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Graphics/Benchmarks

Linux 3.16: Deadline I/O Scheduler Generally Leads With A SSD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

There's been numerous requests lately for more disk I/O scheduler benchmarks on Phoronix of the Linux kernel and its various scheduler options. Given that there's routinely just speculation and miscommunication by individuals over the best scheduler for HDDs/SSDs, here's some fresh benchmarks for reference using the Linux 3.16 kernel.

This early Linux 3.16 testing was just some simple and straight-forward tests I got done with a spare system I maintained access to while in Russia. Once returning to the US this week and then settling into the new Phoronix office I'll run some more Linux 3.16 benchmarks using the latest Git snapshot at the time and use both hard drives and solid-state drives.

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Running The Linux 3.16 Kernel Might Be A Bit Slower On An Ultrabook

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

For those running an Intel ultrabook, here's some benchmarks using the Linux 3.16 kernel on this portable x86 hardware compared to Linux 3.15. Unfortunately, the results aren't too promising.

As some extra Linux 3.16 kernel benchmarks to share, I used the stable Linux 3.15 and compared it to Linux 3.16 Git on an ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VDA ultrabook running a Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" processor with an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS host.

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Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Gaming

Up for your viewing pleasure today were some quick benchmarks done of the next-generation KDE desktop stack compared to the KDE 4.13.0 and Unity 7.2.1 desktops of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

For delivering some early preview figures of KDE Frameworks 5 with Plasma-Next, I used the Project Neon PPA recently to test out the full-screen Linux OpenGL gaming performance to see if it was affected differently than KDE4 or Unity. Much more in-depth testing will come when the next-gen KDE stack has been stabilized, but this should serve as some interesting preview figures.

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NVIDIA VDPAU Performance Metrics On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Ubuntu

During the Big Buck Bunny video playback process, the CPU usage was monitored by the test profile and we also monitored each graphics card's GPU temperature, GPU usage, and the overall AC system power draw (via a WattsUp power meter). The additional sensors can be polled automatically by the Phoronix Test Suite by setting the MONITOR=gpu.usage,gpu.temp,sys.power environment variable. This testing is quite straight forward and mainly intended for reference purposes for those thinking about a NVIDIA GPU for a Linux HTPC / multimedia PC, so let's get straight to the data.

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Open-Source Radeon Performance Boosted By Linux 3.16

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Besides the Nouveau driver performance being faster thanks to experimental re-clocking when using the Linux 3.16 kernel, there are also performance improvements to note with some generations of AMD graphics processors.

The changes found within Linux 3.16 to benefit the Radeon DRM graphics performance are the GPU VM optimizations and large PTE support. Separate from this performance-related work for this kernel-side open-source AMD update is also HDMI deep color support, HDMI audio clean-ups, and other bug-fixes.

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Performance benchmarks: KVM vs. Xen

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Server

After having some interesting discussions last week around KVM and Xen performance improvements over the past years, I decided to do a little research on my own. The last complete set of benchmarks I could find were from the Phoronix Haswell tests in 2013. There were some other benchmarks from 2011 but those were hotly debated due to the Xen patches headed into kernel 3.0.

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Raspberry Pi DRM+Gallium3D Driver Makes Great Progress In One Week

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Last week Eric Anholt left Intel's Linux graphics driver team to go work for Broadcom developing a VC4 DRM/KMS and Gallium3D driver for the GPU that supports the Raspberry Pi.

Eric ended up making more progress in his first week than he anticipated in starting off this new open-source Linux graphics driver project. He ended up getting his work items done that originally he anticipated would take him about one month. The basic "hack driver" is now working to run triangle code running on a kernel with a relocations-based GEM interface. Thursday he already started on the Broadcom VC4 Gallium3D driver, which in turn is based upon the Freedreno driver for Qualcomm's ARM hardware.

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Re-Testing NVIDIA's Threaded OpenGL Optimizations For Linux Gaming

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Back in 2012 with the NVIDIA 310 Linux driver series a threaded OpenGL optimization was added to the proprietary graphics driver. When this driver premiered we tested NVIDIA's Linux threaded OpenGL optimizations to mixed results. We're back now re-testing the OpenGL threaded optimizations to see if it makes any more of a difference now with modern Linux games and OpenGL workloads while using the latest 337.25 Linux driver.

NVIDIA's OpenGL threaded optimization feature allows offloading the CPU computational workload to a separate processor thread. This feature is designed to benefit CPU-heavy workloads but can potentially worsen the performance depending upon the game/application's particular OpenGL calls. As a result, the threaded optimization feature remains disabled by default while it's been around for two years. For more information on the threaded optimization feature and how to enable it, see the earlier article.

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Weston DRM Compositor Support Proposed For NVIDIA's TK1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Support for running Wayland's Weston compositor directly off the DRM kernel driver for the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC found within the Jetson TK1 development board has been proposed for mainline Weston.

Covered last week on Phoronix was news that Codethink got a blob-free Linux driver stack working on the Jetson TK1, a fabulous sub-$200 ARM development board that's rather powerful. There's an emerging DRM driver for the Kepler "GK20A" graphics found within this new Cortex-A15 SoC. Codethink managed to get Wayland's Weston compositor working and this week they released their TK1 patch-set.

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Debian 8.0 Jessie Testing Against Updated Ubuntu Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Debian
Ubuntu

Our latest Debian GNU/Linux benchmarks following the recent GNU/kFreeBSD vs. GNU/Linux comparison are benchmarks of Debian GNU/Linux in its latest testing form for 8.0 "Jessie" compared to a stock Ubuntu 14.04 LTS plus with an assortment of updates.

From the same Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition system with 8GB of RAM, 64GB OCZ Vertex solid-state drive, and Radeon HD 4850 graphics, the following configurations were benchmarked:

- Debian GNU/Linux "Testing" of 8.0 Jessie with the Linux 3.14 kernel, X.Org Server 1.15.1, Mesa 10.1.4, GCC 4.8.3, and the default EXT4 file-system. It's worth noting that with the Linux 3.14 kernel in Debian testing the i7-3960X EE system defaulted to the P-State scaling driver with the powersave governor.

- Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the Linux 3.13 stock kernel, Mesa 10.1.0, X.Org Server 1.15.1, and an EXT4 file-system.

- Ubuntu 14.04 LTS updated to the Linux 3.15 mainline kernel (from the mainline PPA) that besides bumping the kernel version forward also switches over from the ACPI CPUfreq ondemand governor to the Intel P-State performance governor.

- The updated Ubuntu 14.04 LTS + Linux 3.15 stack plus enabling the Oibaf PPA for tapping Mesa 10.3.0-devel.

- The most updated stack (ditto above) plus pulling down the GCC 4.9 kernel onto Ubuntu 14.04 to replace GCC 4.8.

All of these Debian and Ubuntu Linux benchmarks were carried out via the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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