Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

Noctua Air Cooling With The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX

With this week's launch of the Ryzen Threadripper 2920X and 2970WX, the new 24-core / 48-thread 2970WX has a 250 Watt TDP like the 2990WX. Fortunately, with Noctua's high-end TR4/SP3 heatsinks, it's still possible to get by with air cooling.

8 Hours Ago - AMD - Heatsink Benchmarks
Wayland's Weston Is In Severe Need Of More Development Help

If you want to dive into the world of Wayland development or the Linux graphics stack as a possible career move, beginning with Weston would be a wise choice and they could really benefit from all the development resources they can receive.

10 Hours Ago - Wayland - Weston Resources Low
SiFive Unleashes New 7-Series RISC-V Cores With Better Performance

SiFive this week announced their 7-Series RISC-V cores with the 32-bit E7, 64-bit S7, and 64-bit U7 series. These new RISC-V parts aren't yet capable of running up against the fastest ARM Cortex CPU cores available today, but they are much more powerful than the previous-gen SiFive cores.

11 Hours Ago - Hardware - SiFive 7-Series
AMD Sends Out Linux Temperature Driver Patches For Zen 2 CPUs

It looks like my report on AMD kicking off Zen 2 Linux enablement from last month is panning out. Earlier this week they posted the initial AMD Zen 2 "znver2" support for the GCC compiler and they are ending the week back in kernel space with an updated hardware monitoring driver for being able to report the CPU core temperatures of these CPUs shipping in 2019.

2 November 05:09 PM EDT - AMD - Zen 2 Temperature Monitoring
Intel Already Posts First Open-Source Graphics Driver Changes For Linux 4.21~5.1

The merge window isn't even over yet for the current Linux kernel cycle that will end in late December or early January, but Intel's stellar open-source crew responsible for their kernel graphics driver have already sent out their first set of changes to DRM-Next for what will start 2019 with either the Linux 4.21 cycle or 5.1 depending upon how the 4.20~5.0 versioning is decided.

2 November 08:07 AM EDT - Intel - Intel i915 DRM
An Open Letter To Solus From Its Founder Ikey Doherty

Solus, the promising Linux distribution started back in 2015 by Ikey Doherty that led to the creation of its own "Budgie" desktop, has been without its founder since this summer. While the circumstances under his decision to fade away from the project aren't clear, he is well and has shared this message to relay with the community.

2 November 07:05 AM EDT - Operating Systems - Solus Letter
Linux Kernel Developers Begin Figuring Out Vendor-Specific RISC-V Code

With the increasingly popular RISC-V open-source processor instruction set architecture (ISA), there is the possibility for vendor-specific instruction set extensions. At this point the kernel has no infrastructure in place for its RISC-V port to allow for such bits, but that is being worked on as part of bringing up AndeStar RISC-V CPUs under the Linux kernel.

2 November 06:21 AM EDT - Hardware - Vendor-Specific RISC-V
Steam Survey Reports The Latest Linux Gaming Marketshare For October

October was very interesting for Linux gaming with no AAA native game ports released but a heck of a lot more Windows games are now running nicely on Linux thanks to Steam Play / Proton / DXVK. So it's quite interesting to see Valve's just-published monthly Steam Survey results for the month prior.

1 November 08:11 PM EDT - Valve - With Little Change
WebP Image Support Appears Ready For Firefox 65

After Microsoft added support for the WebP image format to their Edge browser last month, Mozilla is finally preparing to ship the Firefox browser with support for WebP. If all goes well, Firefox 65 will support WebP!

1 November 03:22 PM EDT - Mozilla - WebP + Firefox
The Faster FUSE Has Been Fused Into Linux 4.20

While File-Systems in User-Space (FUSE) have been notorious for being slow, with time FUSE has become a lot faster and with this current Linux 4.20 (5.0) development cycle there are yet more performance optimizations.

1 November 11:01 AM EDT - Linux Storage - Linux 4.20 FUSE
NVIDIA Stabilizes Its Vulkan/OpenGL Ray-Tracing Extension

It was just in mid-September that NVIDIA introduced its ray-tracing extension for Vulkan as VK_NVX_raytracing with it debuting as an "experimental" feature along with OpenGL/GLSL functionality. Already they seem happy with the design that it's being promoted to stable.

1 November 06:29 AM EDT - Vulkan - NV_ray_tracing
Mesa 18.3 Has A Busy Last Day Of Feature Development

The branching of Mesa 18.3 is imminent and expected to happen anytime now. The Mesa developers of the different drivers have been very busy in merging their last-minute feature work for this final quarterly feature update to end out 2018.

1 November 06:19 AM EDT - Mesa - Mesa 18.3
Zink For OpenGL-Over-Vulkan Currently Supports GL 2.1 But Making Progress

The Zink Gallium3D driver that is implementing OpenGL over Vulkan and using Mesa's Gallium3D driver infrastructure is beginning to run more games, work under Wayland, and more. There still is a long road ahead but at least it's becoming usable for early testers and those wishing to experiment with this project.

31 October 12:49 PM EDT - Mesa - Zink Gallium3D Driver
Intel Core i9 9900K Spectre Mitigation Benchmarks

One of the benefits with the recently launched Core i9 9900K is hardware-based mitigations for Meltdown and L1TF/Foreshadow vulnerabilities. but mitigations are still needed for the other Spectre vulnerabilities. In this article is a look at the performance impact of still needing generic Retpolines via IBPB IBRS firmware for Spectre V2 and Speculative Store Bypass disabling (SSBD) for Spectre V4.

31 October 11:00 AM EDT - Software
The AMD Threadripper ECC DDR4-2666 Testing That Wasn't

Recently in our forums there has been a lot of interest in Threadripper 2 builds using ECC DDR4 memory and the impact on performance, especially now with the Threadripper 2 family being rounded out by the 2920X and 2970WX. So I set out to do some DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMM testing with Threadripper 2, but that hasn't turned out well.

31 October 08:18 AM EDT - AMD - Threadripper 2 + DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMMs
Samsung Comments On Open-Source Restructuring

Over the weekend we reported on the Samsung Open-Source Group reportedly shutting down with many of the former OSG staffers in the US no longer employed by Samsung. We've now received comments both from Samsung in the US and Korea on the matter.

31 October 05:42 AM EDT - Free Software - Samsung Open-Source Rework
VC4 & V3D Open-Source Drivers Continue Maturing At Broadcom

Eric Anholt of Broadcom has provided a status update on his efforts around the VC4 open-source driver stack that most notably works with Raspberry Pi devices and also his efforts on the V3D driver as the next-generation Broadcom graphics driver stack for VideoCore V and later.

31 October 05:24 AM EDT - Free Software - VC4 + V3D
Trying To Make Ubuntu 18.10 Run As Fast As Intel's Clear Linux

With the recent six-way Linux OS tests on the Core i9 9900K there was once again a number of users questioning the optimizations by Clear Linux out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center and remarks whether changing the compiler flags, CPU frequency scaling governor, or other settings would allow other distributions to trivially replicate its performance. Here's a look at some tweaked Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish benchmarks against the latest Intel Clear Linux rolling-release from this i9-9900K 8-core / 16-thread desktop system.

30 October 11:37 AM EDT - Operating Systems
Fedora 29 Officially Released With Arguably The Best Fedora Workstation Release Yet

Fedora 29 is now available as the newest version of this Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution. Fedora 29 has a lot of work on its Workstation/desktop spin, the Fedora Silverblue release has come together nicely for an atomic OS, Fedora Server continues to serve as a great basis for likely what RHEL8 will be looking like, and there are various other enhancements throughout the Fedora stack.

30 October 10:15 AM EDT - Fedora - Fedora 29
Ubuntu 19.04 Is The "Disco Dingo"

Mark Shuttleworth has yet to come out with his usual blog post at the start of new Ubuntu Linux development cycles to officially unveil the next release's codename and discuss the overarching theme of the next six months, but the Ubuntu 19.04 codename has come out via Launchpad.

30 October 09:50 AM EDT - Ubuntu - Ubuntu 19.04
Wayland's Weston Gets A Remoting Plugin For Virtual Output Streaming

While Wayland/Weston development might be lightening up a bit for now with Samsung OSG closing up shop and they being one of the major drivers in recent years to this stack, fortunately, other developers remain. Tomohito Esaki of IGEL endpoint management solutions has introduced a remoting plugin with output streaming for Weston.

30 October 05:44 AM EDT - Wayland - Virtual Remote Outputs