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Graphics/Benchmarks

The First Benchmarks Of The Intel-Powered ODROID-H2 $111 Board

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last month ODROID announced an Intel-powered single board computer after their experimenting with a Ryzen SBC hadn't panned out for this company known for their high-performance ARM SBCs. The ODROID-H2 has begun shipping as this $111 USD Intel x86_64 quad-core board while for your viewing pleasure today are some initial performance benchmarks of this board.

The ODROID-H2 began shipping to customers this week. I don't yet have a ODROID-H2 for testing locally within a controlled environment but via a Phoronix reader got remote access for some initial benchmarking for the time being. Hopefully Hardkernel will be sending over an ODROID-H2 soon; they have also been in contact and in the days ahead will be running ODROID-XU4 benchmarks too.

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Linux, the LF, and Graphics

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • New Intel Stratix 10 FPGA Drivers Coming To Linux 4.21 Kernel

    At the end of last year Intel announced the Stratix 10 FPGA with HBM2 memory for HPC workloads. With the Linux 4.21 kernel cycle, the support for this hardware will be further improved upon for FPGA programming with the mainline kernel.

  • Some Linux Users Are Reporting Software RAID Issues With ASRock Motherboards

    Making the rounds this morning is an ASRock forum post about a motherboard accidentally and repeatedly wiping out Linux Software RAID meta-data. A few Phoronix readers have also reported similar issues such as in the forums and Twitter. This appears to stem from an UEFI issue. 

    The original report is pertaining to an ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard. The indications are at boot time the ASRock UEFI implementation is accidentally zeroing out part of the disk containing the MD RAID meta-data during the start-up process. The belief by the user is that the UEFI thinks its trying to repair the GUID Partition Table (GPT), not knowing its a Linux RAID setup. So take this as a word of caution for the moment; it's obviously unintentional damage and likely the result of ASRock not testing their consumer products under Linux much.

  • Linux Foundation Offers Open Source Certification Exams from Anywhere
  • Machine Learning, Biased Models, and Finding the Truth

    Machine learning and statistics are playing a pivotal role in finding the truth in human rights cases around the world – and serving as a voice for victims, Patrick Ball, director of Research for the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, told the audience at Open Source Summit Europe.

    Ball began his keynote, “Digital Echoes: Understanding Mass Violence with Data and Statistics,” with background on his career, which started in 1991 in El Salvador, building databases. While working with truth commissions from El Salvador to South Africa to East Timor, with international criminal tribunals as well as local groups searching for lost family members, he said, “one of the things that we work with every single time is trying to figure out what the truth means.”

    In the course of the work, “we’re always facing people who apologize for mass violence. They tell us grotesque lies that they use to attempt to excuse this violence. They deny that it happened. They blame the victims. This is common, of course, in our world today.”

    Human rights campaigns “speak with the moral voice of the victims,’’ he said. Therefore, it is critical that statistics, including machine learning, are accurate, Ball said.

  • LunarG Rolls Out Vulkan Configurator With Updated SDK

    LunarG has shipped the latest version of the Vulkan SDK that pulls in support for the many recently introduced extensions from VK_NV_ray_tracing to VK_EXT_pci_bus_info and VK_EXT_transform_feedback, among other recent vendor extensions. There is also bug fixes and improved validation coverage for this Vulkan SDK.

  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Open-Source Driver Continues Speeding Along

    Fresh out of the US holiday weekend, the Intel Iris Gallium3D driver that is forming as the company's future OpenGL Linux driver with better performance potential and modern design, saw a number of new code commits. 

    A lot of new code has landed in the Iris driver thanks to its lead developer Kenneth Graunke as well as Chris Wilson and Jason Ekstrand of Intel OTC and also David Airlie of Red Hat has been contributing some patches too for this driver.

A Look At The Open-Source Talos II POWER9 Performance Against x86_64 Server CPUs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

In the benchmarks earlier this month looking at the Talos II POWER9 dual 22-core performance its performance was compared to various AMD Threadripper and Intel Core i9 CPUs. They were used as comparison points since all of those CPUs sport four memory channels, including the Sforza POWER9 CPUs, while IBM caters the larger LaGrange/Monza POWER9 modules with eight memory channels as competition to Xeon and EPYC. But for those wondering how the POWER9 Sforza performance compares to Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC processors, here are some benchmarks.

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A Look At Intel’s Core i9-9900K Performance In Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

After poring over the data, the 9900K becomes an obvious upgrade to the 8700K, although if you’re already rocking last-gen’s six-core, there’s no strong reason why you should upgrade unless you know what you’re gaining – which is about 33% more processing power. In terms of cost, the next step-up to the 9900K would be AMD’s 12-core Threadripper 2920X, after which point the 16-core from AMD enters the scene at $1,000, which sits next to Intel’s 10-core 9900X.

While the 8-core 9900K already carries a big premium over last-gen’s 6-core, to take the next step will require a fair bit more money, unless you think the 12-core 2920X from AMD is worth your extra $150. We’re not even sure of that answer, but will be soon, as that and the 2970X are in process of being benchmarked.

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Also: Phoronix Test Suite 8.4 Released For Advancing Open-Source Automated Benchmarking

A Look At The AMDGPU+RADV Gaming Performance Boost With Linux 4.20

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Gaming

With the interest coming about today from a RADV tweak after bisecting the Linux 4.20 kernel speed-up for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver with the AMDGPU DRM driver, here are some benchmarks from Linux 4.16 through 4.20 looking at the performance on Polaris and Vega graphics cards.

With the reports of RADV performance being better on Linux 4.20 and some of my basic tests in the past of 4.20 Git also trending higher, I decided to run a concentrated set of benchmarks today of Linux 4.16/4.17/4.18/4.19/4.20 with Mesa 19.0-devel from the Padoka PPA on Ubuntu 18.10.

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A Look At The Linux Kernel Performance From 4.10 To 4.20

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Here is a look at how the Linux kernel performance has evolved since Linux 4.10, which was released back in February of 2017, up through the current Linux 4.20 development cycle ahead of its debut at the end of December or early January. All of the Linux kernel benchmarks were done on the same venerable Intel Core i7 5960X system.

The Intel Core i7 5960X running at stock speeds was running with the ASRock X99 Extreme3 motherboard with its latest firmware, 16GB memory, and AMD FirePro V7900 graphics. Tests were done while running Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS to avoid any packaging/systemd problems in running the older Linux kernel releases. Linux 4.10 through 4.19 were obtained via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA using each series' x.y.0 kernel release. For Linux 4.20 it was built from source against the STIBP V2 fixes for those patches that will soon be queued to mainline that correct the overhead of that security feature originally introduced as part of the 4.20 merge window. So these Linux 4.20 benchmarks should be fairly representative of the performance of 4.20 final unless any other big security kernel changes land besides that improved STIBP/IBPB code.

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Radeon Vulkan Driver and Vulkan 1.1.94 Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks

  • Radeon Vulkan Driver Gets A Significant Performance Optimization For Pre-4.20 Kernels

    Fresh out of our Radeon Vulkan Driver Benchmarks: AMDVLK 2018.4.2 vs. AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 vs. Mesa 18.2/19.0, RADV driver co-founder Bas Nieuwenhuizen has posted a patch to help further the performance of the Mesa RADV driver. 

    Bas reported in the forums today that they are seeing much better numbers with Linux 4.20. It turns out that is due to an AMDGPU DRM change by AMD's Christian König for trying to allocate video RAM as a power of two.

  • Vulkan 1.1.94 Released With Two New Extensions

    Vulkan 1.1.94 is out today as the latest update to this graphics and compute API. This latest refinement to Vulkan introduces two new extensions. 

    Vulkan 1.1.94 brings a handful of issue corrections with the documentation itself, but catching our interest is a new KHR extension and a new EXT extension.

Radeon Vulkan Driver Benchmarks: AMDVLK 2018.4.2 vs. AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 vs. Mesa 18.2/19.0

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Released this week was AMDVLK 2018.4.2 having been released this past week as the newest open-source AMD Vulkan driver code derived from their official Vulkan driver code-base but with using the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end over their proprietary shader compiler. For your latest Vulkan benchmark viewing pleasure is a look at this newest AMDVLK release compared to AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 (the same fundamental Vulkan driver but with the closed-source shader compiler) and then the RADV Vulkan drivers in the form of Mesa 18.2 stable and the now in-development Mesa 19.0. These four AMD Radeon Vulkan driver combinations were tested on Fiji, Polaris, and Vega graphics processors.

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PHP 7.3 Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Good Days Ahead Of Its Release

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

Released on Thursday was PHP 7.3 RC6 as the last planned pre-release for the upcoming PHP 7.3. Here are some benchmarks looking at the PHP 7.3 performance compared to PHP releases going back to the v5.5 series on a Linux server.

PHP 7.3 RC6 is the last expected release candidate before the general availability expected around 6 December. The RC6 changes are outlined by the release announcement.

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Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Tegra194 Xavier Gets Plumbed For Open-Source Display Support

    With the Linux 4.20 kernel there is the initial display code for NVIDIA's Tegra194 "Xavier" SoC while the next kernel cycle, Linux 4.21, will bring the rest of the display enablement code and enough to light up the HDMI output on the Jetson AGX Xavier.

    Thierry Reding of NVIDIA sent out the latest seven patches on Friday for working on the Tegra194 display support. The code includes adding Tegra194 support to the host1x GPU driver (host1x is the DMA engine for register access to Tegra graphics/multimedia modules), Video Image Composer (VIC) support for Tegra194 within the Tegra DRM driver, and enabling display support for Tegra194 via the DeviceTree additions in the kernel.

  • Marek Takes To Possible AMDGPU Winsys Memory Optimizations

    AMD's Marek Olšák known for his many additions and performance optimizations to RadeonSI and who is leading Mesa development this year with the most commits has been working on some AMDGPU winsys optimizations.

    The Winsys in the Gallium3D space is what sits between the Gallium3D user-space driver and the operating system / DRM kernel driver. Marek's latest work in this area are slab allocation improvements and changes around memory address translation.

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today's howtos

Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 3

And we're done. I am not sure what kind of message you're getting - or you think you're supposed to be getting from my articles. Overall, I am quite pleased with my Slimbook & Kubuntu experience. But if I had to choose, I wouldn't abandon my Windows. I simply cannot. The games, the office stuff, even simple image manipulation and text editing. All these are currently not the killer features of any which Linux desktop. That said, Kubuntu purrs nicely. Runs fast and true, and there are no crashes or errors. The desktop is extremely flexible and extensible, it's pleasing to use, and I'm having fun discovering things, even if they sometimes turn out to be bugs or annoyances. In general, it's the application side that needs to be refined, and then, the system can just become a background for you to be productive and enjoy yourselves. Until the next report. Read more

Games: Metropolisim, Monster Prom, Kingdom Two Crowns and Lots More

  • Metropolisim aims to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever, will have Linux support
    Metropolisim from developer Halfway Decent Games is releasing next year, with a pretty bold aim to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever.
  • Monster Prom, the dating sim that won me over is now available on GOG
    Visual novels and dating sims aren't something I'm usually into, however Monster Prom is actually funny and worth playing and it's now available on GOG. I know we have a number of GOG fans here, so hopefully this will be interesting for you. As always, we try to treat all stores equally with release info.
  • Kingdom Two Crowns will be coming to Linux after all with the Quality of Life update
    Kingdom Two Crowns, the third in the Kingdom series released recently for Windows and Mac. It looked like we weren't getting it, but it's now confirmed to be coming. In their new roadmap post on Reddit and Steam, under the "QoL #01 Update" (Quality of Life Update) they noted that they will add "Add SteamOS (Linux) Support". This update is due out sometime early next year. This is really nice news, it's good to know they didn't give up on supporting Linux after all.
  • Steam Link for the Raspberry Pi is now officially available
    After a rather short beta period, the Steam Link application for the Raspberry Pi is now officially out.
  • Valve in it for the 'long haul' with Artifact, first update out and a progression system due soon
    Artifact, the big new card game from Valve isn't doing so well but Valve won't be giving up any time soon. The first major update is out, with a progression system due soon. At release, it had around sixty thousand people playing and that very quickly dropped down hard. Harder than I expected, a lot worse than Valve probably thought it would too.
  • Bearded Giant Games open their own store with a 'Linux First Initiative'
    Bearded Giant Games, developer of Ebony Spire Heresy have announced their new online store along with a 'Linux First Initiative'. I know what you're thinking already "not another store", but fear not. For now, it's mainly going to be a place for them to sell their games directly. Speaking about it in a blog post, they mentioned how they hate having to check over multiple forums, channels, emails and so on to stay up to date and they wish "to spend more time giving love to my projects instead of updating 4 different distribution channels, translating pages, writing different press releases and making separate builds"—can't argue against that.
  • The Forgotten Sanctum, the final DLC for Pillars of Eternity II is out along with a patch
    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire expansions come to a close with the release of The Forgotten Sanctum along with a major update now out.
  • Pre-order Meeple Station for instant beta access, what the developers say is like Rimworld in space
    Meeple Station, the space station building sim that the developers say is like Rimworld in space can now be pre-ordered with instant beta access. While we don't like the idea of pre-orders, getting access to the beta right away is a decent way to do it. Sadly, their Kickstarter campaign actually failed which I didn't notice. Making sure that wasn't the end of it, the developer Vox Games decided to go the Early Access route. They weren't left out in the cold of space though, as they also recently announced that Indie DB will be publishing their game. Under the label of Modularity, this will be the first title published by Indie DB.
  • Heroes of Newerth drops support for Linux and Mac
    Heroes of Newerth, the MOBA originally from S2 Games which is now handled by Frostburn Studios has dropped Linux and Mac support. [...] I'll be honest here, I couldn't care less about it personally. The last time i tried it, it was the single most toxic experience I've ever had in an online game. I've played a lot of online games and even so it was still at a level I had not seen before. I tried to go back to it a few times, never with a happy ending. Still, sad for any remaining Linux (and Mac) fans of the game. Looking over some statistics, it's not popular with viewers either. Around 180 on Twitch compared with nearly 100K for League of Legends and over 50K for Dota 2.
  • Unity 2018.3 With HDR Render Pipeline Preview, Updated PhysX & More
    Unity Tech is ending out the year with their Unity 2018.3 game engine update that brings a number of new features and improvements to its many supported platforms.

Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 4.0-rc2 is now available. What's new in this release (see below for details): - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
  • Just when you think you can stop drinking, Wine 4.0 has another release candidate available
    Just before the weekend hits you in the face like a bad hangover when you realise it's Monday already, there's another bottle of Wine ready for you. Of course, we're not talking about the tasty liquid! Put down the glass, it's the other kind of Wine. The one used to run your fancy Windows programs and games on Linux. Doing their usual thing, developer Alexandre Julliard announced that the Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2 is officially out the door today. While this release is nothing spectacular it is an important one, the more bugs they're able to tick off the list the better the 4.0 release will be for more people to use it.