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GNU/Linux Release of Civilization VI and Performance Tests (Benchmarks)

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  • Linux Release Of Civilization VI Comes With A Few Caveats

    Linux gamers got some great news this morning when Civilization VI finally debuted on the Penguin-loving platform. But, as the day progresses, those same gamers are finding out more and more that has made some regret their purchase.

  • Trying Intel Kabylake Graphics With Civilization VI On Ubuntu Linux

    I was very surprised to find out that I was able to get Intel HD Graphics working with Aspyr Media's latest Linux game port, Civilization VI. Here are some benchmark results.

    Aspyr Media only lists NVIDIA graphics as officially supported, but I couldn't resist trying out the latest-generation Intel Kabylake graphics for this game. Yesterday I posted 14-way NVIDIA benchmarks of Civilization 6 on Linux while my RadeonSI results are coming up shortly...

  • RadeonSI Performance For Civilization VI On Linux With Mesa 17.1 + 4.10 Kernel

    Since yesterday's release of Civilization VI for Linux, ported by Aspyr Media, we have published a 14-way NVIDIA GPU comparison with this newest high-profile Linux game release. This morning I also shared some Intel Kabylake game figures for Civilization 6 while now the focus is on RadeonSI.

  • Trying Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D With Civilization 6 On Mesa 17.1

    With Intel Kabylake graphics on Mesa working (albeit very slowly) for Aspyr Media's latest Linux game port, Civilization VI, and RadeonSI Gallium3D running too albeit at a less than desirable speed, I decided to try running the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver with this latest AAA Linux game release.

    I tried Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D from Mesa 17.1-devel Git this morning. I was running the Linux 4.10 kernel and had enabled NvBoost=2 mode and re-clocked the graphics card to its 0f performance state. The NVIDIA graphics card for this open-source driver testing was the GeForce GTX 780 Ti Kepler.

Linux Graphics

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  • Another Potential CPU Optimization For Mesa: Quadratic Probing

    Mesa developer Thomas Helland is looking at reviving an old set of Mesa patches that could help out in some CPU-bound scenarios.

    Helland re-discovered some old Mesa patches from April 2015 for implementing quadratic probing in hash tables for being faster rather than the linear re-probing hash table as is used currently. Helland explained further in the patch, "This will allow us to remove the large static table and use a power of two hash table size that we can compute on the fly. We can use bitmasking instead of modulo to fit our hash in the table, and it's less code. By using the algorithm hash = sh + i/2 + i*i/2 we are guaranteed that all retries from the quad probing are distinct, and so we should be able to completely fill the table."

  • Libinput X.Org Driver Updated With New Capabilities

    Libinput is the input handling library that originated with Wayland but has since been adopted by Mir as well as X.Org when using the xf86-input-libinput handling driver. This xf86-input-libinput adaptation for X.Org Servers has seen a new release today.

    Last month marked the libinput 1.6 release with new features to the input library. Now xf86-input-libinput has been upgraded for improving the support for this generic input handling implementation on xorg-server systems.

  • RadeonSI Working Toward Better Rocket League Performance

    Marek Olšák has posted a set of patches today to the Mesa mailing list and they should help some Linux games, at least Rocket League.

  • Wayland's Weston 2.0 Beta Released

    One day after the Wayland 1.13 Beta, the reference Weston compositor is updated to its 2.0 beta state.

    Wayland's reference compositor, Weston, is moving to version 2.0 rather than version 1.13 since its new output configuration ABI has broken Weston's ABI. In addition to the new output handling API, Weston 2.0 has seen work on DRM compositor improvements, support for using EGL_KHR_swap_buffers_with_damage, initial window positioning for XWayland apps, desktop shell refinements, and other improvements.

Mesa 13.0 vs. 17.0 Performance For RADV/RadeonSI: Big Gains For Vulkan, OpenGL Boosts

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With Mesa 17.0 due to be released in the days ahead, I've been running fresh benchmarks of this latest user-space 3D driver stack on Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau. For your viewing pleasure this Thursday are the RadeonSI benchmarks comparing the Mesa 17.0 Git code to that of the latest Mesa 13.0 branch with a few different AMD graphics cards. There are also some tests of the RADV Vulkan driver.

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Linux and Graphics

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Linux Graphics

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  • The Debate Over GLVND In Fedora 25 Is Still Going On

    The roll-out of GLVND support in Mesa as a Fedora 25 update was arguably botched, but it's an important feature and is still being discussed.

    For those that haven't been reading Phoronix the past few years, GLVND is the OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch Library and is a NVIDIA-backed effort but with support from the upstream Mesa community for basically forming a new "Linux OpenGL ABI," as it's been referred to as over the years. Working to address the situation of different drivers competing for the, and when installing NVIDIA/AMDGPU-PRO drivers currently, they clash with the current OpenGL library. This new 'Linux OpenGL ABI' takes care of it in simple terms by postfixing the driver's name to each supplied libGL so they can happily co-exist on the same file-system while the central (GLVND-supplied) effectively works as a dispatcher so applications/games end up using the right driver. It's roughly along the lines of how OpenCL and Vulkan drivers are implemented, but sadly it's taken many years to improve the situation for OpenGL drivers on Linux.

  • RADV Fast Clears Land In Mesa Git, Fresh Vulkan Linux Benchmarks Imminent

    As a quick update to yesterday's article about RADV fast clears by default was being proposed, that change-over just happened in Mesa 17.1-devel Git.

  • Wayland 1.13 Beta Released

    Bryce Harrington at Samsung's Open-Source Group has announced the release of the Wayland 1.13 beta.

  • Mesa 17 3D Graphics Library Could Land By the End of the Week, RC3 Is Out Now

    Collabora's Emil Velikov announced the availability of the third RC (Release Candidate) development snapshot of the upcoming Mesa 17.0.0 3D Graphics Library for GNU/Linux distributions.

    The Mesa 17.0.0 RC3 milestone comes two weeks after the release of the second RC build, and it brings numerous improvements across all the supported graphics drivers included in the stack. According to the release notes, a total of 66 changes have been implemented in this third, and probably the last Release Candidate.

  • Apple Proposing A New, Lower-Level Graphics API For The Web

Graphics in Linux

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Games and Graphics

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  • A Vulkan Renderer Is Being Worked On For The Original Unreal Engine

    There's a Vulkan implementation being worked on for the original Unreal Engine, what was released back in 1998 to power Unreal and Unreal Tournament games.

    With there being vkQuake for implementing Vulkan for the original Quake (id Tech) engine, the latest is now getting the Unreal Engine (1) from the end of the 90's working atop this modern Khronos graphics API. This nearly 20 year old game engine was first designed for using the Glide API and only later added OpenGL and Direct3D support. So now this game engine that powers the legendary Unreal and Unreal Tournament games could soon be full-functioning on Vulkan.

  • We now have an official Ballistic Overkill server
  • Mesa Threaded OpenGL Dispatch Finally Landing, Big Perf Win For Some Games

    Four years ago Intel developers were working on a threaded OpenGL dispatch mechanism for Mesa, but it never ended up being merged. Now, prolific Mesa contributor and AMD developer Marek Olšák is looking to merge this code and clean it up.

  • INT64 Support Comes To Nouveau's Gallium3D Driver

    Ilia Mirkin's weekend hacking on the Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D driver has led to ARB_gpu_shader_int64 support coming for this open-source NVIDIA Linux driver.

    ARB_gpu_shader_int64 is about supporting 64-bit scalar and vector integer data types for shaders and related 64-bit integer support for OpenGL. The Intel i965 Mesa driver has supported INT64 for Broadwell and newer, RadeonSI Gallium3D also has supported INT64, and there's been support in LLVMpipe/Softpipe too, while now it's been implemented for Nouveau.

Graphics News and Benchmarks

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  • OpenGL Shader Cache Support For RadeonSI Is Making Progress

    Last week we reported that Collabora developer Timothy Arceri would be trying to support Mesa's OpenGL shader cache with RadeonSI while since then work has begun to materialize.

    For RadeonSI Gallium3D users engaging in Linux gaming with shader-intensive workloads like Shadow of Mordor, the on-disk GLSL shader cache is taking shape. Follow this GitHub repository to stay updated with the latest shader cache developments pertaining to the open-source RadoenSI Gallium3D driver.

  • Mesa has a patch from a Valve developer to help ARK Survival Evolved run on the open source drivers

    Samuel Pitoiset from Valve has sent in yet another patch to Mesa, this one focuses on the ARK games: ARK Survival Evolved and Survival Of The Fittest to to run without overrides.

    Essentially, Samuel is arguing that overrides to force Mesa to use specific OpenGL versions should be mainly a developer-option, and that games which require it should auto-set it for users. I completely agree, it's less hassle for us and many people likely aren't aware that specific games need these hacks to run.

  • The Latest Changes With Phoronix Test Suite 7.0-Ringsaker

Consoles, Graphics and Games

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Linux and Graphics

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  • Linux Kernel 4.9.7 Brings Updates to the Intel i915 and InfiniBand Drivers, More

    It's time to upgrade the Linux kernel packages of our GNU/Linux distributions once more, as renowned Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman today, February 2, 2017, announced the release of Linux kernel 4.9.7.

    While still not marked as "longterm" on the website, the Linux 4.9 kernel series recently become LTS (Long Term Support), which means that it will be supported with security patches for a couple of years. It also means that OS vendors need to adopt the Linux 4.9 kernel series for their distros as soon as possible. Arch Linux and Solus are already powered by Linux kernel 4.9, so make sure you update your PCs right now.

  • Linux Kernel 4.4.46 LTS Is Yet Another Small Patch, Updates InfiniBand Drivers

    Immediately after announcing the availability of Linux kernel 4.9.7, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the immediate availability of the forty-sixth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

    Linux 4.4 is currently the most popular LTS (Long Term Support) kernel branch, used by popular GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Alpine Linux, openSUSE Leap 42.2, as well as Arch Linux. Just like today's Linux 4.9.7 kernel release, Linux kernel 4.4.46 LTS comes one week after the previous maintenance update to change a total of 32 files, with 152 insertions and 81 deletions.

  • NVIDIA 375.27.08 Vulkan Driver Released

    NVIDIA has released a new beta of their Vulkan driver for Windows and Linux.

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