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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: NVIDIA, ATI RAGE and Phoronix Test Suite a Decade Later

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • New LTS Kernel 4.19 and NVidia Patch

    Under 24h after Linux Kernel 4.19 LTS is released by Greg, Patrick decided to bump the kernel used in -current to the latest LTS release. This new major version brings tons of new and interesting features, as written in Kernel Newbies.

    [...]

    I'm pretty sure it will showed up soon enough as KDE 5 is getting more stable and polished. It has been tested by Eric (and some other) for some time and it's proven to be solid.

  • A 2018 Autumn Linux Driver Update For The ATI RAGE 128 Series

    The open-source display driver for supporting these graphics cards where 32MB of SDRAM was suitable, 250 nm fabrication was standard, and core clocks around 100MHz were competitive is still being maintained... Two decades after the release of the ATI RAGE series, the open-source Linux driver continues seeing some activity and in fact a new driver release.

    The lone independent driver contributor ushering along the RAGE driver (xf86-video-r128) is Kevin Brace who started working on the VIA OpenChrome open-source driver in recent years and for the past number of months recently shifted focus to the classic RAGE driver. He released the xf86-video-r128 6.12.0 driver today to address two build failures. Besides addressing build problems, he also began writing some of the XAA/EXA 2D acceleration code. He did note of the changes to the 2D acceleration code paths, "It is always possible that I can mess up the code, but it appears that the code is working correctly."

  • OpenBenchmarking.org Serves Up Its 35 Millionth Test Profile/Suite Benchmark Download

    Just a little more than one month after crossing 34 million downloads, the 35,000,000 milestone was achieved -- continuing the trend that's been going on for the past number of quarters. OpenBenchmarking.org serves test profiles/suites separate from the Phoronix Test Suite package itself to allow new tests to be easily introduced without having to upgrade the PTS client itself, update existing tests with version controls, etc. OpenBenchmarking.org is also what allows users to upload their own test results publicly, obtain various hardware/software statistics, and much more.

Graphics: AMD and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Coreboot's Flashrom Moves On To Flashing AMD GPUs Up Through Polaris

    Last week I wrote about new patches adding Coreboot Flashrom support for Radeon GPUs for being able to re-program the SPI blocks on AMD graphics processors. Initially that was for old Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series hardware but now it's moved onto the GCN world.

    That reverse engineering work for bringing Radeon support to Flashrom is being done by longtime open-source developer Luc Verhaegen who was involved with the RadeonHD driver effort a decade ago. He's continued working on this SPI chip flashing support in his spare time and has got the code working for GCN hardware now -- most Southern/Sea Islands hardware and even now Polaris. Last week I wrote about new patches adding Coreboot Flashrom support for Radeon GPUs for being able to re-program the SPI blocks on AMD graphics processors. Initially that was for old Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series hardware but now it's moved onto the GCN world.

    That reverse engineering work for bringing Radeon support to Flashrom is being done by longtime open-source developer Luc Verhaegen who was involved with the RadeonHD driver effort a decade ago. He's continued working on this SPI chip flashing support in his spare time and has got the code working for GCN hardware now -- most Southern/Sea Islands hardware and even now Polaris.

  • AMD FreeSync 2 HDR Coming To The Linux Kernel In 2019

    Next year is when all of the pieces of the open-source puzzle for fully supporting FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync/VRR displays with AMD graphics cards should be in place for allowing out-of-the-box support.

    While the Linux 4.20 kernel (possible being re-branded as Linux 5.0) will kick off its development cycle today following the Linux 4.19 stable release, these FreeSync / variable rate refresh bits aren't found in the kernel... There is the AMDGPU DC bits within this open-source AMD kernel driver, but not yet the common Direct Rendering Manager bits for exposing the "VRR" properties to user-space.

  • Vulkan 1.1.89 Released As A Small Spec Update

    After the big Vulkan 1.1.88 update earlier this month that brought transform feedback and other new extensions, Vulkan 1.1.89 is now available.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Linux Gaming Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Last week following the launch of the RTX 2070 Turing graphics cards, I carried out some initial RTX 2070 compute benchmarks including of TensorFlow and more common OpenCL/CUDA workloads. The GPU compute performance for this $499+ Turing GPU was quite good and especially for INT16 test cases often beating the GTX 1080 Ti. Available now are the Linux gaming benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 compared to an assortment of other NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards on Ubuntu 18.10.

As a quick recap, the GeForce RTX 2070 has 2304 CUDA cores, 1410MHz base clock, 1620MHz boost clock, and is capable of 42T RTX-OPS and 6 Giga Rays/s for ray-tracing, granted it will likely be some time before seeing any serious Linux games with RTX/ray-tracing support. The GeForce RTX 2070 graphics cards rely upon 8GB of GDDR6 video memory yielding 448GB/s of memory bandwidth.

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Graphics: NVIDIA, Kazan, Sway and Panfrost

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Developers Express Interest In Helping Out libc++/libstdc++ Parallel Algorithms

    NVIDIA developers have expressed interest in helping the open-source GCC libstdc++ and LLVM Clang libc++ standard libraries in bringing up support for the standardized parallel algorithms.

    C++17 brings parallelized versions for some of the algorithms exposed by the C++ standard library, but sadly GCC's libstdc++ and LLVM's libc++ do not yet support these parallel algorithms while the rest of their C++17 support is in great shape. Going back over a year Intel has been interested in contributing parallel support code to these C++ standard libraries that could be shared by both projects. The Intel path builds in abstractions for supporting different underlying thread/parallelism APIs.

  • The Rust-Written Kazan Vulkan Driver Lights Up Its Shader Compiler

    This week the Kazan project (formerly known as "Vulkan-CPU") celebrated a small but important milestone in its trek to having a CPU-based Vulkan software implementation.

    As a refresher, Kazan is the project born as Vulkan-CPU during the 2017 Google Summer of Code. The work was started by student developer Jacob Lifshay and he made good progress last summer on the foundation of the project and continued contributing past the conclusion of that Google-funded program. By the end of the summer he was able to run some simple Vulkan compute tests. He also renamed Vulkan-CPU to Kazan (Japanese for "volcano").

  • Sway 1.0 Beta Released - Offers 100% Compatibility With i3 Window Manager

    The Sway Wayland compositor inspired by X11's i3 window manager is now up to its beta ahead of the big 1.0 release.

    Sway 1.0 Beta offers "100%" compatibility with the i3 window manager. The Sway 1.0 release has also been working on many other changes including improved window handling, multi-GPU support, virtual keyboard protocol, real-time video capture, tablet support, and many other changes.

  • Panfrost Open-Source GPU Driver Continues Advancing For Mali GPUs

    The Panfrost open-source, community-driven, reverse-engineered graphics driver for ARM Mali graphics processors continues panning out pretty well.

    Alyssa Rosenzweig has provided an update this weekend on the state of Panfrost for open-source Mali 3D support. The developers involved have been working out some texture issues, various OpenGL / GLES issues around GLMark2, and support now for running Wayland's Weston reference compositor.

The Performance & Power Efficiency Of The Core i7 990X vs. Core i9 9900K

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With my initial Core i9 9900K benchmarks out there following Friday's embargo expiration, for some weekend benchmarking fun I decided to pull out the old Core i7 990X to see how it compares to the new 9900K... The Gulftown and Coffeelake processors were compared not only on raw performance but also overall power consumption and performance-per-Watt.

The Core i7 990X was the Extreme Edition processor back from 2011 codenamed "Gulftown" (Westmere microarchitecture), the 32nm generation before Sandy Bridge. Granted the announced but not yet released Core i9 9900X X-Series CPU will be more akin for comparison to the 990X, and I will at such time that it is available, but just for some extra benchmark runs over the weekend I was curious to see how the 990X and 9900K compare...

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Graphics: XRGEARS and Arcan's Latest

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • XRGEARS: Infamous "Gears" Now On VR Headsets With OpenHMD, Vulkan

    Well, the virtual reality (VR) demo scene is now complete with having glxgears-inspired gears and Utah teapot rendering on VR head mounted displays with the new XRGEARS.

    Kidding aside about the gears and teapot, XRGEARS is a nifty new open-source project with real value by Collabora developer Lubosz Sarnecki. XRGEARS is a standalone VR demo application built using the OpenHMD initiative for tracking and Vulkan for rendering. XRGEARS supports both Wayland and X11 environments or even running off KMS itself. This code also makes use of VK_EXT_direct_mode_display with DRM leasing.

  • Arcan versus Xorg – Approaching Feature Parity

    This is the first article out of three in a series where I will go through what I consider to be the relevant Xorg feature set, and compare it, point by point, to how the corresponding solution or category works in Arcan.

    This article will solely focus on the Display Server set of features and how they relate to Xorg features, The second article will cover the features that are currently missing (e.g. network transparency) when they have been accounted for. The third article will cover the features that are already present in Arcan (and there are quite a few of those) but does not exist in Xorg.

  • Arcan Display Server Is Nearing Feature Parity With The X.Org Server

    The Arcan display server, which started off years ago sounding like a novelty with being a display server built off a game engine in part and other interesting features, is nearing feature parity with the X.Org Server.

    While most hobbyist display server projects have failed, Arcan has continued advancing and with an interesting feature set. Recently they have even been working on a virtual reality desktop and an interesting desktop in general. Arcan is getting close to being able to offering the same functionality as a traditional X.Org Server.

    If you are interested in a lengthy technical read about the differences between Arcan and X.Org, the Arcan developers themselves did some comparing and contrasting when it comes to the display support, windowing, input, font management, synchronization, and other areas.

Graphics: Mesa 18.2.3, AMDVLK and Intel KVMGT

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • mesa 18.2.3

    Mesa 18.2.3 is now available.

    In this release we have:

    Different patches for the DirectX9 and DRI state trackers.

    Several fixes and workarounds for different games, inlcuding RAGE, Yakuza and
    The Evil Within, Wolfenstein The Old Blood ARMA 3, or No Mans Sky.

    A bunch of fixes for different drivers, including r600, nouveau, radeonsi, anv,
    radv, virgl, i965, nvc0 or nv50. Worth to mention a fix for GPU hangs in
    Radeonsi.

    State Trackers also get different fixes and corrections.

    Finally, fixes for GLSL and NIR are also in this queue.

  • Mesa 18.2.3 Released With Latest Driver Workarounds For Steam Play / Proton

    Mesa 18.2.3 is out today as the latest point release to the Mesa 18.2 stable series. Notable to this point release are several bug fixes and workarounds to benefit Steam Play / Wine (and the Valve downstream Proton) and various new games being brought up there thanks in part to DXVK.

    The games with workarounds in Mesa 18.2.3 are Rage, Yakuza, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, ARMA 3, and No Man's Sky. These workarounds are added to the common Mesa DRIRC for toggling certain features as opposed to driver-specific hacks.

  • AMDVLK Radeon Vulkan Driver Updated With A Slew Of Additions

    It had been more than two weeks since the last time AMD developers updated their public source trees making up the official AMDVLK Vulkan driver but fortunately that has now changed. Given the time since the last commit, there is a lot of goodies with this new AMDVLK driver refresh.

  • Intel KVMGT 2018-Q3 Released As Their Latest Open-Source GPU Virtualization Bits

    Intel developers today announced the release of KVMGT 2018-Q3 (also known as Intel GVT-g for KVM) as well as the accompany Xen hypervisor tailored XenGT 2018-Q3 update.

    These are the latest quarterly updates to the Intel technology stack for allowing GPU virtualization of their HD/UHD/Iris Graphics hardware with mediated pass-through on Linux systems. This GPU virtualization support continues working with Intel 5th Gen Core/Xeon "Broadwell" processors and newer with guest operating systems being Linux as well as Windows 7 or newer.

Some Initial PostgreSQL 11.0 Database Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Server

Among other software releases, yesterday brought the debut of the PostgreSQL 11.0 database server. Given it has possible performance enhancements and the new (non-default) LLVM-based just-in-time compilation ability, I decided to run some benchmarks on the powerful Dell PowerEdge EPYC 2P server.

PostgreSQL 11.0 is a big update for this popular database server. Those unfamiliar with its changes can find the details via the release notes. Details on the LLVM JIT back-end can be found via the in-tree documentation. The just-in-time compilation support didn't get enabled by default with PostgreSQL 11.0 due to open performance issues, but can be manually enabled for those wishing to run experiments or happen to be running a lot of complex queries where the JIT capability is likely to pay off.

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Intel Core i9 9900K vs. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Gaming Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Complementing the just-published Intel Core i9 9900K Linux benchmarks with the launch-day embargo lift are the Linux gaming benchmarks... This article is looking at the Linux performance between the Core i9 9900K and AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X in a variety of native Linux games as well as comparing the performance-per-Watt. So if you are a Linux gamer and deciding between these sub-$500 processors, this article is for you.

If you didn't yet read the main article that features a 15-way CPU comparison on Ubuntu 18.10 with the Linux 4.19 kernel, here is a recap of this new Coffeelake refresh CPU. The Core i9 9900K is an eight-core / sixteen-thread processor with 3.6GHz base frequency and 5.0GHz turbo frequency. This 14nm CPU has a 16MB L3 cache, dual channel DDR4-2666 support, and a 95 Watt TDP. There is also the onboard UHD Graphics 630, but if you're a gamer, that isn't going to cut it. The Core i9 9900K is launching at $499 USD.

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Intel Core i9 9900K Linux Benchmarks - 15-Way Intel/AMD Comparison On Ubuntu 18.10

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Intel sent over the Core i9 9900K as their first 9th Gen Coffeelake-S CPU hitting store shelves today. With the embargo on that now expired, let's have a look at how well this eight-core / sixteen-thread processor performs under Linux.

The Core i9 9900K is Intel's new answer for competing with the likes of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, but does come at a higher price point of $499 USD. While the Core i9 9900K is a Coffeelake refresh, rather than being six cores / twelve threads, they are matching AMD's precedent set by the Ryzen 7 processors in having eight cores / sixteen threads. This 14nm 8C / 16T processor has a base clock frequency of 3.6GHz with a turbo frequency at 5.0GHz, a 16MB L3 cache and supports dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory.

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