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Graphics/Benchmarks

16-Way AMD EPYC Cloud Benchmark Comparison: Amazon EC2 vs. SkySilk vs. Packet

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With last week Amazon Web Services rolling out AMD EPYC cloud instances to EC2, I figured it would be an interesting time for a fresh benchmark look at how the AMD Linux cloud performance compares from some of the popular cloud providers. For this article are sixteen different instances benchmarked while looking at the raw performance as well as the value on each instance type relative to the benchmark performance and time consumed for the on-demand spot instancing. EPYC instances were tested from Amazon EC2, Packet.com, and SkySilk.

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The Performance Impact Of Spectre Mitigation On POWER9

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Over the past year we have looked extensively at the performance impact of Spectre mitigations on x86_64 CPUs but now with having the Raptor Talos II in our labs, here are some benchmarks to see the performance impact of IBM's varying levels of Spectre mitigation for POWER9.

By default, Raptor Computing Systems ships their system in the safest mode of providing full kernel and user-space protection against Spectre Variant Two. But by editing a file from the OpenBMC environment it's possible to control the Spectre protections on their libre hardware. Besides the full/user protection against Spectre there is also kernel-only protection that is more akin to the protection found on x86_64 CPUs. Additionally, there is the ability to completely disable the protection for yielding the greatest performance (or what would be considered standard pre-2018) but leaving your hardware vulnerable to Spectre. More details on controlling the Spectre protections on Talos II hardware can be found via the RaptorCS.com Wiki.

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Kernel and Graphics: EXT4, AMDGPU and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • EXT4 Getting Many Fixes In Linux 4.20, Including For Some Really Old Leaks

    Last month I reported on a number of fixes for really old bugs in the EXT4 code with some of the issues dating back to the Linux 2.6 days in the EXT3 file-system code that was carried over to the EXT4 driver. Those fixes are now working their way into the Linux 4.20 stable kernel. 

    Ted Ts'o sent out a fixes pull request today containing 18 patches. Sixteen of those patches are from Vasily Averin who was nailing these really old bugs/leaks. Of them, Ted noted, "A large number of ext4 bug fixes, mostly buffer and memory leaks on error return cleanup paths."

  • AMDGPU DRM-Next Driver Picks Up Support For Vega 20 "A1" Stepping

    Among the work queuing in the AMDGPU DRM-Next branch for what will in turn appear with the next kernel cycle (Linux 4.21) is support for Vega 20 A1 ASICs.

    The current Linux 4.20 cycle appears to have good support for Vega 20 GPUs at least from our tracking without having any access to the GPUs for now, but it looks like the production graphics cards will be on a new "A1" stepping rather than A0 that was used for the bring-up of this first 7nm Vega GPU.

  • Gallium D3D9 "Nine" Support Gets New Patches To Help Fight Lag Without Tearing

    While most Linux gamers these days are mesmerized by DXVK for mapping Direct3D 10/11 to Vulkan for better handling Windows games on Linux, for those with older Direct3D 9 era games there is still the Gallium Nine initiative for D3D9 implemented as a Mesa Gallium state tracker. A new patch series posted this weekend will make that Gallium Nine experience even better.

    Axel Davy who has been the lead developer on the Gallium D3D9 state tracker posted a set of two patches that allow the thread_submit=true option to be used with tearfree_discard=true option.

NVIDIA Open-Sources New I2C USB Type-C Turing GPU Driver In Linux 4.20

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Graphics/Benchmarks
OSS

The Linux 4.20 kernel has just received a new post-merge-window new driver: i2c-nvidia-gpu that is being contributed by the NVIDIA crew for their newest Turing graphics cards.

While it's great seeing NVIDIA contribute code for their latest generation graphics hardware to the mainline Linux kernel, i2c-nvidia-gpu comes down to just being a bus driver for the USB Type-C controller that is accessible over I2C. These newest NVIDIA graphics cards have a USB Type-C port for next-gen VR headsets using the VirtualLink standard. VirtualLink allows for four HBR3 DP lanes, USB 3.1 data, and up to 27 Watts of power over this slim cable -- much better than the mess of cables currently needed for VR headsets.

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Mesa 18.3 RC2

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • mesa 18.3.0-rc2

    The second release candidate for Mesa 18.3.0 is now available.

  • Mesa 18.3-RC2 Released With RADV, Wayland & NIR Fixes

    The second weekly release candidate of Mesa 18.3 is now available for testing of these open-source OpenGL / Vulkan drivers.

    Mesa 18.3-RC2 comes with several RADV Radeon Vulkan driver fixes, Wayland WSI updates, a few Intel/NIR changes, some minor Android updates, Gallium Nine built with Meson now is linked against pthreads, and various other alterations.

The Polaris/Vega Performance At The End Of Mesa 18.3 Feature Development

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With Mesa 18.3 feature development having wrapped up at the end of October, here are some benchmarks showing how the updated RadeonSI and RADV drivers are performing for this code that is now under a feature freeze before its official release around the end of November. AMD Radeon Vega and Polaris graphics cards were tested with a slew of NVIDIA graphics cards also tested on their respective driver to show where the Linux gaming GPU performance is at as we head into the 2018 holiday shopping season.

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Raptor Talos II POWER9 Benchmarks Against AMD Threadripper & Intel Core i9

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those curious about the performance of IBM's POWER9 processors against the likes of today's AMD Threadripper and Intel Core i9 HEDT processors, here are some interesting benchmarks as we begin looking closer at the POWER9 performance on the fully open-source Raptor Talos II Secure Workstation. This open-source, secure system arrived for Linux testing with dual 22-core POWER9 CPUs to yield 176 total threads of power.

As mentioned a few days ago in the aforelinked article, Raptor Computing Systems recent sent over a Talos II system for benchmarking to deliver more frequent benchmarks from this high-end workstation/server that's fully open-source down to the motherboard firmware and BMC stack. We previously have carried out some remote benchmarks of the Talos II, but now having it in our labs allows us to more frequently conduct tests as well as swapping out the hardware, matching other test systems, and also other tests like performance-per-Watt comparisons that were not possible with the remote testing.

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Graphics: Radeon, AMD, NVIDIA and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • The Anticipated Linux Driver Requirements For The Radeon Instinct MI50 / MI60 (Vega 20)

    With this week's announcement of the Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI50 as what we previously knew as Vega 20, here's a look at what is likely required from the Linux software side for making use of these professional GPUs that will begin shipping in early 2019.

  • AMD Lands Big Batch Of AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Changes To Start November

    As it had been two weeks since AMD developers last pushed out new source updates to their AMDVLK Vulkan Linux driver, rather than their normal weekly release cadence, today's driver updates are a bit on the heavier side than some of their past light updates.

  • NVIDIA 415.13 Beta Linux Graphics Driver Released With Assorted Improvements

    NVIDIA today released their first beta release for Linux/Solaris/BSD users in the 415 release stream.

    NVIDIA 415.13 is now the first post-410 series driver for Linux users. That 410 driver series was big for introducing NVIDIA RTX "Turing" graphics card support and initial Vulkan ray-tracing support. The NVIDIA 415 driver isn't as significant but has various fixes and improvements throughout its large driver stack.

  • More AMD Zen Microarchitecture Tuning For Mesa Is Likely Ahead

    Published back in September was some Mesa RadeonSI tuning for AMD Zen CPUs. That tuning to pin the application thread and driver execution thread to the same L3 cache benefits the Zen micro-architecture with its multiple core complexes (CCX). That code was merged a short time later unconditionally but it looks like that behavior needs to be refined for delivering maximum performance.

A Look At The AMD EPYC Performance On The Amazon EC2 Cloud

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Of the announcements from yesterday's AMD Next Horizon event, one that came as a surprise was the rolling out of current-generation EPYC processors to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Available so far are the AMD-powered M5a and R5a instance types to offer Amazon cloud customers more choice as well as being priced 10% lower than comparable instances. Here are some initial benchmarks of the AMD performance in the Amazon cloud.

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Graphics: Linux DRM and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Exploring Another Small Power-Savings Optimization

    A new patch-set proposed by one of the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver developers would allow power-savings under load of roughly up to 3%.

    The new Intel "i915" Linux DRM driver patches by Ankit Navik allow for the dynamic, context-aware re-configuration of the EU/Slice/Sub-slice controls.

    At present the Intel DRM driver only configures the execution unit / slice / sub-slice controls at context creation time, but these new patches re-configure the EUs at run-time depending upon how busy the particular graphics application is by the number of commands being submitted by the app to the kernel.

  • Mesa Gets Patches For EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture, Freedreno A6xx MSAA

    Wayland founder Kristian Høgsberg Kristensen who has been on Google's Chrome OS graphics team the past few years is continuing to help advance the open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics support.

    Among other recent MSM/Freedreno contributions by Kristian, his latest patch series plumbs in support to core Mesa/Gallium3D for the EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture OpenGL extension and also wires in Adreno A6xx series for multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA).

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel: Linux System Wrapper Library, Microsoft Mice, and EXOFS

  • Kernel Developers Debate Having An Official Linux System Wrapper Library
    As new system calls get added to the Linux kernel, these syscalls generally get added to Glibc (and other libc libraries) for developers to make easy use of them from their applications. But as Glibc doesn't provide 1:1 coverage of system calls, sometimes is delayed in their support for new calls, and other factors, there is a discussion about providing an official Linux system wrapper library that could potentially live as part of the kernel source tree. This weekend was the initial proposal for having an official Linux system wrapper library. Though that initial proposal is a bit flawed in saying that "glibc is basically not adding new system call wrappers", as they are, just sometimes it takes a while among other factors. But it is accurate in reflecting a problem with the status quo.
  • Linux Getting Two-Line Patch To Finally Deal With The Quirky Microsoft OEM Mouse
    While Microsoft is self-proclaimed to love Linux, their common and very basic Microsoft OEM Mouse has not loved the Linux kernel or vice-versa... The Linux kernel HID code is finally getting a quirk fix to deal with the Microsoft OEM mouse as it would disconnect every minute when running at run-levels one or three. The basic Microsoft OEM Mouse that's been available for years (appearing as a PixArt vendor and USB ID 0x00cb) would disconnect every 60~62 seconds on Linux systems when connected out-of-the-box. This isn't some high-end gaming mouse but Microsoft's dead basic OEM optical mouse.
  • Linux Poised To Remove Decade-Old EXOFS File-System
    The Linux kernel will likely be doing away with EXOFS, a file-system that had been around since the Linux 2.6.30 days. EXOFS is a file-system originally derived from EXT2 file-system code for basing it on an external object store. This object-based file-system was originally developed by IBM. Veteran kernel developer Christoph Hellwig is now seeking to remove the EXOFS object-based file-system on the basis of it being "just a simple example without real life users."

today's howtos and CLI examples

OpenStack vs. Cloud Foundry vs. Kubernetes: What Fits Where?

Open-source cloud application infrastructure can be a confusing landscape to navigate with multiple projects, including OpenStack, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. While there are some points of overlap, each technology has its own merits and use-cases. Among the vendors that uses and contributes to OpenStack, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes is SUSE, which also has commercial products for all three technologies as well. In a video interview with eWEEK, Thomas Di Giacomo, CTO at SUSE explains how the three open-source technologies intersect at his company. "We see that our customers don't use a single open-source project, most of the time they to use different ones, with different lifecycles and sometimes they overlap," Di Giacomo said. Read more

Linux Journal Reviews the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Laptop, Red Hat Wants to Hear About Desktop/Laptop Setups

  • Review: the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Laptop
    Canonical recently made an official announcement on its company blog stating that the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop (that is, Project Sputnik) now ships with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) pre-installed. Upon reading this, I quickly reached out to Dell asking to review the laptop. I'm a Linux developer, and when a developer edition laptop is marketed with Linux pre-installed, I need to experience it for myself. The laptop eventually arrived, and like a child on Christmas morning, I excitedly pulled the device out of the box and powered it up for the first time. This is a pretty rock-solid notebook. The device is very light and easy to carry—meaning, it's mobile (which is very important in my book), thin and sleek. Not only does the device look good, but it also performs very well. [...] Overall, I had a very positive experience with the 7th generation Dell XPS 13. It's a powerful machine and fully capable of handling all sorts of developer workloads. And if used in a professional environment, it's very mobile as well. You can carry it from conference room to conference room and resume your work with little to no disruption. Ubuntu is well integrated with the machine, and it shows. You can't ask for more in a developer's laptop. I definitely consider this device to be well worth the investment.
  • What does your Linux setup look like?
    Jim Hall: I run Fedora Workstation on a Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop, with an ASUS 24" external display. That gives me a dual-display configuration that lets me work in one window on the larger display while having a separate space to run my music player or other apps. I love my Perixx ergonomic keyboard and my Microsoft Classic Intellimouse. When I'm feeling nostalgic, I swap out the ergo keyboard with my replica IBM Model M keyboard by Unicomp; the buckling spring keys are really easy to type with. My printer is an HP color LaserJet, which works seamlessly with Linux.