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

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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

    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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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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Skylake AVX-512 Benchmarks With GCC 8.0

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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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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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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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Graphics: Freedreno and Blender

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  • Freedreno A4xx Picks Up Some More OpenGL 4 Extensions

    When Ilia Mirkin isn't busy being one of the key contributors to the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver stack, he's often working on the Freedreno driver stack for the open-source Qualcomm Adreno support.

  • Blender 2.79 Performance On Various Intel/AMD CPUs From Ryzen To EPYC

    This weekend I took a variety of systems running Ubuntu Linux and ran tests via the Phoronix Test Suite of Blender 2.79 with the BMW, Classroom, Fishy Cat, Barbershop, and Pabellon Barcelona scenes to see how their performance compares from desktop CPUs to AMD Threadripper and EPYC setups. The CPUs I had available for this quick comparison included the Core i7 6800K, Core i7 8700K, Core i8 7960X, Core i9 7980XE, Xeon Silver 4108, dual Xeon Gold 6138 CPUs on the Intel side. On the AMD side was the Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 7 1800X, Threadripper 1950X, and AMD EPYC 7601. All the Blender rendering was done on the CPUs; a fresh GPU comparison will be coming up soon.

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