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Graphics/Benchmarks

Intel Haswell To Ice Lake Laptop Performance Benchmarks On Ubuntu 19.10

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the many Intel Ice Lake Linux benchmarks we began publishing over the past month since picking up a Dell XPS with Core i7-1065G7, there have been many benchmarks compared to the likes of the Core i7 Whiskey Lake and Kaby Lake processors. For those curious how the performance stacks up going further back, here are some Ubuntu 19.10 laptop benchmarks putting it up against the likes of Core i7 Haswell and Broadwell processors.

This article offers a look at the Ubuntu 19.10 + Linux 5.3 performance on six different laptops including the Dell XPS 7390 Ice Lake laptop and various other laptops I had available for testing.

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Graphics: AMD, Intel and NEMO-UX

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Announces Radeon Pro W5700 RDNA Workstation Graphics Card

    In addition to AMD's SC19 announcements yesterday, their embargo just lifted on the Radeon Pro W5700 as their first 7nm workstation graphics card build on their new RDNA architecture.

    The Radeon Pro W5700 is built on their RDNA architecture, supports GDDR6 video memory, and is said to deliver up to 18% better efficiency than NVIDIA's competition. The Radeon Pro W5700 is also AMD's first graphics card featuring a USB-C connector for monitors and VR HMDs.

  • AMD Lands EXT_direct_state_access For OpenGL Compatibility Contexts In Mesa

    In recent weeks AMD driver developers have been working on EXT_direct_state_access improvements within Mesa and following their latest code push today now support the D.S.A. extension for OpenGL compatibility profile contexts.

    OpenGL Direct State Access allows for various efficiency improvements in allowing the modification of objects without needing to bind them to the context. More background information on the direct state access semantics can be found via the OpenGL Wiki.

  • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Patches For Fast Soft-RC6 Yield Big Energy Use Improvement

    Longtime open-source Intel Linux graphics driver developer Chris Wilson has sent out a set of 19 patches for what he calls fast soft-RC6 support and is a "substantial" improvement over the current driver code for Intel graphics power-savings.

    Chris simply wrote at the start of the patch series, "In my very simple testing of scrolling through firefox, this brings up back into line with HW rc6 energy usage, a substantial improvement over current -tip."

  • NEMO-UX Vanishes As What Was A Wayland Shell Designed For Large, Multi-User Surfaces

    Over the years there have been many interesting Wayland projects to take flight focused on new and interesting use-cases. One of these interesting (and experimental) Wayland compositors was NEMO-UX focused on providing a shell for computing environments that span large surfaces like virtual chalkboards or tabletops.

    Five years ago this week we covered this futuristic, multi-user Wayland experience. While the concept is still interesting and large format, multi-user computing remains a niche area, NEMO-UX appears to sadly no longer exist.

23-Way Graphics Card Comparison With Shadow of the Tomb Raider On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

The Linux port of Shadow of the Tomb Raider basically recommends at least an AMD GCN 1.2 or newer graphics card or GeForce GTX 680 or newer, basically the bare requirements on Linux for having a Vulkan driver out-of-the-box. It should also be possible getting a GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics card working if opting to use the AMDGPU DRM driver rather than Radeon DRM as needed for Vulkan driver support. But Feral recommends at least a Radeon RX 480 Polaris graphics card for decent performance. Current Intel graphics are not fast enough to run this game on Linux.

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Zink Benchmarks - Mesa OpenGL Running Over Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the upcoming Mesa 19.3 release one of the big new features is the "Zink" driver that provides a Mesa OpenGL implementation over Vulkan. This in theory allows for a generic OpenGL driver running over Vulkan hardware drivers, but there is a lot of work ahead before it's really a viable option.

Zink is one of the OpenGL-over-Vulkan options to date that in the future could make it so hardware vendors don't need to maintain OpenGL drivers for future hardware generations but instead could just focus on Vulkan and leave it to these generic implementations. However, a lot of work is needed before it's really to that state in being able to replace existing hardware OpenGL drivers.

With Mesa 19.3, Zink only fully supports OpenGL 2.1. Support for OpenGL 3.x/4.x and OpenGL ES 3.0 is still a work-in-progress likely taking at least a few months to get there if not longer. When trying to launch even the Steam client with Zink, Steam was simply crashing.

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Firefox vs. Chrome Browser Performance On Intel Ice Lake + Power/Memory Usage Tests

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Using Firefox 70 (including WebRender) and Google Chrome 78, here are our latest round of Linux web browser benchmarks tested on the Dell XPS Ice Lake laptop. Making this round of Linux browser benchmarking more interesting is also including power consumption and RAM usage metrics for the different browser benchmarks.

For those wondering about whether Firefox or Chrome makes the most sense for Linux laptops, these benchmarks from the Dell XPS with Intel Core i7-1065G7 will hopefully be useful.

Ubuntu 19.10 with the Linux 5.3 kernel was running on this Intel Ice Lake laptop while using the official builds of Mozilla Firefox 70.0 (both out of the box and with WebRender) and Google Chrome 78. The AC system power consumption was monitored on battery and the total RAM usage was being monitored throughout testing as well. All of the benchmarking was carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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Linux and Graphics: Kernel Headers, Linux 5.5, NUVIA and Wayland

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • What's a kernel headers package anyway

    I've written before about what goes into Fedora's kernel-devel package. Briefly, it consists of files that come out of the kernel's build process that are needed to build kernel modules.

    In contrast to kernel-devel, the headers package is for userspace programs. This package provides #defines and structure definitions for use by userspace programs to be compatible with the kernel. The system libc comes with a set of headers for platform independent libc purposes (think printf and the like) whereas the kernel headers are more focused on providing for the kernel API. There's often some overlap for things like system calls which are tied to both the libc and the kernel. Sometimes the decision to support them in one place vs the other comes down to developer choices.

    While the in-kernel API is not guaranteed to be stable, the userspace API must not be broken. There was an effort a few years ago to have a strict split between headers that are part of the userspace API and those that are for in-kernel use only.

    Unlike how kernel-devel gets packaged, there are proper make targets to generate the kernel-headers (thankfully). make headers_install will take care of all the magic. These headers get installed under /usr/include

  • Linux 5.5 To Finally Kill The Async Block Cipher API In Favor Of SKCIPHER

    The crypto code within the Linux kernel for the upcoming 5.5 cycle finishes converting the drivers to making full use of the four-year-old SKCIPHER interface so that the old ABLKCIPHER code can be removed.

    SKCIPHER was introduced in 2015 to the mainline kernel to ultimately replace BLKCIPHER/ABLKCIPHER. This "symmetric key cipher" interface is a generic encrypt/decrypt wrapper for ciphers.

  • NUVIA To Make Serious Play For New CPUs In The Datacenter, Hires Linux/OSS Veteran

    Making waves this afternoon is word of the NUVIA server CPU start-up landing its series A funding round and thus making more information known on this new silicon start-up.

  • WXRC Is The Wayland XR Compositor For VR Headsets

    Drew DeVault of Sway/WL-ROOTS notoriety and longtime Wayland developer Simon Ser have started development on WXRC, a new Wayland compositor.

    WXRC is the Wayland XR Compositor and is based on OpenXR and the open-source Monado implementation. This is better than the past Linux VR desktop efforts we've recently seen that relied on SteamVR. As of this week, WXRC has working 3D Wayland clients.

OnLogic Karbon 700: Passively-Cooled, Up To 8 Core / 16 Thread Industrial & Rugged PC

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Graphics/Benchmarks

OnLogic (formerly known as Logic Supply until a recent rebranding) announced the Karbon 700 back in August as a durable Linux-friendly computer largely intended for industrial applications but nothing prevents the user from using it as a passively, well-built desktop PC either. OnLogic recently sent over the Karbon 700 and it's been working out very well even with passively cooling an Intel Xeon eight-core / sixteen-thread processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe storage, and more.

In suiting the Karbon 700 for industrial applications, this high-performance rugged computer supports power over Ethernet (PoE), wireless, the ability to have an external graphics card (though that variant is no longer fanless), CAN bus support, dual COM RS-232, 8-bit DIO, and other interfaces in addition to triple Gigabit LAN, triple DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen 1, and other connectivity options.

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Graphics: Intel, D9VK, NVIDIA

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Zombieload V2 TAA Performance Impact Benchmarks On Cascade Lake

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While this week we have posted a number of benchmarks on the JCC Erratum and its CPU microcode workaround that introduces new possible performance hits, also being announced this week as part of Intel's security disclosures was "Zombieload Variant Two" as the TSX Async Abort vulnerability that received same-day Linux kernel mitigations. I've been benchmarking the TAA mitigations to the Linux kernel since the moment they hit the public Git tree and here are those initial benchmark results on an Intel Cascade Lake server.

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mesa 19.2.4

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Hi list,

I'd like to announce mesa-19.2.4, which is available immediately. This is an
emergency release, to fix a critical bug found in the 19.2.3 release which
causes incomplete rendering on all mesa drivers. This release contains a single
patch to fix that bug, anyone using 19.2.3 should immediately upgrade to 19.2.4
or downgrade to 19.2.2.

Dylan

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Also: Mesa 19.2.4 Released As Emergency Update After 19.2.3 Broke All OpenGL Drivers

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