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Graphics/Benchmarks

Linux Tests Of The QNINE M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure To USB-C Adapter

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Graphics/Benchmarks

In the past few months a number of M.2 NVMe SSD to USB adapters have been appearing on the market. Curious about the performance potential on Linux of an NVMe SSD drive attached to a USB 3.1 connection, I recently picked up a QNINE NVMe solid-state drive enclosure for benchmarking.

The QNINE NVMe SSD enclosure is an M.2 NVMe to USB-C/USB-3.1 adapter that retails for about $40 USD from the likes of Amazon. Only Windows and macOS support is mentioned, but the drive was detected just fine and working under Linux. This QNINE adapter is just one of many M.2 NVMe to USB-C adapters on the market and most in the $40~60 USD price range.

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Graphics: Wayland and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Canonical Reportedly Not Planning To Enable Wayland-By-Default For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

    Since the short-lived Ubuntu 17.10 GNOME + Wayland experience, the Ubuntu desktop has still been using the trusted X.Org Server session by default. While Ubuntu 19.04 will soon be shipping and the Ubuntu 19.10 development cycle then getting underway, don't look for any Wayland-by-default change to be around the corner.

    Twice in the past week I've received communication from two indicating that Canonical reportedly isn't planning on enabling Wayland-by-default for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. If Canonical were planning to go ahead with Wayland used by default, they would need to make the change for Ubuntu 19.10 as is customary for them to make large changes in the LTS-release-1 version in order to facilitate more widespread testing ahead of the Long Term Support cycle. But Canonical engineers feel that the Wayland support isn't mature enough to enable in the next year for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

  • Vulkan Working To Expose Video Encode/Decode, Machine Learning

    During this week's Game Developers Conference was the usual Khronos Dev Day where Vulkan, WebGL, glTF, and OpenXR took center stage. During the Vulkan State of the Union some details on their future endeavors were covered.

    Among some of the larger efforts that are "in flight" are improving the portability of Vulkan to closed platforms without native drivers (MoltenVK, etc), continuing to work on ray-tracing (complementing the existing VK_NV_ray_tracing), exposing video encode/decode through Vulkan, exposing machine learning capabilities, and the separate effort on safety critical Vulkan.

Some Additional Chrome vs. Firefox Benchmarks With WebRender, 67 Beta / 68 Alpha

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Graphics/Benchmarks

A few days ago I posted some Chrome vs. Firefox benchmarks using the latest Linux builds. Some readers suggested Firefox could be more competitive if forcing WebRender usage and/or moving to the latest nightly builds, so here are some complementary data sets looking at such combinations.

In addition to Firefox 66 stable and Chrome 73 stable, here are results when using Firefox 67 Beta 4 and Firefox 68 Alpha 1 as the latest at the time of testing. In addition to testing those two development channels, additional runs were done on each of them after forcing WebRender with the "MOZ_ACCELERATED=1 MOZ_WEBRENDER=1" environment variables.

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Graphics: OpenXR, Code From Nvidia, OpenChrome

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: FreeSync, Primus-VK, NVIDIA

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • More AMD FreeSync Patches Likely Coming To Linux 5.2

    While the Linux 5.0 kernel brought initial support for the long-awaited open-source FreeSync implementation, the Linux 5.2 kernel coming out this summer will likely have additional improvements. 

    Open-source developer Mario Kleiner has been working on a set of patches this month for enabling proper vblank and page-flip time-stamping when in the FreeSync/VRR (Variable Rate Refresh) mode. This work makes the vblank timestamps as accurate as in the fixed refresh rate behavior. 

  • Primus-VK: PRIME-Style GPU Offloading For Vulkan

    For those with a PRIME style notebook or just making use of dual/multiple graphics processors in your system, Primus-VK allows for using a secondary/dedicated GPU for rendering while driving the display from the alternative (often integrated graphics) GPU. Primus-VK is implemented as a Vulkan layer as a clean approach for dealing with multiple GPUs in a Vulkan world. 

    Primus-VK pursues Vulkan GPU offloading by implementing this logic as a Vulkan layer for handling the rendering on one GPU and then when it comes to display-time it copies the image over to the integrated/primary GPU. This layer can be installed per-user or system-wide and has been tested on the likes of Debian. ENABLE_OPTIMUS_LAYER=1 is the environment variable used for activating the behavior. Primus-VK has also been tested with Windows games under Wine.

  • NVIDIA Releases Nsight Graphics 2019.2 With Vulkan Profiling Support

    Released for GDC/GTC week was Nsight Graphics 2019.2, the proprietary cross-platform, closed-source utility tool for debugging, profiling, and analyzing Direct3D, OpenGL, and other GPU-accelerated APIs. 

    With this week's Nsight Graphics 2019.2 release they finally have added Vulkan profiling support. This support allows inspecting GPU performance metrics under Vulkan workloads within the program's Range Profiler. Other new additions include improvements for running Steam games on Linux, a feedback button, and enhancements to the accelerated structure viewer and API inspector.

Graphics: Vulkan in OpenArena and GDC 2019 Week

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  • vkOpenArena: The ioquake3-Powered OpenArena Game Gets Ported To Vulkan

    OpenArena, one of the most well known open-source games built atop the ioquake3 engine of what started out as id Tech 3, has now seen an independent port to the Vulkan graphics API.

    The vkOpenArena game now marks the latest vintage game seeing a port to Vulkan. Independent developer Sui Jingfeng has been working on vkOpenArena as a port of the OpenArena engine over to using the Vulkan graphics API rather than Vulkan.

  • AMDVLK Has A Small Weekly Code Push For GDC 2019 Week

    With many AMD driver developers being over in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference, this week AMDVLK saw rather small changes for this open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver.

A Quick Look At The Firefox 66.0 vs. Chrome 73.0 Performance Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Given the recent releases of Chrome 73 and Firefox 66, here are some fresh tests of these latest browsers on Linux under a variety of popular browser benchmarks.

This initial round of testing was done on the latest of Intel's Clear Linux with a Core i9 9900K and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card. Originally the intent was to look at the performance of Clear Linux's default Firefox build compared to the upstream Firefox x86_64 Linux binary to see how the performance differed or if any Clear optimizations paid off there. In this particular instance, Clear Linux's Firefox build and that of the upstream/generic Firefox Linux binary basically came down to the same. As a follow-up though will be tests of Firefox/Chrome running on Clear Linux against the likes of Ubuntu to see if the underlying operating system changes yield any performance difference.

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Graphics: Libinput 1.13 RC2, NVIDIA and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • libinput 1.12.902
    The second RC for libinput 1.13 is now available.
    
    This is the last RC, expect the final within the next few days unless
    someone finds a particulaly egregious bug.
    
    One user-visible change: multitap (doubletap or more) now resets the timer
    on release as well. This should improve tripletap detection as well as any
    tripletap-and-drag and similar gestures.
    
    valgrind is no longer a required dependency to build with tests. It was only
    used in a specific test run anyway (meson test --setup=valgrind) and not
    part of the regular build.
    
    As usual, the git shortlog is below.
    
    Benjamin Poirier (1):
          evdev: Rename button up and down states to mirror each other
    
    Feldwor (1):
          Set TouchPad Pressure Range for Toshiba L855
    
    Paolo Giangrandi (1):
          touchpad: multitap state transitions use the same timing used for taps
    
    Peter Hutterer (3):
          tools: flake8 fixes, typo fixes and missing exception handling
          meson.build: make valgrind optional
          libinput 1.12.902
  • Libinput 1.13 RC2 Better Detects Triple Taps

    Peter Hutterer of Red Hat announced the release of libinput 1.13 Release Candidate 2 on Thursday as the newest test release for this input handling library used by both X.Org and Wayland Linux systems.

    Libinput 1.13 will be released in the days ahead as the latest six month update to this input library. But with the time that has passed, it's not all that exciting of a release as the Logitech high resolution scrolling support as well as Dell Totem input device support for the company's Canvas display was delayed to the next release cycle. But libinput 1.13 is bringing touch arbitration improvements for tablets, various new quirks, and other fixes and usability enhancements.

  • Open-Source NVIDIA PhysX 4.1 Released

    Software releases are aplenty for GDC week and NVIDIA's latest release is their newest post-4.0 PhysX SDK.

    NVIDIA released the open-source PhysX 4.0 SDK just before Christmas as part of the company re-approaching open-source for this widely used physics library. Now the latest available is PhysX 4.1 and the open-source code drop is out in tandem.

  • AMD have launched an update to their open source Radeon GPU Analyzer, better Vulkan support

    AMD are showing off a little here, with an update to the Radeon GPU Analyzer open source project and it sounds great.

Benchmarking A 10-Core Tyan/IBM POWER Server For ~$300 USD

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Graphics/Benchmarks

If you live in the EU and have been wanting to explore IBM POWER hardware on Linux, a load of Tyan Habanero servers recently became available through a German retailer for 269 EUR (~$306 USD) that comes equipped with a 10-core POWER8 processor. While not POWER9, it's still an interesting Linux-capable beast and the price is unbeatable if you have been wanting to add POWER hardware to your collection. Phoronix reader Lauri Kasanen recently bought one of these IBM POWER servers at the 269 EUR price point and has shared thoughts on this server as well as some benchmarks. Here is Lauri's guest post checking out this low-cost 2U IBM server.

Recently a batch of refurbished POWER8 servers became available for very affordable prices. Always eager to play with power, especially for netbook-class prices, I grabbed one, and decided to run some benchmarks for everyone. For comparison data I used Michael's POWER9 benchmark from November, recent enough that software versions are close enough.

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wayland 1.17.0

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Wayland 1.17 is released, with no changes (except the version) since RC1.

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Also: Wayland 1.17 Released With Updated Protocol & Other Improvements

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