Hardware

Hardware news found on the net

New low-cost electronics kit for Raspberry Pi launches at CamJam

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The CamJam EduKit was developed in partnership by Cambridge Raspberry Jam and The Pi Hut, and launched at CamJam this month. Designed to get kids interested in the fascinating world of electronics and programming, CamJam EduKit will soon have them building their own electronic circuits, flashing LEDs, reading button presses and making beeping noises by programming their Raspberry Pi with Python.

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MIPS CPUs, the perfect Linux machines

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Linux
Hardware

When it comes to operating systems, Linux® is perhaps the world’s most popular open source OS. Linux has been running on thousands of MIPS devices that have shipped in very large volume (north of several billions of units).

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Benchmarking Deepin 2014 With DDE 2.0 Using Linux Games

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Moz/FF
Gaming

The Deepin Desktop Environment is written using Google's Go language and makes use of heavy HTML5. DDE also uses Compiz as its compositing window manager. As in the past some desktop environments / window managers have impaired the full-screen Linux gaming performance, I ran some simple Linux gaming benchmarks on Sunday to see if the Deepin 2014 performance differed at all from upstream Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Ubuntu 14.04 was tested with the stock Unity 7.2 desktop using Compiz, GNOME Shell 3.10.4, and Xfce 4.10 all from the stock Trusty Tahr archive.

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Pixman 0.32.6 Finally Updated

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The last Pixman stable release happened in November of 2013 while out this weekend is finally a new Pixman release.

While it's been more than a half-year since the last stable Pixman release, the changes for the new v0.32.6 release aren't particularly compelling but still worth pointing out.

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NVIDIA Releases 331.89 Long-Lived Linux Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks

NVIDIA has today released ther 331.89 Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD graphics drivers within their long-lived 331.xx graphics driver branch.

The NVIDIA 331.89 graphics driver for Linux (and Solaris/FreeBSD) includes support for the GeForce GT 730 graphics card, support for X.Org Server 1.16, and a variety of bug-fixes. The bug-fixes are great and the GeForce GT 730 hardware enablement is also great while nearly all NVIDIA 331 graphics driver users will be able to appreciate the X.Org Server 1.16 support considering the xorg-server update isn't even scheduled to be released until next month, will make it into the H2'2014 Linux distribution updates, and chances are the AMD Catalyst driver won't even support the new server for some months based upon their historical turnaround times.

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Ubuntu 14.04 vs. 14.10 Snapshot Performance Comparison

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Ubuntu

For some brief benchmarking during Independence Day in the US, I ran some tests comparing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS stable against a fresh development snapshot of Ubuntu 14.10.

Over Ubuntu 14.04, the Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" in its current development state has the Linux 3.15 kernel (but will end up using Linux 3.16), Unity 7.3.0, Mesa 10.2 (10.3 should make it in time for Ubuntu 14.10), and GCC 4.8.3 (while GCC 4.9 should make it for 14.10).

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Testing Btrfs On The Linux 3.16 Kernel

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Graphics/Benchmarks

When running my initial Linux 3.16 file-system tests on an SSD I had to skip over Btrfs due to initial problems with the experimental kernel code. Fortunately, Btrfs has been fixed-up in Linux 3.16 and can now serve for some benchmarking.

As F2FS, XFS, and EXT4 were already tested on a solid-state drive using Linux 3.16 Git, in this article I'm just testing Btrfs when using the Linux 3.15 stable kernel against the Linux 3.16 Git kernel from 2 July. This Btrfs testing happened from an ASUS UX32VDA Core i7 Ivy Bridge ultrabook with 128GB SanDisk SD5SF212 SSD. A daily snapshot of Ubuntu 14.10 was used for testing while the kernel snapshots were obtained from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA for easy reproducibility.

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The Novena Open Hardware Laptop: A Hacker's Dream Machine

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Would you buy a high-end laptop built completely around open hardware and the Linux distro of your choice? Novena offers that opportunity, but it comes with an out-of-the-box experience that might be beyond the reach of the typical computer consumer.

That said, the Novena laptop's experimental technology has the potential to offer new options to a sluggish computer industry. Novena is an open-hardware computing platform that is flexible and powerful. It is designed for use as a desktop, laptop or standalone board.

Two engineers cofounded Sutajio Ko-usagi, an operations-oriented company focused on the manufacturing and sales of hardware to OEMs and hobbyists.

Since Sutajio Ko-usagi is difficult to pronounce in English, the Novena developers shortened it to "Kosagi," noted cofounder Andrew "Bunnie" Huang. Huang also runs the IP-oriented Bunniestudios

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Preview: Fedora 20 Updated vs. Fedora 21 Rawhide Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While Fedora 21 remains under heavy development, for some new benchmarks to get July started I ran some tests of a stock Fedora 20 installation versus Fedora 20 with all stable updates versus Fedora 21 in its "Rawhide" state.

These tests are just to look at the Fedora 20 updated performance and to offer a glimpse towards Fedora 21. Fedora 21 won't be released until at least October so take the results as you wish. Additionally, Fedora Rawhide tends to enable a lot of debug/development code that can potentially slow down the system compared to Fedora in its release form. Nevertheless, these latest Fedora Linux benchmarks should be interesting in their own right.

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TI spins Cortex-A9 Sitara SoC

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware

TI unveiled a 1GHz, Cortex-A9 Sitara “AM437x” SoC with a 3D GPU, a Linux SDK, and an updated PRU module for dual simultaneous control of fieldbus protocols.

The Sitara AM437x is a major upgrade to the Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x, as well as the related Sitara AM3715 and Sitara AM3874. The Sitara AM437x is said to offer up to 40 percent more processing power than previous Sitara processors.

The Sitara AM437x begins sampling in July, and is available as part of a Linux-ready, $599 TMDXEVM437X evaluation kit (see farther below). Like other Sitara SoCs, the AM437x is aimed primarily at industrial applications. Suggested pairings include factory automation, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), home automation gateways, Internet of Things (IoT) gateways, and human machine interface (HMI).

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Benchmarking Linux 3.16 File-Systems On An SSD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

With the Linux 3.16 kernel coming along nicely, here's our first tests of this forthcoming major kernel upgrade when it comes to the mainline file-systems and their performance from a solid-state drive.

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AMD Radeon VDPAU Video Performance With Gallium3D

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Graphics/Benchmarks

After earlier this week posting some fresh NVIDIA VDPAU video playback performance tests, here is some testing of the open-source AMD Radeon driver with R600 and RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers while using the VDPAU state tracker for open-source, accelerated video playback using the graphics cards' UVD engine.

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Testing LLVM Clang 3.5's Code Generation Optimizations

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those curious about the performance of LLVM Clang in its current development form when testing the common code generation options for optimizing the performance (and in some cases size) of the resulting binaries, here's some fresh compiler benchmarks.

Just as some extra benchmarks for the weekend while finishing out the month, I ran some new benchmarks comparing common optimization levels for LLVM/Clang with the latest 3.5 development code as of earlier this month. The configurations tested for this article included.

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Is Antergos Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu, Fedora?

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Frequently within the Phoronix Forums it is requested to do benchmarks with Arch Linux since its users tend to be adamant that it's the fastest Linux distribution. In the past I've run benchmarks of the Arch-based Manjaro to look for speed differences as an easy and quick to deploy variant. Today the latest Arch Linux variant I am benchmarking is Antegros Linux.

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Sadly, Two X.Org GSoC Projects Already Failed

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Two Google Summer of Code projects for the X.Org Foundation have already failed.

At the X.Org Board of Directors' meeting yesterday, it was confirmed about two projects already failing. "Unfortunately we had to fail two students, one that disappeared right after the program start and one who failed the mid-term evaluations." Sadly, this isn't too uncommon for these student open-source projects funded by Google.

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Intel Haswell HD Graphics Benchmarks With Linux 3.16

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While nothing was explicitly stated with regard to 3D performance changes with the numerous Intel DRM improvements for Linux 3.16, I ran some basic OpenGL benchmarks on a Intel Core i7 4790K Devil's Canyon box with Ubuntu 14.04 to look out for any performance changes when using the latest drm-next code merged into Linux 3.16.

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Linux 3.16: Deadline I/O Scheduler Generally Leads With A SSD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

There's been numerous requests lately for more disk I/O scheduler benchmarks on Phoronix of the Linux kernel and its various scheduler options. Given that there's routinely just speculation and miscommunication by individuals over the best scheduler for HDDs/SSDs, here's some fresh benchmarks for reference using the Linux 3.16 kernel.

This early Linux 3.16 testing was just some simple and straight-forward tests I got done with a spare system I maintained access to while in Russia. Once returning to the US this week and then settling into the new Phoronix office I'll run some more Linux 3.16 benchmarks using the latest Git snapshot at the time and use both hard drives and solid-state drives.

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Automation controller taps Raspberry Pi Compute Module

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Techbase has designed a Raspberry Pi Compute Module into a Linux-based “ModBerry” automation computer backed by an “iMod” cloud platform for remote control.

The computer-on-module version of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, which began shipping this week, was anticipated by many, but perhaps nowhere so acutely as in Poland. First, we heard about A Sherlybox private cloud storage device based on the module from Polish startup Sher.ly, and now Gdansk-based industrial computer manufacturer Techbase has opened pre-orders for an automation computer called the ModBerry 500 based on the COM.

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Running The Linux 3.16 Kernel Might Be A Bit Slower On An Ultrabook

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

For those running an Intel ultrabook, here's some benchmarks using the Linux 3.16 kernel on this portable x86 hardware compared to Linux 3.15. Unfortunately, the results aren't too promising.

As some extra Linux 3.16 kernel benchmarks to share, I used the stable Linux 3.15 and compared it to Linux 3.16 Git on an ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VDA ultrabook running a Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" processor with an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS host.

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Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Gaming

Up for your viewing pleasure today were some quick benchmarks done of the next-generation KDE desktop stack compared to the KDE 4.13.0 and Unity 7.2.1 desktops of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

For delivering some early preview figures of KDE Frameworks 5 with Plasma-Next, I used the Project Neon PPA recently to test out the full-screen Linux OpenGL gaming performance to see if it was affected differently than KDE4 or Unity. Much more in-depth testing will come when the next-gen KDE stack has been stabilized, but this should serve as some interesting preview figures.

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