Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance


RadeonSI Primitive Culling Yields Mixed Benchmark Results

Yesterday's patches introducing RadeonSI primitive culling via async compute yielded promising initial results, at least for the ParaView workstation application. I've been running some tests of this new functionality since yesterday and have some initial results to share on Polaris and Vega.

4 Hours Ago - Radeon - Primitive Culling
No Surprise But Intel Linux Developers Are Working Towards Adaptive-Sync Support

Back during the Intel Architecture Day event in December, Intel confirmed that finally with Icelake "Gen 11" graphics there is Adaptive-Sync support after talking about it for several years. While they didn't explicitly mention Linux support, they've been largely spot on for years with supporting new display features on Linux and this should be the case as well with Adaptive-Sync and their next-generation graphics.

14 Hours Ago - Intel - Intel VRR
Microsoft Developer: You Still Should Have Anti-Virus With Windows Subsystem For Linux

While disabling Windows Defender or other anti-virus programs may partially help offset the performance losses imposed by running Windows Subsystem for Linux, a.k.a. "Bash for Windows" or Ubuntu and other distributions running natively atop Windows 10 and now Windows Server 2019, it's not the root cause of the I/O performance bottleneck and is not a recommended course of action.

18 Hours Ago - Microsoft - Do Not Skip Windows Defender
Celebrate Valentine's Day By Going Premium To Support Linux Benchmarking

If you enjoy the new and original content on Phoronix each and every day of the year, now approaching the 15th birthday of Phoronix, consider taking part in our Valentine's Day special to "go premium" to help support the site while being able to enjoy the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits.

18 Hours Ago - Premium - Valentine Special
Fedora 31 Is Already Planning Ahead For Python 3.8

While Fedora 30 isn't debuting for another three months, with the system-wide change deadline already having passed on that release, ambitious Fedora developers are already thinking about early feature plans for Fedora 31 that will debut in November.

13 February 06:36 PM EST - Fedora - Fedora 31 + Python 3.8
Mesa 19.0-RC4 Released With More Fixes

After yesterday's botched Mesa 19.0-RC3 release, Mesa 19.0-RC4 is now available while it's looking like two weeks or so until the stable debut.

13 February 05:44 PM EST - Mesa - Mesa 19.0-RC4
Linux-Firmware Adds Signed NVIDIA Firmware Binaries For Turing's Type-C Controller

While we are still waiting on NVIDIA to publish the signed firmware images for Turing GPUs in order to bring-up 3D hardware acceleration on the GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards with the open-source Nouveau driver, today they did post the signed firmware image files for their Type-C controller found on these new GPUs.

13 February 10:20 AM EST - NVIDIA - Type-C Firmware Blobs
RadeonSI Picks Up Primitive Culling With Async Compute For Performance Wins

Prolific open-source AMD Linux driver developer Marek Olšák has sent out his latest big patch series in the name of performance. His new set of 26 patches provide primitive culling with asynchronous compute and at least for workstation workloads yields a big performance uplift.

13 February 05:44 AM EST - Mesa - BIG WIN!!
How Clear Linux Optimizes Python For Greater Performance

Clear Linux's leading performance isn't limited to just C/C++ applications but also scripting languages like PHP, R, and Python have seen great speed-ups too. In a new blog post, one of Intel's developers outlines some of their performance tweaks to Python for delivering greater performance.

13 February 05:34 AM EST - Clear Linux - Python Performance Tuning
AMD_DEBUG Can Now Be Used In Place Of R600_DEBUG For RadeonSI Options

When setting various debug options for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver -- like enabling its NIR back-end among many other options -- that has traditionally been done through the R600_DEBUG= environment variable. But that variable name makes little sense these days since RadeonSI doesn't even support the now-vintage R600 GPUs. Thankfully, AMD_DEBUG= is now a supported alternative.

13 February 02:08 AM EST - Radeon - AMD_DEBUG
Mesa 19.0-RC3 Released But It's A Dud

The latest weekly release candidate of Mesa 19.0 is now available for testing, but it's a very petite release due to failing to include all of the latest back-ported patches intended for this release.

12 February 07:56 PM EST - Mesa - Mesa 19.0
NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 9.0 Officially Released

Since the start of December the NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 9.0 update has been available in the company's early access program while now this SDK with the NVENC/NVDEC APIs has rolled out as stable.

12 February 06:54 PM EST - NVIDIA - NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 9.0
GCC 8/9 vs. LLVM Clang 7/8 Compiler Performance On AArch64

With Clang 8.0 due out by month's end and GCC 9 due for release not long after that point, this week we've been running a number of GCC and Clang compiler benchmarks on Phoronix. At the start of the month was the large Linux x86_64 GCC vs. Clang compiler benchmarks on twelve different Intel/AMD systems while last week was also a look at the POWER9 compiler performance on the Raptor Talos II. In this article we are checking out these open-source compilers' performance on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) using an Ampere eMAG 32-core server.

12 February 03:35 PM EST - Software
Unreal Engine 4.22 Preview 1 Released With Real-Time Ray-Tracing

Unreal Engine 4.21 back in November was a big update for Linux gamers in that this game engine now defaults to the Vulkan renderer and also had various other fixes. With today's Unreal Engine 4.22 Preview 1 release, there are no Linux/Vulkan-specific changes mentioned, but some other interesting changes in general.

12 February 01:18 PM EST - Linux Gaming - Unreal Engine 4.22
Ubuntu Developers Seem To Be Really Pursuing ZFS Root Partition Support On The Desktop

Earlier this month I reported on how Ubuntu developers indicated they were looking at ZFS support on the desktop as part of their work developing the new Ubuntu desktop installer GUI. It's quite clear now that they are indeed pursuing the work to allow Ubuntu desktop installs via their work-in-progress installer to support ZFS root installations.

12 February 12:16 PM EST - Ubuntu - Ubuntu Desktop + ZFS Root
Radeon VII (Vega 20) Firmware Support Lands In Linux-Firmware.Git

In addition to needing a recent version of the Linux kernel and Mesa (ideally, Linux 5.0 and Mesa 19.0 if enjoying the very best performance and features) for using a Radeon VII graphics card on Linux, you also need to have the necessary firmware binaries manually installed if not using the Radeon Software for Linux driver package. Those firmware bits are now in the linux-firmware.git repository.

12 February 09:50 AM EST - Radeon - linux-firmware.git
Fedora 31 Should Be Out Around The End of November

While Fedora 31 was once talked about to never happen or be significantly delayed to focus on re-tooling the Linux distribution, they opted for a sane approach not to throw off the release cadence while working on low-level changes around the platform. A draft of the release schedule for Fedora 31 has now been published and it puts the release date at the end of November.

12 February 01:55 AM EST - Fedora - Fedora 31 Schedule Draft
IBM Is Looking At Adding AIX Support To LLVM / Clang

While IBM has their own in-house XL C/C++ compiler for their AIX operating system and GCC is also supported there too, IBM engineers are looking at adding AIX support to LLVM/Clang.

12 February 12:12 AM EST - LLVM - AIX + LLVM Clang
Facebook Releases HHVM 4.0 With PHP No Longer Supported

HHVM, formerly known as the HipHop Virtual Machine and what was born at Facebook as a higher-performance PHP implementation only to shift focus to running their own PHP-derived Hack programming language, has reached version 4.0 as it officially no longer supports PHP.

11 February 05:47 PM EST - Free Software - HHVM 4.0
PulseAudio Plugin Allows For Better Bluetooth Audio Quality On Linux

Right now on most Linux distributions when using higher-end Bluetooth headphones, the low-end SBC audio codec ends up being utilized by default which is subpar for the potential audio quality of the more expensive headphones. Fortunately, there are PulseAudio modules that allow for the higher-end codecs to be used.

11 February 04:27 PM EST - Hardware - Better Linux Bluetooth Audio
Dell XPS 13 9380 + Intel Core i7 8565U Ubuntu Linux Performance Benchmarks

At the end of January, Dell announced the Dell XPS 13 9380 Developer Edition laptop as an upgraded version of the XPS 9370 with now having Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs and other minor improvements. Over the past two weeks I've been testing out the Dell XPS 9380 with Intel Core i7 8565U processor with 256GB of NVMe SSD storage and 16GB of RAM. Here are benchmarks of the Dell XPS 9380 compared to several other laptops running Ubuntu Linux as well as looking at the system thermal and power consumption among other metrics.

11 February 12:30 PM EST - Computers
It's Becoming Possible To Run Linux Distributions On The HP/ASUS/Lenovo ARM Laptops

We've been looking forward to the possibility of having a nice 64-bit ARM Linux laptop with decent power and nice build quality. Several major vendors having been rolling out Windows ARM laptops powered by Qualcomm chips and the like with decent specs and quality, unlike some of the cheap ARM Linux laptop efforts we've seen. For those Windows ARM laptops, headway is being made in being able to run Linux on them.

11 February 06:34 AM EST - Arm - Linux + Windows ARM Laptops
NVIDIA's VDPAU Picks Up HEVC 4:4:4 Support

While NVIDIA is no longer active promoting their Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix "VDPAU" in favor of the cross-platform, CUDA-focused Video Codec SDK with NVENC/NVDEC, the VDPAU library still sees some rare activity from time to time.

11 February 05:58 AM EST - NVIDIA - NVIDIA VDPAU
GreenWithEnvy 0.11 Released For More Overclocking Potential Of NVIDIA GPUs On Linux

GreenWithEnvy v0.11 has been released, the latest version of this third-party, open-source utility for altering the power limits of NVIDIA graphics cards on Linux as well as more overclocking information/controls than what is exposed through the NVIDIA Settings panel with the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

10 February 02:49 PM EST - NVIDIA - GreenWithEnvy Overclocking
Running The RadeonSI NIR Back-End With Mesa 19.1 Git

It's been a number of months since last trying the RadeonSI NIR back-end, which is being developed as part of the OpenGL 4.6 SPIR-V bits for this AMD OpenGL driver, but eventually RadeonSI may end up switching from TGSI to NIR by default. Given the time since we last tried it out and the increasing popularity of NIR, this weekend I did some fresh tests of the NIR back-end with a Radeon Vega graphics card.

10 February 12:05 PM EST - Display Drivers
Linux Might Finally See Mainline Support For The Current Apple MacBook Keyboard/Touchpad

The Apple MacBook / MacBook Pro laptops of the past few years have been notoriously bad on Linux at least as far as the mainline / out-of-the-box support is concerned. The current MacBook's keyboard and touchpad don't even work out-of-the-box on Linux. There has been an out-of-tree driver available for changing that while coming soon it might finally be merged to the mainline kernel.

10 February 08:00 AM EST - Hardware - Apple MacBook Pro
The Rust Vulkan Gfx-rs Portability Initiative Reaches New Milestone

Gfx-rs Portability is the library being developed within the Rust programming language that implements the Vulkan Portability Initiative as an effort akin to MoltenVK for easily getting Vulkan applications running on macOS and other platforms where Vulkan API support may not be natively available.

10 February 07:18 AM EST - Vulkan - Gfx-rs Rust + Vulkan Portability