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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: CUDA, Radeon and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • HIPCL Lets CUDA Run On OpenCL+SPIR-V

    Based off AMD's GPUOpen HIP as part of their ROCm stack, researchers at Tampere University in Finland have created HIPCL as leveraging HIP as well as POCL for routing CUDA codes to run on any hardware supporting OpenCL+SPIR-V.

    HIPCL provides a path of running CUDA on top of OpenCL, permitting the OpenCL driver also supports the SPIR-V intermediate representation. The OpenCL implementation also needs to support Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) so that actually rules out using NVIDIA's own driver for taking this route in place of their actual CUDA driver. HIPCL also relies upon a patched version of the LLVM Clang compiler.

  • Radeon RADV Vulkan Driver Tackling NGG Stream-Out

    One of the areas the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV/AMDVLK Vulkan drivers have had a challenging time promptly support with AMD Navi GPUs has been the NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) functionality but it's slowly getting worked out.

    The NGG engine support has required various fixes to the graphics drivers, Navi 14 NGG support is borked, and various other Next-Gen Geometry support issues in the Navi driver code. At least on the software side the open-source developers have continued to improve the support and today the latest improvements arrived for the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver.

  • Radeon Navi 12/14 Open-Source Driver Support Now Being Marked As "Experimental"

    In an interesting change of course, the open-source driver support for AMD Radeon Navi 12 and Navi 14 GPUs is being flagged as experimental and hidden behind a feature flag.

    Back at the start of August AMD sent out their AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support for Navi 12 along with Navi 14. That Navi 12/14 support has since been queued up for introduction in the Linux 5.4 kernel along with the new Vega-based Arcturus GPU.

  • Vulkan 1.1.123 Released With Two New Extensions

    Vulkan 1.1.123 is the latest weekly update to this high performance graphics API and it's formally introducing two more extensions.

    Besides the usual variety of documentation clarifications and corrections, there are two new Vulkan extensions with version 1.1.123.

Benchmarks: Linux Boot Times, 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation and New PTS Release

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

    Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware.

    The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space.

    The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

AMD EPYC 7302 / 7402 / 7502 / 7742 Linux Performance Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last month we provided launch-day benchmarks of the AMD EPYC 7502 and 7742 under Linux in both 1P and 2P configurations for these exciting "Rome" Zen 2 server processors. For your viewing pleasure today is a fresh look at not only the EPYC 7502 and 7742 processors under the latest Linux 5.3 kernel but we've also expanded it to looking at the EPYC 7302 and EPYC 7402 processors as well with those processors recently being sent over by AMD. Under Ubuntu 19.04 with Linux 5.3, these four different AMD EPYC 7002 series SKUs were benchmarked along with some of the older AMD Naples processors and Intel Xeon Gold/Platinum processors for a fresh look at the Linux server performance.

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Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

Now that the first beta of Qt 5.14 is getting closer, it is time to start talking about one of the big new features. We cannot possibly cover all the details around the graphics stack improvements and the road to Qt 6 in one post, so in part 1 and 2 we will describe the background and take a closer look at what 5.14 will ship with, and then dive into the technical details and future directions in another set of posts later on.

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Also: Linux Drivers Entries Suggest two APU AMD Lines in 2020

Intel's Gallium3D Driver Is Running Much Faster Than Their Current OpenGL Linux Driver With Mesa 19.3

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last month I did some fresh benchmarks of Intel's new open-source OpenGL Linux driver with Mesa 19.2 and those results were looking good as tested with a Core i9 9900K. Since then, more Intel Gallium3D driver improvements have landed for what will become Mesa 19.3 next quarter. In taking another look at their former/current and new OpenGL drivers, here are fresh benchmarks of the latest code using a Core i7 8700K desktop as well as a Core i7 8550U Dell XPS laptop.

This month so far Intel's new Gallium3D OpenGL driver has seen OpenGL 4.6 support added, an optimization to help the Java OpenGL performance (one of the deficiencies noted by our earlier rounds of benchmarks), and other performance work.

For some weekend benchmarking fun I tested the Core i7 8700K desktop and Dell XPS 13 laptop with Core i7 8550U graphics while comparing the OpenGL driver options. The driver state for both the i965 and Iris Gallium3D drivers were of Mesa 19.3-devel Git as of this week and also running with the near-final Linux 5.3 kernel.

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The Sandy Bridge Core i7 3960X Benchmarked Against Today's Six-Core / 12 Thread AMD/Intel CPUs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Complementing our recent AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Linux benchmarking, with recently having out the Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition, here are benchmarks showing that previous $999 USD six-core / twelve-thread processor compared to today's Ryzen 5 3600X (and previous-generation Ryzen 5 2600X) as well as the Core i7 8700K.

As some Friday benchmarking fun, this article offers a fresh look at how the once high-end Core i7 3960X compared to today's AMD Ryzen 5 processors at six-cores / twelve-threads and also having in the similarly core/thread count Core i7 8700K.

Besides the Core i7 3960X having cost a great deal more ($999~1059 USD compared to the Ryzen 5 3600X at $250 USD), the i7-3960X has a 130 Watt TDP compared to the Zen 2 mid-range processor at 95 Watts. The i7-3960X carries a 3.3GHz base clock with 3.9GHz turbo frequency compared to the 3600X at 3.8GHz and boosting up to 4.4GHz.

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Graphics: NVIDIA, Mesa and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA 430.50 Linux Driver Brings Color Fix For Pre-Turing GPUs

    While the NVIDIA 435 series is now stable, for those sticking to the previous NVIDIA 430 driver series that is their current "long-lived" driver branch, a new version is available.

    NVIDIA 430.50 was released on Wednesday as the latest Linux driver release in this driver series supported for an extended period of time. The only listed change for the NVIDIA 430.50 Linux driver is fixing the display color range handling for pre-Turing GPUs. When limiting the color range via the NVIDIA-Settings GUI, the output pixel values will now be properly clamped to the CTA range.

  • Mesa 19.2-RC3 Released While Final Release Expected Around Month's End

    The third release candidate of the belated Mesa 19.2 is now available while a fourth and likely final RC is expected next week while the stable release of this quarterly Mesa3D update should be out at month's end.

    Mesa 19.2-RC3 back-ports the new support for DriConf in Intel's Vulkan driver (for a workaround with GfxBench), various NIR fixes, a GLX segmentation fault is fixed, a few RADV and RadeonSI fixes (including Navi/GFX10 fixes for RadeonSI), and the Intel glthread crash fix for KDE's KWin.

  • AMDGPU Driver Looking To Re-Enable Performance-Boosting "Bulk Moves" Functionality

    AMD developers are looking at finally re-enabling the LRU bulk moves functionality in their AMDGPU Linux kernel graphics driver that has the ability to help with performance.

    The LRU bulk moves patches were posted back in August of 2018 with the ability to help improve OpenCL and Vulkan performance for Radeon graphics. But prior to the release of the Linux 5.0 kernel that functionality was disabled for bugs.

AMD/Intel Benchmarks: Building The Mainline Linux x86_64 Kernel With LLVM Clang

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the upcoming LLVM Clang 9.0 compiler release there is an amazing achievement more than a decade in the making... The mainline Clang compiler can finally build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel. The AArch64 state has been in better shape in recent years with multiple Arm vendors using Clang as their default compiler including to build the Linux kernel, but finally in 2019 the mainline Clang can build mainline Linux x86_64. There are a few caveats, but in this article is my experience in doing so with LLVM Clang and the Linux 5.3 kernel as well as running some preliminary benchmarks on AMD and Intel hardware.

It has taken years of work to address various GCC'isms within the Linux kernel to improve its code portability for different compilers. There's also been various features implemented in LLVM/Clang to help in building the Linux kernel. The most recent addition was finally supporting "asm goto" for satisfying Linux x86_64 kernel builds. LLVM Clang 9.0 will soon be released with this support and for today's testing I was using the Linux 5.3 development code as of earlier this week.

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‘Far Cry New Dawn’ Never Released For Linux, But It’s Matching Windows 10 Performance Anyway

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Gaming

The takeaway is clear: same minimum framerates, and an average framerate only 2.6% lower than Windows 10. Effectively within margin of error, and certainly not discernible when we’re talking about 112 FPS versus 115 FPS.

(The eagle-eyed among you may even notice slightly lower frametimes on the Linux side when watching the benchmark video.)

When you step back and realize that Far Cry New Dawn was never intended to run on Linux, yet does so this smoothly, it’s a testament to how far Linux gaming has come.

My own benchmarks – albeit for different titles – back this up. And when games are released natively on Linux, the performance is often better than the Windows 10 counterparts. It’s not a consistent conclusion, but as Codeweavers and Valve continue to refine and improve what they’re doing, the outlook gets brighter and brighter.

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AMD "Trusted Memory Zone" Encrypted vRAM Support Coming To Their Linux GPU Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

AMD Trusted Memory Zone support is a new feature being worked on for their open-source graphics driver that works in conjunction with the graphics hardware for being able to encrypt portions of the video memory.

Trusted Memory Zone (TMZ) support appears to be present going back to the original Vega graphics processors but this is the first time we're seeing it implemented on the Linux side. Trusted Memory Zone protects the contents of TMZ'ed pages from being read by the CPU (non-GPU) clients and fend off writes to the protected pages. AMD TMZ support is being used to offer secure buffer object support on Linux.

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Also: AMD Navi 14 Workstation Graphics Cards Discovered In Linux Driver Update

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