Due out next week is a very significant update to AMD's Catalyst Linux graphics driver as they continue to work towards the unified AMD Linux driver strategy.
There hasn't been an AMD Catalyst Linux update in more than two months but it looks like the update due out next week will be worth the wait. This next AMD Catalyst Linux update due out on Tuesday, 9 December, will bring VA-API video decoding support (finally an alternative to using the ill-adopted, AMD-specific XvBA API), OpenGL ES 3.0 support, OpenCL 2.0, AMD FreeSync support on Linux, OpenMP 3.1 over HSA, and Linux packaging improvements. There's also 5K x 3K display support, frame pacing for Dual Graphics, and other enhancements for both the Windows and Linux graphics drivers. At least under Windows, there's very significant performance optimizations due out too.
Fedora 21 is due out in a few days and as such I've been busy extensively testing and benchmarking this first Fedora Linux update in a year. To not much surprise given the close package versions to Ubuntu 14.10, Fedora 21 isn't performing very differently from the Ubuntu Utopic Unicorn.
Most of the Linux distribution performance comparisons don't turn up much assuming the Linux kernel, compiler, and Mesa components are close to the same version. From there it mostly comes down to the defaults for the CPU scaling driver/governor, I/O scheduler, etc. With Fedora 21 compared to Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS, the results are very close.
With the official Fedora 21 release due out soon and the release candidate being available this weekend, I ran some basic performance benchmarks comparing the speed of Fedora 21 64-bit to that of Ubuntu 14.10 on an Intel Xeon workstation.
Fedora 21 Workstation was compared to Ubuntu 14.10 using the x86_64 version of each and maintaining the default settings. Fedora 21 is shipping with the Linux 3.17 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.14.2, X.Org Server 1.16.2, Mesa 10.3.3, and GCC 4.9.2. The package versions this time around aren't too far off from the Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn release from back in November with the main change being the use of the Linux 3.16 kernel.
This week I posted some OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 performance results that were quite interesting and showed Ubuntu Linux largely dominating over OS X Yosemite with a Haswell-based MacBook Air. For those curious how other Linux distributions compare in this performance showdown, here are some results when also testing Fedora 21 in its near-final state and also openSUSE in its rolling-release form.
Mesa 10.4.0 release candidate 3 is now available for testing. This
is the final release candidate planned before the 10.4.0 release
coming next Friday, Dec 5th.
The tag in the git repository for Mesa 10.4.0-rc3 is 'mesa-10.4.0-rc3'.
Mesa 10.4.0 release candidate 3 is available for download from
There hasn't been much in the way of exciting Wayland/Weston developments to report on this month, but its development is continuing in its usual manner. Out today is another version of the Weston IVI Shell as it still works to being accepted upstream.
The weston-ivi-shell is a reference shell for Wayland's Weston compositor running on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems. The Weston-IVI work dates back many months and today's revision to the shell marks its eighth public version as it still seeks to be accepted into mainline Weston.
NVIDIA has out a wonderful Thanksgiving surprise... New Mesa code for Tegra K1 GPUs and newer!
While NVIDIA has already pushed Nouveau Gallium3D support patches for Tegra K1 after providing Tegra K1 DRM/KMS kernel driver support, there's more code coming out today.
NVIDIA's Thierry Reding sent out a nearly two thousand line Mesa patch that introduces a new Tegra Gallium3D driver. This "Tegra" code at gallium/drivers though isn't a complete 3D driver -- the Tegra K1+ still use the NVIDIA NVC0 Gallium3D driver for the actual rendering. This patch sets up a screen and forwards on the work to the Nouveau Gallium3D driver given that the Tegra K1 uses a Kepler-derived graphics processor. This work is needed since the GPU and display are exposed as separate devices by this NVIDIA ARM SoC.
While I delivered some OS X 10.10 Yosemite preview benchmarks back in August, here's my first tests of the official release of Apple OS X 10.10.1 compared to Ubuntu 14.10 Linux. Tests were done of OS X 10.9.5 and OS X 10.10.1 against Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn when running the benchmarks under both GCC and LLVM Clang compilers.