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Graphics/Benchmarks

Mesa 18.3.4

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Mesa 18.3.4 is now available.

In this release we have:

A fix in the XvMC state-tracker, which was causing some video attributes to
not take affect. On the video front the VAAPI state tracker has seen
improvements with VP9 streams while the amdgpu driver advertises all available
profiles.

On Intel side we have compiler fixes and extra PCI IDs for Coffee Lake and
Ice Lake parts. In the Broadcom drivers a couple of memory leaks were
addressed and the NEON assembly should compile properly on armhf.

Other drivers such as radeonsi, nouveau and freedreno have also seen some
love. The RADV driver has seen addressed to compile correctly with GCC9
amongst other changes.

The Xlib based libGL have been addressed to work with X servers, which lacks
the MIT-SHM extension such as XMing.

To top it up we have a few fixes to the meson build system.

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Also: Mesa 18.3.4 Brings VA-API VP9 Improvements, More Coffeelake/Icelake IDs For Intel

Chamferwm: A Vulkan-Powered X11 Window Manager

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While we have talked about the possibilities of writing a Vulkan Wayland compositor and there was even a short-lived Vulkan renderer for KDE's KWin, it's also possible to write a X11 window manager around the Vulkan interfaces.

Chamferwm is a new tiling X11 window manager that features a Vulkan compositor. Chamferwm doesn't support Wayland at this point but is written using Vulkan and XCB for the X11 bits. This tiling window manager already supports a lot of standard window management functionality, all rendering is done with Vulkan and there is support for user-supplied shaders for decorations/borders, and support as well for using an external compositor.

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Linux 5.0 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks On Laptop & Desktop Hardware

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Our past tests have shown that while most Linux distributions default to "none" for their I/O scheduler on NVMe solid-state storage, that isn't necessarily the best scheduler decision in all cases. Here are tests using the Linux 5.0 Git kernel using laptop and desktop hardware while evaluating no I/O scheduler, mq-deadline, Kyber, and BFQ scheduler options.

Out today is the latest installment of our routine I/O scheduler kernel benchmarks. For this round of testing using a Linux 5.0 Git kernel atop Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, tests were done on an AMD Ryzen 5 2400G desktop and Intel Core i7 8550U laptop. The Ryzen 5 2400G had a Corsair Force MP500 120GB NVMe SSD. The laptop was a Dell XPS 9370 with Samsung PM961 solid-state drive. EXT4 was the file-system in use on both systems and with the default mount options.

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Intel Graphics: Discrete Graphics Cards and SVT-AV1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
  • Intel Preps For Discrete Graphics Cards With Linux Patches

    Intel has confirmed that recent patches to its Linux graphics driver were related to its continued work on preparing the ecosystem for its new line of discrete graphics cards.

    Phoronix reported that Intel released 42 such patches with more than 4,000 lines of code between them on February 14. The main purpose of the patches was to introduce the concept of memory regions in "preparation for upcoming devices with device local memory." (Such as, you know, discrete graphics cards.)

    [...]

    Still, any information about Intel's graphics plans is welcome. Right now the graphics market is dominated by AMD and Nvidia, and as we noted in December, Intel is probably the only company that even has a possibility of successfully introducing a new discrete graphics architecture. Why not enjoy the occasional glimpse behind the curtain as that architecture's being built?

  • SVT-VP9 Is Intel's Latest Open-Source Video Encoder Yielding High Performance VP9

    At the start of the month Intel open-sourced SVT-AV1 aiming for high-performance AV1 video encoding on CPUs. That complemented their existing SVT-HEVC encoder for H.265 content and already SVT-AV1 has been seeing nice performance improvements. Intel now has released SVT-VP9 as a speedy open-source VP9 video encoder.

    Uploaded on Friday was the initial public open-source commit of SVT-VP9, the Intel Scalable Video Technology VP9 encoder. With this encoder they are focusing on being able to provide real-time encoding of up to two 4Kp60 streams on an Intel Xeon Gold 6140 processor. SVT-VP9 is under a BSD-style license and currently runs on Windows and Linux.

Noctua's NH-U9 TR4-SP3 Is Still The Best 4U EPYC / Threadripper Cooler I've Found

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Graphics/Benchmarks

If you are in the market for an AMD Ryzen Threadripper or AMD EPYC heatsink that fits within 4U height requirements, the Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is still easily the best option available. I'm now running the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 in five different EPYC/Threadripper systems in the racks and they work out splendid.

I've already covered the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 multiple times before, but with having picked up another one of these coolers this past week and being satisfied with the results, just wanted to give another shout-out to Noctua and pass along the latest thermal results. For this latest build, the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is cooling an EPYC 7351P 16-core / 32-thread CPU that tops out at 3.9GHz.

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Graphics: Mesa, Vega and ETC2

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • RADV Driver Gets Big Patch Series For 8-bit & 16-bit Arithmetic, 8-bit Storage

    A set of 38 patches have been sent out that wire in support for the VK_KHR_shader_float16_int8, VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float, VK_AMD_gpu_shader_int16, and VK_KHR_8bit_storage extensions to the RADV driver within Mesa.

    Rhys Perry who started contributing to the Nouveau driver stack has been working on this 8-bit and 16-bit arithmetic support for the Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver. These 8-bit / 16-bit extensions work for AMD Volcanic Islands GPUs and newer. However, the half-floats support needs LLVM 8.0 or newer due to bugs on LLVM 7.

  • BACO Power Savings Support Comes To AMD's Vega 12

    The latest addition to AMD's open-source Linux kernel driver is supporting BACO on Vega 12.

    With the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle, BACO is enabled for Vega 10 and Vega 20. BACO is short for Bus Active, Chip Off as a low-power mode whereby most of the GPU is shut-off during idle periods in order to drastically cut the power consumption of the graphics card. BACO is also known as AMD ZeroCore Power mode.

  • Improved ETC2 Texture Compression Lands For Older Haswell/Ivybridge GPUs On Linux

    The previously mentioned work on improving ETC2 support for older generations of Intel graphics has now been mainlined for Mesa 19.1.

    This work for the ETC2 texture compression is improving the "fake" support for Intel Gen 7 class graphics, the Ivybridge and Haswell era graphics. This work was done by Igalia to address the lack of native ETC2 coverage on these several year old chips. Following this improved implementation for the fake ETC2 support is also wiring up OES_copy_image support for this extension. ETC2 is the lossy texture compression mandated since OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenGL 4.3.

Wayland's Weston 6.0 To Support XDG-Shell Stable, Helping Apps Like MPV Video Player

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

While the current Wayland/Weston release cycle is a bit behind schedule, it has allowed time for another addition to be made to the Weston 6.0 compositor.

Weston 6.0 now has support for the XDG-Shell stable protocol where as previously it only exposed the XDG-Shell v6 unstable protocol. The two versions of the XDG-Shell protocol are quite close so it wasn't much work involved, but newer Wayland-supported apps like the MPV video player are explicitly looking for the stable version of the protocol.

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Also: The Linux Vendor Firmware Service Has Served Up More Than 5 Million Firmware Files

Mir 1.1.1 Release Candidate

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mir 1.1.1 - release candidate

    I’ve just kicked off the process for a bugfix release of Mir. An initial release-candidate is currently building in ppa:mir-tream/rc.

  • Mir 1.1.1 RC1 Has Fixes For PostmarketOS, Demo Shells Using Wayland

    Mir 1.1 was released back in December as the first post-1.0 feature update while now preparing for release is the Mir 1.1.1 maintenance milestone.

    Canonical's Alan Griffiths has tagged the Mir 1.1.1 release candidate today as the newest bug-fix release. Highlights include:

    - Fixing issues with PostmarketOS support, particularly around its usage of the musl C library rather than Glibc. PostmarketOS is the mobile Linux distribution derived from Alpine Linux that's been having a steady following in recent times and running on the Nexus 5/7, Nokia N9, and other devices.

Graphics: Mesa/Virgl3D, Nouveaum and Gallium3D

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Virgl Lands A Number Of Performance Optimizations In Mesa 19.1

    For those using the Virgl3D driver stack for having OpenGL acceleration within KVM guest VMs with VirtIO-GPU that is then accelerated by hosts, there are performance optimizations that have just landed in the Mesa 19.1 development code.

    Virgl has introduced a transfer queue along with being able to de-duplicate intersecting 1D transfers, which results in a texture upload micro-benchmark going from 64.23 mtexel/sec all the way to 367.44 mtexel/sec.

  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Gets Mali T600/T700 Midgard Update

    The Panfrost Gallium3D driver that was recently merged into Mesa 19.1 will soon have better support for the Mali T600/T700 series graphics.

    ARM's Mali Midgard T600/T700 generations have always been part of the support target for the Panfrost driver, but the newer T860 is where the developers spend most of their reverse-engineering, open-source driver development resources. With a several hundred line patch, the Panfrost Gallium3D driver is receiving updated support for the older Mali Midgard hardware with tests done on the T760 while not regressing the newer T860 support.

  • Nouveau Driver Picks Up SVM Support Via HMM

    The Nouveau kernel driver has queued patches for introducing Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) support for this open-source NVIDIA driver as a step forward to its OpenCL/compute opportunities.

    The Nouveau DRM driver has support for SVM via the Heterogeneous Memory Management infrastructure that's been part of the mainline kernel for a while. Nouveau patches have been worked on for a while but finally on trajectory for mainline. The NVIDIA proprietary driver has also been working to make use of HMM.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe Linux SSD Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Announced at the end of January was the Samsung 970 EVO Plus as the first consumer-grade solid-state drive with 96-layer 3D NAND memory. The Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs are now shipping and in this review are the first Linux benchmarks of these new SSDs in the form of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB MZ-V7S500B/AM compared to several other SSDs on Linux.

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus uses the same Phoenix controller as in their existing SSDs but the big upgrade with the EVO Plus is the shift to the 96-layer 3D NAND memory. Available now through Internet retailers are the 250GB / 500GB / 1TB versions of the 970 EVO Plus at a new low of just $130 USD for the 500GB model or $250 USD for the 1TB version. A 2GB model is expected to ship this spring.

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Security: Nest Lockout, Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance, DNS Hijacking Attacks and Australian Cracking

  • Nest is locking customers out of accounts until they fix their security

    Emails were sent last night to all users that may have been affected by recent [breaches], with a new password being mandatory, as it tries to avoid the "I'll do it later" attitude that means that often vulnerable passwords remain in use for months or years.

  • A Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance

    Mondelez’s claim represents just a fraction of the billions of dollars in collateral damage caused by NotPetya, a destructive, indiscriminate cyberattack of unprecedented scale, widely suspected to have been launched by Russia with the aim of hurting Ukraine and its business partners. A compromised piece of Ukrainian accounting software allowed NotPetya to spread rapidly around the world, disrupting business operations and causing permanent damage to property of Mondelez and many others. According to reports, Zurich apparently rejected Mondelez’s claim on the grounds that NotPetya was an act of war and, therefore, excluded from coverage under its policy agreement. If the question of whether and how war risk exemptions apply is left to the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis, this creates a profound source of uncertainty for policyholders about the coverage they obtain.

  • A Deep Dive on the Recent Widespread DNS Hijacking Attacks

    The U.S. government — along with a number of leading security companies — recently warned about a series of highly complex and widespread attacks that allowed suspected Iranian hackers to siphon huge volumes of email passwords and other sensitive data from multiple governments and private companies. But to date, the specifics of exactly how that attack went down and who was hit have remained shrouded in secrecy.

    This post seeks to document the extent of those attacks, and traces the origins of this overwhelmingly successful cyber espionage campaign back to a cascading series of breaches at key Internet infrastructure providers.

  • With elections weeks away, someone “sophisticated” [cracked] Australia’s politicians

    With elections just three months away, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on February 18 that the networks of the three major national political parties had been breached by what Australian security officials described as a "sophisticated state actor."

  • Australia's major political parties [cracked] in 'sophisticated' attack ahead of election

    Sources are describing the level of sophistication as "unprecedented" but are unable to say yet which foreign government is behind the attack.

  • Parliament attackers appear to have used Web shells

    Attackers who infiltrated the Australian Parliament network and also the systems of the Liberal, National and Labor Parties appear to have used Web shells – scripts that can be uploaded to a Web server to enable remote administration of a machine.

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