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Graphics/Benchmarks

The Mitigation Impact Difference On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week I shared benchmark results of the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K in 400+ benchmarks in the largest comparison ever for these two competing ~$500 USD processors. If that wasn't enough, I repeated the hundreds of CPU/system benchmarks again but without any of the recent CPU security mitigations in place to see how the situation would have played out pre-2018.

Immediately following those tests last week, I restarted the large benchmark queue with the 300+ system/CPU tests (foregoing the gaming benchmarks with the various CPU speculative execution vulnerabilities having little impact on gaming/graphics performance). As a reminder, both the Intel and AMD systems were tested on Ubuntu 19.10 with the Linux 5.3 kernel and all of the other latest software components for this H2'2019 update to Ubuntu Linux.

The Core i9 9900K was running with the ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard and the Ryzen 9 3900X with the ROG CROSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard, both boards using their very latest public BIOS releases as of testing. Both systems were tested with the same GSKILL 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, 280GB Intel Optane 900p NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card.

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Linux 5.5 To Advertise RDPRU Support For AMD Zen 2 CPUs Via /proc/cpuinfo

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

RDPRU is one of the new instruction set extensions of AMD "Zen 2" CPUs that is for reading a processor register that is typically limited to privilege level zero. RDPRU allows for reading select registers at any privilege level. With Linux 5.5, the RDPRU presence will be advertised by the CPU features.

It's still up to user-space for making use of RDPRU, but for software checking from /proc/cpuinfo to see the availability of RDPRU as a supported CPU feature, Linux 5.5 is finally set to advertise it for the Zen 2 CPUs with the Ryzen 3000 series and AMD EPYC 7002 series.

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Also: RadeonSI Adds Zeroing vRAM Workaround To Help Rocket League Players

Firefox 69 + Chrome 77 On Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu / Clear Linux Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With running some fresh cross-OS benchmarks now that Ubuntu 19.10 is imminent followed by Ubuntu 19.10, a new Windows 10 update coming in the days ahead, and also the release of macOS 10.15, a lot of fun benchmarks are ahead. In today's article is a quick look at the Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 vs. Clear Linux web browser performance for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

For this round of benchmarking was Windows 10 Pro Build 18362, Ubuntu 19.10 with its latest packages as of 6 October, and Clear Linux 31210 all running on the same system. The system used for this round of benchmarking was the Intel Core i9 7980XE with ASUS PRIME X299-A motherboard, 4 x 4GB DDR4-3200 Corsair memory, NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X with the NVIDIA proprietary drivers, and Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe SSD for storage.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite (https://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/) a range of browser tests were run via Firefox 69 and Chrome 77 on each of these three operating systems under test. Again, a larger OS comparison also including macOS and the newest Linux/Windows updates will be forthcoming as well over October and into November thanks to the existing autumn update season.

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KDE's KWin To Still Pursue X11 Composite Unredirect, More Wayland Improvements

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Graphics/Benchmarks
KDE

KDE developer Roman Gilg attended the X.Org Developer's Conference last week in Montreal. At XDC2019 he provided the X11/Wayland developers with an overview of KWin's architecture as both an X11 window manager and Wayland compositor along with talking of some of the future plans.

Recent and ongoing work covered includes the night color support for KWin on X11, simplifying the X11 compositor and GLX back-end, redesigning the output management code, and internal clients going through KWin's own QPA. But where the most exciting work is happens to be out in the future work.

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Intel's Latest Resignation and Graphics Driver for Linux 5.5

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Imad Sousou Steps Down As Head Of Intel's Open-Source Efforts

    Imad Sousou was the founder of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center that had been leading the company's open-source efforts now for nearly two decades. Most recently his title was as the Corporate VP and GM of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center and System Software. In his role he guided the company's many open-source efforts from the open-source drivers through the MeeGo/Moblin days, the numerous virtualization projects, Clear Linux, and much more. One just needs to browse 01.org to see the incredible breadth of open-source projects he oversaw.

  • Intel Readies Another Big Graphics Driver Push With Linux 5.5 - Lots For Tigerlake/Gen12

    While just one week past the Linux 5.4 merge window cut-off and now with XDC 2019 out of the day, Intel's open-source graphics driver team sent in their first batch of new material they will be targeting for the Linux 5.5 cycle.

    The Linux 5.5 merge window isn't until around the end of November and there will be several more weeks worth of Intel graphics driver changes destined for Linux 5.5. But already this first pull request to DRM-Next has a lot of new material.

PostgreSQL 12 Performance With AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

One of the areas of performance I had been meaning to look more at following the recent AMD EPYC 7002 series launch was for database servers. With the original EPYC 7000 series performance, the performance came up short in competing with Intel Xeon CPUs, but for the EPYC Rome processors it ends up being a very different story. Given the launch last week of PostgreSQL 12, I've been trying out this new database server release on both EPYC and Xeon processors.

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Also: Antoine Beaupré: This is why native apps matter

Graphics: NVIDIA and Intel

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Still Working On A Generic Allocator - Has Working Open-Source Implementation

    For those wondering, NVIDIA is still pursuing a generic allocator / Unix device memory allocator that has been talked about for years and a potential successor to the likes of the Generic Buffer Manager (GBM). They now have an implementation of their proposed allocator working for the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver though there still is a lot of work ahead.

    Each year at the X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC) going back several they have presented concepts and work on a new device memory API with being unhappy over the semantics of GBM and that initially being one of the obstacles for NVIDIA's Linux driver in supporting Wayland compositors with many of them being tailored towards GBM while NVIDIA's initial Wayland support design has been around EGLStreams but they ultimately want this new hypothetical allocator API.

  • Intel giving hints at a possible Intel Xe dedicated GPU release in June 2020

    In the Twitter post, which was retweeted by the official Intel Graphics Twitter account was the below image which has the date of June 2020 on the license plate. Not exactly cryptic, it's a pretty clear teaser towards a release date for the Intel Xe or whatever they actually end up calling it once it's out. That's pure speculation of course on my part but it would line up given who sent the tweet and Intel previously saying the Xe series will be out in 2020.

    We've yet to really see any solid information on exactly how powerful they will be. What we do know though, is that they should get first-class Linux support as Intel has been working through their drivers on Linux. They talked openly before about their commitment to open source and their focus on Linux gaming too so it's quite exciting.

Linux 5.4 Radeon Performance Rises Slightly Higher With Bulk Moves Enabled

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the bit of a surprise this past week of AMD flipping LRU bulk moves back on as a "fix" for Linux 5.4 and this now having landed in Linux 5.4 Git, here are some preliminary benchmarks of this feature being enabled on the newest 5.4 kernel builds since Friday.

This weekend having wrapped up the RADV ACO compiler benchmarks, with that same system and set of graphics cards (RX 580, RX Vega 56, Radeon VII), I proceeded to run some additional tests of keeping ACO enabled but upgrading to the latest Linux 5.4 Git code as of Saturday in order to have LRU bulk moves enabled.

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Intel MKL-DNN Deep Neural Network Library Benchmarks On Xeon & EPYC

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This week Intel released MKL-DNN 1.1 as their open-source deep learning library. They also rebranded the software project as the "Deep Neural Network Library" (DNNL) though its focus remains the same. I ran some initial benchmarks on MKL-DNN/DNNL 1.1 on AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon hardware for reference.

We've been running benchmarks of MKL-DNN since learning about it at the start of the year and already used it for Xeon Cascadelake and EPYC Rome benchmarking, but curious about the performance of the new release, some fresh tests were carried out.

On the dual EPYC 7601, EPYC 7742, and Xeon Platinum 8280 servers the MKL-DNN/DNNL 1.1 release was benchmarked using some of the popular DNNL drivers and also varying data type configurations.

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Radeon RADV "ACO" Performance On Mesa 19.3 Looking Good

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the ACO shader compiler back-end merged for Mesa 19.3 as of mid-September and more improvements merged since then, it's now very easy to try out this alternative to AMD's longstanding AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end. ACO, which is developed by Valve and their contractors outside of AMD, is looking quite good not only for quicker shader compilation (more punctual game load times) but also helping the performance of some Vulkan-powered games. Here are our latest ACO benchmarks.

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Android Leftovers

Canonical Outs New Linux Kernel Security Update for Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 LTS

Affecting both the Linux 4.15 kernel used in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS (Xenial Xerus) systems, the new security patch fixed an improperly implemented Spectre mitigation in the ptrace susbsystem (CVE-2019-15902), which could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information. It also addresses a buffer overread (CVE-2019-15918) discovered that the SMB networking file system implementation, which could allow an attacker to expose sensitive information (kernel memory), two flaws (CVE-2019-15117 and CVE-2019-15118) discovered in the USB audio driver that may allow a physically proximate attacker to crash the system, and a flaw (CVE-2019-14821) in the KVM hypervisor implementation that let a local attacker to crash the system. Read more

Leftovers: MX-19, Versalogic and Security

  • MX-19 “patito feo” released!

    We are pleased to offer MX-19 for your use. As usual, this iso includes the latest updates from debian 10.1 (buster), antiX and MX repos.

  • Compact Apollo Lake SBC aims sky high

    Versalogic’s Linux-ready, sandwich-style “Harrier” SBC has an Apollo Lake processor and a compact 95 x 55mm footprint, ECC RAM support, and ruggedization features designed for high altitude UAVs. Versalogic announced a Harrier SBC due in Q1 2020 that revises the compact, COM-and-carrier design of its three-year-old, Intel Bay Trail based Osprey, but advances to the newer Intel Apollo Lake. The Osprey is similarly bereft of real-world ports to enable easier real-world deployments in constrained environments.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (jss and kernel), Debian (libpcap, openjdk-8, and tcpdump), Fedora (java-11-openjdk), openSUSE (libreoffice), Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk, python, and wget), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk), SUSE (ceph, ceph-iscsi, ses-manual_en, dhcp, openconnect, and procps), and Ubuntu (exiv2, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-snapdragon, and uw-imap).

  • Password lessons: Longer is better, so is salt

    Infosec pros who had no idea of how easily a stolen list of hashed passwords could be cracked got a sobering lesson at this month’s SecTor security conference in Toronto. There, Will Hunt, co-founder of the U.K. based In.security consulting firm, casually talked of systems that can be built around a common (about $1,500) Nvidea GTX 2080 graphics card that could make 100 billion guesses a second in a brute force attack.

Unix Celebrates 50 Years

Today and tomorrow Nokia Bell Labs is hosting a two-day event celebrating 50 years of the Unix operating system, reflecting on Unix’s past and exploring the future of computing. Speakers and panelists include many of the original team that built Unix and designed the C programming language. Read more