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Graphics/Benchmarks

How The AMD Polaris Open-Source Driver Performance Has Evolved Since Launch

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If you've been wondering how the AMDGPU+RadeonSI open-source driver stack has evolved since the hardware publicly launched, I ran some fresh benchmarks this weekend comparing my current driver numbers to that of my original Radeon RX 470 Linux review.

What we have to look at this Sunday is the open-source driver stack from early August on the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470 OC with Linux 4.8 and Mesa 12.1-dev compared to the state today with Mesa 13.1-dev + LLVM 4.0 SVN Git and Linux 4.8.4 stable (since only recently the Linux 4.9 AMDGPU fallout has been getting cleaned up).

Various OpenGL benchmarks were compared to the original numbers on the same Xeon E3-1280 v5 Skylake system with MSI C236A WORKSTATION motherboard, and 16GB of RAM. Besides the performance, back in August this open-source driver stack only supported OpenGL 4.3 while now it has all GL 4.4/4.5 extensions although it doesn't formally advertise the new versions yet pending conformance. There's also been the mainlining of the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver too that works on the RX 470.

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OpenGL Performance

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Linux Graphics

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Linux Benchmarks

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Yesterday I published the first GeForce GTX 1050 Linux benchmarks with OpenGL, OpenCL, and Vulkan coverage. With now having my hands on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING graphics card, here are the first Linux benchmarks of the GTX 1050 Ti graphics card that can be fetched for less than $150 USD.

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Linux Kernel and Graphics News

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Linux
  • Linux Kernel 4.8.5 Lands with Numerous CIFS, ARM64, and PowerPC Improvements

    Today, October 28, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the immediate availability for download of the Linux 4.8.5 kernel maintenance release.

    Linux kernel 4.8.5 is here less than a week after the announcement of the fourth maintenance update to the Linux 4.8 kernel series, which is currently the most stable and advanced you can get for a GNU/Linux distribution, and, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from the previous release, it's a pretty big one, changing a total of 152 files, with 1416 insertions and 612 deletions.

  • Linux Kernel 4.4.28 LTS Released with Many Improvements to the CIFS File System

    Immediately after informing us about the availability of Linux kernel 4.8.5, Greg Kroah-Hartman published details about the release of the twenty-eighth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

  • Initial Nouveau DRM Changes Queued For Linux 4.10

    With Linux 4.9 there is unfortunately no new feature code for Nouveau due to being late to merge the new functionality, but that work that missed 4.9 is now staged in DRM-Next for merging to mainline when the Linux 4.10 merge window rolls along.

    With this pull over night the code we originally hoped to see in Linux 4.9 for Nouveau. This new material for Linux 4.10 includes the initial boost support for greater performance but disabled by default as some more great work done by Karol Herbst. There are also related volt/clock changes done by Karol while all the re-clocking and boosting must still be done manually. The boost support also isn't yet optimal but at least will help raise the frame-rates for open-source NVIDIA Linux gamers.

  • Waltham: Generic Wayland-Style Network IPC

    Collabora went public today with their new spin-off project from Wayland: meet Waltham.

    Waltham is developed by Collabora at the request of some of their clients. Waltham is a generic Wayland-style IPC over network and can allow for more Wayland network-friendly applications.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 OpenGL/Vulkan/OpenCL Linux Performance

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Earlier this week NVIDIA began shipping the GeForce GTX 1050 graphics cards and our first review is of a Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini. A GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Linux review is still coming up plus some other articles looking at performance-per-Watt and other interesting areas for these low-cost Pascal-based GPUs. Here are results of the latest NVIDIA Linux performance compared to the latest open-source AMD Linux driver with various Radeon GPUs.

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Benchmarks From Phoronix

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  • Power Consumption & Efficiency Of The Linux Kernel For The Last Three Years

    Earlier this week I published Linux 3.9 through Linux 4.9 kernel benchmarks looking at the raw performance of various subsystems when testing each of the major kernel releases as far back as this Core i7 Haswell system was supported. From that same system, today is a look at testing the kernels going back to Linux 3.11 when Haswell graphics support was first in good shape for this Core i7 4790K box while looking at the raw power consumption and performance-per-Watt for these 19 major kernel releases.

  • The Idle Power Use Of The Past 19 Linux Kernel Releases

    This morning I published the Power Consumption and Efficiency Of The Linux Kernel For The Last Three Years article containing power consumption data for an Intel Haswell system going back to the Linux 3.11 kernel through Linux 4.9 Git. Those were some interesting power consumption numbers under load while here are the idle numbers.

    The idle tests were still running this morning so I opted to post them later since they're interested in their own right. The same i7-4790K system was used for benchmarking all of these kernels from Linux 3.11 to Linux 4.9 (25 October Git). No other changes were made during the testing process. Each kernel was freshly booted to the Unity desktop and then launched the idle power consumption test for a period of three minutes while monitoring the AC power draw as reported by the WattsUp Power meter. Automating this with the Phoronix Test Suite: MONITOR=sys.power phoronix-test-suite benchmark idle.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 6.8 Milestone 1 Released

Linux Graphics

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Linux

Linux Graphics

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Linux 3.9 To Linux 4.9 Kernel Benchmarks: Testing The 21 Last Kernels

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With the in-development Linux 4.9 kernel showing signs of some performance improvements, I've gone ahead and tested the last 21 major kernel releases on the same system. From Linux 3.9 to Linux 4.9, each of the major kernel releases was tested from the same Intel Core i7 desktop with a variety of benchmarks.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Lenovo Cloud Director: Open Source Technologies Are The Glue That Binds The Hybrid Cloud
    Hardware giant Lenovo is banking on a future where both public and private clouds are critical in driving IT innovation, and the glue binding those hybrid environments is mostly open source technologies. Dan Harmon, Lenovo's group director of cloud and software-defined infrastructure, encouraged solution providers attending the NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo on Wednesday to explore opportunities to engage Lenovo as its products stock the next generation of cloud data centers. Both public and private clouds are growing rapidly and will dominate the market by 2020, Harmon told attendees of the conference produced by CRN parent The Channel Company.
  • Cloudera Ratchets Up its Training for Top Open Source Data Solutions
    Recently, we've taken note of the many organizations offering free or low cost Hadoop and Big Data training. MIT and MapR are just a couple of the players making waves in this space. Recently, Cloudera announced a catalog of online, self-paced training classes covering the company's entire portfolio of industry-standard Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark training courses. The courses, according to Cloudera, allow you to learn about the latest big data technologies "in a searchable environment anytime, anywhere." Now, Cloudera has announced an updated lineup of training courses and performance-based certification exams for data analysts, database administrators, and developers. The expanded training offerings address the skills gap around many top open source technologies, such as Apache Impala (incubating), Apache Spark, Apache Kudu, Apache Kafka and Apache Hive.
  • Netflix’s open-source project Hollow, NVIDIA’s deep learning kits for educators, and new IBM Bluemix integrations—SD Times news digest: Dec. 6, 2016
  • Open governance enhances the value of land use policy software
    In December 2015, the COP21 Paris Agreement saw many countries commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives in the land sector. In this context, emissions estimation systems will be key in ensuring these targets are met. Such solutions would not only be capable of assessing past trends but also of supporting target setting, tracking progress and helping to develop scenarios to inform policy decisions.
  • Blender Institute collaborate with Lulzbot in the name of open source
    Blender Institute, a platform for 3D design and animation, are collaborating with Lulzbot 3D printers. This project a continuation of Lulzbot and Blender Institute’s approach to open source and aimed at enhancing collaboration. The Blender Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is an important figure in the Free and Open Source Software community (FOSS). Providing open source design tool software for 3D movies, games, and visual effects. While Lulzbot, a product line of Aleph Objects take an open source approach to hardware through their 3D printers.
  • Bluetooth 5 Specification Released

Remembering Linux Installfests

Ah, yes. I remember the good old days when you had to be a real man or woman to install Linux, and the first time you tried you ended up saying something like “Help!” or maybe “Mommmmyyyyy!” Really, kids, that’s how it was. Stacks of floppies that took about 7,000 hours to download over your 16 baud connection. Times sure have changed, haven’t they? I remember Caldera advertising that their distribution autodetected 1,500 different monitors. I wrote an article titled “Monitor Number 1501,” because it didn’t detect my monitor. And sound. Getting sound going in Linux took mighty feats of systemic administsationish strength. Mere mortals could not do it. And that’s why we had installfests: so mighty Linux he-men and she-women could come down from the top of Slackware Mountain or the Red Hat Volcano and share their godlike wisdom with us. We gladly packed up our computers and took them to the installfest location (often at a college, since many Linux-skilled people were collegians) and walked away with Linuxized computers. Praise be! Read more

What New Is Going To Be In Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus'

Right on the heels of Ubuntu 16.10 'Yakkety Yak' is Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus. Ubuntu 17.04 is currently scheduled for release on April 13, 2017 but know that this is only an estimate. One thing to know is that all things being equal, it is going to be released in April 2017. Ubuntu Zesty Zapus will be supported for only 9 months until January 2018 as it is not a LTS (long term support) release. Read
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Security News

  • News in brief: DirtyCOW patched for Android; naked lack of security; South Korea hacked
  • Millions exposed to malvertising that hid attack code in banner pixels
    Researchers from antivirus provider Eset said "Stegano," as they've dubbed the campaign, dates back to 2014. Beginning in early October, its unusually stealthy operators scored a major coup by getting the ads displayed on a variety of unnamed reputable news sites, each with millions of daily visitors. Borrowing from the word steganography—the practice of concealing secret messages inside a larger document that dates back to at least 440 BC—Stegano hides parts of its malicious code in parameters controlling the transparency of pixels used to display banner ads. While the attack code alters the tone or color of the images, the changes are almost invisible to the untrained eye.
  • Backdoor accounts found in 80 Sony IP security camera models
    Many network security cameras made by Sony could be taken over by hackers and infected with botnet malware if their firmware is not updated to the latest version. Researchers from SEC Consult have found two backdoor accounts that exist in 80 models of professional Sony security cameras, mainly used by companies and government agencies given their high price. One set of hard-coded credentials is in the Web interface and allows a remote attacker to send requests that would enable the Telnet service on the camera, the SEC Consult researchers said in an advisory Tuesday.
  • I'm giving up on PGP
    After years of wrestling GnuPG with varying levels of enthusiasm, I came to the conclusion that it's just not worth it, and I'm giving up. At least on the concept of long term PGP keys. This is not about the gpg tool itself, or about tools at all. Many already wrote about that. It's about the long term PGP key model—be it secured by Web of Trust, fingerprints or Trust on First Use—and how it failed me.