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Graphics/Benchmarks

Benchmarking 11 Linux Distributions Across Dozens Of Workloads On The Intel Core i9 10980XE

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Graphics/Benchmarks

If opting for a high-end desktop/workstation like the Intel Core i9 10980XE and even for smaller systems, your choice of Linux distribution can be a big factor in the performance potential out of the system. In benchmarking eleven modern Linux distributions across dozens of benchmarks, the performance difference can be more than 30% for the out-of-the-box Linux performance. Benchmarked this round on the i9-10980XE were multiple versions of CentOS, Clear Linux, Debian, Fedora Workstation, Manjaro, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Solus, and Ubuntu.

The newly-released Cascadelake-X Core i9 10980XE was used for this round of benchmarking with the GIGABYTE X299X DESIGNARE 10GB motherboard, which has been working out well on all of the Linux distributions tested. The system had 4 x 8GB DDR4-3200 memory, Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics. The eleven Linux distributions tested were...

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Graphics: Mesa, Intel and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mesa 19.3 To Arrive With Open Source OpenGL 4.6 And Several New Vulkan Extensions Supported By Intel And AMD Radeon Drivers

    The upcoming quarterly update to Mesa 3D Graphics Library, which brings the version to Mesa 19.3, is expected to pack a lot of benefits, including support for the latest Open Source OpenGL v4.6, and several new Vulkan extensions. The Mesa 19.3 update could land as soon as this week itself, and experts argue it is by far the biggest or most significant improvement before the current year ends. Linux desktop users have been eagerly awaiting the critical component additions to the Mesa 3D Graphics Library, as the update was severely challenged and hence delayed, due to ‘blocker’ bugs.

  • Intel Revises The Shared Virtual Memory Support For Their Linux Graphics Driver

    In their journey towards the Intel Xe GPUs expected to launch initially next year in the form of Ponte Vecchio, just about one month ago Intel posted patches implementing Shared Virtual Memory support for their Linux graphics driver. Those SVM patches have now been revised for further review in potentially making it for Linux 5.6 should everything look good.

    Shared Virtual Memory support allows a single address space to handle threads operating on both CPU backed and GPU discrete memory. SVM is important for OpenCL, oneAPI, and other modern pointer-based programming models. Intel's SVM support is built atop the Linux kernel's Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) infrastructure.

  • AMD's GPU Performance API Library 3.5 Drops ROCm/HSA Support

    Released on Friday was a new version of AMD's GPU Performance API "GPUPerfAPI" project under the GPUOpen umbrella. This is the AMD library used by CodeXL, Radeon Compute Profiler, and others for tapping GPU performance counters and to help in analyzing performance/execution characteristics for Radeon hardware. But this new GPUPerfAPI 3.5 release comes with a rather surprising change.

D9VK 0.40

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • D9VK, the Direct3D9 to Vulkan layer has a huge new 0.40 'Croakacola' release out

    For use with Wine and Steam Play Proton, D9VK is the awesome project based on DXVK which translates Direct3D9 to Vulkan for better performance. A big new release just went out.

    Codenamed Croakacola, D9VK 0.40 is a big one. D9VK can now use more than 4GB VRAM on 32-bit applications/games, with it being noted to help modded Skyrim/Oblivion and obviously more too. There's also now async presentation across all vendors, some "query flushing" improvements, performance fixes for Risen and Legend of the Heroes: Trails of the Sky, bloom rendering fixes for SpinTyres/Mudrunner and other misc updates.

  • D9VK 0.40 Uses Async Present On All Drivers, Various Other Features + Perf Optimizations

    D9VK 0.40 is out today as the latest feature update to this Direct3D 9 over Vulkan translation layer based on DXVK.

    D9VK lead developer Joshua Ashton released version 0.40 today as the "Croakacola" release and it includes some big features like for 32-bit applications to be able to utilize more than 4GB of video RAM, which should help Skyrim, Oblivion, and other games.

Graphics: Mesa 20.0 Development, Mir Work and Radeon's Linux Limits

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mesa 20.0-devel Intel Gallium3D Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Good For Ice Lake

    While the Mesa 20.0 cycle is quite young and still over one month to go until the feature freeze for this next quarterly installment of these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan Linux drivers, it's quite exciting already with the changes building up. In particular, on the Intel side they are still positioning for the Intel Gallium3D driver to become the new default on hardware of generations Broadwell and newer. Here is a quick look at how the Intel Gallium3D performance is looking compared to their legacy "i965" classic OpenGL driver that is the current default.

    As you should already know if you've been reading Phoronix for any real length of time, the new Intel Gallium3D driver is quite competitive and for supported generations is generally now ahead of their classic OpenGL driver. The Intel Gallium3D driver supports OpenGL 4.6 like the i965 driver and the lingering bugs are just being addressed before turning it on as the default Intel OpenGL Linux driver while i965 will be sticking around as the default for Haswell and older.

  • Ubuntu's Mir Display Stack Accomplished A Lot In 2019 For Being Discounted Two Years Ago

    Canonical's Alan Griffiths continues leading the Mir efforts and his team had a very busy 2019 continuing to push along Mir even though it's not featured on the Ubuntu desktop right now is still playing a big role at the company due to IoT use-cases like digital signage. Griffiths provided a look back at Mir in 2019 on Ubuntu Discourse. Here were some of the highlights:

  • AMD releases the Radeon 5500XT

    Now step forward almost six months and the drivers for the 5700 and 5500 lines still don’t exist. OK sure there are drivers for Ubuntu 18.04.03, and ONLY for Ubuntu 18.04.03, nothing newer.

Sabrent Rocket 4.0 NVMe Gen4 Linux Benchmarks Against Other SATA/NVMe SSDs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

When it comes to PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs, the drives we have been using are the Corsair Force MP600 that have been working out great for pairing with the newest AMD Ryzen systems. But a Black Friday deal had the Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 SSD on sale, so I decided to pick one up to see how it was performing on Ubuntu Linux. Here are benchmarks of the Sabrent Gen4 NVMe SSD, which in the 1TB capacity can be found for $150~170 USD.

The Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB) features Toshiba BiCS4 96L BGA132 TLC NAND flash memory, Phison PS5016-E16 flash controller, and Sabrent rates its performance for sequential reads up to 5000MB/s and sequential writes up to 4400MB/s. Obviously for hitting those peak performance figures this solid-state drive needs to be installed in a PCI Express 4.0 M.2 slot.

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Dual-GPU support follow-up: NVIDIA driver support

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Graphics/Benchmarks
GNOME

There were a number of problems with the old detection code in switcheroo-control:
- it required the graphics card to use vga_switcheroo in the kernel, which the NVIDIA driver didn't do
- it could support more than 2 GPUs
- and it didn't really actually know which GPU was going to be the “main” one

And, on top of all that, gnome-shell expected the Mesa OpenGL stack to be used, so it only knew the right environment variables to do that, and only for one secondary GPU.

So we've extended switcheroo-control and its API to do all this.

(As a side note, commenters asked me about the KDE support, and how it would integrate, and it turns out that KDE's code just checks for the presence of a file in /sys, which is only present when vga_switcheroo is used. So I would encourage KDE to adopt the switcheroo-control D-Bus API for this)

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Also: GNOME 3.36 Bringing Better Multi-GPU Handling With Switcheroo-Control, NVIDIA Support

Benchmarking Mozilla's Firefox Performance Over The Past Two Years

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With 2019 quickly drawing to an end, I figured it would be interesting to see how the performance of Mozilla Firefox has been trending over the longer term. So for this article today is a look at the Firefox 57 through Firefox 71 stable performance plus tests of Firefox 72 beta and Firefox 73 alpha all from the same system and using a variety of browser benchmarks.

Going back to Firefox 71 means a look at the performance of this web browser from present back through November 2017. Firefox 57 was the cut-off as Firefox 56 and older was not working with the Selenium / WebDriver interfaces used for automating these browser benchmarks. For all the Firefox releases tested, they were using the official Linux x86_64 binaries from the Mozilla FTP and each time tested in an out-of-the-box configuration with clean profile.

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Benchmark results on mdds multi_type_vector

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Graphics/Benchmarks
LibO

One of the data structures included in mdds, called multi_type_vector, stores values of different types in a single logical vector. LibreOffice Calc is one primary user of this. Calc uses this structure as its cell value store, and each instance of this value store represents a single column instance.

Internally, multi_type_vector creates multiple element blocks which are in turn stored in its parent array (primary array). This primary array maps a logical position of a value to the actual block instance that stores it. Up to version 1.5.0, this mapping process involved a linear search that always starts from the first block of the primary array. This was because each element block, though it stores the size of the block, does not store its logical position. So the only way to find the right element block that intersects the logical position of a value is to scan from the first block then keep accumulating the sizes of the encountered blocks.

The reason for not storing the logical positions of the blocks was to avoid having to update them after shifting the blocks after value insertion, which is quite common when editing spreadsheet documents.

Of course, sometimes one has to perform repeated searches to access a number of element values across a number of element blocks, in which case, always starting the search from the first block, or block 0, in every single search can be prohibitively expensive, especially when the vector is heavily fragmented.

To alleviate this, multi_type_vector provides the concept of position hints, which allows the caller to start the search from block N where N > 0. Most of multi_type_vector’s methods return a position hint which can be used for the next search operation. This allows the caller to chain all necessary search operations in such a way to only scan the primary array once for the entire sequence of search operations. The only prerequisite is that access to the elements occur in perfect ascending order. For the most part, this approach worked quite well.

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Also: Phoronix Test Suite 9.2.1 Released

Mesa 19.3.0 Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mesa 19.3.0 Release Notes / 2019-12-12

    Mesa 19.3.0 is a new development release. People who are concerned with stability and reliability should stick with a previous release or wait for Mesa 19.3.1.

    Mesa 19.3.0 implements the OpenGL 4.6 API, but the version reported by glGetString(GL_VERSION) or glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION) / glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION) depends on the particular driver being used. Some drivers don't support all the features required in OpenGL 4.6. OpenGL 4.6 is only available if requested at context creation. Compatibility contexts may report a lower version depending on each driver.

    Mesa 19.3.0 implements the Vulkan 1.1 API, but the version reported by the apiVersion property of the VkPhysicalDeviceProperties struct depends on the particular driver being used.

  • Mesa 19.3 Released With Big Updates For Intel's Open-Source Drivers, Valve ACO Option

    After a few weeks worth of delays due to blocker bugs the release of Mesa 19.3 is out today as a big end-of-year upgrade to the open-source OpenGL and Vulkan drivers for Linux systems. Intel and AMD Radeon driver changes largely dominate the work as always but there is a growing number of embedded driver changes and other enhancements for this crucial piece to the open-source 3D ecosystem.

Nvidia Linux/BSD Graphics Driver Adds Support for Quadro T2000 with Max-Q Design

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
BSD

Coming just three weeks after the Nvidia 440.36 driver, which introduced support for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER graphics card, the Nvidia 440.44 graphics driver is here to add support for the Nvidia Quadro T2000 with Max-Q Design graphics card on Linux, BSD, and Solaris systems, as well as support for the __GL_SYNC_DISPLAY_DEVICE environment variable for Vulkan apps on GNU/Linux systems.

The Nvidia 440.44 proprietary graphics driver also improves installation support on Oracle Linux 7.7 systems where the Nvidia kernel module could fail to build with the "unknown type name 'vm_fault_t'" error, and addresses a bug discovered in an error handling path, which could cause a Linux kernel crash while loading the nvidia.ko module.

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