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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: NVIDIA, Mesa and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • May the Source Be with You: NVIDIA Open Sources Material Definition Language SDK

    Security, customizability, flexibility and cost are a few of the benefits of open-source software for developers.

    They’ll get all these and more from NVIDIA’s Material Definition Language software development kit, which is available starting today as open source.

    MDL software — a set of tools that integrate the precise look and feel of real-world materials into rendering applications — has long been supported by developers. It gives end-users the freedom to share physically based materials and lights between supporting applications.

    For example, an MDL material — such as a specific piece of carpeting, upholstery or clothing — created in Allegorithmic Substance Designer can be saved to a library and then used in any other supporting application, like Adobe Dimension CC.

  • NVIDIA Announces Open-Source MDL SDK

    In addition to announcing the Turing-based Quadro RTX GPUs with GDDR6 memory, NVIDIA used SIGGRAPH 2018 to announce their open-sourcing of the MDL SDK.

    The MDL SDK is the Material Definition Language and is a programming language for defining physically-based materials for rendering, The MDL code can then be converted into GLSL, NVIDIA PTX, x86 instructions, or LLVM IR for making these assets more portable.

  • Mesa 18.1.6 Released With Build System Updates, Various OpenGL/Vulkan Driver Fixes

    Mesa 18.1.6 is now available as the latest point release for Mesa 18.1 as the Q2'2018 release of this collection of open-source graphics drivers/infrastructure.

    Mesa 18.1.6 just ships with over three dozen fixes compared to v18.1.5 from a few weeks back. The Mesa 18.1.6 release includes various Gallium3D fixes, different Autotools/Meson build system updates, corrections to MSAA corruption with AMD Vega, a DRIRC option to allow Metro Redux to work properly (again), support for using INTEL_DEBUG for setting Intel shader disk cache flags, and various other random fixes throughout.

  • Vulkan 1.1.83 Released With Minor Documentation Updates For SIGGRAPH

    The Khronos Group has released Vulkan 1.1.83 as a routine maintenance update to the Vulkan 1.1 graphics/compute API to coincide with the start of ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver.

    Vulkan 1.1.83 doesn't introduce any new extensions but just corrects a variety of documentation issues. It does prepare for some new extensions though as some extra bits are now reserved for pending vendor extensions. These reserved bits appear to be for some NVIDIA extension work.

Direct3D 10/DXVK

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • DXVK Merges Direct3D 10 API Support

    Separate from the "DXUP" initiative, the popular DXVK project for accelerating Direct3D 11 atop Vulkan now has support itself for Direct3D 10.

  • DXVK expands with Direct3D 10 over Vulkan in Wine, also info on the new Direct3D 9-to-11 project

    There's so many incredible things going on around Wine right now it's hard to keep track. DXVK is now expanding to support Direct3D 10 over Vulkan in Wine.

    Talking about it on the official GitHub account in this issue, the main developer of DXVK said it works in a similar way to DXUP with it being a "very thin wrapper around the existing D3D11 interfaces, while allowing for better interoperability between the two APIs.".

A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Performance On AMD Threadripper 2990WX

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Complementing the extensive Linux benchmarks done earlier today of the AMD Threadripper 2990WX in our review (as well as on the Threadripper 2950X), in this article are our first Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks of this 32-core / 64-thread $1799 USD processor. Tests were done from Microsoft Windows 10 against Clear Linux, Ubuntu 18.04, the Arch-based Antergos 18.7-Rolling, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

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Phoronix on Threadripper 2900 Series

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
  • Threadripper 2900 Series Temperature Monitoring Sent In For Linux 4.19 Then Backported

    As expected, the CPU temperature monitoring support within the "k10temp" hwmon driver has seen the patches sent in today to be updated for the AMD Threadripper 2900 series CPU support. These patches are going into the Linux 4.19 kernel merge window but slated to be back-ported to the currently supported stable kernel series.

  • AMD Threadripper 2950X Offers Great Linux Performance At $900 USD

    The embargo has expired now for talking about Threadripper 2 performance figures... First up are our initial Threadripper 2950X Linux benchmarks. In this article are the most interesting metrics for this 16-core / 32-thread processor while in the just-published AMD Threadripper 2990WX Linux Benchmarks are a lot more figures complemented by the 2950X and other CPUs plus power consumption numbers, etc. This article is most useful if specifically focused on the performance of the Threadripper 2950X that comes in at $899 USD.

  • AMD Threadripper 2990WX Cooling Performance - Testing Five Heatsinks & Two Water Coolers

    The 32-core / 64-thread AMD Threadripper 2990WX carries a 250 Watt TDP rating, thus the cooling performance is quite important especially if you don't want to hit any thermal throttling with this $1799 USD processor. Fortunately, the 2990WX doesn't require water cooling but actually can work quite well with high-end air heatsinks too. For adding some perspective on the cooling requirements of the Threadripper 2990WX, here are benchmarks of five heatsinks and two all-in-one water cooling systems.

  • AMD Threadripper 2990WX Linux Benchmarks: The 32-Core / 64-Thread Beast

    Whether you are compiling a lot of code, rendering models with Blender, or running various scientific workloads with OpenMP or MPI, the AMD Threadripper 2990WX is capable of delivering immersive Linux performance with its 32-cores and 64 total threads. While coming in at $1800 USD, the AMD Threadripper 2990WX can deliver better performance than the more expensive Intel Core i9 7980XE. Beyond being mesmerized about the performance today with this high-end desktop/workstation processor with the many thread-happy Linux workloads we encounter daily, this 32-core Zen+ processor has us even more eager to see AMD's next-generation Zen2-based EPYC CPUs next year.

Graphics: SIGGRAPH and XDC2018

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Radeon Pro WX 8200 Launches As "Best Workstation Graphics Performance Under $1,000"

    It's SIGGRAPH week and AMD has used this annual graphics conference to announce the Radeon Pro WX 8200, which they are saying is able to offer the best workstation graphics card performance in the sub-$1,000 USD category.

    The Radeon Pro WX 8200 is intended to be used for visualizations, VR, photo-realistic rendering, and other professional graphics workloads. The Pro WX 8200 features a High Bandwidth Cache Controller (HBCC), enhanced pixel engine on, ECC memory, and is built on their Vega GPU architecture. The WX 8200 features 8GB of HBM2 memory and the graphics card is rated for a 230 Watt TDP.

  • XDC2018 Will Have Many Interesting Talks On Vulkan, AR/VR, Wayland & More

    Just over one month away is XDC2018 as the annual X.Org Developers' Conference where a variety of X.Org, Wayland, Mesa, Vulkan, and OpenGL talks will take place. This year's schedule is particularly packed and full of interesting information.

    XDC2018 is being hosted in Spain and running from 26 to 28 September at the University of A Coruña. The proposal for talks at XDC2018 are now over and the proposed sessions can be found on this Wiki page. Below is a look at some of the interesting talks slated for this open-source graphics/driver conference next month.

Graphics/Ubuntu: Wayland 1.16 and Weston 5.0 Release Candidates, XDG Shell Stable Supported by Mir

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Ubuntu
  • [ANNOUNCE] wayland-1.15.93

    The RC1 release candidate for wayland 1.16 is now available.

  • Wayland 1.16 & Weston 5.0 Release Candidates For Testing

    Derek Foreman of Samsung's Open-Source Group put out the release candidates on Friday for the upcoming Wayland 1.16 release as well as the Weston 5.0 reference compositor.

    The Wayland 1.16 release candidate hasn't seen any changes over the earlier development release besides updating the contributor documentation to reflect that Gitlab is now used for handling merge requests. The Wayland 1.16 cycle overall was quite light but earlier in the cycle it did see build system updates, dropping of the wl_buffer definition, and the protocol now allows a zero physical size output.

  • XDG Shell Stable Supported by Mir

    Support for the stable XDG Shell protocol has just landed in Mir, and it will ship with the next release. It will eventually replace XDG Shell unstable v6 as the primary way in which Wayland applications create traditional style windows. You can get it now in our development PPA: ppa:mir-team/dev.

  • Mir Now Supports XDG Shell Stable

    Canonical developers continue working on advancing the Mir display server's support for Wayland.

    The latest Wayland enhancement to Mir is on supporting the stable version of the XDG Shell protocol. XDG-Shell is the protocol for improved management of Wayland surfaces including for minimization of windows, dragging, resizing, and other desktop-aligned tasks. XDG Shell also defines protocol around transient windows like pop-up menus.

Kernel, LF and Graphics: New Features, Hyperledger Global Forum, RadeonSI Gallium3D

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Linux 4.19 Certainly Is Going To Be A Big Kernel

    At the end of July I outlined some of the changes queued for Linux 4.19 while since then several more notable additions have become aligned for this next kernel cycle following the one week delay of Linux 4.18.

    Linux 4.18 should be out this weekend, which itself is bringing many changes, and in turn will mark the opening of the two week long merge window for 4.19.

  • Linux Live Kernel Patching Is On The Way For 64-bit ARM

    It's been a while since having any advancements to report on the live kernel patching front for being able to deploy primarily Linux kernel security fixes without having to reboot the system. There is some new progress on that front to report on now and that is the 64-bit ARM (ARM64/AArch64) support getting squared away.

  • Linux EDAC Support For AMD's Great Horned Owl

    The latest Linux kernel patch is for supporting ECC error detection via the Error Detection And Correction (EDAC) code with AMD's Great Horned Owl.

    Great Horned Owl is the codename for Family 17h Model 11h hardware, which is what launched back in February as the Ryzen Embedded V1000 series chips.

  • Linux Kernel Expectations For AMD Threadripper 2

    If you have already pre-ordered your AMD Threadripper 2990WX processor or just planning to be an early customer of that high-end desktop processor or the Threadripper 2950X, you may be wondering about Linux requirements from these new high-end AMD CPU offerings. Here's the gist of the Linux support state of AMD Zen+ CPUs for those wanting to get ready for Threadripper 2.

    There's still a few days to go until the global embargo expires for sharing Threadripper 2990WX/2950X performance benchmarks and reviews, at which time you'll be able to see my full Linux analysis of these new processors with plenty of tests... But for today we're just talking in general terms about Linux support requirements.

  • Keynote Sneak Peek for Hyperledger Global Forum – See Who’s Speaking

    Attend Hyperledger Global Forum to see real uses of distributed ledger technologies for business and to learn how these innovative technologies run live in production networks across the globe today. Hyperledger Global Forum will cut through the hype and focus on adoption. Attendees will see first-hand how the largest organizations in the world go beyond experimentation to lead blockchain production applications with measurable impact. Make your plans now to attend the premier blockchain event of 2018.

  • More OpenGL Extensions For RadeonSI Are The Latest In A Flurry Of Interesting Activity

    Marek Olšák has continued his busy work on the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver by implementing more extensions and adjusting various limits/constants to match the behavior of their proprietary driver.

    In the past few days Marek has fleshed out the EQAA GL extensions, ASTC compression for Gallium drivers, and yesterday was EXT_gpu_shader4 support for vintage/legacy OpenGL 2 applications.

  • Intel SSD 660p: 512GB Of NVMe Storage For $99 USD

Games and Wine

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • Extreme downhill freeriding game 'Descenders' updated with the Ring of Fire update

    The latest update to Descenders adds in the fifth environment to play through named Volcano, which gives you a different way to play. The interesting thing about the Volcano environment, is that you have to unlock it in a very specific way with the developer teasing that "it involves fiery rings of fire". Instead of stunts, this environment uses tectonics instead. In other words, you're in for a bumpy ride.

    In addition to the new environment, which is pretty darn tough to actually reach, they've also added in more new stuff. Along with now having a Linux version that works properly.

    In this update there's also another new bonus level for you to find, they've expanded the "Freeride" mode where you tweak the settings to build your own track to add in the special build crew feature, which gives you certain modifiers like smoother curves or reducing speed wobble. There's also new items for you to unlock as well.

  • It Looks Like A Steam 64-Bit Client Could Finally Be Near

    It looks like Valve could be prepping to finally ship a 64-bit Steam client, possibly coinciding with their long talked about Steam UI/UX overhaul.

    Valve today shipped a new beta release with just one listed change, "Added support for shipping different binaries to 64bit vs 32bit operating systems in Steam self-updater. This support is being added in preparation for future updates."

    The ability for the Steam update to ship different binaries depending upon architecture would be a prerequisite for being able to introduce a 64-bit Steam client while retaining the 32-bit client too... They don't explicitly say it's for shipping a 64-bit Steam client soon, but it's 2018 after all, and there wouldn't be much of a reason to otherwise be adding this capability to the Steam updater...

  • DXVK Introducing Per-Game Configuration Files

    While DXVK is capable of running a great deal of Direct3D 11 games via Vulkan within Wine, a number of games have required various workarounds for either getting the game to properly work in the first place or to run efficiently. Those per-game settings are now being punted off into a per-game configuration system.

  • VK9 - Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan - Completes 27th Milestone

    It's not nearly as far along as DXVK that is allowing D3D11-over-Vulkan and already running great numbers of games in a performant manner under Wine, but the VK9 project for implementing Direct3D 9 over Vulkan has now hit its twenty-seventh milestone.

Graphics: Libinput, Mesa and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • How the 60-evdev.hwdb works

    libinput made a design decision early on to use physical reference points wherever possible. So your virtual buttons are X mm high/across, the pointer movement is calculated in mm, etc. Unfortunately this exposed us to a large range of devices that don't bother to provide that information or just give us the wrong information to begin with. Patching the kernel for every device is not feasible so in 2015 the 60-evdev.hwdb was born and it has seen steady updates since. Plenty a libinput bug was fixed by just correcting the device's axis ranges or resolution. To take the magic out of the 60-evdev.hwdb, here's a blog post for your perusal, appreciation or, failing that, shaking a fist at. Note that the below is caller-agnostic, it doesn't matter what userspace stack you use to process your input events.

  • Mesa 18.2-RC2 Released With 17 Fixes So Far

    One week after branching Mesa 18.2 and issuing the first release candidate, the second weekly RC is now available for testing.

    Mesa 18.2-RC2 has 17 patches queued, including several V3D (formerly "VC5") Broadcom driver fixes, build system updates, fixing the DRISW compilation for Android Nougat, and other small fixes.

  • Mesa 18.2.0-rc2

    The second release candidate for the Mesa 18.2.0 is now available.

  • AMDGPU LRU Bulk Move Functionality Increases Performance In OpenCL And Vulkan
  • AMD Releases 18.Q3 Linux Drivers for Radeon Pro, Including Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Support

    This update also brings Vulkan 1.1 support, and initial support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – which is great news for those who recently upgraded to the latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS package.

    The package is mainly intended for Vega Frontier, Radeon Pro, Radeon Pro WX, and FirePro S/W graphics cards, and the entire driver stack is derived from the 18.20 driver branch which includes both PRO and All-Open driver options.

Graphics: Radeon, AMDGPU, NVIDIA

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Radeon Pro 18.Q3 Linux Driver Released

    AMD has released their Radeon Pro 18.Q3 enterprise driver update, including for supported Linux distributions, as their QA-tested professional-grade driver update for the quarter.

    Radeon Pro Software 18.Q3 is available for RHEL/CentOS 7.5, RHEL/CentOS 6.9, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 16.04, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop/Server 12 SP3. This is basically the QA-vetted enterprise driver stack of "AMDGPU-PRO" intended for workstation graphics hardware while for the most part those on consumer Radeon GPUs are generally best off riding the latest Linux+Mesa releases for the leading open-source driver coverage.

  • AMDGPU LRU Bulk Move Patches Yielding OpenCL & Vulkan Performance Boosts

    AMD's Huang Rui and Christian Konig are working on LRU bulk move functionality that can yield performance improvements for Vulkan and OpenCL workloads.

    This AMDGPU kernel change is about migrating PD/PT buffer objects onto the LRU (least recently used) list in bulk in a single operation. For end-users, what matters is the performance difference as a result.

  • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Update Brings Hang Fixes, Device Diagnostic Checkpoints

    NVIDIA has just published their latest Vulkan beta driver release for Windows and Linux.

    The newest NVIDIA Vulkan beta for Linux out today is version 396.51.02. Most notable with this driver update is that it adds support for the VK_NV_device_diagnostic_checkpoints extension. This extension was recently made public by Vulkan 1.1.82 and is for inserting device diagnostic checkpoints.

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