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Graphics/Benchmarks

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.

Graphics: Intel, Mesa, OpenCL

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Wants You To Help Test The i965 Mesa Shader Cache, Not Yet Enabled By Default

    Back in early November Intel finally landed its shader cache support for allowing GLSL shaders to be cached on-disk similar to the RadeonSI shader caching that has been present since earlier in the year. But this functionality isn't yet enabled by default as it still needs more testing.

    Last month I covered some early test results of this Intel i965 Mesa shader on-disk cache within Intel's Mesa GLSL Shader Cache Is Speeding Up Game Load Times. In my experiences thus far it's been working out well but currently isn't used by the Intel driver unless the MESA_GLSL_CACHE_DISABLE=0 environment variable is set.

  • 16-Bit Storage, variablePointers Land For ANV Vulkan Driver

    It's always great waking up to new features landing in Mesa Git.

    For the past several months Igalia developers have been working on SPV_KHR_16bit_storage and VK_KHR_16bit_storage support for the Intel ANV Vulkan driver. As implied by the name, this is about supporting 16-bit data types in shader input/output interfaces and push constant blocks. This Vulkan "half float" support has now landed in Mesa Git across a number of patches affecting NIR, ANV, and the Intel shader compiler.

  • POCL 1.0 RC1 Adds Experimental CUDA Backend, Full OpenCL 1.2 Support

    One of the most exciting open-source OpenCL projects we have been following in recent years is POCL as "Portable C" for having an LLVM-based portable OpenCL implementation to run on CPUs as well as GPUs now via AMD HSA back-end and a new experimental NVIDIA CUDA back-end. The POCL 1.0 release is finally near.

Windows 10 vs. Linux - Intel UHD Graphics OpenGL Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Over the past week I have carried out some Radeon and NVIDIA Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks. While not quite as interesting as those discrete GPU comparisons, while having the Windows 10 Pro x64 Fall Creator's Update around and testing from the Core i7 8700K, I also ran some Windows vs. Linux tests for the integrated UHD Graphics.

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