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Hardware

Intel's Core i7 5960X Is Fast & Wonderful Under Linux

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Linux
Hardware

After my first X99 motherboard burned up in a strange situation, since yesterday my Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system started working wonderfully with Linux after using a different motherboard. I've been hammering the system hard for the past day and no X99/i7-5960X issues have come about (albeit I've refrained from doing any overclocking or DDR4 tweaking yet) and this high-end $1000+ (USD) CPU is running great under Linux.

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More Nouveau Re-Clocking Patches Published

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Hardware

A few weeks back Roy posted improved re-clocking code for NVA3 GPUs. Today his latest set of patches work on memory re-clocking improvements for DDR2/DDR3 hardware. The patches also implement wait-for-vblank to remove flickering during memory re-clocking, improvements for reducing the downtime of PFIFO pauses, etc. These patches are prep work for the actual memory re-clocking code that he says will follow later.

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Trying Intel OpenCL On Linux For Video Encoding

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Linux
Hardware
OSS

The open-source x264 program does support OpenCL acceleration -- when building x264 it will check for the presence of OpenCL development support and then at runtime the --opencl switch must be passed for exploiting the potential of any OpenCL hardware. The x264 test profile part of the Phoronix Test Suite is strictly intended for CPU-based testing so this weekend I added a x264-opencl test profile that uses the same revision of x264 and the same media file, but the only difference is that it forces OpenCL support. So now with the Phoronix Test Suite it's as easy as running phoronix-test-suite benchmark x264 x264-opencl to run the CPU-bound x264 and the OpenCL version for easy comparison purposes.

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Preview: AMD's FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux

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Hardware

Since last year AMD's had the FX-9590 as the top-end Vishera CPU that can top out at 5.0GHz with its Turbo Frequency, but initially this processor was only available to OEM system builds. Over time the OEM version of the FX-9590 became available to consumers while earlier this summer AMD launched a retail version of the FX-9590 that included the eight-core CPU with a closed-loop water cooling solution. Today we're reviewing this highest-end Vishera CPU to see how it compares to other AMD and Intel processors on Ubuntu Linux.

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See How Your Linux System Performs Against The Latest Intel/AMD CPUs

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Hardware

This holiday weekend (in the US) can be a great time to test your Linux system to see how it's performing against the latest AMD and Intel processors to see if it's time for a good upgrade.

This weekend I'm working on many Linux CPU benchmarks for the upcoming Linux review of the Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system (still waiting for Intel's review sample to arrive though...) and also have some other hardware in preparation for an unrelated launch that's happening next week from another vendor. I'm testing several different Intel/AMD CPUs from the latest desktop CPUs to the Extreme Edition models to some slightly older parts. Beyond the raw performance results are also the power consumption data and much more.

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MSI Motherboard BIOS Updating Remains A Pain For Linux Users

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Hardware

In recent years with more motherboard vendors enabling the updating of the BIOS/UEFI from within the setup utility itself and support loading the BIOS file off a USB thumb drive or other storage, it's generally easier for Linux users and all around a smoother process than the days of having to make a MS-DOS start-up floppy disk or similar. For most of these BIOS updates, Windows is generally not required as you can just head on over to the vendor's web-site, download a zipped up copy of the BIOS, transfer it to a USB drive, and reboot into the UEFI setup utility and flash away.

Some vendors will package their BIOS file inside an EXE that has to be executed that will then extract the file right away, but fortunately there's many programs capable of straightaway extracting the files from the EXE or the worst case scenario is generally just running the EXE under Wine. As a Linux user, with MSI motherboards their BIOS packaging takes it to an additional level of annoying and for some Linux users could be show-stopping.

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Intel Beignet Is Working Out Surprisingly Well For OpenCL On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
OSS

Beignet is the project out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center for exposing GPGPU/compute capabilities out of Ivy Bridge hardware and newer when using a fully open-source Linux stack. While Beignet differs greatly from Gallium3D's Clover state tracker, this Intel-specific open-source OpenCL implementation is working out quite well for Ubuntu Linux.

While I've been writing about Intel's Beignet project since early 2013, it's probably been about a year now since I tried out the code, which is developed by Intel's OTC graphics team in China. This weekend I tried out Beignet v0.9.2 as trying out the newest Intel OpenCL code has been on my TODO list for a while and it's been working out rather well in my initial tests.

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Getting Involved With The New Raspberry Pi Graphics Driver

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Hardware

Eric Anholt, formerly a lead developer on Intel's Linux graphics driver, has been quickly working away at the VC4 Gallium3D driver and related code now being a Broadcom employee tasked with making an open-source driver for the Raspberry Pi. If you're looking to try out his in-development driver or help him out in the driver creation process, he's published a brief guide to lower the barrier to entry.

Eric published a blog post on Friday that covers the steps for building a Linux kernel that has the VC4 driver, building mainline Mesa with the VC4 driver, and also building Piglit for carrying out regression tests.

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A New AMD Catalyst Linux Driver Unofficially Surfaces

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Linux
Hardware

A German web-site is hosting a yet to be officially released Catalyst Linux driver.

As pointed out in our forums there is a new Catalyst Linux driver version that's being hosted by Computerbase.de. This driver is marked Catalyst 14.201.1008 and was uploaded today for Linux along with Windows.

While this driver should work for any supported hardware (Radeon HD 5000 series and newer), it's labeled amd-catalyst-desktop-apu-linux-x86-x86-64-14.201.1008.zip. The driver version number is higher than the previous publicly released Catalyst Linux build available from AMD's web-site.

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MIPS tempts hackers with Raspbery Pi-like dev board

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Hardware
OSS

Hard to choose between Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and MinnowBoard Max? Now there’s another choice: the open source MIPS-based “Creator CI20″ dev board.

In a bid to harness some of the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the ISA’s counter to ARM’s popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. These days, every processor vendor simply must have a community supported dev board in order to engage with the developer communities. (Incidentally, Intel’s is the MinnowBoard Max and AMD’s is the Gizmo.)

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More in Tux Machines

Google seeks dev feedback for putting AI on Raspberry Pi

Google will bring its AI and machine learning technology to the Raspberry Pi this year, and has posted a survey seeking input. Google is planning to deliver tools for the Raspberry Pi later this year built around its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, according to a Raspberry Pi Foundation blog entry. The announcement links to a Google survey that seeks to determine what kind of tools RPi developers would find most useful. Read more

Hands-On: Installing openSUSE Tumbleweed, Manjaro, and Debian GNU/Linux on my new notebook

In my previous post about installing Linux on my new, very low-priced laptop (the Asus X540S), I went through the initial setup of Windows 10 Home. My first impressions of the laptop were very mixed. The size and weight are nice, but the overall construction doesn't feel very good. The case feels like very thin plastic, the keyboard doesn't feel good at all, it has a particularly cheesy version of the dreaded "clickpad" (a touchpad with integrated buttons), and the power connection didn't feel very stable. Read more

Rugged, compact IoT gateway runs Linux on Apollo Lake

Axiomtek’s DIN-rail ready “ICO100-839” IoT controller offers an Atom x5-E3930, 8-bit DIO, mini-PCIe, mSATA, extended temp support, and a compact footprint. The ICO100-839 is one of the first embedded computers to use Intel’s recent “Apollo Lake” generation of 14nm-fabricated Atom SoCs. Like the Advantech UTX-3117, the fanless ICO100-839 is referred to as an IoT gateway, and runs on a dual-core Atom X5-E3930 clocked from 1.3GHz to 1.8GHz. The ICO100-839, which is also called an industrial IoT controller, is a stripped down, but updated version of the Bay Trail Atom based ICO300 DIN-rail controller. Last year, the ICO300 was followed by an almost identical ICO300-MI gateway, which added Intel IoT Gateway Technology and Wind River Intelligent Device Platform software. Read more

today's leftovers

  • GoboLinux 016
    GoboLinux is available for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. The ISO I downloaded for GoboLinux 016 was 958MB in size. Booting from the installation media brings up a text-based menu system where we are asked to select our preferred language from a list of six European languages. We are then asked to select our keyboard's layout from another list. At this point, the system drops us to a command prompt where we are logged in as the root user. The default shell is zsh. A welcome message lets us know we can run the startx command to launch a desktop environment or run the Installer command to begin installing the distribution.
  • Solus Linux Working On A Flatpak-Based, Optimized Steam Runtime
    The Solus Linux developers have been working on their "Linux Steam Integration" for Steam and improvements around the Steam runtime, with this being one of the distributions interested in good Linux performance and making use of some Clear Linux optimizations, while their next step is looking at Flatpak-packaging up of libraries needed by the Steam runtime to fork a Flatpak-happy Linux gaming setup.
  • It’s ‘Best Linux Distro’ Time Again
    It’s time to start the process of choosing the FOSS Force Reader’s Choice Award winner for Best Desktop Linux Distro for 2016. This is the third outing for our annual poll, which began in a March, 2015 contest that was won by Ubuntu, which bested runner-up Linux Mint by only 11 votes. Last year we moved the voting up to January, in a contest which saw Arch Linux as the overall winner, with elementary OS in second place. Just like last year, this year’s polling will be a two round process. The first round, which began early Friday afternoon when the poll quietly went up on our front page, is a qualifying round. In this round, we’re offering a field of 19 of the top 20 distros on Distrowatch’s famous “Page Hit Ranking” list. Those whose favorite distro isn’t on the list shouldn’t worry — your distro’s not out of the game yet. Below the poll there’s a place to write-in any distro that’s not in the poll to be tallied for possible inclusion in the second and final round of polling to follow.
  • Tracktion NAMM 2017 Preview [Ed: Raspberry Pi with Ubuntu]
  • Snapdragon 410E SBC offers long lifecycle support at $85
    The Linux/Android-ready Inforce 6309L is a cheaper version of the DragonBoard 410c-like Inforce 6309. It sacrifices GbE and LVDS, but has 10-year support. Inforce Computing has released a more affordable and slightly less feature rich version of its commercial-oriented, circa-2015 Inforce 6309 SBC. Like the Inforce 6309, the new Inforce 6309L has the same 85 x 54mm footprint and much the same feature set as Arrow’s Qualcomm-backed, community-backed DragonBoard 410c SBC. It also offers the same Linux and Android BSPs used by the DragonBoard 410c, one of the first SBCs to adopt Linaro’s 96Boards form-factor.
  • It’s time to spring-clean your IT contracts
    The start of a new year is a time for review and planning, in business, as well as in our personal lives. It’s likely that you will be focused on finalising your company’s objectives and strategy for the year ahead. But it’s also important to consider whether the tools and processes that you have in place remain fit for purpose – and that includes your contract templates and contractual risk and compliance processes. When it comes to the law, “the only thing that is constant is change”. Without fail, each year brings the introduction of new legislation, case law and regulatory guidance that may have an impact on your contracts – whether it’s the terms of use or privacy policy for your website or app, or the contract terms that you use when supplying or purchasing technology services. Therefore, it’s important to carry out a regular review of your contract terms (and any existing contracts) to make sure that they remain compliant with law and are future-proofed as much as possible in terms of new legal and regulatory developments that you know are around the corner.
  • Chinese investors buy owner of PCWorld, IDC
    International Data Group, the owner of PCWorld magazine, several other tech journals and the IDC market research organisation, has been bought by two Chinese investors. China Oceanwide Holdings Group and IDG Capital (no affiliate of IDG) have paid between US$500 million and US$1 billion for IDG sans its high-performance computing research businesses. The two Chinese entities had made separate bids but were told by investment banker Goldman Sachs to join hands. The sale of IDG has been cleared by the US Committee on Foreign Investment and should be completed by end of the first quarter this year. China Oceanwide Holdings Group, founded by chairman Zhiqiang Lu, is active in financial services, real estate, technology, and media among others.