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Graphics/Benchmarks

Radeon RX 6800 Series Performance Comes Out Even Faster With Newest Linux Code

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week we delivered AMD Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT Linux benchmarks and the performance was great both for Linux gaming as well as the OpenCL compute performance. But for as good as those Big Navi numbers were on the open-source Linux graphics driver stack, they are now even better.

That launch-day testing was based on the Linux state in the second-half of October when the cards arrived and initial (re-)testing began in preparing for the Radeon RX 6800 series reviews -- not only the Radeon RX 6800 series but re-testing all of the other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards for the comparison too. Thanks to the rate of the open-source graphics driver progression and the newest code always being available, now just days after launch the numbers are even more compelling for Linux gamers with the slightly newer Linux 5.10 and Mesa Git compared to just weeks ago.

In particular were the last minute NGG fixes and other Big Navi tweaks along with an important Radeon RX 6800 (non-XT) fix. There has also been other RADV improvements and more that accumulated in Mesa 21.0-devel this month. On the kernel side, Linux 5.10 is still at play. Both the old and newer Mesa snapshots were also on LLVM 11.0.

Read more

Also: Intel: AMD Gimps On Battery-Powered Laptop Performance - But DPTF On Linux Still Sucks - Phoronix

Vulkan Ray Tracing

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Releases Beta Driver With Khronos Vulkan Ray Tracing Support

    While NVIDIA has supported its own vendor-specific Vulkan ray-tracing extension on Windows and Linux since the GeForce RTX GPUs originally debuted, they are moving quick to support the Khronos ray-tracing extensions for Vulkan given the industry adoption and games coming to market likely opting for using the KHR version.

    This morning with Vulkan 1.2.162 the Vulkan KHR ray-tracing extensions were made official after being out in provisional form since earlier this year. NVIDIA has now released beta drivers for Windows and Linux that support these finalized versions.

  • Vulkan Ray Tracing becomes official with Vulkan 1.2.162 (updated) | GamingOnLinux

    The day has arrived, along with the release of Vulkan 1.2.162 being tagged in the Vulkan-Docs repository on GitHub the Vulkan Ray Tracing extensions are now officially released. From being announced as a provisional set in March 2020, The Khronos Group formally announced it's done.

    "Welcome to the era of portable, cross-vendor, cross-platform ray tracing acceleration!" - Daniel Koch, NVIDIA

  • Vulkan 1.2.162 Released With Ray-Tracing Support Promoted - Phoronix

    Earlier this year Vulkan ray-tracing arrived in provisional form while with today's Vulkan 1.2.162 specification update this functionality has been promoted to stable and ready for broad industry support.

    The Vulkan ray-tracing support is now deemed final and out of the provisional guard. This includes the finalized versions of VK_KHR_acceleration_structure, VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline, VK_KHR_ray_query, VK_KHR_pipeline_library, and VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations.

AMDGPU Linux Driver Seeing A Lot Of Power Saving Optimization Work

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

In addition to squaring away the Radeon RX 6000 series RDNA 2 support and promoting the Arcturus support for the new GPU found within the AMD MI100 accelerator, this month AMD open-source Linux driver developers have been devoting a fair amount of work towards power optimizations.

With the many different DC display core patch series this month and other patches floating around, there has been seemingly a lot of work on optimizing the graphics power usage. And in particular a lot of work on the optimizations from the DCN3 (Display Core Next 3) perspective with Van Gogh in particular being a focus.

Read more

Humble Store and Blender Fund

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • Humble Store is doing a big Fall Sale, save on loads until December 1 | GamingOnLinux

    Another chance to stock up for the weekend and the coming Winter, as Humble Store are running a big Fall Sale and as usual there's plenty discounted you might like.

  • Facebook are now funding the open source 3D creation suite Blender | GamingOnLinux

    In a move that's sure to raise a few eyebrows, the Blender Foundation has announced that Facebook has joined the Blender Development Fund.

    Facebook are joining as a Corporate Patron, meaning they will be supplying Blender with at least €120K/year or more. It's not a small sum but for the likes of Facebook, it's likely still money they found down the back of a sofa. Ton Roosendaal, Chairman of the Blender Foundation mentions, "We at Blender see this as another important signal of the industry’s willingness to migrate to open source, and contribute to open source’s continual improvement.".

  • Facebook joins the Blender Development Fund — blender.org

    To support these artists and the countless other animators, researchers, engineers, designers and content creators who depend on open source tools, Facebook wishes to contribute to the development of Blender. Which is why we’re proud to announce that Facebook will join the Blender Foundation’s Development Fund as a Corporate Patron as of Q4, 2020.

Kernel: Linux Security and Graphics

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Why eBPF is the Future of Linux and Cloud Native Networking

    For decades, IPtables has been the cornerstone of Linux networking, but that's no longer the case. Over the last few years, extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) has emerged as a better option for Linux whether it's running on-premises, or more likely than not, in the cloud.

    What eBPF provides is a low-level interface to enable data packet transmission and control. On its own it has tremendous potential for networking. While there is lots of open source eBPF code now in the Linux kernel, on its own, it can be quite complex, which is where the open source Cilium project has been making inroads in the last few years.

    I first wrote on Cilium in 2017, when the project first got started and the company behind it - Isovlanet - was still shrouded in stealth. Cilium and Isovalent are led by CEO and co-founder Dan Wendlandt, who helped to create the OpenStack Quantum networking project and was a pioneer in the Software Defined Networking (SDN) industry at VMware.

    Last week, Isovalent emerged from stealth, along with $29 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Wendlandt and Andreessen Horowitz are hardly strangers; after he left VMware in 2016 he went to work as a partner at the venture capital firm, alongside fellow SDN pioneer and VMware alum Martin Casado.

  • [Mesa-dev] Intent to retire ancient driver support
    Sending this on to the list for visibility, since not everyone follows
    everything on gitlab. In this merge request:
    
    https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/merge_requests/7660
    
    I retire support for DRI drivers older than Mesa 8.0, which was
    February 2012. In particular this retires the ability for libGL to
    even load DRI1 drivers, which last existed in Mesa 7.11. We are not
    aware of any currently supported distros trying to ship both DRI1
    drivers and anything newer. In fact the only distro I'm aware of that
    ever _tried_ was RHEL 6, which goes into extended-life support at the
    end of the month, and which is currently shipping Mesa 11.0.7 and is
    thus _way_ behind the times in terms of hardware enablement.
    
    Eric Anholt suggested that glvnd is the better way to retain DRI1
    support at this point, and to that end there is also:
    
    https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/merge_requests/7674
    
    Which allows us to override the glvnd vendor name. xserver could then
    select a different name for DRI1 screens, and now you get
    parallel-installable Mesa packages, which could be nice for a bunch of
    reasons.
    
    If you still care about DRI1 support, I am very sorry, but hopefully
    !7674 (backported to 20.x) and a bit of polish to xserver should keep
    things working for you, and your feedback/testing would be greatly
    appreciated.
    
  • Mesa To Drop Support For Ancient Drivers - Phoronix

    The fallout should be minimal and hopefully not impact any Phoronix readers, but as Mesa rolls into 2021 it is looking to drop support for loading DRI1 graphics drivers.

    Back in 2011 the classic Radeon drivers were removed Adam Jackson of Red Hat is planning to remove the ability for Mesa's current libGL to be able to load DRI1 drivers. This is basically about trying to load old DRI1 drivers from Mesa pre-8.0 onto a system with the current Mesa libGL loader. Mesa has retained this ability for being able to load these classic DRI1 drivers but nearly nine years after old driver code was dropped from Mesa, phasing out this ability to load DRI1 drivers is now planned.

  • Arcturus No Longer Experimental - AMD Instinct MI100 Linux Support Is Ready - Phoronix

    Being sent in as a "fix" this week to the Linux 5.10 kernel is removing the experimental flag for the Arcturus GPU, days after AMD announced the MI100 accelerator at SC20.

    Going back to the summer of 2019 there have been Linux graphics driver patches for "Arcturus" as an evolution of GFX9/Vega but with not a lot being known about it. Much work was poured into this open-source driver code for Arcturus and the Linux support all squared away over the past year. This week it finally entered the limelight in the form of the AMD Instinct MI100 accelerator.

  • NVIDIA Is Working On Vulkan Support With RDMA Memory - Phoronix

    Well this will be interesting to see what NVIDIA use-case pans out... NVIDIA engineers are working on a Vulkan extension for making use of RDMA memory.

    Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) for zero-copy networking with high throughput and low latency is very common for cluster computing and other enterprise scenarios to allow direct memory access from one computer to another without the intervention of the CPU. NVIDIA now though is preparing to support RDMA memory usage in the Vulkan context.

Graphics: Intel, X11 and Wayland

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Preparing To Restore Frame-Buffer Compression For Tiger Lake - Phoronix

    This summer Intel disabled frame-buffer compression for Gen12 Tiger Lake graphics. While FBC helps conserve memory bandwidth and can be beneficial to power-savings, under-run issues and related problems resorted Intel to disabling this common feature for Tiger Lake.

    But now the open-source Intel Linux developers are preparing to restore frame-buffer compression for benefiting these latest-generation Intel laptops. Well, at least in part.

  • Robert O'Callahan: Debugging With Screenshots In Pernosco

    When debugging graphical applications it can be helpful to see what the application had on screen at a given point in time. A while back we added this feature to Pernosco.

    This is nontrivial because in most record-and-replay debuggers the state of the display (e.g., the framebuffer) is not explicitly recorded. In rr for example, a typical application displays content by sending data to an X11 server, but the X11 server is not part of the recording.

    Pernosco analyzes the data sent to the X11 server and reconstructs the updates to window state. Currently it only works for simple bitmap copies, but that's enough for Firefox, Chrome and many other modern applications, because the more complicated X drawing primitives aren't suitable for those applications and they do their complex drawing internally.

  • Paalanen: Developing Wayland Color Management and High Dynamic Range [LWN.net]

    Over on the Collabora blog, Pekka Paalanen writes about adding color management and high dynamic range (HDR) support to the Wayland display server protocol.

  • Developing Wayland Color Management and High Dynamic Range

    Wayland (the protocol and architecture) is still lacking proper consideration for color management. Wayland also lacks support for high dynamic range (HDR) imagery which has been around in movie and broadcasting industry for a while now (e.g. Netflix HDR UI).

    While there are well established tools and workflows for how to do color management on X11, even X11 has not gained support for HDR. There were plans for it (Alex Goins, DeepColor Visuals), but as far as I know nothing really materialized from them. Right now, the only way to watch HDR content on a HDR monitor in Linux is to use the DRM KMS API directly, in other words, not use any window system, which means not using any desktop environment. Kodi is one of the very few applications that can do this at all.

    This is a story about starting the efforts to fix the situation on Wayland.

Kernel: GraalVM, WireGuard and Radeon Software for Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • GraalVM 20.3 Released With Many Small Performance Optimizations - Phoronix

    GraalVM continues its quest as the virtual machine not only supporting Java but also additional languages and execution modes with a focus on stellar performance and speedy startups. GraalVM CE 20.3 was released on Tuesday as the latest for this open-source package supporting Java, Node.js, an LLVM runtime, and more.

    With GraalVM CE 20.3 there is an optimization for faster startup times of Java workloads with very short iterations by eliminating/delaying class loading from libgraal, better container awareness on Linux with its native image code, improved support for isolated compilation where applications and the runtime compiler are separate, and the never-ending performance work.

  • WireGuard and UEK6U1

    WireGuard has received a lot of attention of late as a new, easier to use VPN mechanism, and it has now been added to UEK6U1 as a technology preview.

    But what is it, and how do I use it?

    What is WireGuard?

  • Radeon Software for Linux 20.45 Driver Released With RX 6800 Series Support - Phoronix

    Radeon Software for Linux 20.45 is now available as the Radeon RX 6800 series launch driver for Linux systems.

    Radeon Software for Linux 20.45 is the packaged driver now adding in the Radeon RX 6800 series support while retaining the existing product support as well. There are, however, no listed changes besides the new RX 6800 / RDNA2 support.

Radeon RX 6800 Series Has Excellent ROCm-Based OpenCL Performance On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) support wasn't a focus for the initial Radeon RX 5000 "Navi" graphics cards by AMD engineers, that is fortunately changing for both the RX 5000/6000 series moving forward. With the Radeon RX 6800 series there is at-launch support available with working OpenCL provided by the "ROCr" (runtime) path in their packaged driver. Now that we have looked at the Radeon RX 6800 Linux gaming performance here are some initial OpenCL compute benchmarks between NVIDIA and AMD Radeon on Linux.

The Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT OpenCL support is in good shape with the launch-day Radeon Software for Linux 20.45 packaged driver, Benchmarks on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS were carried out and going up against the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20/30 graphics cards with their latest proprietary driver. After Navi compute support on Linux being ignored up to now, it's good to see it coming together nicely for Big Navi.

Read more

Graphics: Mesa and AMD Radeon

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • DXGI Winsys Comes To Mesa For Better Performance Atop Direct3D 12 - Phoronix

    More improvements are coming to Mesa 21.0 following last week's merging of the Direct3D 12 Gallium3D driver that is being used by Microsoft for supporting OpenGL/OpenCL-on-Direct3D 12.

  • Mesa 21.0 Lands More Last Minute Fixes For Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" GPUs - Phoronix

    For those trying to setup their Linux systems to be "Big Navi"-ready if purchasing one of the new graphics cards today, some more last minute fixes have landed within Mesa.

    In addition to AV1 video decoding having been merged yesterday to Mesa 21.0 with the OpenMAX interface initially, today a batch of fixes were merged that affect these new GPUs and the Radeon RX 6800 series shipping today.

  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 and the RX 6800 XT are out today

    Although for Linux, we're still waiting on The Khronos Group to formalise the cross-vendor Ray Tracing Vulkan extensions for that.

    [...]

    For running them on Linux, the driver situation isn't the best. AMD have put out the Radeon Software for Linux version 20.45, which adds support for the Radeon RX 6800 Series but that driver only officially supports Ubuntu 20.04, RHEL/CentOS 7.9 and RHEL/CentOS 8.2. For Mesa drivers, you're going to need Linux Kernel 5.9, Mesa 20.2 (or newer) and also LLVM 11.0 which means most normal distributions will be missing out with manual upgrades. So, unless you really know what you're doing with everything, you will likely want to hold off.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Linux Performance

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Today is the big day: Big Navi is shipping! This also means we can talk at length finally about the Linux support and performance for the Radeon RX 6800 series and how well they perform for Linux gaming. Here is a look at the Linux driver state for these initial RDNA 2 graphics cards and their performance capabilities with the multiple different open-source driver stacks available.

Long story short, this is the best at-launch Linux driver support we have seen from AMD at the premiere of a brand new generation of graphics processors. But even though it's the best at-launch support we have seen out of a new generation of Radeon GPUs, there still is room for improvement -- especially for those Linux users not comfortable compiling their own drivers, etc. There is support available already in the mainline Linux kernel and Mesa repositories that have materialized this year under the Sienna Cichlid codename. Yes, both the RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT shipping today fall under the Sienna Cichlid codename.

Read more

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Radeon RX 6800 Series Performance Comes Out Even Faster With Newest Linux Code

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