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Graphics/Benchmarks

Kernel: Linux and Graphics (Systemd, Intel, AMD, Wayland)

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Systemd 236 Is Being Prepped For Release This Month With Many Changes

    Lennart Poettering has begun his release wrangling process in getting systemd 236 ready for release this month.

  • Intel Releases New Linux Media Driver For VA-API

    While Intel has been supporting VA-API for years, basically since X-Video/XvMC became irrelevant, as its primary video API for video acceleration, they are now rolling out a new media driver.

    [...]

    Details and motivation on writing this new "Intel Media Driver" for Linux remain light and I have yet to see any official announcement out of Intel, but the code is available via intel/media-driver on GitHub with the initial public code drop having just occurred yesterday.

  • Intel Sends In The First Set Of Changes For Linux 4.16 i915 DRM
  • AMDGPU's Scheduler Might Get Picked Up By Other DRM Drivers

    One of the benefits of open-source software is the ability for code re-use by other projects and that may now happen with the AMDGPU kernel driver's scheduler.

    Prominent Etnaviv driver developer Lucas Stach who has long been working on this open-source reverse-engineered Vivante graphics driver is looking to make use of the AMDGPU DRM scheduler. This scheduler is responsible for scheduling command submissions, supports scheduling priorities, and other related functionality.

  • AMD Publishes More DC Patches, Disables FreeSync By Default

    If you have encountered some early fallout from using the AMDGPU DC display stack or just want to help in testing patches likely to be queued for Linux 4.16, AMD has sent out another patch of DC patches.

    Harry Wentland of AMD kicked off his Friday morning by sending out another 20 patches for this big display code-base.

  • XDG-Shell Promoted To Stable In Wayland-Protocols 1.12

    Jonas Ådahl of Red Hat has released a new version of Wayland-Protocols, the collection of protocols that extends/introduces new functionality not part of the core Wayland protocol.

    Wayland-Protocols 1.12 is the new release and promotes the latest work on the XDG-Shell protocol from unstable to stable. XDG-Shell is the Wayland protocol extension for defining more functionality around traditional Linux desktop environments that isn't part of the core Wayland protocol. This includes work around window resizing/stacking/dragging and other functionality. Most (all?) Wayland desktop compositors now support XDG-Shell.

Windows 10 WSL vs. Docker on Windows 10 vs. Bare Metal Linux Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the recent Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update there were some improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) particularly around boosting the I/O performance (though further WSL performance work is coming), so this week I've been carrying out some fresh benchmarks of Windows 10 WSL with its openSUSE and Fedora options. For additional perspective I also compared the performance to running benchmarks with Linux containers on Docker under Windows 10 and lastly the "bare metal" Linux performance.

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Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA's New Memory Allocator Project To Be Standalone, Undecided On Name

    Following NVIDIA's call for feedback on their effort to create a new device memory allocator API that would be of equal use to the upstream open-source drivers and potentially replace (or indirectly used by) the Wayland compositors in place of the existing GBM API and NVIDIA's failed EGLStreams Wayland push, their next steps continue to be formulated.

  • NVIDIA's Current Linux Driver Is Hungry For vRAM This Holiday

    With a NVIDIA Linux developer having confirmed a current driver performance regression affecting driver releases since the 378 series and not being worked around until the yet-to-be-released 390.xx beta driver, I decided to carry out some tests.

  • Nvidia Driver Problems: Bug Causes Performance Loss For Linux Users

    Graphics card maker Nvidia confirmed what gamers have suspected for some time: the company’s products experience a significant loss in performance on Linux operating systems, and Nvidia drivers appear to be the culprit.

  • AMD Announces The Radeon Software Adrenalin Driver

    AMD's embargo has just expired over the name of their new driver.

    This shouldn't come as a big surprise, but AMD has been pushing out big annual updates to their "Radeon Software" graphics driver the past few years. In December they will be shipping the successor to Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

Faulty Graphics Driver From NVIDIA

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • NVIDIA Confirms Linux Driver Performance Regression, To Be Fixed In 390 Series

    If you think recent NVIDIA Linux driver releases have been slowing down your games, you are not alone, especially if you are running with a GeForce graphics card having a more conservative vRAM capacity by today's standards.

    Long time ago Nouveau contributor turned NVIDIA Linux engineer Arthur Huillet confirmed there is a bug in their memory management introduced since their 378 driver series that is still present in the latest 387 releases.

  • NVIDIA has confirmed a driver bug resulting in a loss of performance on Linux

    It seems there's a performance bug in recent NVIDIA drivers that has been causing a loss of performance across likely all GPUs. Not only that, but it seems to end up using more VRAM than previous drivers too.

    User HeavyHDx started a thread on the official NVIDIA forum, to describe quite a big drop in performance since the 375 driver series. So all driver updates since then would have been affected by this.

Graphics: Intel and AMD Drivers, GNU/Linux Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • 16-bit Vulkan/SPIR-V Support Revised For Intel's Driver

    Igalia developers have published their latest version of the big patch-set implementing 16-bit support within Intel's Vulkan driver and supporting the necessary 16-bit storage SPIR-V changes.

    Developers at consulting firm Igalia have been tasked the past few months with getting this 16-bit data "half float" support in place for the Intel open-source Vulkan driver with VK_KHR_16bit_storage and SPIR-V's SPV_KHR_16bit_storage along with the necessary plumbing to Mesa's GLSL and NIR code.

  • The Many Open-Source Radeon Linux Driver Advancements Of 2017

    There were many sizable open-source Radeon Linux driver accomplishments this year. It was this year in which the RadeonSI OpenGL driver matured enough to compete with -- and sometimes surpass -- the Radeon Windows driver when talking raw OpenGL performance, RadeonSI can also outperform the AMDGPU-PRO OpenGL hybrid driver in many Linux gaming tests, the RADV Vulkan driver matured a lot, and many other milestones were reached.

    Given the latest round of Windows vs. Linux Radeon gaming tests yesterday and the end of the year quickly approaching, I figured I would provide a list now about some of the major feats reached this year for the open-source Radeon graphics driver stack.

  • Compute Shader & GLSL 4.30 Support For R600 Gallium3D

    After recently getting some older Radeon GPUs to OpenGL 4.2 with new R600g patches and making other improvements to R600g, David Airlie has now sent out a set of patches for getting compute shaders and GLSL 4.30 working for some older pre-GCN GPUs with the R600 Gallium3D driver.

    Airlie sent out today patches getting compute shaders and GL Shading Language 4.30 working in R600g. It seems to be working out the best at the moment with the Radeon HD 6400 "Caicos" graphics cards while the HD 6900 "Cayman" series currently hangs on compute. For running OpenGL 4 on R600g, the HD 5800 series and HD 6900 series generally tends to be the best due to having real FP64 support working where as the other generations of hardware only expose OpenGL 3.3 by default (but can use a version override to later GL4 versions if not needing FP64 support).

  • The fastest and slowest versions of Linux

    To see which version of Linux is the quickest, Phoronix has conducted a set of benchmarks measuring the total boot time of 11 Linux distributions.

    The tests also measured the boot time of separate components, such as the loader and kernel of each distribution.

    Systemd benchmark, part of Phoronix Test Suite 7.4.0, was used to benchmark the boot time of the distributions, and the results were published on OpenBenchmarking.org.

    The tests show that the boot time of Linux distributions can vary substantially, with some systems taking over twice as long to boot up as others.

Windows 10 vs. Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon Gaming Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

As we end out November, here is a fresh look at the current Windows 10 Pro Fall Creator's Update versus Ubuntu 17.10 with the latest Linux 4.15 kernel and Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon graphics driver stack as we see how various games compete under Windows 10 and Linux with these latest AMD drivers on the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards.

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Graphics: AMD, Intel, Red Hat

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Skylake AVX-512 Benchmarks With GCC 8.0

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those curious about the current benefits of AVX-512, here are some benchmarks using a recent snapshot of the GCC 8 compiler and comparing the performance of the generated binaries for the skylake and skylake-avx512 targets.

AVX-512 right now is limited to just the Intel server and X-Series processors, but as we've reported already, Intel has effectively confirmed AVX-512 support for the Cannonlake desktop CPU line-up through GCC/Clang patches noting the AVX-512 addition. So due to greater AVX-512 availability on the horizon and continued AVX-512 improvements in GCC8, I ran some fresh benchmarks using the high-end Core i9 7980XE test system running Ubuntu Linux.

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Intel OpenGL Performance Across 11 Linux Distributions

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The 11 Linux distributions tested were Antergos 17.11, CentOS 7, Clear Linux 19260, Debian 9.2.1, Fedora Workstation 27, Manjaro 17.0.6, Solus 3, Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 17.10, openSUSE Leap 42.3, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

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Amazon, Clear, Debian, Gentoo, Red Hat, SUSE & Ubuntu Performance On The EC2 Cloud

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Graphics/Benchmarks

It's been a few months since last running a Linux distribution / operating system comparison on Amazon's EC2 public cloud, but given the ever-advancing state of Linux, here are some fresh benchmarks when testing the Amazon Linux AMI, Clear Linux, Debian 9.2, Gentoo, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP3, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

For this round of testing the c4.4xlarge instance type was used. The c4.4xlarge instance type has 16 virtual CPUs yielding 62 ECUs of compute power. This instance type has 30GB of system memory and in the US data centers generally costs around $0.8 USD per hour for on-demand pricing. In all of our testing of this instance type over the past few days, the c4.4xlarge is currently backed by Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 CPUs: the Haswell server processors that have 10 cores / 20 threads, 2.6GHz base frequency, 3.3GHz turbo frequency, 25MB smart cache. All of the instances were using Xen HVM configuration for testing.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.15 RC3

  • Linux 4.15-rc3
    Another week, another rc. I'm not thrilled about how big the early 4.15 rc's are, but rc3 is often the biggest rc because it's still fairly early in the calming-down period, and yet people have had some time to start finding problems. That said, this rc3 is big even by rc3 standards. Not good. Most of the changes by far are drivers (with a big chunk of it being just syntactic changes for some doc warnings) with some perf tooling updates also being noticeable. But there are changes all over: core kernel and networking, kvm, arch updates and Documentation. Anyway, I sincerely hope that things are really starting to calm down now. Also, there's a known issue with x86 32-bit suspend/resume that I just didn't get a good patch for in time for this rc. Soon. Shortlog appended. Linus
  • Linux Kernel 4.15 Gets Another Big RC, Linus Torvalds Says It's Not Good at All
    Linux Torvalds announced a few moments ago the release and immediate availability for download of the third Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Linux 4.15 kernel series for Linux-based operating systems. If last week's RC2 was a "bigger than expected" one, than this week the Linux 4.15 kernel saw even more patches and it just got a quite bit RC3 milestone, which Linus Torvalds says it's big even by RC3 standards and it isn't a good sign for the development cycle, which could be pushed to the end of January 2018. "I'm not thrilled about how big the early 4.15 RCs are, but RC3 is often the biggest RC because it's still fairly early in the calming-down period, and yet people have had some time to start finding problems. That said, this RC3 is big even by RC3 standards. Not good," said Linus Torvalds in the mailing list announcement.
  • Linux 4.15-rc3 Kernel Released
    Linus Torvalds has announced the third weekly test release of the upcoming Linux 4.15 kernel. It's been a rather busy week in the Linux kernel space considering the RC3 space. The level of activity has frighten Linus, but there are still 5~6 weeks left before declaring the Linux 4.15.0 kernel as stable.

The importance of Devuan

Yes, you read right: too expensive. While I am writing here in flowery words, the reason to use Devuan is hard calculated costs. We are a small team at ungleich and we simply don't have the time to fix problems caused by systemd on a daily basis. This is even without calculating the security risks that come with systemd. Our objective is to create a great, easy-to-use platform for VM hosting, not to walk a tightrope. Read more

Review: heads 0.3.1

heads is a live Linux distribution which can be run from a DVD or USB thumb drive. The distribution connects to the Internet through the Tor network. This helps protect the identity and location of the person using heads. The heads distribution is very similar to its popular sibling, Tails, in its mission, but heads has some special characteristics which set it apart. The heads distribution is based on Devuan while Tails is based on Debian, which means heads uses the SysV init software rather than systemd. The heads project is also dedicated to shipping a distribution which features free software only, as the heads website explains:

Non-free software can not be audited and as such cannot guarantee you security or anonymity. On the other hand, with heads you only use free software, meaning you can gain access to any source code that is included in heads, at any time. Using free software it is far easier to avoid hidden backdoors and malware that might be in non-free software.
heads is available in a single edition which is 831MB in size. When booting from the project's ISO, we are given the option of booting heads normally from the disc or loading the distribution into RAM. The latter option frees up our removable drive and can make applications load faster after the initial boot process has completed. The distribution boots to a command line interface and automatically logs us in as a user called luther. On the screen we are shown the root account's password along with commands we can run to launch a graphical interface. The default shell for the luther account is zsh, a less common shell than bash, but often loved for its additional features. heads ships with the Awesome and Openbox window managers and we can choose which one we wish to launch from the command line. I focused on using Openbox during my trial. Read more

Debian GNU/Linux 9.3 "Stretch" Live, Installable ISOs Now Available to Download

The Debian CD team was pretty quick to bake all those ISO images in less than 24 hours, and users can now download Debian GNU/Linux 9.3 "Stretch" as live and installable ISOs for a wide range of architectures if they were planning on reinstalling their Debian PCs or deploy the OS on new computers. Debian GNU/Linux 9.3 "Stretch" is currently supported on no less than 10 hardware architectures, including 32-bit (i386), 64-bit (amd64), ARM64 (AArch64), Armel, ARMhf, MIPS, Mipsel, MIPS64el (MIPS 64-bit Little Endian), PPC64el (PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian), and s390x (IBM System z).