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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: Radeon, glTF and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Radeon ROCm 3.10 Released With Data Center Tool Improvements, New APIs

    While we have been looking out for Radeon ROCm 4.0 that was announced back at SC20 as well as an updated ROCm for providing the RDNA2 compute support only found currently in their packaged RX 6800 series Linux driver, ROCm 3.10 arrived on Wednesday as an unexpected twist.

    ROCm 4.0 has yet to debut via the usual channels. The ROCm 3.10 release also comes without any mentioned GFX10 RDNA/RDN2 support. We are waiting to hear back from AMD on when ROCm 4.0 is now expected for release.

  • Khronos Brings New Physically Based Rendering Materials Support To glTF

    The Khronos Group's glTF specification that is a transmission format for 3D scenes and models continues picking up more impressive capabilities as its adoption by a growing range of software packages continue.

    With companies from Microsoft to Autodesk supporting glTF in various capacities for 3D models, the demands on this format continue to increase. Today the glTF working group at Khronos is introducing a set of new physically based rendering (PBR) extensions to offer new capabilities for glTF.

  • Mesa 21.0 Adds Radeon HEVC SAO Encode Support - Phoronix

    For the "Video Core Next 2" hardware like Navi as well as Renoir APUs, HEVC "sample adaptive offset" support has landed in Mesa 21.0.

    VCN 2.0 initially came with Navi 1x and a feature now being exposed in the Mesa 21.0 Radeon video encode code is support for HEVC/H.265 sample adaptive offset, or SAO for short. As explained at IEEE.org, Sample Adaptive Offset for HEVC is a in-loop filtering technique to reduce sample distortion. From that published data, "it is reported that SAO achieves on average 3.5% BD-rate reduction and up to 23.5% BD-rate reduction with less than 1% encoding time increase and about 2.5% decoding time increase under common test conditions of HEVC reference software version 8.0."

Another Look At The Performance Impact To IBM's POWER9 L1d Flushing Change

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week I provided some benchmarks looking at the IBM POWER9 mitigation for the L1 data cache needing to be flushed upon entering the kernel and on user accesses due to a recently disclosed vulnerability. POWER9 allows speculatively operating on validated data in the L1 cache, but when it comes to incompletely validated data paired with other side channels it could lead to local users potentially obtaining improper access to data in the L1 data cache. When benchmarking the impact on a POWER9 4c/16t CPU the overall impact was fairly modest while since then I fired up some benchmarks as well on a large POWER9 server with 44 cores / 176 threads to see the performance impact of this default Linux kernel change.

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Mesa 20.3.0 Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • [Mesa-dev] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 20.3.0
    Hi list,
    
    I'd like to announce that 20.3.0 is now available for general
    consumption. We only slipped on week, which is excelent, and convenient
    to avoid a release right before Christmas. Special thanks to Ken Graunke
    for getting the last blocking issue resolved very quickly to get this
    release out.
    
    Dylan
    
  • Mesa 20.3.0 is out bringing tons of improvements for Linux open source graphics drivers | GamingOnLinux

    Mesa 20.3.0 is the latest and greatest when it comes to Linux open source graphics, bringing with it new hardware support, performance improvements and more. Mesa drivers are what power the likes of Intel and AMD on Linux with the latest Vulkan and OpenGL support whereas NVIDIA have their own proprietary driver.

    As always, with it being a brand new release if you're concerned about stability you might want to wait for the first point release with Mesa 20.3.1.

  • Mesa 20.3 Released With Big Improvements For Open-Source Graphics Drivers - Phoronix

    Mesa 20.3 has been released as the Q4'2020 open-source graphics driver update, primarily around providing OpenGL and Vulkan support on the likes of Intel and AMD Radeon graphics along with the reverse-engineered Nouveau support, many smaller drivers especially in the embedded space, and the growing list of CPU-based implementations and other translation efforts.

    Mesa 20.3 as usual sees much of the exciting work for the Intel and AMD Radeon graphics driver work -- including new hardware support -- but this quarter there has also been a lot of core work, the Raspberry Pi Vulkan driver added, OpenCL compute improvements, ongoing work around the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan Gallium3D code, and much more.

Arcan versus Xorg: Feature parity and Beyond

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This is the follow-up to the ‘Arcan versus Xorg: approaching feature parity’ article which is recommended reading if you have not done so already.

After that article, there was only one (and a half) real feature left to safely claim parity and that can be covered rather quickly. Thereafter we can nibble on the bites that are in Arcan, but not in Xorg — the reason for the difference in scope is best saved for a different time, although it is a good one.

First, let us not forget that there are more vectors for qualities that are significant to users than just features. Client compatibility is something that has been much lower on the list of priorities, yet is an important quality.

The reason is that prematurely adding support for something like a new display server backend to a toolkit, game engine or windowing library without both necessary and sufficient features in place will lead to a scattered actual feature set. There will be theoretical features, and then the features some clients actually might use some version or interpretation of. These two sets will slip further and further apart unless each affected project has exceptionally alert developers, and the reference implementation having basic hygiene in place regarding conformance verification and validation tools.

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The Spectre Mitigation Performance Impact On AMD Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" Processors

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering what the current cost is to the default Spectre mitigation protections on the new AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" processors, here are a set of performance tests looking at that overhead with the still relevant mitigations applied by default and then if forcing them off. The Zen 3 mitigation overhead was compared then to similar AMD Zen 2 and Zen+ processors.

After looking last week at the odd state of mitigation performance on Intel's new Tiger Lake processors, the attention shifted to looking at the mitigation overhead for the new AMD Zen 3 processors. Thankfully there is less mitigations to worry about with AMD processors but still even with these new processors there is still a measurable difference in affected workloads between mitigations on and off. Also, unlike Tiger Lake and contrary to rumors, the Zen 3 mitigation performance was in the right direction: disabling the mitigations did help boost the performance as is logical, unlike what we saw with Tiger Lake where now disabling the mitigations hurt the overall performance.

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X Still Improving and Microsoft 'Embraces' and 'Extends' Mesa, More DRM

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • X.Org Server 1.20.10 Allows For Larger Number Of Input Devices, Present Extension Fixes - Phoronix

    Following Tuesday's disclosure of more X.Org Server security bugs, X.Org Server 1.20.10 was released that provides those input fixes plus a number of other patches that have been back-ported and accumulated in the 1.20 series.

  • Microsoft Begins Landing Changes For Cross-Platform Support With Their Mesa D3D12 Code [Ed: Microsoft is interfering in Mesa development to make it more Windows- and Microsoft-leaning. See the comments: “Did they also include an option to uninstall the windows subsystem?” [...] “Is this worth celebrating? It means nothing for desktop Linux at all." […] "MS is firmly in the “Extend” phase of their conquest…”]

    Last month the Microsoft-backed Direct3D 12 Gallium3D driver was merged into Mesa 21.0. This is the driver for allowing graphics/compute APIs like OpenGL and OpenCL to run on top of Direct3D with Windows 10. That work to the Gallium D3D12 code has been continuing with the start of the cross-platform code now being merged.

  • Syscall User Dispatch Appears Destined For Linux 5.11 To Help Windows Games On Linux

    The Syscall User Dispatch support looks like it should be mainlined for the Linux 5.11 kernel. This functionality is important for modern Windows games running on Linux under Wine / Proton.

    Syscall User Dispatch has been in the works for a while as a kernel-level improvement for dealing with Windows games/apps that use system call instructions, bypassing the Windows API. Games avoiding the Windows API and performing system calls directly is an increasingly common occurrence by modern Windows games, seemingly in the name of Digital Rights Management schemes and similar protected modes. This though has been a problem for Wine (and Steam Play's Proton) when bypassing the conventional Windows APIs.

DXVK 1.7.3 Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • DXVK 1.7.3 Released With Fixes, Support For New DXGI Interfaces - Phoronix

    DXVK 1.7.3 is out as the latest stable update to this project implementing the Direct3D APIs atop Vulkan for accelerating the Linux gaming experience.

    DXVK 1.7.3 adds support for new DXGI interfaces recently exposed on Windows 10, an option for scaling the DXVK heads-up display on HiDPI displays, various fixes, and several optimizations. EverQuest 2 and Trine 4 also saw some targeted fixes.

  • Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.7.3 released | GamingOnLinux

    The open source DXVK project which translates D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan for use with Linux and the Wine compatibility layer has a new release up.

    A little while between releases, since a lot of the current effort from contributors is going into VKD3D-Proton which is the D3D12 to Vulkan layer. Still though, DXVK isn't quite done and will see plenty of updates over time as and when needed.

Graphics: Intel, NVIDIA and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Begins Preparing Linux Graphics Driver Support For Xe HP As "Gen12.5" - Phoronix

    Xe HP is Intel's discrete GPU aiming to compete against the latest-generation AMD and NVIDIA compute accelerators. Xe HP isn't scheduled to reach general availability until well into 2021 while now as they begin ramping up their sampling of Xe HP to potential customers, the Linux open-source driver support is preparing to roll-out.

    While Xe HP is about scaling up Intel Xe Graphics (Gen12), the Xe HP driver support is introducing it as a new "Gen12.5" target rather than just "Gen12" that is used by Tiger Lake / Rocket Lake / Xe LP.

  • NVIDIA Is Working On DMA-BUF Passing That Should Help Improve Their Wayland Support

    NVIDIA is working on allowing their proprietary driver to support passing buffers as DMA-BUF. In turn this should allow for better supporting their proprietary driver on Wayland compared to the EGLStreams mess.

    A Phoronix reader tipped us off to NVIDIA developer comments last month in response to a KDE EGLStreams bug. A bug report was opened regarding that restarting the compositing breaks the EGLStreams back-end for KDE's KWin.

  • Mesa Now 2~5x Faster For SPECViewPerf Following OpenGL Optimizations - Phoronix

    Well known open-source AMD Linux graphics driver developer Marek Olšák has just merged one of his largest set of optimizations in recent times: 2~5x faster performance for SPECViewPerf.

    SPECViewPerf is the common industry benchmark for measuring graphics performance for professional applications with benchmark viewsets from 3ds Max, CATIA, Maya, Solidworks, Siemens NX, and other programs. The performance when using Mesa drivers have been lagging but now thanks to common Mesa infrastructure improvements by Mesa, the performance is wildly improved.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Linux Performance Exceeds The RTX 2080 SUPER - Costs Just $399 USD

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Graphics/Benchmarks

NVIDIA tomorrow is launching the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with their Founder's Edition card and AIB variants are also expected. For about $400 USD, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti offers performance comparable or slightly faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and especially much stronger performance for compute and RTX workloads. With the review embargo now lifted a day ahead of the launch, here are the initial Linux benchmarks of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti under Ubuntu Linux.

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Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD Linux Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This month Western Digital introduced the WD_BLACK SN850 as the latest PCI Express 4.0 solid-state drive hitting the market. The WD_BLACK SN850 is a surprisingly strong performer if looking to upgrade to PCIe 4.0 solid-state storage, competing with the fastest of the consumer drives currently available.

The WD_BLACK SN850 makes use of Western Digital's G2 controller and 96L TLC NAND flash memory. The 1TB drive being tested today is rated for 7,000 MB/s sequential reads and 5,300 MB/s sequential writes and 1 million IOPS for random reads and 720k IOPS for random writes.

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