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Graphics/Benchmarks

An Early Look At The Linux 4.16 Kernel Performance With AMD EPYC

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Graphics/Benchmarks

A few days back I provided some fresh Linux 4.16 kernel benchmarks compared to recent stable kernel releases while also toggling the KPTI and Retpoline security features on Linux 4.16 Git for seeing the impact of the Spectre and Meltdown mitigation techniques on this latest kernel while using Intel Xeon hardware. For this latest round of tests is a similar comparison while using an AMD EPYC system.

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Graphics: DXVK, AMD, Nouveau and More

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • DXVK 0.31 Released With Tessellation Work, NVIDIA Fixes

    The DXVK project that has been making significant progress the past several months in getting Direct3D accelerated via Vulkan for Wine gamers now has a new release available.

  • AMD's Vulkan Memory Allocator Nears Version 2.0

    Last year AMD's GPUOpen group posted the Vulkan Memory Allocator while coming soon is version 2.0 of this code-base.

    The GPUOpen Vulkan Memory Allocator is an easy-to-use memory allocation library that tries to rid your Vulkan code-base of the necessary boilerplate code for memory setup and other routine tasks under Vulkan while making the memory easier to manage across drivers, handle out-of-memory conditions, and is cross-platform. Version 1.0 was out last year but v2.0 appears to be quickly approaching with their current Git activity referencing 2.0 alpha versions.

  • Compute Support Is Moving Along For Nouveau

    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat at the end of 2017 continues working on Nouveau compute support along with fellow hat-wearing open-source graphics driver developer Rob Clark.

    Karol was initially working on NIR support for Nouveau as part of this effort for getting OpenCL compute going atop this reverse-engineered, open-source NVIDIA driver by taking advantage of existing SPIR-V to NIR support. That NIR intermediate representation support has been getting into shape while a separate effort is also working on SPIR-V support for Clover.

  • AMDGPU Has More WattMan Improvements & Power Profiling For Linux 4.17

    More new material has been submitted to DRM-Next for AMDGPU feature improvements in Linux 4.17.

    At the end of February was the first batch of AMDGPU updates for Linux 4.17 that included initial WattMan support, gamma / color management work for DC, various other AMDGPU DC display improvements, and other alterations.

  • With Vulkan 1.1 It's Technically Possible To Write A Pure Wayland Compositor

    With Vulkan 1.1 it should be technically possible to write a driver/vendor-agnostic Wayland compositor using Vulkan thanks to the new core extensions.

    Going back two years has been feature request #294 about Wayland compositor-side extensions for Vulkan for basically trying to write a Vulkan compositor back-end. That feature request was closed today as with Vulkan 1.1 it's technically possible, but we have yet to see anyone attempt this feat.

Bringing Open-Source, Automated Benchmarks To Windows 10 / Windows Server 2016

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Moving forward the Phoronix Test Suite will be offering Microsoft Windows support that's at near feature parity to the automated, reproducible, open-source benchmarking support we have offered the past decade for Linux as well as BSD, macOS, and Solaris platforms. This is brand new, rewritten Windows support with a focus on Windows 10 x64 and Windows Server 2016.

Back around the Windows 7 days I did the basic port of the Phoronix Test Suite to Win 7 x64 but it wasn't anywhere close to parity with the software when running on Linux or even BSD/Solaris/macOS, but was basically a hobby port. I would use it when wanting to run a few OpenGL Windows vs. Linux gaming benchmarks or so, but it only offered a handful of these basic OpenGL test profiles, the hardware/software detection was quite basic, and there were many other features not available compared to when running the Phoronix Test Suite on other supported operating systems.

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Graphics: Vulkan 1.1, SteamVR, XWayland

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Vulkan 1.1 Support Lands In Mesa Git For RADV, ANV

    Waking up this morning and preparing for Vulkan 1.1 I wasn't too sure what to expect from the open-source drivers and certainly wouldn't have envisioned in my wildest dreams that by the time of going to sleep there would be initial support merged into Mesa Git on launch-day for a major graphics API update... But open-source developers have achieved just that today.

  • radv - Vulkan 1.1 conformant on launch day

    Vulkan 1.1 was officially released today, and thanks to a big effort by Bas and a lot of shared work from the Intel anv developers, radv is a launch day conformant implementation.

  • RADV Achieves Same-Day Conformance For Vulkan 1.1

    Today's Vulkan 1.1 release is met by brilliant Linux driver support across the board. Not only is there the NVIDIA Linux driver update we have come to expect but this launch has been met by on-time open-source driver support with the AMDVLK driver and Intel ANV Vulkan driver too having day-one support in source form. But that's not all as Bas and Dave have managed to get day-one conformance too with RADV.

  • SteamVR beta updated to fix a radv OpenGL crash and 'fixes' Vive Pro on Linux

    A small SteamVR beta is out that fixes an OpenGL crash with the AMD radv drivers and it also fixes support for the Vive Pro on Linux.

  • EGLStreams For XWayland Gets Updated

    While we are past the first release candidate on the X.Org Server 1.20 release, one of the patch series still being wrangled for this update by release manager Adam Jackson is EGLStreams support for XWayland, benefiting the NVIDIA Linux driver.

    Published in early February was the initial patches for EGLStreams on XWayland by Lyude Paul of Red Hat. Adam Jackson, also of Red Hat, has now sent out the second revision of these patches that would allow the NVIDIA proprietary Linux driver to support X11 applications on Wayland via XWayland with this functionality.

Vulkan 1.1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Publishes 56 Patches For Conformant Vulkan 1.1 Support With ANV Driver

    Intel has joined the party with NVIDIA and AMD in offering launch-day Linux driver support for the big new Vulkan 1.1 update available today from The Khronos Group.

  • AMDVLK Open-Source Radeon Driver Arrives With Vulkan 1.1 Support

    When writing about the big Vulkan 1.1 release a few days ago I was wondering myself whether the official AMDVLK Vulkan driver or RADV Mesa-based Vulkan driver would be first to the table with Vulkan 1.1 patches... It turns out AMDVLK won this round, at least by a small measure of time.

    The AMD developers working on this official Vulkan Linux driver that's also part of the AMDGPU-PRO driver have just uploaded their revised code for supporting Vulkan 1.1. With around 13,000 lines of new code, they have enabled Vulkan 1.1 support within their AMDVLK/XGL code-base.

  • Vulkan 1.1 Released As The First Major Update To This Graphics/Compute API

    The Khronos Group has today announced Vulkan 1.1 as the first major update to this high-performance graphics/compute API since the initial Vulkan 1.0 release two years ago. And it's thankfully a hard launch with multiple vendors putting out Vulkan 1.1 conformant drivers today.

  • NVIDIA Releases First Linux Drivers For Vulkan 1.1

    Just as we have been accustomed to seeing over the years with OpenGL and now Vulkan, NVIDIA is first out the door with Windows and Linux drivers for this new graphics API update.

    Vulkan 1.1 is now available today, check out our launch article for all of the details. As mentioned there, multiple vendors have conformant drivers in place but NVIDIA is the first making them available.

  • Khronos Group has released Vulkan API version 1.1 today, new NVIDIA beta driver & AMD driver available

    For those interested, Khronos Group has today announced the release of the Vulkan [Official Site] API version 1.1 and NVIDIA already have a beta driver ready.

Graphics:, xf86-video-ati, DRM, and Open-Source Mali GPU Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • xf86-video-ati 18.0 X.Org Driver Released

    Days after the release of xf86-video-amdgpu 18.0 is now an updated xf86-video-ati / Radeon DDX release for namely the pre-GCN graphics processors.

    The xf86-video-ati 18.0 release is available today that like the AMDGPU DDX driver has also switched over to a year-based versioning scheme. With most attention these days being on GCN Radeon GPUs, there isn't too much to this Radeon DDX driver that ends out its support with the Radeon HD 6000 series, depending upon if GCN 1.0/1.1 support for your kernel is set to AMDGPU yet or not.

  • Aspect Ratio Support Within The Linux Kernel's DRM Code Revised

    Intel open-source developer Ankit Nautiyal has restarted work on adding picture aspect ratio support to the Linux kernel's Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) layer.

    Previous work on adding aspect ratio handling to the DRM subsystem's mode-setting paths and exposing that to user-space had failed and been reverted since it didn't properly deal with user-space applications not supporting the aspect ratio information attached to modes. With these new patches, the new aspect ratio support is hidden behind a capability flag as to not cause problems for existing software.

  • Libdrm 2.4.91 Released With AMDGPU, Android & Freedreno Updates

    Version 2.4.91 of the Mesa DRM library (libdrm) is now available for this component that notably sits between the Linux kernel and various user-space clients like Mesa and the X.Org Server.

  • Work Is Underway On Assembler, Shader Support For Chai Open-Source Mali GPU Driver

    Last month we reported on work resuming with the Mali T700 series open-source GPU driver called Chai. It's continued with the lead developer now working on an Assembler and soon beginning work on shaders.

    Alyssa Rosenzweig who has been working on this open-source Mali T700 driver from where the Lima project left off several years ago continues making progress.

Trying Out The New Intel Open-Source OpenCL NEO Compute Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last month Intel open-sourced a new "NEO" OpenCL driver including an LLVM graphics compiler and its compute runtime supporting OpenCL 2.1. I finally found some time to give this new open-source Intel OpenCL Linux driver a try.

This new Intel OpenCL open-source driver dubbed "NEO" that replaces the Beignet previous open-source OpenCL Linux driver as well as Intel's previous closed-source OpenCL SDK driver is in much better standing. While Beignet hit OpenCL 2.0 support a few months ago, NEO already exposes OpenCL 2.1 and they are on the way with OpenCL 2.2 support. This NEO driver is also cross-platform, introduces a new "GMMLIB" graphics memory management library, and makes use of a new LLVM-based graphics compiler stack. This new Intel stack focuses on Broadwell "Gen 8" graphics hardware support and newer.

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Graphics: X.Org and OpenGL / OpenGL

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • X.Org Server 1.20 Is Now Available For Testing On Fedora

    Adam Jackson of Red Hat who is also the X.Org Server 1.20 release organizer has made available a Copr repository for those wanting to test this near-final X.Org Server and updated DDX drivers on Fedora systems.

    Adam Jackson has posted a rebuild of the X.Org Server and the DDX drivers into a Copr repository of the current state of X.Org Server 1.20, which saw its first release candidate happen last week after more than one year in development.

  • Intel Proposes Blackhole Render Extension For OpenGL / OpenGL ES

    The latest extension proposed for the OpenGL / OpenGL ES registry is INTEL_blackhole_render.

  • XCB & Other X.Org Package Updates Ahead Of X Server 1.20

    Ahead of the imminent release of X.Org Server 1.20, several other X packages are seeing updates.

    Xorgproto was recently updated with the new protocol header additions around non-desktop / leasing for X.Org Server 1.20. Now in starting off the new week is libxcb 1.13 and xcb-proto 1.13. These XCB updates bring support for buffer modifiers and multi-planar buffers through DRI3 v1.2 and Present v1.2. There is also related bits for leasing KMS devices to clients via the RandR 1.6 updates.

Fresh Linux 4.16 Kernel Benchmarks With KPTI & Retpolines

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how the Linux 4.16 kernel is performing with regards to the ongoing work around Spectre and Meltdown mitigation in the kernel, here are some fresh benchmark results.

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AMDGPU: OverDrive and RandR

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Trying Out AMDGPU Overdrive Radeon Overclocking On Linux 4.15

    A premium patron recently requested some fresh tests on Polaris and Vega trying out the AMDGPU OverDrive overclocking functionality on the latest Linux kernel... Here are those tests with a Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64.

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  • RandR Leases Support For AMDGPU DDX Driver

    The xf86-video-modesetting DDX within the X.Org Server 1.20 code-base already has its support wired in for dealing with RandR leases while now Keith Packard has posted the patches for xf86-video-amdgpu.

    With the X.Org Server side bits and the generic modesetting DDX having received their work on RandR leases, non-desktop quirk handling, etc, as part of Keith's work for Valve on improving VR headset support under Linux, he's now posted the patches so xf86-video-amdgpu can deal with the new RandR leasing functionality.

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Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28

  • The state of Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28
    Fedora 28 is around the corner and I wanted to highlight what we did to make the Thunderbolt 3 experience as smooth as possible. Although this post focuses on Fedora 28 for what is currently packaged and shipping, all changes are of course available upstream and should hit other distributions in the future.
  • Thunderbolt 3 Support Is In Great Shape For Fedora 28
    Red Hat developers have managed to deliver on their goals around improving Thunderbolt support on the Linux desktop with the upcoming Fedora 28 distribution update. This has been part of their goal of having secure Thunderbolt support where users can authorize devices and/or restrict access to certain capabilities on a per-device basis, which is part of Red Hat's Bolt project and currently has UI elements for the GNOME desktop.

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Android Leftovers

New Terminal App in Chome OS Hints at Upcoming Support for Linux Applications

According to a Reddit thread, a Chromebook user recently spotted a new Terminal app added to the app drawer when running on the latest Chrome OS Dev channel. Clicking the icon would apparently prompt the user to install the Terminal app, which requires about 200 MB of disk space. The installation prompt notes the fact that the Terminal app can be used to develop on your Chromebook. It also suggests that users will be able to run native apps and command-line tools seamlessly and securely. Considering the fact that Chrome OS is powered by the Linux kernel, this can only mean one thing. Read more