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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Pushes Out CUDA 9.1 With Compiler Optimizations, Volta Enhancements & More

    AMD isn't the only one busy with GPU software updates today but NVIDIA has issued CUDA 9.1 as their first feature update to the CUDA 9 compute platform.

  • Happy Holidays: AMD Finally Pushing Out Open-Source Vulkan Driver

    Ahead of the Vulkan 1.0 debut nearly two years ago, we heard that for AMD's Vulkan Linux driver it was initially going to be closed-source and would then be open-sourced once ready. At the time it sounded like something that would be opened up six months or so, but finally that milestone is being reached! Ahead of Christmas, AMD is publishing the source code to their official Vulkan Linux driver.

  • The Feature Differences Now Between AMD's Two OpenGL & Two Vulkan Linux Drivers

    For modern AMD graphics cards there are two OpenGL drivers and two Vulkan drivers available to Linux users/gamers that support the same modern AMD GPUs, not counting the older AMD Linux drivers, etc. Here's a rundown now on how those drivers compare.

    With AMDGPU-PRO 17.50 now allowing you to mix and match driver components and AMD finally open-sourcing their official Vulkan driver, the scene may be even more confusing about which AMD Linux driver(s) to use depending upon your use-case.

  • AMDGPU-PRO 17.50 Now Bundles Open-Source Components, Lets You Mix & Match Drivers

    There's more Radeon Linux excitement today beyond AMD finally open-sourcing their Vulkan driver. Coming out today is the AMDGPU-PRO 17.50 driver that bundles in the open-source RADV and RadeonSI drivers too, in letting you "mix and match" the driver components you want for your system.

Graphics: AMD, Mesa, VESA and More

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Moving Forward In Their RadeonSI Support For ARB_gl_spirv

    AMD open-source developer Nicolai Hähnle has spent the past few months working on the ARB_gl_spirv extension as mandated by OpenGL 4.6. Some of the prep work for supporting that extension has landed in Mesa 17.4-dev Git.

    ARB_gl_spirv is about bringing SPIR-V support to OpenGL drivers, the IR shared by Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1+. ARB_gl_spirv allows for loading SPIR-V modules into OpenGL programs and allows for GLSL to be a source language in creating SPIR-V modules. This is basically for creating better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan/SPIR-V.

  • Mesa Glthread Gets Adds Another Game, AMDGPU Winsys Gets Performance Workaround

    This week has started off to being another busy time in Mesa Git just ahead of the holidays.

    First up, Mount & Blade: Warband is the latest game to be white-listed by the Mesa glthread functionality for enabling OpenGL threading on this Steam Linux game. Mount & Blade: Warband was actually whitelisted back in July but then disabled a few days later as it turned out not to be working.

  • VESA Rolls Out DisplayHDR As Its Latest Standard

    VESA has rolled out DisplayHDR 1.0 as its newest standard. As implied by the name, the standard is in regards to specifying HDR (High Dynamic Range) quality for displays.

  • VC5 OpenGL & Vulkan Driver Advancing

    Broadcom developer Eric Anholt has offered an update on the state of the VC5 Gallium3D driver for OpenGL support as well as the work being done on the "BCMV" Vulkan driver. Additionally, the VC4 Gallium3D driver for existing Raspberry Pi devices continues to get better.

  • Initial Tessellation Shader Support For RadeonSI NIR

    The RadeonSI Gallium3D driver's NIR back-end is moving one step closer to feature parity with the existing OpenGL capabilities of this AMD GCN graphics driver.

    Timothy Arceri working for Valve has been focusing on the NIR back-end recently for RadeonSI. This NIR intermediate representation handling is being driven in order to add SPIR-V ingestion support to RadeonSI with code sharing for RADV's existing NIR-based infrastructure.

Is PowerTop / TLP Still Useful To Save Power On Linux Laptops?

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This system was running Ubuntu 17.10 and the configurations tested included:

- Ubuntu 17.10 in a "stock" or "out of the box" experience when using its Linux 4.13 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.26.1 with Wayland, and Mesa 17.2.2 atop an EXT4 file-system.

- Upgrading the Ubuntu 17.10 system to Linux 4.15 Git for showing the power consumption when using the very latest kernel cycle.

- This Ubuntu 17.10 + Linux 4.15 system then with Intel PowerTop installed and changing all the tunables to their "good" values for maximum power-savings.

- Installing TLP and using its default power-saving options.

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Linux 4.15 I/O Scheduler Tests: BFQ, CFQ, Kyber

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

With some BFQ performance fixes included as part of Linux 4.15 along with other I/O scheduler work and block improvements for this latest Linux kernel series, here are some fresh benchmarks of the different I/O scheduler options using the Linux 4.15 Git kernel.

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NVIDIA 387.34 vs. Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon OpenGL/Vulkan Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Tested on the Radeon side was the very latest Linux 4.15 Git code as of 6 December, including recent AMDGPU fixes that landed mainline after the 4.15 merge window. The user-space graphics stack was Mesa 17.4-dev built against LLVM 6.0 SVN provided by the Padoka PPA. Fresh AMDGPU-PRO benchmarks will be coming upon the next driver update. The AMD graphics cards tested were the Radeon RX 580, R9 Fury, RX Vega 56, and RX Vega 64.

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Also:

X.Org Server Patches Updated For Non-Desktop & Leases To Better VR HMD Support

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Keith Packard has sent out his latest X.Org Server side patches for the improvements he's been working on the past year for improving the SteamVR / VR HMD support on the Linux desktop.

Keith sent out the latest patches for adding RandR 1.6 leases support. These have been re-based against the latest X.Org Server Git code and while there was initial DRM leasing in Linux 4.15, Keith says these patches only work against drm-next, which would mean Linux 4.16. These patches do go through and wire up the leasing support with the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver.

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Mesa 17.3

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • mesa 17.3.0

    The release consists of approximately 2700 commits from over 120 developers.

  • Mesa 17.3 Brings Intel i965, RadeonSI, and Nouveau Drivers Closer to OpenGL 4.6

    Collabora's Emil Velikov is pleased to announce today the general availability of the final Mesa 17.3 graphics stack release for GNU/Linux distributions.

    Mesa or Mesa 3D Graphics Library is an open-source graphics stack, a collection of open-source graphics drivers to bring support for the latest OpenGL and Vulkan technologies to Intel, AMD Radeon, and Nvidia graphics cards on Linux-based operating systems.

  • Mesa 17.3 Officially Released: Nearly OpenGL 4.6, Better Vulkan Support

    Delays pushed back the Mesa 17.3 release from November, but this quarterly update to the Mesa 3D graphics stack is now available for users.

    Mesa 17.3 is another significant update this year for the open-source graphics drivers. Mesa 17.3 offers nearly complete OpenGL 4.6 support for RadeonSI / Intel / Nouveau NVC0 drivers with the notable exception of the SPIR-V ingestion support yet not being complete. Mesa 17.3 also contains significant improvements to the Radeon RADV and Intel ANV Vulkan drivers with new extension support, performance optimizations, and all important fixes.

  • Mesa 17.3.0 release to further advance open source graphics drivers

    Mesa 17.3.0 is the latest version of the open source graphics drivers and it has officially released today.

    While this is a major new version, as always, new versions can cause a bit of breakage due to so much changing. The Mesa developers recommend waiting for the first point release 17.3.1 if you're after a stable and reliable experience.

Games and Graphics Leftovers

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • 2D horror 'Corpse Party' is now available for Linux on GOG, some thoughts

    GOG have now put up the recently released Linux version of Corpse Party, the 2D horror game from Team GrisGris and XSEED Games.

  • Something for the weekend: The X Franchise on Steam is free for a few days and on sale

    If you're stuck for something to do this weekend, you might want to take a look at the X Franchise on Steam, it's quite a good deal.

  • Running OpenCL On The CPU With POCL 1.0, Xeon & EPYC Testing

    This week marked the release of the long-awaited POCL 1.0 release candidate. For the uninformed POCL, or the Portable Computing Language, is a portable implementation of OpenCL 1.2~2.0 that can run on CPUs with its LLVM code generation and has also seen back-ends for its OpenCL implementation atop AMD HSA and even NVIDIA CUDA. I've been trying out POCL 1.0-RC1 on various Intel and AMD CPUs.

  • Intel Stages More Graphics DRM Changes For Linux 4.16

    Last week Intel submitted their first batch of i915 DRM driver changes to DRM-Next that in turn is slated for Linux 4.16. Today they sent in their second round of feature updates.

    This latest batch of material for DRM-Next / Linux 4.16 includes continued work on execlist improvements, better GPU cache invalidation, various code clean-ups, continued stabilization of Cannonlake "Gen 10" graphics support, display plane improvements, continued GuC and HuC updates, a hardware workaround for Geminilake performance, more robust GPU reset handling, and a variety of other fixes and code clean-ups/improvements.

Programming: C, Simplistic Programming, and Benchmarks

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • A mini-rant on the lack of string slices in C
  • Simplistic programming is underrated

     

    I should explain. It is absolutely true that if you deploy a larger vocabulary, if you use longer, more pompous sentences, many people will think you are smarter. The same is true with programming. If you can cram metaprogramming, pure functional programming, some assembly and a neural network into one program, many programmers will be impressed by your skills.

  • Comparing C, C++ and D performance with a real world project

    Some time ago I wrote a blog post comparing the real world performance of C and C++ by converting Pkg-config from C to C++ and measuring the resulting binaries. This time we ported it to D and running the same tests.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 7.6 Released

    Phoronix Test Suite 7.6.0-Alvdal is now available as the latest quarterly feature update to our cross-platform, open-source benchmarking software.

Power of Unikernels and Linux Graphics

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Unikraft: Unleashing the Power of Unikernels

     The team at NEC Laboratories Europe spent quite a bit of time over the last few years developing unikernels – specialized virtual machine images targeting specific applications. This technology is fascinating to us because of its fantastic performance benefits: tiny memory footprints (hundreds of KBs or a few MBs), boot times compared to those of processes or throughput in the range of 10-40 Gb/s, among many other attributes. Specific metrics can be found in these articles: “My VM is Lighter (and Safer) than your Container,” “Unikernels Everywhere: The Case for Elastic CDNs,” and “ClickOS and the Art of Network Function Virtualization.”

    The potential of unikernels is great (as you can see from the work above), but there hasn’t been a massive adoption of unikernels. Why? Development time.  For example, developing Minipython, a MicroPython unikernel, took the better part of three months to put together and test. ClickOS, a unikernel for NFV, was the result of a couple of years of work.

  • First Batch Of AMDGPU Changes For Linux 4.16: DC Multi-Display Sync, Vega Tuning

    Alex Deucher of AMD sent in today their first batch of feature updates for Radeon/AMDGPU/TTM feature code for DRM-Next, which has already been queued, and will in turn land next year with the Linux 4.16 kernel.

  • Samsung Improving Cairo's OpenGL ES 3.x Support, May Eye Vulkan In Future

    Back in September there were developers from Samsung's Open-Source Group adding initial OpenGL ES 3.0 support to Cairo. The GLESv3 upbringing in Cairo is still ongoing and not yet fully vetted, but Bryce Harrington of Samsung OSG has now blogged about this effort.

    While there is the initial support for creating an OpenGL ES 3.0 context with Cairo, as Bryce explains in his new blog post, the work on GLES 3.0 for Cairo isn't complete. Additional code is still to be written to leverage new GLES3 functionality and they originally started writing this code for their Tizen platform.

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Linux Foundation: Juniper/OpenContrail and Bell Canada at Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP)

  • Juniper Expands Contrail, Moves Open-Source Project to the Linux Foundation
    "Fortunately at Juniper we have a secrect weapon and one that i'm so very proud of and that's Contrail," Rami Rahim, Juniper Networks CEO said during his keynote. "The way we have been investing and innovating in Contrail over the last few years is sort of similar to how a car company would invest in a Formula 1 car, it's essentially a proving ground for the world's best technology." Rahim commented that the use-cases for Contrail so far have been somewhat limited, but that's about to change. "The future of Contrail is as a platform, a single controller that can solve a variety of really compelling use-cases with ease and simplicity," Rahim said. "Whether it's management of overlay and underlay, or SD-WAN connectivity, or multi-cloud fabric management." Juniper originally acquired Contrail in December 2012 in a deal valued at $176 million. In September 2013, Juniper open-sourcedthe Contrail technology, creating the OpenContrail project.
  • Juniper Networks' OpenContrail software defined network joins The Linux Foundation
    The Linux Foundation is far more than just Linux. It's also the home of many open-source networking projects such as the software-defined network (SDN) OpenDaylight, Open Platform for Network Function Virtualization (OPNFV), and Open Network Automation Program (ONAP). Now, networking power Juniper Networks has announced that OpenContrail, its open-source network virtualization cloud platform, will join the others as part of The Linux Foundation.
  • Juniper Moves OpenContrail to the Linux Foundation
    Juniper first released its Contrail products as open source in 2013 and built a community around the project. However, many stakeholders complained that Juniper didn’t work very hard to build the community, and some called it “faux-pen source.”
  • Juniper Moves SDN-Based OpenContrail Project to The Linux Foundation
    Juniper Networks today announced the codebase for OpenContrail, its open source network virtualization platform for the cloud, is moving to The Linux Foundation.
  • Bell Canada says open source ONAP adds modularity, flexibility to its network
    Bell Canada has become one of the first service providers to deploy Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), focusing its initial attention on automating its data center tenant network provisioning process. By making this transition in its network, the service provider said it will provide its operations teams with a new tool to improve efficiency and time to market. This is the first step in using ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s networks on its journey towards a multipartner DevOps model.
  • Bell Canada First to Deploy Open Source ONAP in Production
    Canadian communications provider Bell is the first organization to deploy an open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in a production environment. The milestone was noted in a blog post by Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration with the Linux Foundation.

Software: Everdo, GIMP, Notepadqq

  • Everdo – A Todo List and Getting Things Done App for Linux
    Everdo is a modern and beautifully-designed Electron-based task management application with which you can keep track of your work using tags, project folders, smart filters, and schedules. It doesn’t need a cloud account to work so your data will remain save on your PC. Everdo features a modern and minimalist User Interface with an extremely clean, clutter-less, and uniform design in order to enhance speedy and distraction-free productivity.
  • GIMP 2.9.8 Released with On-Canvas Gradient Editing, Better PSD Support
    GIMP 2.9.8 has been released with on-canvas gradient editing, better handling of Adobe Photoshop PSD files, and support for those using GIMP on Wayland.
  • GIMP 2.9.8 Released With On-Canvas Gradient Editing, Wayland Support
    GIMP 2.9.8 has been released as the newest development version of this widely-used, open-source Photoshop-like program in its road to GIMP 2.10. Earlier this week I happened to highlight many of the changes building up for GIMP 2.9.8 as featured in A Lot Of Improvements Are Building Up For GIMP 2.9.8, Including Better Wayland Support.
  • Getting started with the Notepadqq Linux text editor
    I don't do Windows. The operating system, I mean. At least, not on my own computers and not with any of my own work. When I was a consultant, I often had to work out of my clients' offices, which meant using their hardware, which also meant using Windows at many of those offices. Even when using Windows, I tried to install as much open source software as I could. Why? Because it works as well as (if not better than) its proprietary equivalents. One of the applications I always installed was Notepad++, which Opensource.com community moderator Ruth Holloway looked at in 2016.

Getting started with the Notepadqq Linux text editor

I don't do Windows. The operating system, I mean. At least, not on my own computers and not with any of my own work. When I was a consultant, I often had to work out of my clients' offices, which meant using their hardware, which also meant using Windows at many of those offices. Even when using Windows, I tried to install as much open source software as I could. Why? Because it works as well as (if not better than) its proprietary equivalents. One of the applications I always installed was Notepad++, which Opensource.com community moderator Ruth Holloway looked at in 2016. Read more