As it's been a while since running a fresh Linux distribution comparison with Intel's Clear Linux platform and given all the autumn distribution updates inbound, here is a fresh look at the rolling-release Clear Linux up against a snapshot of Ubuntu 20.10, Fedora Workstation 33 Beta, openSUSE Tumbleweed 20200929, Arch-based Endeavour OS, and Debian Testing from the start of October.

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Also: Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" Linux Performance With The Dell XPS 13 9310

Compute Runtime and Graphics Work in Linux

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

Mesa 20.2.1 and Mesa 20.1.10 Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks

  • mesa 20.2.1
    Hi list,
    
    
    
    
    I realize that this is a week late, I simply put everything in the calendar one
    week off. Doh. Anyway, mesa 20.2.1 is now available, this release looks much
    bigger than it actually is, because of all of the .pick_status commits. there's
    a bit of everything in here, all and all a nice little .1
    
    
    
    
    Dylan
    
  • Mesa 20.2.1 Released With Initial Batch Of Fixes

    Mesa 20.2 officially released at the end of September as the Q3'2020 open-source driver stack update providing open-source OpenGL/OpenCL/Vulkan support for much of the graphics hardware on the market. For those that prefer waiting for the first point release before upgrading, that milestone was reached today. 

  • Mesa 20.1.10 Is Released With A Handful Of Bug-Fixes

    Mesa 20.1.10 is a small bug-fix release for GNU/Linux distributions that have not yet upgraded to Mesa 20.2.0. There's not much to see, there's seven for the Intel graphics drivers and two on the AMD side.

Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan Driver "V3DV" Merged Into Mesa 20.3

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

Good news for Raspberry Pi 4 users... The V3DV Vulkan driver developed over the past year for newer Broadcom VideoCore hardware with an emphasis on the Raspberry Pi 4 support is now mainlined in Mesa 20.3!

Consulting firm Igalia working under contract with the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been developing V3DV as a Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4 and presumably future generations of the Raspberry Pi SBC. The driver recently reached a level roughly to Vulkan 1.0 conformance and thus began focusing on upstreaming the driver into Mesa, which is now landed in Git today.

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Does subgroup/wave size matter?

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

This week, I had a conversation with one of my coworkers about our subgroup/wave size heuristic and, in particular, whether or not control-flow divergence should be considered as part of the choice. This lead me down a fun path of looking into the statistics of control-flow divergence and the end result is somewhat surprising: Once you get above about an 8-wide subgroup, the subgroup size doesn't matter.

Before I get into the details, let's talk nomenclature. As you're likely aware, GPUs often execute code in groups of 1 or more invocations. In D3D terminology, these are called waves. In Vulkan and OpenGL terminology, these are called sugroups. The two terms are interchangeable and, for the rest of this post, I'll use the Vulkan/OpenGL conventions.

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Kernel: EXT4, DSA, NTFS and RTX 3080 Support

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

  • EXT4 "Fast Commits" Coming For Big Performance Boost In Ordered Mode

    After being in development for more than one year, it looks like with Linux 5.10 there will be EXT4 fast commit support.

    [...]

    When running in EXT4 ordered mode with the fast commit patches, Ted reported a ~103% write performance improvement. Thus seeing this new code make it into the EXT4 "dev" branch ahead of mainline integration is quite exciting if you rely on EXT4 ordered journal functionality.

  • The Linux Kernel Preparing To Take Advantage Of The Intel DSA / ENQCMD In Sapphire Rapids

    Expected with next year's Intel Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs is the Intel DSA as the Data Streaming Accelerator for high performance data movement and transformation operations. Since the end of 2019 there have been Linux patches surfacing for bringing up the DSA support and now as we roll into 2021 the Linux kernel looks to begin making use of the new capabilities.

    With the Intel DSA block there are new instructions with ENQCMD/ENQCMDS for submitting work descriptors along with the PASID instruction for the Process Address Space ID. We've seen various Linux driver work around the Data Streaming Accelerator as well as supporting these new instructions in the open-source compiler.

  • Paragon Sends Out Latest NTFS Read-Write Linux Driver Patches

    Back in August was the big surprise of file-system driver vendor Paragon Software wanting to mainline their NTFS driver into the Linux kernel that is much more advanced than the existing NTFS Linux driver. While not merged yet, on Friday the latest version was sent out for review.

  •  

  • This Is Your RTX 3080 On Linux

    Phoronix received an RTX 3080 to test on Linux and with a quick install of the NVIDIA 455.23.05 beta Linux graphics driver and CUDA 11.1 they were off to the races.  The results are consistent with the performance on Window, with noticeably improved performance across the board.  There are a handful of benchmarks in which it doesn’t take top spot, specifically when looking at performance per watt, even if it is the fastest overall.

    In machine learning benchmarks like PlaidML Ampere really struts it’s stuff, showing significant improvements compared to previous cards.  In the end, the geometric mean of performance shows the RTX 3080 is 27% faster than the GeForce TITAN RTX, 63% more than the RTX 2080 SUPER and 73% better than the original GeForce RTX 2080.  This makes the RTX 3080 a big winner in performance per dollar.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Godot Engine, Lutris, XCOM, KeeperRL, Ampersat, Europa Universalis and More

  • X11 display server progress report

    I'm Camille, aka PouleyKetchoupp. I use Godot as an indie game developer (Nekomatata) and I've been a Godot contributor for a while (Github). Recently I was hired to work as a contractor on fixes and improvements for the Linux port of Godot 4. Most of the work was dedicated to fixing regressions due to the new Display Server used for window management, which allows support for multiple windows. I've also spent some extra time fixing old issues we had with X11 which required some refactoring in how the engine communicates with the X server. Some of them will be available in a later Godot 3.2 release as well. In this post I'm summarizing all the changes I've made in the X11 Display Server, in order to (hopefully) clarify how the X server works and how Godot communicates with it.

  • Godot Engine to get improved Linux support in the upcoming Godot 4 release | GamingOnLinux

    While the free and open source game engine Godot Engine already has Linux support, for both exported games and the full editor, it's set to get even better in Godot 4.0. In a blog post written by Camille Mohr-Daurat, they mentioned how they've been hired by the Godot team to work as a contractor on fixes and improvements for the Linux port of Godot. Camille Mohr-Daurat is an indie developer who actually uses Godot too at Nekomatata, where they created the unique ping-pong battler Punch Pong. So this is a real fun example of open source in action. Godot 4.0 will be coming with a new windowing system, so that you can separate parts of the Godot Engine editor from the main window. A lot of their work is focused on ensuring that works great on Linux with X11, which seems like there's a lot of work involved, because there's places where X11 doesn't have APIs to handle things where it does on other platforms like Windows and macOS - with drag and drop between windows being one mentioned example they've had to solve directly.

  • Lutris game launcher has a huge new Beta update out for testing | GamingOnLinux

    Lutris is the impressive all-in-one solution for managing games on Linux, bundling tons of sources of Linux releases from different stores under one roof as well as emulators, compatibility layers and more. Just recently on October 19 they put up the Beta of the new 0.5.8 release, and it includes some pretty huge changes and improvements all across the application. The way it actually works under the hood has been completely changed in many ways, along with the way you add games to it. Instead of manually importing games, it now attempts to sync up with your library across other stores like GOG, Humble and Steam. Adding games from the Lutris website using their scripts to set things up is also now in its own section, just called Lutris and it no longer depends on having install scripts for 3rd party services as Lutris will now run stuff with an "auto-generated" script but scripts on the Lutris database will take precedence if available

  • XCOM-ish combat and HOMM-styled world exploration Fort Triumph has a major update and sale | GamingOnLinux

    Possibly one of my favourite strategy game releases of 2020, Fort Triumph blends together XCOM styled combat with HOMM (Heroes of Might and Magic) exploration into quite a gem that doesn't take itself too seriously. What makes it fun is the environment interactions during battles, as you push rocks and drop trees onto enemies - it never gets old. It appears the team at CookieByte Entertainment have been busy too, with a huge free first post-release content upgrade out now. They've added in 27 new locations/events to the world map, and with some of these encounters you can add/remove traits from your heroes. Some of these encounters mix up the combat too, with some being unique Physics-only battles where you can only move around parts of the environment and not use normal abilities which sounds pretty hilarious.

  • KeeperRL, the open source dungeon building sim is getting a price bump in November | GamingOnLinux

    Fancy becoming a dungeon master? Well, if you're watching the pennies you might want to go and pick up KeeperRL before they price gets bumped up. This excellent open source building sim that mixes in RPG and roguelike elements has a lot to like about it, and it's been continually improved over 7 years now. Since it's had a lot added to it, and the developer has been working almost full time on it, they're going to be increasing the price from $14.99 to $20 on November 15. Plenty of notice if you were thinking about picking it up. Keep in mind they also said there will be no discounts planned until the big 1.0 release, so it's not going to be cheaper again any time soon.

  • Ampersat is an upcoming hack and slash shooter where everyone is ASCII | GamingOnLinux

    Mixing together ASCII characters and enemies, along with a full colour world, the hack and slash shooter Ampersat seems like a rather unique blend. A little weird too, with styles that usually clash and don't make sense together. You're the "at sign", the ampersat, and enemies are also these flat characters yet the world is 3D and full of colour. It looks bizarre but it works. Solo developer Gaterooze, Ink mentioned it was inspired by elements of Gauntlet and Smash TV to Zelda and a dash of Angband that "distils some favourite childhood gaming experiences into a fresh, fun hybrid that sees you killing a lot of monsters, finding a lot of loot, freeing captured letters and growing from a world-weary warrior mage into a powerful smashing/blasting machine".

  • Free copy of Europa Universalis II on GOG, with a huge Paradox Interactive sale going on | GamingOnLinux

    Paradox Interactive are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Europa Universalis series so they're giving away Europa Universalis II and putting a bunch of other games on sale. For the free game, simply head to GOG.com and find the big banner. It doesn't support Linux like Paradox's later games, since it's a proper classic from way back in 2001 but you can try your luck with the Wine compatibility layer if you really want it.

  • Try the demo for Pyramid Plunge, a lighthearted platformer with a really odd couple | GamingOnLinux

    Ah yes, dangerous ancient pyramids with traps and deadly creatures, why not let a totally unprepared couple explore it? That's what you're doing in Pyramid Plunge as you run, carry your partner, fart to get airtime are more. The result is actually quite hilarious, mixing together challenging random generation with a sprinkle of comedy from the two wildly different characters that have a bit of banter between them like a true couple would. You don't see many platformers come along like this, what joy.

  • Proton: The Native Port Killer?

    The thrill surrounding the announcement of Street Fighter V coming to Linux was real. It was a few years after SteamOS was announced. After years of silence, fans started to doubt that this was becoming a reality. It wasn’t until two years after the initial release of Proton that Valve started to work with Capcom to try and make the Windows version compatible with Linux. Some people are still salty that it took this long to get here, and even more upset that this isn’t a native port. On the other hand, fans like myself are pleased that Valve/Capcom held to their word, even though they may have compromised a bit by making it Proton-compatible. The same goes for Rocket League. End-users like myself naturally get upset when delays happen, even though we don’t understand what it’s like to be on the developer’s side. Several months came and went after the original announcement, and finally the Mac and Linux versions of the game went live on Steam. Fast forward a few years later, and Psyonix decides to drop the ball for said versions, leaving it up to Proton to pick up the slack on Linux and bootcamp for Mac OS. Don’t even get me started on the fact that they basically abandoned support on Steam altogether in favor of the Epic Crap Store.

today's howtos

System76 Thelio Mega is a quad-GPU Linux desktop powered by Ryzen Threadripper

System76 began its life as a Linux computer seller only. Essentially, the company would sell re-branded laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. To provide a class-leading experience, however, System76 also provided top-notch customer service, helping Linux beginners get started with a little hand-holding when needed. This focus on service continues today, and it is largely responsible for the company's success and longevity. Seeking to better control its own destiny, the company branched out from only being a computer-seller and transformed into a maker too. It's handcrafted Thelio desktops are powerful works of art, comprised of wood, metal, and good ol' fashioned American elbow grease. Yes, these Thelio machines are made in the USA -- Colorado, specifically. System76 has even created its own operating system -- the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS, which has been very well received by the Linux community. This Linux distro will work on most computers -- not just Sytem76 machines. If you want vanilla Ubuntu, don't worry -- the company continues to offer that OS as an option when buying one of its computers. Read more

Sailfish OS: Shared mobile devices

The need for device sharing has become increasingly important for our partners. And it’s easy to understand why: imagine a scenario where a mobile device is required for executing certain actions during a business process. Each workstation has a mobile device and when a work shift changes the previous shift logs out of it and the new shift logs in. In this case the mobile device is more of a shared resource than a personal device. One of the major new features that we’re excited to have included in the latest 3.4 Pallas-Yllästunturi release is the ability to have multiple users on the same device that can be switched between in this way. For regular everyday use of Sailfish OS this doesn’t have any impact, the device owner (the primary user) works just as it used to. However, release 3.4 will have a new ‘defaultuser’ (devices flashed prior to 3.4.0 keep ‘nemo’ user, but it’s only the name that’s different). The new ‘defaultuser’ name is mostly visible behind the scenes for application developers; end users can ignore this detail. Read more