November 01, 2010 -- When finding out that an Intel Core i7 970 "Gulftown" CPU was on the way, which boasts six physical cores plus another six logical cores via Hyper Threading, immediately coming to mind was to try out this latest Intel 32nm processor with the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver. There's a lot to love about Gallium3D when it comes open-source Linux graphics drivers with the possibilities being presented by the different state trackers (such as native Direct3D 11 support on Linux) and the hardware drivers themselves being more advanced, easier to write, and eventually should be much faster than the classic Mesa drivers for Linux. One of the drivers that has especially been of interest is LLVMpipe, which is an attempt to finally make a useful CPU-based software rasterizer for Linux by leveraging the Low-Level Virtual Machine infrastructure. Here is our introductory article to LLVMpipe and even with a Core i7 "Bloomfield" processor the driver is very demanding, but with Intel's Gulftown the results are somewhat surprising as we experiment with how this CPU-based driver scales up to twelve threads.
October 27, 2010 -- Intel will be introducing their first Sandy Bridge CPUs in the coming months, which we already know has Linux graphics support well underway, but for now the top-end Intel desktop processors are the Gulftown CPUs that were introduced earlier this year. The Gulftown CPUs boast six physical processing cores with Hyper Threading to put the total thread count per CPU at 12. Besides putting 12 processing threads at your disposal, these CPUs are built upon the 32nm die shrink of Nehalem and boast 12MB of L3 cache. The first Gulftown desktop product to launch was the Intel Core i7 980X, which was quickly followed by the Core i7 970, and we now finally have the chance to test out this incredibly fast but expensive processor under Linux.
July 05, 2010 -- Last week I put out new numbers showing the LLVMpipe performance with the latest Gallium3D code found in Mesa 7.9-devel. This Gallium3D driver accelerates all operations on the CPU rather than a GPU as a better software rasterizer than what is currently available for Linux, but even with a hefty Intel Core i7 CPU the OpenGL acceleration was still quite slow. In this article using an Intel Core i3 mobile CPU we are looking at the LLVMpipe performance again, but this time comparing it to the Intel graphics performance and also looking at the impact that the clock frequency and Hyper Threading have on this Gallium3D driver that heavily utilizes the Low-Level Virtual Machine for its CPU optimizations.
April 30, 2010 -- Earlier this week AMD announced the Phenom II X6 processors that are designed to offer "unbeatable" performance thanks to its six physical processing cores while not being priced too high. However, should you not be interested in the latest high-end CPUs, there still is a plethora of lower-end AMD parts on the market. One of AMD's low-priced offerings is the Athlon II X3 425, which is a triple-core AM3 processor that can easily overclock past 3GHz and is priced to sell at around $70 USD.
January 29, 2010 -- Earlier this month Intel rolled out their new Clarkdale processors that are built on a 32nm process and making them rather unique is that integrated on the dual-core Westmere-based part is an integrated graphics processor. The Clarkdale CPUs launched under the Core i3 and Core i5 brands (along with a Pentium version) and since their launch have received favorable reviews, well, under Windows. We have now received our Core i3 processor and have carried out various processor benchmarks under Linux to see how well Clarkdale runs with the penguins.
September 23, 2009 -- Earlier this month we provided a launch-day preview of the P55 Chipset on Linux along with benchmarks from the Core i5 750 and Core i7 870, which are the new quad-core Lynnfield processors. We noticed some odd performance issues under Linux when testing out these new processors, but Intel has since chimed in and we are in the process of running an updated set of tests.
September 07, 2009 -- Now that we have provided a brief overview of the Intel P55 and how it functions under Linux, our larger area of concentration is looking at the Linux performance of the P55 with the new Core i5 750 and Core i7 870 processors. We have a number of benchmarks in this article along with more information on these Lynnfield processors.
July 24, 2009 -- While nearly all of Intel's attention is focused on their newer LGA-1366 platform with the high-end Core i7 processors and then the forthcoming Core i5 series, there are still plenty of viable processors left for the LGA-775 motherboards. There are of course a number of different Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core 2 Extreme CPUs on the market, but beyond that Intel's Celeron family does still exist. Most computer enthusiasts simply write off the Celeron products as being too slow, but among the newer Celeron parts there are even some dual-core processors. For a forthcoming article we had picked up an Intel Celeron E1400 for looking at the Linux video decoding performance on a slow system (similar to our HD Video Playback With A $20 CPU & $30 GPU On Linux article), but as we have never published performance results for a dual-core Celeron on Linux, we have decided to get those numbers out there today for those that are interested.
May 26, 2009 -- Earlier this year AMD launched the Phenom II series to succeed the original quad-core Phenom processors, with these newer desktop CPUs being built upon a 45nm process, tripling the amount of Level 3 cache to 6MB, and offering support for both DDR2 and DDR3 system memory. Prior to the launch of the Phenom II we had tested the AMD Shanghai Opterons on Linux and benchmarked these CPUs on OpenSolaris too, which were the server/workstation version of this new AMD 45nm core. With the Phenom II series there is the X3 and X4 line-up for triple-core and quad-core processors, respectively. In this article we are looking at how well the AMD Phenom II X3 710 performs under Ubuntu Linux.
April 22, 2009 -- Earlier this month we published Intel Core i7 Linux benchmarks that looked at the overall desktop performance when running Ubuntu Linux. One area we had not looked at in the original article was the virtualization performance, but we are back today with Intel Core i7 920 Linux benchmarks when testing out the KVM hypervisor and Sun xVM VirtualBox. In this article we are providing a quick look at Intel's Nehalem virtualization performance on Linux.