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Graphics/Benchmarks

Kernel: Linux 5.4 and Intel Work

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • F2FS Will Have Faster Case-Insensitive Lookups With Linux 5.4

    F2FS has done a good job following EXT4 that spearheaded this modern case-insensitive directory/file feature that's optional and opt-in on a per directory basis. Like with F2FS' other following of EXT4 around this feature, it's now ported the look-up optimization from 5.3 to its driver. On the EXT4 side it has resulted in around 30% faster look-ups on large directories by introducing a temporary cache to avoid repeated case-folding.

  • How Intel's Clear Linux Team Cut The Kernel Boot Time From 3 Seconds To 300 ms

    Intel engineer Feng Tang spoke at this week's Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon, Portugal on how the Clear Linux team managed to boot their kernel faster. They started out with around a three second kernel boot time but cut it down to just 300 ms.

    Among the optimizations carried out to really speed-up their boot time were ensuring more asynchronous driver probing, only initializing a small amount of RAM at start and then after booted hot-plug the rest of it in parallel via systemd, optimized root file-system mounting, disabling unnecessary kernel modules, and similar approaches.

  • Intel's Gallium3D Linux Driver Now Exposes OpenGL 4.6

    But unlike the i965 driver with OpenGL 4.6 support back-ported to Mesa 19.2, for the Intel Gallium3D driver it isn't marked for back-porting so is likely a feature for next quarter's Mesa 19.3 with that being the version in development on Git master. The Intel Gallium3D support comes after all the heavy-lifting done for getting the SPIR-V extensions in place for the common Intel graphics code over the past two years. This Intel Gallium3D driver is now the second in Mesa supporting GL 4.6 and the first Gallium3D driver to do so.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Benchmarks On 11 Linux Distributions

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Now that BIOS updates over the past month have resolved the early boot issue with Ryzen 3000 processors and thus the new AMD CPUs playing nicely with modern Linux distributions, here is the long-awaited benchmark comparison of the Ryzen 9 3900X + X570 system benchmarked across an array of different Linux distributions... In fact, 11 Linux OS releases in total were tested on this high-end 12-core / 24-thread desktop processor.

Last week was a look at eight Linux distributions on the AMD EPYC 7742 2P server while this is the desktop equivalent and pulling in more distributions given the more diverse Linux desktop ecosystem. The Ryzen 9 3900X was running at stock speeds on the ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard with 2TB Corsair Force MP600 PCIe 4.9 NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 560 graphics (not the focus of today's tests).

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AMD Ryzen 5 3600X & Ryzen 5 3400G Performance In Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

When we decided to tackle this article, we didn’t expect it to require as much follow-up testing as it had. In fact, we had considered this article to be a “quick one”, which seems laughable, looking back. Nonetheless, that’s the way testing goes sometimes, and it at least keeps the thermal paste gods pleased.

As we saw with the 3700X over the 2700X, the 3600X exhibits some huge performance gains over the 2600X in some cases. We usually expect a certain level of advancement from one generation to the next, but AMD has really impressed us with its Zen 2 architecture. Some improvements might be 8%, but some others could be as high as 40%. All of that extra cache sure doesn’t hurt.

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AMD/Intel Linux Graphics and Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Another Navi 14 Workstation GPU Patch Turns Up For "Pro-XLM"

    Yesterday we reported on two Navi 14 device IDs being added for "workstation SKUs" while today a third has appeared.

    Yesterday were 0x7341 and 0x7347 being added for the AMDGPU driver as Navi 14 parts and the patch message acknowledging they are for workstation parts. To date AMD has not announced any Navi-based workstation products. The Navi 14 GPU is widely believed to be a low-end GPU akin to a Polaris successor and competing with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1600 Turing series. This is while AMD continues to evolve Vega for workstation/compute purposes too.

  • Intel's Gallium3D Driver Gains Optimization For Helping With Java OpenGL Performance

    In our recent Mesa 19.2 benchmarks of Intel's old and new (Gallium3D) OpenGL Linux drivers one of the rare areas where the new "Iris" driver performed behind the classic driver was with "j2dbench" that stresses the Java OpenGL pipeline. At the time it was unknown why the new driver was performing subpar for this Java graphics test, but now at least there's one optimization so far in addressing that shortcoming.

  • AMD Linux Improvements Pending Around FreeSync Low Frame Rate Compensation

    Sadly too late for the upcoming Linux 5.4 merge window, but for Linux 5.5 it looks like there will be a FreeSync improvement around low-frame-rate compensation.

    Sent out this morning were 25 new AMDGPU DC patches. Of these "display core" patches, there are various fixes and continued work on the Adaptive Backlight Management (ABM) but exciting us the most is the FreeSync work.

  • The Intel SVT-VP9 Performance Boost Across 10 Intel/AMD Systems

    As a follow-up from this weekend's article about Intel's SVT-VP9 video encoder running much faster on AVX2 CPUs from both Intel and AMD, here are the results now before/after for ten different systems with this open-source CPU-based VP9 video encoder.

Graphics: AMD and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Begins Posting "Dali" APU Linux Graphics Driver Patches

    In addition to AMD's open-source Linux driver developers being busy in recent weeks bringing up the Renoir APU support, today we've seen the first baby steps towards bringing up "Dali" as another upcoming AMD APU.

    The Dali codename has been known for a few months now and has been expected to be a value/mobile APU to launch in 2020. Dali is expected in more budget devices while Renoir should carry better performance up the stack.

  • Vega-Based Renoir APU Has The Same VCN Video Encode/Decode Block As Navi

    The next-generation AMD "Renoir" APU is turning into being an interesting successor over the existing Picasso APUs. While at first it was a letdown finding out that the APU is based on Vega and not their newer Navi architecture, follow-on open-source Linux patches have continued to show that it's more than a facsimile and in some areas like display and multimedia has blocks in common with Navi.

    It's been interesting to watch the Renoir APU Linux driver support form since the initial patches last month and more code continues to come out almost weekly for getting this initial support into shape for the Linux 5.4 kernel.

  • Vulkan 1.1.122 Brings Extension Documenting Proprietary Imagination Tech Bits

    The VK_IMG_format_pvrtc Vulkan extension has been around but not publicly document. This extension exposes additional texture compression features specific to Imagination PowerVR texture compression formats (PVRTC). There had been this two year old issue report over the VK_IMG_format_pvrtc extension not being public and they had been unable to provide the documentation over legal grounds. Earlier this year Imagination did provide a PVRTC texture compression user guide and now with Vulkan 1.1.122 they have finally documented this extension. The extension documentation is basically pointing out a number of different enums.

Graphics: Intel, AMDGPU, Gthree

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel To Try Flipping IOMMU On By Default For Linux Graphics

    Longtime Intel open-source graphics driver developer Chris Wilson today sent out a set of patches attempting to enable IOMMU coverage for graphics by default.

    With the exception of the Broadwell generation of graphics, at this point he believes there is little fallout from turning on IOMMU for their graphics by default. One of the benefits to flipping on IOMMU is that instead of memory corruption that might not be detected, there will be a DMAR fault that is reported and can be tracked via their CI infrastructure, etc.

  • Navi 14 Will Work Its Way Into A Workstation Graphics Card

    When it comes to Navi graphics processors in workstation cards, there's now confirmation of at least one coming with the "Navi 14" GPU.

    A patch adding a new Navi 14 PCI ID to the AMDGPU Linux kernel DRM driver is for a "workstation SKU" mentioned in the patch message. Details beyond that clear confirmation of Navi 14 for a workstation model aren't known. There are two "workstation" Navi 14 PCI IDs added of 0x7341 and 0x7347.

    We've seen the various driver bits of Navi 14 getting ready but this is the first time we've seen Navi 14 brought up in the context of workstation parts. We're also starting to see some SRIOV bits for Navi as likely further feature work with workstation in mind.

  • Gthree – ready to play

    Today I made a new release of Gthree, version 0.2.0.

    Newly added in this release is support for Raycaster, which is important if you’re making interactive 3D applications. For example, it’s used if you want clicks on the window to pick a 3D object from the scene. See the interactive demo for an example of this.

Kernel: Linux 5.3 and Intel's Open-Source VP9 Video Encoder

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Linux 5.3 Is Near With Radeon RX 5700 Support, Speed Select & MBP Keyboard/Trackpad

    The Linux 5.3 kernel is fit enough to be released today after another quiet week following 5.3-RC7. But due to the Linux Kernel Summit happening this week and Linus Torvalds traveling for that, he's expected to delay the stable kernel release until next weekend so as to not open the Linux 5.4 merge window until he returns from the event.

  • Intel's Open-Source VP9 Video Encoder Just Scored A Massive ~3x Performance Boost

    Intel's open-source team continues showing the power of optimizations... Or rather in this case, a three fold performance improvement due to previously limiting an AVX-512 routine that also works on AVX-2 CPUs. SVT-VP9 is now a lot faster on AVX2 CPUs from both Intel and AMD. 

    We were alerted today to this change to Intel's SVT-VP9 video encoder. Oddly enough the title is "Fix the perf gap for Epyc CPU" And, yes, the fix was contributed by an Intel developer. 

PHP 7.4-RC1 Released With The Performance Looking Real Good - PHP 7.4 Benchmarks

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

PHP 7.4-RC1 was released this week as this next annual update to the PHP programming implementation nears. Here is a look at how the PHP 7.4-RC1 performance looks like compared to the major releases going back to PHP 5.6.

PHP 7.4-RC1 fixes a variety of bugs ranging from parsing errors to a segmentation fault to other core bugs. There are no new features with PHP 7.4 having been under its feature freeze since July. At least five more release candidates to PHP 7.4 are expected before its general availability release around the end of November.

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8-Way Linux Distribution Benchmarks On The AMD EPYC 7742 2P Server

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Graphics/Benchmarks

A few days ago I provided some benchmarks showing how running Intel's open-source Clear Linux on AMD EPYC Rome can provide some significant speed-ups over Ubuntu Linux, but how do other Linux distributions compare on AMD's new Zen 2 server processors? Here is an eight-way benchmark comparison on the AMD EPYC 7742 2P Daytona server with its 128 cores / 256 threads.

The dual AMD EPYC 7742 server was equipped with 512GB of RAM and using an Intel Optane 900p NVMe solid-state drive for storage throughout. The tested Linux distributions were Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 19.04, Ubuntu 19.10 daily (4 September 2019), openSUSE Leap 15.1 derived from SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, Fedora 30, Clear Linux 30940, and Debian 10.0.

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NVIDIA Graphics: DXVK and NVIDIA Optimus GPU

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA has a new Vulkan Beta driver which may fix multiple titles with DXVK and Steam Play

    It seems the NVIDIA driver has had a few issues lately with multiple titles played with DXVK and Steam Play, so they've put out a new Vulkan Beta driver in need of some testing.

  • NVIDIA 435.19.03 Vulkan Linux Driver Brings DXVK Fixes

    NVIDIA on Friday released their 435.19.03 Vulkan beta driver as their newest Linux driver update. This Vulkan beta doesn't come with any new extensions this go around but does have some DXVK fixes for helping Linux gamers.

    Headlining the NVIDIA 435.19.03 Linux beta are corruption fixes for DXVK D3D11-over-Vulkan game titles like Saints Row IV and Saints Row: The Third. It's also possible other DXVK titles are helped out as well.

  • If you need help managing NVIDIA Optimus check out this little tool

    Canonical developer Martin Wimpress shared an update to their handy NVIDIA Optimus GPU switcher, might be worth a look if you're in need of something to make it easier.

    MATE Optimus was updated recently with 19.10.1, which adds support for the new NVIDIA PRIME render offload feature added in the 435.17 beta driver release and now the 435.21 stable driver.

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