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Graphics/Benchmarks

Digilent Offers 2 Zynq-Based Linux Development Boards Supporting SYZYGY Expansion

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Digilent has announced two new SBCs that are ultra-high-speed and built to be more modular than its other boards. The company, which has a great deal of experience in Pmod lower speed FPGA standards has now entered the open-source, SYZYGY high-speed standards with its Eclypse Z7 and the Genesys ZU development SBCs.

We reported on the Zybo development board FPGA SoC from Digilent and that seems to have lead to the latest format for the Eclypse Z7.

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AMD Navi 22 and Navi 23 Show Up In Linux Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

References to Navi 22 and Navi 23 silicon have been spotted inside a Linux driver by a 3DCenter forum veteran known as Berniyh (you can find them here and here). Could these be the high-end Navi parts Lisa Su was referring to in August?

Nvidia has been sitting peacefully alone in the premium graphics card market. Although AMD has already launched its Navi-based graphics cards (AMD Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT) the chipmaker still doesn't have an answer for Nvidia's high-end offerings, such as the GeForce RTX 2080 Super or RTX 2080 Ti. Berniyh's discovery doesn't mean big Navi is landing tomorrow, but it is coming.

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Kernel and Graphics: Vulkan, NVIDIA Memory Compaction and Intel DRM Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • vkBasalt CAS Vulkan Layer Adds FXAA Support

    The open-source vkBasalt project is the independent effort implementing AMD Radeon Image Sharpening / Contrast Adaptive Sharpening technique as a Vulkan post-processing layer that can be used regardless of the (Vulkan-powered) game. With vkBasalt 0.1 also now comes the ability to apply FXAA.

    Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA) is the latest feature of vkBasalt besides the contrast adaptive sharpening. However, for the v0.1 release, CAS and FXAA cannot both be enabled at the same time. It's on the project TODO list for being able to enable both FXAA and CAS in a future release. Like the existing CAS support, the anti-aliasing technique can be used for any Vulkan game thanks to this being implemented as a post-processing layer for this graphics API.

  • mm: Proactive compaction
    For some applications we need to allocate almost all memory as
    hugepages. However, on a running system, higher order allocations can
    fail if the memory is fragmented. Linux kernel currently does on-demand
    compaction as we request more hugepages but this style of compaction
    incurs very high latency. Experiments with one-time full memory
    compaction (followed by hugepage allocations) shows that kernel is able
    to restore a highly fragmented memory state to a fairly compacted memory
    state within <1 sec for a 32G system. Such data suggests that a more
    proactive compaction can help us allocate a large fraction of memory as
    hugepages keeping allocation latencies low.
    
    For a more proactive compaction, the approach taken here is to define
    per page-node tunable called ‘hpage_compaction_effort’ which dictates
    bounds for external fragmentation for HPAGE_PMD_ORDER pages which
    kcompactd should try to maintain.
    
    The tunable is exposed through sysfs:
      /sys/kernel/mm/compaction/node-n/hpage_compaction_effort
    
    The value of this tunable is used to determine low and high thresholds
    for external fragmentation wrt HPAGE_PMD_ORDER order.
    
    Note that previous version of this patch [1] was found to introduce too
    many tunables (per-order, extfrag_{low, high}) but this one reduces them
    to just (per-node, hpage_compaction_effort). Also, the new tunable is an
    opaque value instead of asking for specific bounds of “external
    fragmentation” which would have been difficult to estimate. The internal
    interpretation of this opaque value allows for future fine-tuning.
    
    Currently, we use a simple translation from this tunable to [low, high]
    extfrag thresholds (low=100-hpage_compaction_effort, high=low+10%). To
    periodically check per-node extfrag status, we reuse per-node kcompactd
    threads which are woken up every few milliseconds to check the same. If
    any zone on its corresponding node has extfrag above the high threshold
    for the HPAGE_PMD_ORDER order, the thread starts compaction in
    background till all zones are below the low extfrag level for this
    order. By default. By default, the tunable is set to 0 (=> low=100%,
    high=100%).
    
    This patch is largely based on ideas from Michal Hocko posted here:
    https://lore.kernel.org/linux-mm/20161230131412.GI13301@dhcp22.suse.cz/
    
    * Performance data
    
    System: x64_64, 32G RAM, 12-cores.
    
    I made a small driver that allocates as many hugepages as possible and
    measures allocation latency:
    
    The driver first tries to allocate hugepage using GFP_TRANSHUGE_LIGHT
    and if that fails, tries to allocate with `GFP_TRANSHUGE |
    __GFP_RETRY_MAYFAIL`. The drives stops when both methods fail for a
    hugepage allocation.
    
    Before starting the driver, the system was fragmented from a userspace
    program that allocates all memory and then for each 2M aligned section,
    frees 3/4 of base pages using munmap. The workload is mainly anonymous
    userspace pages which are easy to move around. I intentionally avoided
    unmovable pages in this test to see how much latency we incur just by
    hitting the slow path for most allocations.
    
  • NVIDIA Engineer Continues Working On Proactive Memory Compaction For Linux

    NVIDIA's Nitin Gupta continues working on proactive compaction for the Linux kernel's memory management code.

    This proactive compaction is designed to avoid the high latency introduced right now when the Linux kernel does on-demand compaction when an application needs a lot of hugepages. With this proactive compaction, a large number of hugepages can be requested while avoiding high latencies.

  • Intel Submits Last Bits For Linux 5.5 DRM Driver - Includes More TGL/Gen12, Discrete Bit

    Intel's open-source crew has submitted the last of their feature updates to their "i915" Direct Rendering Manager graphics driver for staging in DRM-Next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.5 kernel cycle.

    In the previous weeks they've been bringing up a lot of their Tiger Lake / Gen12 graphics code as the dominating theme for the Linux 5.5 kernel. There has also been Jasper Lake support, Xe multi-GPU prepping, and their other routine code clean-ups and driver improvements. Out this morning is the last of their feature work targeting Linux 5.5.

Kernel: Systemd Logo, VirtualBox Guest Shared Folder Support Coming to Mainline Linux Kernel, Intel's ANV Vulkan Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Systemd Has A New Logo As Other Features Build Up For The Next Release

    The newest feature of systemd is... a new logo.

    At the end of September the quiet FreeDesktop.org Wiki was updated pointing to a new logo. As of Wednesday, the GitHub README was also updated with this new logo as well.

  • VirtualBox Guest Shared Folder Support Coming To The Mainline Linux Kernel

    The mainline Linux kernel continues to see better support for Oracle VM VirtualBox with more of the guest drivers reaching the mainline kernel to provide a vastly better out-of-the-box experience.

    Red Hat's Hans de Goede has been working to nurse many of the open-source VirtualBox drivers into the mainline kernel. The most recent is getting the "VBOXSF" driver queued into Greg KH's staging-linus branch. With it hitting the staging-linus branch overnight rather than staging-next, it's likely this VirtualBox VBOXSF driver is going to be sent in shortly as a fix/addition for the Linux 5.4 kernel cycle since there is little risk of regression.

  • Intel's ANV Vulkan Driver Overhauls Its Buffer Allocation Code

    With Mesa 19.3 having been branched yesterday, hitting Git master today as an early change for Mesa 20.0 is an overhaul to the Intel "ANV" open-source Vulkan driver's buffer object (BO) allocation code.

    The set of patches by Jason Ekstrand, one of Intel's original ANV Vulkan driver developers, changes their allocation code around so that now everything is allocated from the buffer object cache. With this fundamental change all allocations are within a single sparse array struct. This change ensures relocation updates can't crash, moving from a hash set to sparse array for buffer object tracking should be much faster ("this will be much more performant," says Jason), allows a lock in their softpin code to be removed, and is a code clean-up itself. With this change the Intel Vulkan driver is also zeroing out buffers on release to ensure the memory is cleared.

Vulkan Releases Unified Samples Repository

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Vulkan Releases Unified Samples Repository

    Today, The Khronos® Group releases the Vulkan ® Unified Samples Repository, a new central location where anyone can access Khronos-reviewed, high-quality Vulkan code samples in order to make development easier and more streamlined for all abilities. Khronos and its members, in collaboration with external contributors, created the Vulkan Unified Samples Project in response to user demand for more accessible resources and best practices for developing with Vulkan. Within Khronos, the Vulkan Working Group discovered that there were many useful and high-quality samples available already (both from members and external contributors), but they were not all in one central location. Additionally, there was no top-level review of all the samples for interoperability or compatibility. This new repository project was created to solve this challenge by putting resources in one place, ensuring samples are reviewed and maintained by Khronos. They are then organized into a central library available for developers of all abilities to use, learn from, and gain ideas.

  • The Khronos Group has launched a unified samples repository for Vulkan learning

    Today, The Khronos Group announced their newest Vulkan initiative with the Unified Samples Repository. A new place to find what they say are high-quality Vulkan code samples reviewed by their team.

    Made in response to user demand, to have an accessible place to learn Vulkan with working samples hopefully this might help increase adoption of the open graphics API. It's a big collaboration between Khronos, AMD, Arm, NVIDIA, Samsung, Sascha Willems and more.

  • Khronos Launches An Official Collection Of Vulkan Samples

    The Khronos Group has launched the Vulkan Unified Samples Repository, a Git repository on GitHub for Khronos-reviewed, high-quality Vulkan code samples.

    The Vulkan Unified Samples Repository aims to make it easier for new and existing Vulkan developers to dive into quality, open-source code samples.

Fedora 31 Performance Is Still Sliding In The Wrong Direction - Benchmarks Against Ubuntu 19.10 + Clear Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The performance of Fedora 30 on multiple systems has generally been coming up short compared to the likes of Ubuntu, Clear Linux, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. With this week's release of Fedora 31 I was hopeful that the performance would be more competitive to other prominent Linux distributions, but sadly that doesn't appear to be the case. Here are some initial benchmarks of Fedora Workstation 31 compared to Fedora Workstation 30, Clear Linux 31450, and Ubuntu 19.10.

The performance of Fedora on recent releases has frankly not been too impressive. While Red Hat has been doing a lot to add more features to the Linux desktop and other new functionality throughout the stack, performance has seemingly not been a major focus for them in recent times. On many different AMD and Intel systems, the performance of Fedora has generally lagged behind the likes of Ubuntu, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Debian Buster. Of course, also behind Intel's Clear Linux that tends to be the gold standard for x86_64 Linux performance.

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Mesa Graphics News

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mesa 19.3 Has The Very Preliminary OpenGL + Vulkan Driver Support Ready For Intel Gen12

    Similar to the flurry of Radeon driver activity in buttoning things up ahead of the Mesa 19.3 feature freeze, the Intel open-source crew has landed some last-minute bits around the Tiger Lake "Gen 12" enablement.

    In recent months there has been a lot of Intel Tiger Lake / Gen12 Linux enablement activity. On the kernel side Linux 5.4 has the initial bits to be evolved over the coming cycles. Meanwhile over in user-space the initial "Iris" OpenGL and "ANV" Vulkan driver support is in place for Mesa 19.3.

  • Mesa 19.3-RC1 Released With OpenGL 4.6 For Intel, Many Vulkan Driver Improvements

    Mesa 19.3 feature development is now officially over and Mesa 20.0 is open for development on Git master. This final Mesa series of 2019 comes with many exciting OpenGL and Vulkan drivers.

    One of the key improvements with Mesa 19.3 is that Intel's OpenGL i965/Iris drivers now supports OpenGL 4.6! Thanks to the SPIR-V ingestion support finally landing, the Intel open-source Linux graphics driver finally has OpenGL 4.6 capabilities in full. AMD has also been working towards RadeonSI OpenGL 4.6 support but with that also transitioning them to NIR it's been a long-time coming and hasn't materialized for Mesa's final 2019 release.

  • mesa 19.3.0-rc1
    Hi List,
    
    I'd like to announce the availability of 19.3.0-rc1 and the beginning of the
    19.3.0 release cycle. Despite the short release cycle we've got plenty of good
    things in store for you. Among them the OpenGL 4.6, initial Intel gen12 support,
    lots of new Vulkan extensions, and meson support for windows.
    
    Expect a new RC each Wednesday for the next few weeks until the release tracker
    is cleared. You can see the tracker here:
    https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/milestones/5. Please be sure to add
    any issues to that tracker that block the release.
    
    Dylan
    
    
    New Features
    ============
    
    GL_ARB_gl_spirv on i965, iris.
    GL_ARB_spirv_extensions on i965, iris.
    GL_EXT_demote_to_helper_invocation on iris, i965.
    OpenGL 4.6 on i965, iris.
    EGL_EXT_image_flush_external
    VK_ANDROID_external_memory_android_hardware_buffer on RADV.
    VK_KHR_shader_clock on Intel, RADV.
    VK_KHR_shader_float_controls on Intel, RADV.
    VK_KHR_spirv_1_4 on Intel, RADV.
    VK_KHR_timeline_semaphore on RADV.
    VK_KHR_vulkan_memory_model on Intel.
    VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_ballot on Intel.
    VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_vote on Intel.
    VK_EXT_texel_buffer_alignment on RADV.
    VK_INTEL_performance_query on Intel.
    Meson support for windows using MSVC and MinGW
    scons has been deprecated for non windows
    Initial Intel gen12 (Tigerlake) support on anvil and iris
    
    
    git tag: mesa-19.3.0-rc1
    
  • Radeon Open-Source Linux Graphics Have A Wild Day For Mesa 19.3 From 8K Decode To ACO

    With Mesa 19.3 scheduled to be branched today and that marking the end of feature development for this next quarterly installment to these open-source Linux OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, developers are in a mad rush landing last minute improvements. The open-source Radeon driver support has a lot to stand in particular from today's work.

Intel Core i9 9900KS Linux Performance Benchmarks Review

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Today the Intel Core i9 9900KS is shipping at $513 USD for this specially-binned Coffeelake CPU that is capable of achieving a 5.0GHz all-core turbo frequency. The all-core 5.0GHz turbo is great, but it remains an eight-core / sixteen-thread 14nm processor going up against AMD's similarly priced Ryzen 9 3900X. Here are our initial benchmarks of the Core i9 9900KS compared to the Core i9 9900K and Ryzen 9 3900X.

The Intel Core i9 9900KS 8c/16t CPU features a 4.0GHz base frequency with 5.0GHz turbo frequency that can be sustained across all cores. The Core i9 9900KS does carry a 127 Watt TDP compared to 95 Watts with the i9-9900K, which has a lower base frequency of 3.6GHz and its 5.0GHz turbo rating is only for a single core. The price of the i9-9900KS is launching at $513 USD while the i9-9900K is now priced at around $449. The rest of the specifications align between the year-old Core i9 9900K and the new Core i9 9900KS.

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Graphics: Mesa and NVIDIA's Latest

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • A Lot More Intel Tiger Lake / Gen12 Xe Graphics Code Merged To Mesa 19.3

    With Mesa 19.3 embarking on its feature freeze this week unless the period is extended, Intel developers have been working on landing more of their Gen12 graphics code into this release for future Tiger Lake CPUs as well as the basis for their first Xe discrete graphics card.

    For Mesa 19.3 is a lot of Intel's Gen13 graphics code bring-up to go along with their changes coming for Linux 5.5. For both kernel and user-space, it will likely be a few more releases each before the Gen12 graphics support is squared away, which should be fine since the first Xe graphics card isn't expected until H2'2020 and the same goes for the Tiger Lake CPUs with Gen12 graphics.

  • Mesa 19.3 Adds Support For New AMDGPU Reset Interface

    AMD open-source developer Marek Olšák is landing the last of his changes for the Mesa 19.3 imminent feature freeze.

    Among the changes merged overnight were for initializing shader compilers in threads on-demand as what appears to mostly benefit Piglit when spinning up its many shaders for testing. Mesa 19.3 has also updated the AMDGPU winsys code to support the new AMDGPU reset interface plumbed through the kernel and Mesa DRM library (libdrm).

  • NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER + GTX 1660 SUPER

    After weeks of information leaking on these new ~$200 GTX SUPER graphics cards, NVIDIA today officially announced the GTX 1660 SUPER that is shipping today and the GTX 1650 SUPER that will hit store shelves in late November.

    The NVIDIA GTX 1660 SUPER is being marketed as 1.5x faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 for popular Windows games. The GTX 1660 SUPER features 15 Gbps GDDR6 video memory and the Turing upgrade over Pascal provides a significant performance uplift. The GTX 1660 SUPER will begin shipping today starting at $229 USD.

  • NVIDIA Launches Upgraded Shield TV with Tegra X1+ Processor

AMD Linux Graphics Driver Prepping "DMCUB" Support For Renoir APUs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While we have seen a lot of open-source AMD Linux graphics driver patches for Renoir and that initial support within the 5.4 kernel, support for this 2020 APU platform is still maturing. The newest work on the Linux upbringing for Renoir is enabling the "DMCUB" support.

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Also: Intel Core i9 9900KS Linux Benchmarks Are Coming

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