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Graphics: Iris Xe, NVIDIA, VKD3D-Proton, Gallium/Zink

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Graphics/Benchmarks

  • Intel Announces Iris Xe Desktop Graphics For OEMs

    Intel today announced Iris Xe (DG1) discrete graphics cards are coming to OEMs with ASUS and Colorful being among the initial partners.

    The initial Iris Xe desktop graphics cards feature 80 execution units and a 30 Watt TDP. This is not the high-end, high performance desktop graphics but seems to largely be the Xe MAX discrete laptop graphics (but with 16 less EUs) now fitted for PCI Express cards for the desktop. The OEM cards are expected to feature 4GB of LPDDR4X memory. Other details are still light.

  • Nvidia Gets Certifiable About Systems

    If the emergence of Nvidia in datacenter compute shows anything, it is the value of controlling the software stack as you come to dominate the compute – and the revenue and profits – in the hardware stack.

    When it comes to AI, the combination of open source frameworks from the wider AI community, which Nvidia contributes to, and closed source libraries and tools that make up the Nvidia GPU Compute software stack that is underpinned by the CUDA environment, gives Nvidia the kind of control over a complete software/hardware stack that we have not seen in the datacenter since the RISC/Unix server days of the dot-com boom and earlier with proprietary systems from IBM, DEC, and HP, as well as IBM mainframes since the dawn of the data processing age.

    There are some differences this time around, and they are significant. The operating system is consequential, of course, but with all AI workloads being deployed on Linux, it really doesn’t matter which one you pick. Linux is about as interchangeable as DRAM memory modules in the server and it really comes down to preferences and a few technical differentiations. And to a certain extent, the X86 server that houses the Nvidia GPUs is fairly interchangeable, too. But fi you want to make GPU compute fluid and easy, then you have to realize that not every can – or wants to – buy an Nvidia DGX-A100 or DGX-2 system. Hyperscalers and cloud builders have their own ODM suppliers, enterprises have their own OEM suppliers, and they want to be able to run the Nvidia AI stack on platforms from their suppliers rather than having to add a new vendor into the mix.

  • NVIDIA 460.39 Linux Driver Brings RTX 30 Laptop Enablement, Improved 5.10+ Kernel Support

    NVIDIA has released 460.39 as their latest stable Linux proprietary graphics driver build.

    With this latest NVIDIA 460 series driver is support now for the RTX 3060 / RTX 3070 / RTX 3080 laptop GPUs as well as for the low-end GeForce GT 1010.

  • VKD3D-Proton begins work to support DirectX Raytracing on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    There's a few mountains that Steam Play Proton still needs to climb over the next few years, to enable more Windows games and more features in those games to work under Linux. One big one is at least in progress.

    Ray Tracing being one of the big things in gaming tech now, thanks to both AMD and NVIDIA having Ray Tracing cards out in the wild. With that, we can expect more games to begin using it.

    Thankfully, VKD3D-Proton, which is the Valve-funded fork of vkd3d to work with Direct3D 12 has a Pull Request open with the start of the work towards supporting Ray Tracing. Keep in mind though, while exciting for Steam Play Proton users, this is far from complete and not enabled directly for games as of yet as stated in the PR "Don't expose any features to app yet, but allow overriding FL to 12.2 for local testing while bringing up DXR.".

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Samplin

    The goal in this post is to migrate a truckload block of code I wrote to handle sampler updating out of zink and into Gallium, thereby creating several days worth of rebase work for myself but also removing a costly codepath from the driver thread.

    The first step in getting sampler creation to work right in zink is getting Gallium to create samplers with the correct filters in accordance with Chapter 42 of the Vulkan Spec:

    VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_FILTER_LINEAR_BIT specifies that if VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT is also set, an image view can be used with a sampler that has either of magFilter or minFilter set to VK_FILTER_LINEAR, or mipmapMode set to VK_SAMPLER_MIPMAP_MODE_LINEAR. If VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_BLIT_SRC_BIT is also set, an image can be used as the srcImage to vkCmdBlitImage2KHR and vkCmdBlitImage with a filter of VK_FILTER_LINEAR. This bit must only be exposed for formats that also support the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT or VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_BLIT_SRC_BIT.

    If the format being queried is a depth/stencil format, this bit only specifies that the depth aspect (not the stencil aspect) of an image of this format supports linear filtering, and that linear filtering of the depth aspect is supported whether depth compare is enabled in the sampler or not. If this bit is not present, linear filtering with depth compare disabled is unsupported and linear filtering with depth compare enabled is supported, but may compute the filtered value in an implementation-dependent manner which differs from the normal rules of linear filtering. The resulting value must be in the range [0,1] and should be proportional to, or a weighted average of, the number of comparison passes or failures.

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A big Plasma feature was added this week: adaptive Plasma panel opacity! Now the panel and panel applets are more transparent than they were before, allowing more of a tint from the beautiful wallpaper on your desktop! But what’s this? You’re about to complain that you maximize all your windows so the increased transparency will look ugly? In fact, we now make your panel and panel applets 100% opaque when there are any maximized windows, ensuring no ugly effect! But what if you don’t want that either? Well, if you don’t want adaptive opacity we now let you make your panel and panel applets always transparent, or always opaque! Hopefully that should make everyone happy. Let’s give a round of applause to Niccolò Venerandi and Jan Blackquill for this work, which will show up in Plasma 5.22. Read more

Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux laptop now available with NVIDIA RTX 30x series graphics

The Kubuntu Focus M2 is a 4.4 pound laptop that ships with the Kubuntu GNU/Linux distribution pre-installed. First launched in October, the 4.4 pound notebook has a 15.6 inch, 144 Hz full HD matte display, an Intel Core i7-10875H octa-core processor and NVIDIA graphics. When the notebook launched last year it was available with NVIDIA RTX 20 GPUs, but now you can configure the system with up to RTX 3080 graphics. Entry-level configurations are also getting a price drop. Read more

Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server has maintained the same starting price over the past few years. Now, changes to the way the software is licensed have doubled the cost for some self-support customers using virtual machines. The change dates back to 2019, when Red Hat said its Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Self-support (RH0197181) was in the process of being retired and has been superseded by Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server Entry Level, Self-support (RH00005). According to a Red Hat spokesperson, RH00005 debuted in 2013 and RH0197181 stopped being sold in 2015. Both of these RHEL SKUs sell, or were sold, for $349 in the US. But only the discontinued product allows the use of virtualization at the lowest price tier. Now customers who opted for the discontinued entry-level offering have found they need to pay more than twice as much ($799 for the standard tier) to run a guest VM on a physical system. What's more, Red Hat in its subscription guide declares that its self-supported option "is not intended for production environments," making it clear that self-supported commercial usage with VM support requires greater investment that before. Read more