Kristian's latest patches being made public are enabling support for vertex shaders to be generated using Intel's SIMD8 scalar back-end for Broadwell hardware and newer. "With Broadwell we have the option to run vertex shaders in scalar (SIMD8) mode which potentially gives us better throughput and more vertices per thread dispatch. This patch series implements this by repurposing our [fragment shader] backend to also work for vertex shaders."
This patch series for VS SIMD8 support deals with just under one thousand lines of code. This should hopefully lead to a performance win, but of course we're still waiting for Broadwell hardware to actually arrive. The Broadwell ultrabooks / convertible tablets should hopefully not be too many weeks out now in the US (so far it's mostly just the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro available) and it will be interesting to see how they perform compared to Haswell but the Broadwell desktop CPUs won't see the light of day until 2015. The Broadwell Linux support should be fairly rock solid by now with the open-source Intel developers working on the hardware enablement for more than one year with most work now just being about more fine tuning and optimizations.
As a follow-up to last week's Ubuntu 14.04 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 AMD Performance Comparison and yesterday's Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison, here's taking things further in looking at the performance of the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver in several configurations while compared against the closed-source AMD Catalyst graphics driver as found on Ubuntu 14.10.
For those stuck running on the R300g driver, which supports the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series and older GPUs, you really should consider upgrading your graphics card and likely your system. But if you're set on using the R300g driver going into the foreseeable future, you might as well upgrade Mesa.
While the R300 Gallium3D driver seldom sees new commit activity to mainline Mesa, as of today the VDPAU state tracker support was re-enabled for the R300g driver for its very basic video playback support.
While there hasn't been much to report on lately with regard to major OpenGL 4.x advancements, the OpenGL 4.0+ support is still being worked on by the open-source developers wishing to expose GL4 compliance within the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau Linux graphics drivers, among other potential Mesa/Gallium3D drivers.
Mesa 10.4 is due for release in early November and that puts the feature freeze in a little over two weeks. Unless Intel has a big patch-set they're planning to publish and merge in the next two weeks, OpenGL 4.0 won't be achieved in release form for the open-source Mesa drivers in 2014. With the three month release cadence, the next opportunity to hit OpenGL 4.0~4.2 would be the end of Q1'2015. When that milestone is finally achieved, the release will be re-branded as Mesa 11.0 to reflect achieving a major desktop OpenGL milestone.
I have decided to announce new ISOs for my Wayland live CD, named in honor my favorite celebrity, Rebecca Black. http://sourceforge.net/projects/rebeccablackos/files/2014-10-27/
These ISOs have been built by SVN revision 3013, and are based on Utopic, with Wayland/Weston 1.6+ (master).
SuperTux2, which has recently ported to SDL2, is now on the ISO, which is the means there is a native SDL2 application on the ISO, other than the demos (finally).
Our latest performance benchmarks of last week's release of Ubuntu 14.10 is looking at the performance of an AMD Radeon R9 290 "Hawaii" graphics card using the latest open-source (RadeonSI Gallium3D) graphics driver code compared to the Catalyst driver that's packaged for Ubuntu 14.10. The latest open-source tests do include the in-development Linux 3.18 kernel and Mesa 10.4-devel.
Linux video expert Gwenole Beauchesne has landed some Video Acceleration API (VA-API) improvements for the open-source Intel driver.
Gwenole Beauchesne was working on VEBOX related code, which with Haswell and newer is a new hardware-basd video post processing engine. The Intel VA-API driver update drops support for old code and adds support for advanced deinterlacing.
From the commit improving the Intel VA-API de-interlacing, "Reintegrate Motion Adaptive Deinterlacing (MADI) and Motion Compensated Deinterlacing (MCDI) support. This is totally reworked so that to allow for bob-deinterlacing if no previous frame was supplied, improve global robustness, and ensure that the right surface storage are used, which is the most important fix."
On top of that were other vebox changes that landed in the intel-vaapi-driver today.
Over the weekend I began posting Ubuntu 14.04 LTS vs. 14.10 benchmarks of the open-source Radeon Gallium3D drivers to show how their software stack has advanced. With our NVIDIA graphics testing it's slightly different since the performance state of Nouveau hasn't changed a lot in the past six months since the re-clocking support overall is still in quite inadequate shape for end-users. However, for some new open-source NVIDIA Linux benchmarks to share today is a look at the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver performance out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 14.10, then with the Oibaf PPA enabled plus the Linux 3.17 stable kernel, and lastly when using Ubuntu 14.10's supplied NVIDIA proprietary driver.
As a follow-up to this week's Btrfs RAID HDD testing on Ubuntu 14.10, I ran some benchmarks of Btrfs in RAID0 while benchmarking every major kernel release from Linux 3.10 to Linux 3.18-rc1.
With the same configuration as used in the previous article for modern Btrfs RAID HDD benchmarking, I put the two Samsung 250GB HD253GJ hard drives in a RAID 0 array with Btrfs on Ubuntu 14.10. I then used the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA to install Linux 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16, 3.17, and 3.18-rc1 with their stock kernel configuration.
In comparing the open-source graphics driver performance of Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS and Ubuntu 14.10, the newer Ubuntu Linux release does offer up some performance improvements to the R600 and RadeonSI graphics drivers, but already in the latest kernel and Mesa Git code is faster performance. Here are benchmarks of Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS vs. Ubuntu 14.10 for several OpenGL benchmarks with different AMD Radeon graphics cards while also adding in the results of the Oibaf PPA and vanilla Linux 3.17 kernel.
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS ships with the Linux 3.13 kernel, xf86-video-ati 7.3.0, and Mesa 10.1.3 as the important Radeon GPU driver packages provided out-of-the-box. With Ubuntu 14.10 is the Linux 3.16 kernel, xf86-video-ati 7.4.0, and Mesa 10.3.0. The kernel and Mesa upgrades over the past six months have been significant, especially for the newer AMD graphics processors, which is why we're running these comparison tests. With Ubuntu 14.10 not being a rolling-release distribution, the Oibaf PPA was then enabled for fetching the latest user-space driver code: xf86-video-ati 7.5.99 Git and Mesa 10.4.0-devel along with fetching the stable Linux 3.17 kernel, to look for open-source AMD GPU driver improvements already made beyond what's found in Ubuntu 14.10.