Today we're looking at the performance of the latest proprietary graphics drivers on the Linux desktop at the time of testing: NVIDIA 352.09 Beta and the Catalyst 15.4 Beta as packaged for Ubuntu Vivid -- fglrx 15.20.2 / OpenGL 4.4.13374. Later in the week should be the open-source Intel/AMD/NVIDIA Linux graphics driver results for celebrating the Phoronix birthday. For this article there were 17 graphics cards tested all supported by these latest proprietary drivers -- the graphics cards used were those that were available and in my possession at the time of testing, which sways to the NVIDIA side. There's basically every major NVIDIA graphics card covered given they're frequently sending out samples to Phoronix for Linux testing while in the past few years on the AMD side they have barely sent out any GPUs for Linux testing... All of the AMD GCN GPUs tested in this article were retail GPUs I purchased. Anyhow, the graphics cards able to be tested for this article were:
The Linux 4.2 kernel will bring continued enablement on Intel's next-gen Skylake architecture, low-power display states, basic enablement of Broxton hardware, DisplayPort improvements, the Gen7 command parser was finally added, dynamic page-table allocation for Gen8+ graphics hardware, and many other internal driver changes.
The Atom Z3735F is what powers Intel's Compute Stick. The Z373F has a Scenario Design Power of just 2.2 Watts while being a quad-core 64-bit processor with a clock speed of 1.33GHz and a burst frequency of 1.83GHz. This low-power Atom SoC also has Intel HD Graphics that work fine under Linux. In this article are some early test data from the Intel Compute Stick with Ubuntu Linux.
Earlier this month I posted some Btrfs RAID 0/1 benchmarks on Linux 4.1 as a prelude to some larger Btrfs RAID benchmarks. Today the rest of those results are available with using five disks and testing Btrfs on this newest version of the Linux kernel while testing the RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10 levels.
Yesterday I ran some fresh tests of Intel Ivy Bridge on the latest Mesa Git code to see if the performance has changed much recently for the slightly-older generation of Intel HD Graphics. Today I've done some similar tests in kernel-space with the Linux 4.1 kernel.
I ran benchmarks from the same Core i7 3770K system while testing the vanilla Linux 3.19, 4.0, and 4.1 Git kernels and running various graphics tests to see if there's been any recent i915 DRM kernel changes affecting the Ivy Bridge graphics performance.
A test build of Blender 2.75 was released this past week and it will be of interest to a lot of open-source designers and artists.
Blender 2.75 notably has added initial support for OpenCL on AMD Radeon GPUs with the Cycles Rendering. The AMD OpenCL support is coming as the Cycles compute kernels have finally been split into smaller kernels, so they now compile and work for AMD GPUs. However, the AMD OpenCL stack failing to work with transparent shadows due to a compiler bug. The AMD OpenCL improvements for Blender was work led by AMD that we previously covered on Phoronix.
GNOME's Mutter window manager was updated to v3.17.2 today as the latest development version in the road to GNOME 3.18.
Of importance to Mutter 3.17.2 is that it now supports X11/Wayland clipboard interoperation. Now the clipboard contents from copying and pasting can be done between native X11 and Wayland applications, which previously wasn't possible up until now for those running a mix of X11 and Wayland programs on the desktop.
Intel developers in particular have been trying to wrap-up OpenGL ES 3.1 support within Mesa. That work is getting closer to finally being realized.
Intel developers have been working hard on GLES 3.1 enablement in Mesa but it didn't make it for Mesa 10.6. As of writing this article, the outstanding OpenGL ES 3.1 extensions still needed to be finished for Mesa include ARB_arrays_of_arrays, ARB_compute_shader, ARB_framebuffer_no_attachments, ARB_shader_image_load_store, ARB_shader_image_size, and ARB_shader_storage_buffer_object. Most of these OpenGL extensions have been started but not yet completed.