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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics and Games: ROCm, Zink, DXVK, ProtonDB

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • Radeon ROCm 2.9 Released With New "RALI" Library, rocTX

    Just one week after the release of Radeon Open Compute 2.8, AMD has now released ROCm 2.9 as the newest feature release for this open-source GPU Linux compute stack for Radeon hardware.

    Radeon Open Compute 2.9 introduces the Radeon Augmentation Library "RALI" for efficient decoding and handling of images from a variety of formats via a programmable processing graph. ROCm 2.9 also introduces rocTX as a new C API for performance profiling.

  • Zink's OpenGL Over Vulkan Implementation Aiming For Mesa 19.3 Integration

    For the past year "Zink" has been in development as the OpenGL API implemented over Vulkan and done as a Gallium3D driver. That code by Collabora's Erik Faye-Lund will likely be merged to Mesa 19.3 in the coming weeks.

    After talking about Zink the first time at last year's XDC, Erik Faye-Lund provided an update at this week's XDC 2019 event in Montreal. Zink remains focused on serving as a Gallium driver translating Gallium API calls into Vulkan, which for the main part means using the OpenGL state tracker to get a full OpenGL implementation running over Vulkan. At this time, OpenGL 2.1 / OpenGL ES 2.0 is supported but more extensions and various optimizations continue to be pursued.

  • DXVK 1.4.2 Released With Fix For Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

    DXVK 1.4.2 is out as another weekly update to this Direct3D 11 over Vulkan translation library used by Wine / Proton for accelerating Windows games on Linux.

  • A little look over ProtonDB reports for Steam Play in September 2019

    Like our look over the data for August, we're going to continue this method of looking over the top twenty titles being most reported through September. This is basically the list of what games were the most popular in terms of users testing and reporting how they work with Steam Play. If they have a number of Platinum and Gold ratings, they probably work quite well. Sorted by total number of ratings, while also showing how many were Platinum or Gold to give you a good idea how they run overall.

Graphics: AMDGPU, Linux FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync, TensorFlow 2.0 With GPU and Radeon

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMDGPU Performance In Linux 5.4 Is Now Faster With "Bulk Moves" Landed

    Linux 5.4 is already exciting with its many new features and changes but was made even more so on Friday night with the honoring of the latest DRM fixes pull request that includes the "fix" of enabling LRU bulk moves for the AMDGPU DRM driver!

    The LRU bulk moves functionality is the code we mentioned earlier this week that would be sent in as a "fix" to Linux 5.4 to restore behavior reverted back during the Linux 5.0 cycle. The bulk moves is the feature Valve developers noted can help with performance in demanding Linux games and can also help other Vulkan and OpenCL workloads.

  • It Looks Like HDMI FreeSync/VRR For Linux + Wayland Support Will Eventually Come For AMD

    AMD provided an update on their Linux FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync support at this week's X.Org Developers Conference event in Montreal. There's good news both for HDMI and Wayland Linux users with Radeon graphics.

    Harry Wentland, a longtime member of the AMD Linux graphics team and patch wrangler around the DC display code, was the presenter at XDC2019. One of the big complaints of the AMD FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync Linux support to date has been the lack of supporting HDMI outputs... Wentland explained that on Windows, AMD uses a proprietary AMD-developed protocol for enabling FreeSync on HDMI. Obviously that won't fly for the open-source AMDGPU kernel driver. But as for the formal HDMI Variable Rate Refresh (VRR) support, they note it's "pending" but held up by a HDMI VRR conformance test suite being released. So hopefully once that CTS is available, HDMI VRR will be flipped on for Linux users wishing to enjoy Adaptive-Sync/VRR functionality for HDMI displays.

  • TensorFlow 2.0 with GPU on Debian/sid

    Some time ago I have been written about how to get Tensorflow (1.x) running on current Debian/sid back then. It turned out that this isn’t correct anymore and needs an update, so here it is, getting the most uptodate TensorFlow 2.0 running with nVidia support running on Debian/sid.

  • The ACO Radeon Compiler Alternative To AMDGPU LLVM Looks Good But Work Isn't Done Yet

    In addition to Intel announcing their work on the new "IBC" compiler back-end for their OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, the developers working on the Radeon "ACO" in cooperation with Valve were presenting the latest work on their compiler back-end at this week's XDC 2019 event in Canada.

    For those that missed it, this Valve-funded ACO shader compiler landed in Mesa 19.3-devel last month after being announced earlier in the year. This compiler back-end is an alternative to the existing AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end used currently by both the OpenGL and Vulkan drivers. ACO is focused on better gaming performance and also quicker shader compile times over LLVM. So far though ACO has just been plumbed into RADV and not the AMDVLK driver or RadeonSI OpenGL.

Blender 2.80 & LuxCoreRender Performance With NVIDIA RTX SUPER Comparison

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Complementing the 18-way NVIDIA GPU compute comparison from earlier this week with now having our hands on the RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER graphics cards, this round of NVIDIA Linux testing is looking at the Blender 2.80 and LuxCoreRender 2.1/2.2 performance for these popular rendering programs that offer CUDA acceleration.

In looking at the Blender and LuxCoreRender performance, the following graphics cards were freshly re-tested on Linux...

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Graphics: Intel OpenGL/Vulkan Drivers, Khronos Talk and DRM (HDCP) in Weston

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Has Been Quietly Developing A New Backend Compiler For Their OpenGL/Vulkan Drivers

    One of the interesting reveals so far from this week's X.Org Developers' Conference in Montreal is that Intel has been developing a new back-end compiler for their OpenGL/Vulkan Linux drivers based upon their experiences so far with their NIR support and the lessons learned over the past number of years.

    While Valve has been developing ACO as a new Radeon compiler back-end, Intel developers have been creating "IBC" as the new "Intel Backend Compiler" for their Iris OpenGL and ANV Vulkan driver components living within Mesa.

  • The Matrix Of Software Projects Mapping Khronos APIs From DXVK To Zink & CLVK

    Neil Trevett, the president of the Khronos Group, presented at the X.Org Developers' Conference for the first time. During his presentation on Wednesday he covered their usual initiatives, how Khronos engages in open-source and open standards, and related bits -- plus a few interesting ones.

    For the most part the presentation isn't really dramatic for any veteran developer or anyone reading Phoronix for enough years. Though he did re-affirm the commitment that "open-source is vital to build ecosystems around open API standards" -- yes, many of you will find that ironic with Trevett being employed by NVIDIA. On the Khronos front, they have continued engaging and pushing forward their conformance test suites (CTS) as open-source and that's been one of the exciting developments of recent years and ensuring better quality drivers.

  • Why HDCP support in Weston is a good thing

    First I'll reiterate what HDCP is and why supporting it cannot take away any freedoms. Then I'll give some background on Weston's ideology and justify supporting HDCP in Weston with both economical and technical arguments. While I do work for Collabora, these are my personal opinions.

    [...]

    I was not participating in the project yet when the license was chosen, but I agree with it. I, with my upstream Weston maintainer hat on, want Weston to be used by companies, including in their shipping products. MIT license makes that very easy for the companies. GNU GPL or LGPL could make it hard, especially GPL v3+ which many companies just steer very clear of. This is the reality outside of our control, however sad you might think it is. Forced with a trade-off not unique to the Weston project, it chose to favour adoption over strong copyleft, as did other open source projects before, Xorg and Mesa for example.

    When Weston is used in shipping products, it is much more likely that companies will provide resources to improve Weston also in upstream. Even if companies did not directly do that, they might hire others like Collabora to work on Weston, and then Collabora can redirect some of that revenue back to Weston upstream development. That will likely benefit also other users of Weston, even the private home users and hobbyists. It is all the same reasons why hardware drivers should go into the Linux kernel upstream, just in much smaller scale.

Windows 10 vs. Eight Linux Distributions In Various "Creator" Workloads On An Intel Core i9

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering about the current performance of desktop Linux distributions against Microsoft Windows 10 with the latest updates as we embark upon fall update season, here is a look at the performance of eight different Linux distributions compared to Windows 10. While a larger set of cross-platform tests are currently being worked on, for this article we are focusing on different "creator" workloads from video/audio encoding, render workloads, and related software prior to the larger comparison in the next week or two.

Besides looking at creator-focused workloads for this article, some of the tests being done are the first time we are running them in a Windows vs. Linux comparison. In particular, some new OpenBenchmarking.org / Phoronix Test Suite test profiles around Intel oneAPI rendering toolkit components like Embree and Open Image Denoise.

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GNU/Linux Games and Panfrost

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • Comedy point and click adventure Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest is out

    From developer Specialbit Studio, the quirky comedy point and click adventure Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest is officially out now with Linux support.

    A case of mistaken identity results in a blogger taking an unexpected holiday to Hell, so Angelo decides to record his journey in an attempt to become a little bit more famous and get some extra clicks and likes. Something like that anyway. The Ukrainian developer doesn't really give it a description that sells it too well.

  • Build and battle game From the Depths is officially launching this November

    Game developer Brilliant Skies sent word that their game From the Depths is getting ready to finally leave Early Access on November 7th. It's been in Early Access since August 2014, with a Linux version arriving a bit later.

    Much like Robocraft, the design and building in From the Depths is done block by block and you can create all sorts of incredibly weird and wonderful tools of destruction. Unlike Robocraft though, From the Depths seems to have a huge amount more depth to the building and the available game modes with much bigger battles too.

  • Drawn Down Abyss mixes an action-platformer with card abilities and it's out now

    A thoroughly odd experience this. Drawn Down Abyss from developer DaFluffyPotato looks like an ordinary pixel-art action-platform except it's also thoroughly different due to the card-based abilities.

  • Meet Alyssa Rosenzweig and Panfrost

    Panfrost is a free, open-source graphics stack for Arm Mali GPUs, focused on the popular Midgard series. While these chips are popular among Android devices, they have been historical thorns in Linux’s side, due to the closed nature of the official drivers. Panfrost aims to change that, bringing the benefits of open-source to the Mali world.

    What started out as a small community reverse-engineering effort has now matured into a reliable OpenGL ES 2.0 driver. Since May, I’ve been using Panfrost as my daily driver to program Panfrost. And yes, I’m answering these questions from a machine with Panfrost!

Graphics: ASTC, RADV, AMDGPU, Igalia

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • ASTC Texture Compression License Turns Out To Be Restrictive Outside Of Khronos APIs

    The lossy ASTC texture compression algorithm has been widely adopted in recent years with it being official extensions to both OpenGL and OpenGL ES. While it may not be as messy as the S3TC patent situation of the past, it turns out Arm's license on Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression actually is quite restrictive outside of the context of Khronos' APIs.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Picks Up Several GFX10/Navi Fixes, Including To Address Random Hangs

    If you are a user of AMD Radeon RX 5700 "Navi" graphics and don't mind riding Mesa Git, the latest 19.3-devel code as of yesterday has several more GFX10 fixes/improvements.

    Perhaps most notable is this possible fix with random hangs no longer happening on Navi GPUs. But Valve's Samuel Pitoiset isn't too sure if the code in question fixed the issue, just that random hangs no longer happen now with RADV on these newest Radeon graphics cards.

  • AMDGPU Submits LRU Bulk Moves Support As A Linux 5.4 "Fix" For Better Performance

    While initially queued as a work-in-progress feature for Linux 5.5, AMD has now submitted a batch of "fixes" to the current Linux 5.4 cycle that include enabling of the LRU bulk moves performance-boosting functionality.

    Just last week that revert / enabling of LRU bulk moves for AMDGPU was queued in the 5.5 "WIP" branch while on Wednesday it was mailed in as part of the "fixes" targeting the current Linux 5.4 cycle now past its merge window. LRU bulk moves can yield some measurable performance wins for multiple types of workloads but was disabled previously over bugs that were corrected back in Linux 5.0 but then seemingly lost track of with the feature only coming up for re-enabling as of this summer.

  • Igalia Is Working On "mediump" Support For Mesa To Help With OpenGL ES Performance

    Igalia is working on supporting OpenGL ES' GLSL marking of variables as "mediump" when the precision involving those variables can be lowered to half-float 16-bit registers. That in turn can help with performance when honoring that precision marking, which to date Mesa has ignored.

    It turns out Igalia has been working on that Mediump support for Mesa's OpenGL ES with a focus on the Freedreno Gallium3D driver. Interestingly, it's under contract for Google -- they sure are ramping up their work on this open-source Qualcomm Adreno driver. Besides employing developers like Freedreno founder Rob Clark and former Broadcom VC4/V3D developer Eric Anholt, they are also contracting Igalia as part of the Freedreno effort.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K Performance In 400+ Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Given the recent AMD "ABBA" Ryzen 3000 boost fix, the upcoming release of Ubuntu 19.10 powered by Linux 5.3, here is a fresh round of AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K benchmarks in a side-by-side matchup . It's just not any comparison but our largest i9-9900K vs. 3900X comparison ever: 112 gaming benchmarks and 321 system/CPU benchmarks carried out for our most extensive look yet at how these ~$500 CPUs are competing in this fierce race.

This round of Core i9 9900K vs. Ryzen 9 3900X benchmarking was done while both systems were running the latest daily release of Ubuntu 19.10 powered by the Linux 5.3 kernel, which itself brought some nice performance-related work over previous kernels. Ubuntu 19.10 is also now running GNOME 3.34.0 that can make a difference for some gaming benchmarks while its default driver stack is currently on Mesa 19.1.6.

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. The RX Vega 64 was used over the Radeon RX 5700 series due to Ubuntu 19.10's older Mesa build not having Navi support and the Navi support in general still maturing and recommended for use with Mesa 19.3-devel, so with this not being a graphics card comparison anyhow, the RX Vega 64 was the safer and more accurate card to use for this round of testing.

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Graphics: Panfrost Gallium3D and GPU Offloading

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Focusing On Bettering The Arm Midgard Support

    While there hasn't been too much to write on it in recent weeks, the Panfrost Gallium3D driver within Mesa for Arm Midgard/Bifrost graphics continues chugging along. The latest work on it is switching over to a new scheduler for Midgard.

    If using a Midgard GPU, a.k.a. the Mali T604 through T880, that seems to be the recent focus of lead Panfrost developer Alyssa Rosenzweig.

  • GCC Is Potentially Months From Seeing Radeon OpenMP 4.5 / OpenACC 2.6 GPU Offloading

    At last month's GNU Tools Cauldron was an update on the Radeon GCN back-end state for the GCC compiler, which is likely to see more code land around year's end.

    Merged for GCC 9 was the initial Radeon GCN back-end for targeting AMD GPUs from the GNU Compilers Collection as an alternative to their long-standing AMDGPU LLVM compiler support. With GCC 9 the Radeon GCN support was limited, but for next year's GCC 10 support it should be in better shape. They have a path forward to make it quite capable, but it might not all land in time for GCC 10.

GeForce RTX SUPER Linux Compute Performance - 18 GPU NVIDIA OpenCL Comparison

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week we began our belated NVIDIA GeForce RTX SUPER benchmarking by looking at the RTX 2060 / 2070 / 2080 SUPER Linux gaming performance in a 26-way graphics card comparison. For those more interested in the RTX SUPER graphics cards for their OpenCL compute performance potential, these benchmarks today are for you.

This article provides a look at the compute performance potential for these newest NVIDIA graphics cards. Given the workloads and AMD still not providing any Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) support for their newest Navi graphics cards, this comparison is just looking at the NVIDIA compute potential between the Maxwell / Pascal / Turing line-ups. You can treat this as a reference comparison and for those curious about the generational power efficiency / performance-per-Watt and other metrics.

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Leftovers: MX-19, Versalogic and Security

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  • Password lessons: Longer is better, so is salt

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Unix Celebrates 50 Years

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