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Graphics/Benchmarks

AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Sees Some Improvements

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Marek Olšák has published another big set of fixes/improvements to the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

On Friday, Marek posted a set of 15 patches against the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, which for those out of the loop is the driver that handles AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer. These 15 patches vary in nature but come down to "random improvements" ranging from improvements/clean-ups to DB registers and MSAA, code clean-ups, and OpenGL Geometry Shader fixes.

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Mesa 10.3 released

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Mesa 10.3 has been released! Mesa 10.3 is a feature release that
includes many updates and enhancements. The full list is available in
the release notes file in docs/relnotes/10.3.html.

The tag in the GIT repository for Mesa 10.3 is 'mesa-10.3'. I have
verified that the tag is in the correct place in the tree.

Mesa 10.3 is available for download at
ftp://freedesktop.org/pub/mesa/10.3/

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The Intel Core i7 5960X Continues Running Great On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those able to spend $1000+ (USD) on a processor, the Intel Core i7 5960X is a fantastic offering that is still leaving me pleased with the performance after extensive Linux testing.

After the initial X99 motherboard failure, everything has been working fine with a different motherboard. Aside from Legit Reviews' motherboard also failing, I haven't heard of any other X99 issues from others so it looks like it could be an isolated incident. However, the root cause still appears to have been undetermined. I'm still waiting for MSI on a direct update to the matter but over in Taiwan, MSI reportedly told one of my SilverStone contacts that the Raven RV05 fan is faulty and caused the problem (though the case/fan works fine with a different motherboard and SilverStone has received no reports of other Raven RV05 issues in the few months that the chassis has been on the market). I also heard that Kingston ended up lowering their DDR4 voltages on the memory kit that was supplied to Legit Reviews; their DDR4 kit is now rated for 1.35V instead of 1.5V. In regards to the ASUS X99 motherboard failure, I haven't heard anything new but just a rumor of a bad soldering job. Anyhow, it fortunately looks like no widespread problems but just some isolated incidents.

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7-Way Linux Desktop Gaming Comparison On Ubuntu 14.10

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Ubuntu

With Ubuntu 14.10 bringing various updates to the packaged desktop environments along with updated open-source graphics drivers, here's our per-cycle usual tests of the popular Linux desktops while looking at their impact on the Linux gaming performance.

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Wayland & Weston 1.6 Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The latest quarterly update to Wayland and its Weston compositor are now available! Wayland/Weston 1.6.0 is another important milestone now crossed in delivering a next-generation Linux display experience.

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Intel P-State vs. CPUFreq Benchmarks On The i7-5960X

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Testing was done with the Intel Core i7 5960X at stock speeds. The Linux 3.17 Git kernel atop Ubuntu 14.10 was used for this round of testing. The Core i7 5960X has eight physical cores plus Hyper Threading, 3.0GHz base frequency, and 3.5GHz turbo frequency (that's the reported difference in the system information table due to P-State advertising the turbo frequency where as CPUFreq just reports the base frequency).

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Graphics Driver Changes Coming In The Linux 3.18 Kernel

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

While the Linux 3.17 kernel isn't being released for a few weeks, we already have a good idea for the DRM graphics driver improvements coming for the Linux 3.18 cycle.

Linux 3.17 has many new features, including many DRM graphics improvements, with Linux 3.18 there's of course more changes to get excited about; it's a never-ending cycle in improving Linux graphics drivers and the kernel stack as a whole. With Linux 3.18 though, it's going to be the first release where the drm-next merge window is closing early. Usually David Airlie, the DRM subsystem maintainer, allows new DRM graphics driver code to be introduced up until the start of the next kernel merge window, with that drm-next code-base then being sent in for mainline inclusion. Beginning with Linux 3.18, Airlie is planning to close the merge window of drm-next around the -rc5 state of the previous release. As a result, this week is likely the last that major new DRM graphics driver code has a chance to land for making the 3.18 window.

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RadeonSI GLAMOR Benchmarks With X.Org Server 1.16

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

With X.Org Server 1.16 having landed in Ubuntu 14.10, it's time for some benchmarks comparing the 1.15 and 1.16 releases on Ubuntu while using the GLAMOR 2D acceleration library.

For some basic X.Org 2D benchmarks I tested a Radeon HD 7950 and R7 260X while running various Linux 2D desktop benchmarks on Ubuntu 14.10 with the Linux 3.16 kernel and Mesa 10.4-devel. In testing the two graphics cards, I was using X.Org Server 1.15.1 that was previously found in the Ubuntu Utopic archive and then switched to X.Org Server 1.16.0 with the rebuilt DDX driver packages too.

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RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst At 4K UHD On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The open-source driver stack tested was with the Linux 3.17 Git kernel while using the Oibaf PPA to upgrade to Mesa 10.4-devel for the latest RadeonSI and LLVM AMD GPU code. The closed-source driver was the fglrx 14.20.7 / OpenGL 4.4.12968 Catalyst release. When running the Catalyst binary blob we had to downgrade from Linux 3.17 to Linux 3.16 for kernel compatibility. All tests were done from the Intel Core i7 5960X system running Ubuntu 14.10.

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New Code Starts Lining Up For X.Org Server 1.17

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Graphics/Benchmarks

X.Org Server 1.17 is planned for release at the start of 2015 and thus puts the closing of the merge window in the middle of October. While some xorg-server 1.17 code has already landed, more is on the way.

X.Org Server 1.17 will continue with refining the in-server GLAMOR code that was merged with 1.16 for 2D acceleration in a generic manner over OpenGL. X.Org Server 1.17 is also looking to integrate the universal KMS mode-setting DDX driver. Keith Packard on Monday also shared several other code branches he's looking at as material for the 1.17 release.

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