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Graphics/Benchmarks

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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Graphics Leftovers

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • QEMU's Assortment Of Virtual VGA/GPU Options & What To Pick For Desktop Virtualization

    The virtual GPU/display landscape particularly for having accelerated guest graphics was once non-existent and then suffering for the open-source Linux virtualization stack around QEMU, but that is no longer the case. There are options these days to rival the GPU/display offerings of VirtualBox and VMware albeit to newcomers may not be so clear.

    Longtime QEMU/virtualization developer Gerd Hoffmann has written a blog post outlining the VGA/display devices for QEMU and the recommended options. The options he covers at length include the standard VGA device, Bochs display device, VirtIO VGA, VirtIO GPU, Vhost-user VirtIO GPU, QXL VGA, QXL, Cirrua VGA, ATI VGA, and RAMFB.

  • Intel's Inaugural Release Of OpenVKL Ties Into Their Promising oneAPI Rendering Toolkit

    While announced some months ago, today in-step with the OSPray 2.0 Alpha ray-tracing release is the inaugural development release of the Open Volume Kernel Library (OpenVKL).

    Intel's Open Volume Kernel Library is a set of volume computation kernels optimized for AVX/AVX2/AVX-512 and leverages their SPMD Program Compiler. OpenVKL ties into Intel's other open-source render components like OSPray for what will form their oneAPI rendering tool-kit. We're now in Q4 and that is when the beta release of Intel's oneAPI is expected.

  • LuxCoreRender 2.2 Released With Intel Open Image Denoise Yields Faster Render Times

    LuxCoreRender, the open-source physically based renderer for execution on CPUs as well as OpenCL accelerators / GPUs, is out with version 2.2 and now integrates Intel's open-source Open Image Denoise.

    LuxCoreRender already made use of Intel's Embree library (as happened to be covered this morning with benchmark results in The Xeon vs. EPYC Performance With Intel's oneAPI Embree & OSPray Render Projects) while now they have also pulled in Intel's Open Image Denoise.

  • Unofficial Radeon ROCm Packages Re-Enable APU Support

    Over a year ago the AMD APU support in the Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) stack was quietly removed and has yet to be re-enabled in the upstream ROCm packages. But should you be wanting to use ROCm for their compute APIs or OpenCL on APUs, unofficial Ubuntu packages are now available to provide this capability.

    Engineering firm Bruhnpace AB has resorted to providing their own ROCm packages for Ubuntu 18.04 with AMD APU support enabled to make up for AMD's lack of official packages handling APUs in the different ROCm libraries. The repository doesn't provide its own rocm-dkms package but rather recommends users run the latest upstream kernels for the AMDKFD kernel driver support.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0.1 Available Along With Several New/Updated Test Profiles

    As a minor update following last month's Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 release, version 9.0.1 is now available and also for all PTS users are a number of new/updated test profiles via OpenBenchmarking.org.

AMD Navi 12 Gets 256-bit memory bus according to Linux drivers, Radeon RX 5600 128-bit

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

A lot has been said and spoken already about AMD's upcoming NAVI 12 (RX 5600) and 14 (RX 5500). More information from Linux drivers indicates that AMD Navi 12 gets a 256-bit memory bus and the RX 5600 128-bit, likely GDDR6.

The news arrives today though a user at Germany based 3DCenter forums called Berniyh, he found Navi 12 and Navi 14 in Linux drivers, the two GPUs could end up in the RX 5800 and RX 5600 cards respectively. Navi 12 is mentioned to get a 256-bit memory bus. Navi 14 would, according to previously surfaced drivers, get versions with 3, 4 and 8 GB volume graphics memory but on a 128-bit memory bus.

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Phoronix: IO_uring, Speculative Execution, Encode/Decode Benchmark

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • IO_uring Is More Polished With Linux 5.4

    Added back during the Linux 5.1 cycle was IO_uring for fast and efficient I/O. This new interface allows for queue rings to be shared between the application and kernel to avoid excess copies and other efficiency improvements over the existing Linux AIO code. With Linux 5.4, IO_uring is in even better shape.

    In the months since IO_uring was merged to mainline, we've seen a ton of continued work on it including the likes of a 755x performance improvement. With Linux 5.4, it seems following extensive optimizations by Jens Axboe and others, it's in quite a polished shape.

  • It Turns Out CPU Speculative Execution Can Be Useful For Random Entropy / RNG

    While CPU speculative execution has caused a lot of frustrations over the past two years due to the likes of the Spectre vulnerabilities, it turns out CPU speculative execution can be exploited to be a viable source of random entropy for random number generators.

    Particularly on newer Intel/AMD CPU microarchitectures where speculative execution is much more advanced than hardware from years ago, it's been found that measuring the execution time of loops relying upon speculation is random enough to be a cheap and speedy source of entropy.

    [...]

    Linus Torvalds commented and he believes that this is not very reliable and a simple jitter entropy implementation. But he did post his own proof-of-concept code for improving the jitter entropy code based upon this.

  • Fresh Video Encode/Decode Benchmark Numbers For Xeon Platinum 8280 vs. EPYC 7742

    Given recent updates to the Intel Scalable Video Technology (SVT) open-source video encoders as well as other open-source video encoders/decoders, here is a fresh look at the performance of the AMD EPYC 7742 2P server against the Intel competition with the dual Xeon Platinum 8280.

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