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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: Vulkan in OpenArena and GDC 2019 Week

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • vkOpenArena: The ioquake3-Powered OpenArena Game Gets Ported To Vulkan

    OpenArena, one of the most well known open-source games built atop the ioquake3 engine of what started out as id Tech 3, has now seen an independent port to the Vulkan graphics API.

    The vkOpenArena game now marks the latest vintage game seeing a port to Vulkan. Independent developer Sui Jingfeng has been working on vkOpenArena as a port of the OpenArena engine over to using the Vulkan graphics API rather than Vulkan.

  • AMDVLK Has A Small Weekly Code Push For GDC 2019 Week

    With many AMD driver developers being over in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference, this week AMDVLK saw rather small changes for this open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver.

A Quick Look At The Firefox 66.0 vs. Chrome 73.0 Performance Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Given the recent releases of Chrome 73 and Firefox 66, here are some fresh tests of these latest browsers on Linux under a variety of popular browser benchmarks.

This initial round of testing was done on the latest of Intel's Clear Linux with a Core i9 9900K and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card. Originally the intent was to look at the performance of Clear Linux's default Firefox build compared to the upstream Firefox x86_64 Linux binary to see how the performance differed or if any Clear optimizations paid off there. In this particular instance, Clear Linux's Firefox build and that of the upstream/generic Firefox Linux binary basically came down to the same. As a follow-up though will be tests of Firefox/Chrome running on Clear Linux against the likes of Ubuntu to see if the underlying operating system changes yield any performance difference.

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Graphics: Libinput 1.13 RC2, NVIDIA and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • libinput 1.12.902
    The second RC for libinput 1.13 is now available.
    
    This is the last RC, expect the final within the next few days unless
    someone finds a particulaly egregious bug.
    
    One user-visible change: multitap (doubletap or more) now resets the timer
    on release as well. This should improve tripletap detection as well as any
    tripletap-and-drag and similar gestures.
    
    valgrind is no longer a required dependency to build with tests. It was only
    used in a specific test run anyway (meson test --setup=valgrind) and not
    part of the regular build.
    
    As usual, the git shortlog is below.
    
    Benjamin Poirier (1):
          evdev: Rename button up and down states to mirror each other
    
    Feldwor (1):
          Set TouchPad Pressure Range for Toshiba L855
    
    Paolo Giangrandi (1):
          touchpad: multitap state transitions use the same timing used for taps
    
    Peter Hutterer (3):
          tools: flake8 fixes, typo fixes and missing exception handling
          meson.build: make valgrind optional
          libinput 1.12.902
  • Libinput 1.13 RC2 Better Detects Triple Taps

    Peter Hutterer of Red Hat announced the release of libinput 1.13 Release Candidate 2 on Thursday as the newest test release for this input handling library used by both X.Org and Wayland Linux systems.

    Libinput 1.13 will be released in the days ahead as the latest six month update to this input library. But with the time that has passed, it's not all that exciting of a release as the Logitech high resolution scrolling support as well as Dell Totem input device support for the company's Canvas display was delayed to the next release cycle. But libinput 1.13 is bringing touch arbitration improvements for tablets, various new quirks, and other fixes and usability enhancements.

  • Open-Source NVIDIA PhysX 4.1 Released

    Software releases are aplenty for GDC week and NVIDIA's latest release is their newest post-4.0 PhysX SDK.

    NVIDIA released the open-source PhysX 4.0 SDK just before Christmas as part of the company re-approaching open-source for this widely used physics library. Now the latest available is PhysX 4.1 and the open-source code drop is out in tandem.

  • AMD have launched an update to their open source Radeon GPU Analyzer, better Vulkan support

    AMD are showing off a little here, with an update to the Radeon GPU Analyzer open source project and it sounds great.

Benchmarking A 10-Core Tyan/IBM POWER Server For ~$300 USD

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Graphics/Benchmarks

If you live in the EU and have been wanting to explore IBM POWER hardware on Linux, a load of Tyan Habanero servers recently became available through a German retailer for 269 EUR (~$306 USD) that comes equipped with a 10-core POWER8 processor. While not POWER9, it's still an interesting Linux-capable beast and the price is unbeatable if you have been wanting to add POWER hardware to your collection. Phoronix reader Lauri Kasanen recently bought one of these IBM POWER servers at the 269 EUR price point and has shared thoughts on this server as well as some benchmarks. Here is Lauri's guest post checking out this low-cost 2U IBM server.

Recently a batch of refurbished POWER8 servers became available for very affordable prices. Always eager to play with power, especially for netbook-class prices, I grabbed one, and decided to run some benchmarks for everyone. For comparison data I used Michael's POWER9 benchmark from November, recent enough that software versions are close enough.

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wayland 1.17.0

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Wayland 1.17 is released, with no changes (except the version) since RC1.

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Also: Wayland 1.17 Released With Updated Protocol & Other Improvements

Graphics: Gallium3D, NVIDIA, AMD Radeon and SVT-AV1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel's Iris Gallium3D Driver Lands Support For Fast Color Clears

    Intel's Iris Gallium3D driver may now see slightly better performance in some scenarios thanks to fast color clears support having landed.

    The Iris driver continues picking up new features and optimizations ahead of its debut next quarter in Mesa 19.1 as the next-generation successor to Intel's long-standing i965 "classic" Mesa driver. The Iris Gallium3D driver is focused on supporting Broadwell "Gen 8" graphics and newer.

  • NVIDIA 418.56 Linux Driver Released With GeForce MX230 / MX250 Support

    Out for GDC week is the NVIDIA 418.56 Linux driver as the latest stable update to their current long-lived driver release branch.

    New hardware support with the NVIDIA 418.56 Linux driver is support for the GeForce MX230 and MX250.

  • Radeon GPU Analyzer 2.1 Adds Vulkan Support In Its GUI, Other Debug Improvements

    AMD has launched a new version of its open-source Radeon GPU Analyzer (RGA) software under the GPUOpen umbrella.

    The Radeon GPU Analyzer allows the offline compiler and code analysis for DirectX/OpenGL/Vulkan/OpenCL code with various nifty features catered towards AMD GPUs. This is an important tool for game/graphics developers trying to study performance bottlenecks or other issues happening on Radeon hardware.

  • SVT-AV1 Can Now Achieve 1080p @ 60 FPS AV1 Video Encoding On Select Configurations

    The performance out of Intel's SVT video encoders for offering great CPU-based video encoding performance for the likes of HEVC / AV1 / VP9 continues maturing quite nicely. Since discovering Intel's open-source work at the start of February and benchmarking it several times since, its performance has continued to improve particularly for the SVT-AV1 encoder.

    The work on SVT-AV1 is notable considering all of the other CPU-based AV1 video encoders have been notoriously slow. As of the latest performance optimizations in their Git tree, when using the 8th level encoding pre-set, SVT-AV1 should be capable of achieving up to 1080p @ 60 FPS when using a Xeon Platinum 8180 processor. That's quite a beefy CPU, but the results are impressive when considering where the SVT-AV1 performance was even at one week ago.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Linux Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week NVIDIA announced the GeForce GTX 1660 as the newest RTX-less Turing GPU but costing only $219+ USD. The GTX 1660 is a further trimmed down version of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti that launched several weeks prior. After picking up an ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Phoenix Edition, here are Linux OpenGL/Vulkan gaming benchmarks compared to a wide assortment of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards under Ubuntu.

The GeForce GTX 1660 features 1408 CUDA cores (compared to 1536 with the GTX 1660 Ti) while having a 1785MHz boost clock frequency and 1530MHz base clock frequency. The GeForce GTX 1660 opts for 6GB of GDDR5 unlike the 6GB GDDR6 used by the GTX 1660 Ti, which means only around 192GB/s of video memory bandwidth compared to 288GB/s with the Ti model. The other specifications are largely in common with the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and the other Turing GPUs aside from lacking the RT/tensor cores.

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Some Quick Graphics/Game Tests With GNOME 3.32 On Clear Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
GNOME
Gaming

For about one week already Intel's rolling-release Clear Linux distribution has been shipping with GNOME 3.32. Here are some quick graphics and gaming benchmarks comparing GNOME 3.30.2 to 3.32.0.

Using a Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card, I tested Clear Linux between its releases having GNOME Shell 3.30 and the move to GNOME Shell 3.30.2. On both builds of Clear Linux, Linux 5.0.1 was in use along with X.Org Server 1.20.4 (they aren't yet defaulting to a Wayland session), and Mesa 19.1-devel.

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Graphics: RADV/Radeon and Nvidia Ray-Tracing Demos

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • RADV Vulkan Driver Gets Patches For VK_KHR_8bit_storage

    The Mesa Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver has a series of patches pending for introducing VK_KHR_8bit_storage support.

    Rhys Perry of the Nouveau crowd worked on the VK_KHR_8bit_storage support for RADV back in February while it's now being carried forward by Valve Linux developer Samuel Pitoiset. The VK_KHR_8bit_storage extension as implied by the name allows for using 8-bit types in uniform and storage buffers as well as push constant blocks.

  • xf86-video-ati / xf86-video-amdgpu 19.0.1 Released To Better Deal With DP MST Displays

    Radeon DDX wrangler Michel Dänzer of AMD has announced the releases today of xf86-video-amdgpu 19.0.1 and the xf86-video-ati 19.0.1 release for older Radeon hardware.

    The lone change with the xf86-video-amdgpu X.Org driver update is support for the RandR output tile properties in better dealing with DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) displays. This was the change that landed last week in these X.Org drivers and ushering out these new point releases to ship this support finally -- years after the support was added to the X.Org Server and xf86-video-modesetting.

  • Nvidia ray traces the heck out of Quake II… launching for free in April

    Nvidia has been working behind the scenes on Q2VKPT with creator Christoph Schied to build Quake II RTX: a cutting-edge reimagining of the old school classic. While Schied has been working on a ray-traced version of Quake II for some time, and doing a grand job of it too, Nvidia has lent its expertise to bring the classic shooter into 2019 and utilise all that ray tracing has to offer.

Graphics and Games: NVIDIA, Orbital/Vulkan, Cataclysm and System Shock 3

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • NVIDIA Shows Off Quake II Path-Traced Using Vulkan RTX/Ray-Tracing

    ne of the demos NVIDIA is showing off this week at their GPU Technology Conference is Quake II being path-traced using a Vulkan port of the game and adapted to handle VK_NV_ray_tracing functionality paired with the latest GeForce RTX GPUs.

    Q2VKPT is a path-traced version of Quake II started by a former NVIDIA intern and is rendered using Vulkan and does support Linux.

  • Orbital: A PlayStation 4 Emulator That Is Emulating The PS4's AMD GPU Using Vulkan

    Orbital is an open-source project providing a virtualization-based PlayStation 4 emulator that is still in its early stages but what interests us is its technical details including the use of Vulkan/SPIR-V.

    Orbital leverages QEMU and other open-source components. At this stage it's not running any PS4 games but is able to boot into safe mode on PS4 5.xx kernels.

  • Cataclysm - Dark Days Ahead, a free and open source turn-based survival game had a huge update

    It occurred to me today, that no one here at GOL seems to have ever written about the free and open source turn-based survival game Cataclysm - Dark Days Ahead.

    Okay, so what is it? A classic roguelike with a survival theme, set in a post-apocalyptic procedurally generated world.

  • System Shock 3 may see Linux support, OtherSide still working on Underworld Ascendant for Linux

    OtherSide Entertainment have teased out a new short video of System Shock 3 and it may see Linux support.

    Not to be confused with the crowdfunded System Shock reboot that Nightdive Studios are currently working on. System Shock 3 is being made with some of the original team behind the first two games as well like Warren Spector, so it should remain faithful to the series while being a rather nice upgrade in visuals.

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More in Tux Machines

Events: SREcon19 Americas, Scale, FudCon and Snapcraft Summit Montreal

  • SREcon19 Americas Talk Resources
    At SREcon19 Americas, I gave a talk called "Operating within Normal Parameters: Monitoring Kubernetes". Here's some links and resources related to my talk, for your reference.
  • Participating at #Scale17x
    Everytime somebody asks me about Scale I can only think of the same: Scale is the most important community lead conference in North America and it only gets better by the years. This year it celebrated its seventeenth edition and it just struck me: with me being there this year, there have been more Scales I have attended than I have not. This is my nineth conference out of 17. The first time that I attended it was 2011, it was the edition followed by FudCon Tempe 2010 which happened to be my first Fedora conference and it was also the first time I got to meet some contributors that I had previously collaborated with, many of which I still consider my brothers. As for this time, I almost didn’t make it as my visa renewal was resolved on Friday’s noon, one day after the conference started. I recovered it that same day and book a flight in the night. I couldn’t find anything to LAX -as I regularly fly- so I had to fly to Tijuana and from there I borrowed a cart to Pasadena. Long story short: I arrived around 1:30 AM on Saturday.
  • Snapcraft Summit Montreal
    Snapcraft is the universal app store for Linux that reaches millions of users and devices and serves millions of app installs a month. The Snapcraft Summit is a forward-thinking software workshop attended by major software vendors, community contributors and Snapcraft engineers working at every level of the stack.

today's howtos

Draw On Your Screen with this Neat GNOME Shell Extension

Ever wish you could draw on the Linux desktop or write on the screen? Well, there’s a new GNOME Shell extension that lets you do exactly that: draw on the Linux desktop. You may want to point out a bug, highlight a feature, or provide some guidance to someone else by sending them an annotated screenshot. In this short post we’ll show you how to install the add-on and how to use it. Read more

Fedora 31 Preparing To Start Removing Packages Depending Upon Python 2

Python 2 support will formally reach end-of-life on 1 January 2020 and Fedora 31 is preparing for that by working to drop packages (or parts of packages) that depend upon Python 2. Fedora has been pushing for a Python 2 to Python 3 migration for many cycles now -- as most Linux distributions have -- while with Fedora 31 they are planning a "mass Python 2 package removal" if necessary. They are planning to closely track the state of packages depending upon Python 2 to either drop the packages or allow packagers to easily abandon Python 2 parts of programs. Read more