Lately we have been talking a lot about Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors under Linux due to their very competitive performance and interesting graphics abilities, but on the AMD side there has not been too much to talk about. On the low-end there is the intriguing Fusion APUs, but on the high-end they don't have an answer to Sandy Bridge until delivering their new "Bulldozer" products closer to the summer. Fortunately, we have the first Linux scoop and performance benchmarks from engineering samples of their 16-core Interlagos server chip.
22 March 2011 - 40 Comments
By now you have likely seen the AMD Fusion E-350 APU showcased on a number of Windows web-sites, but how is this AMD Accelerated Processor working in the Linux world? At Phoronix today are the first in-depth Ubuntu Linux benchmarks being published from this promising, low-power solution designed to compete with Intel's Atom.
16 March 2011 - 48 Comments
While we are still battling issues with the Intel Linux graphics driver in getting that running properly with Intel's new Sandy Bridge CPUs (at least Intel's Jesse Barnes is now able to reproduce the most serious problem we've been facing, but we'll save the new graphics information for another article), the CPU performance continues to be very compelling. Two weeks ago we published the Intel Core i5 2500K Linux benchmarks that showed just how well this quad-core CPU that costs a little more than $200 USD is able to truly outperform previous generations of Intel hardware. That was just with running the standard open-source benchmarks and other Linux software, which has not been optimized for Intel's latest micro-architecture. Version 4.6 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) though is gearing up for release and it will bring support for the AVX extensions. In this article, we are benchmarking GCC 4.6 on a Sandy Bridge system to see what benefits there are to enabling the Core i7 AVX optimizations.
7 February 2011 - 16 Comments
Earlier this month Intel released their first "Sandy Bridge" processors to much excitement. However, for Linux users seeking to utilize the next-generation Intel HD graphics found on these new CPUs, it meant problems. Up to this point we have largely been looking at the graphics side of Sandy Bridge, and while we have yet to publish any results there due to some isolated issues, on the CPU side its Linux experience and performance has been nothing short of incredible. Here are the first Linux benchmarks of the Intel Core i5 2500K processor.
24 January 2011 - 53 Comments
Next week Intel is set to roll out their much-anticipated "Sandy Bridge" CPUs during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. With these 32nm, LGA-1155 next-generation Intel Core processors will also come the Intel P67 Chipset on a whole selection of new motherboards at launch like the ECS P67H2-A2 and ASRock P67 Pro3. How well though will Intel's newest hardware play with Linux?
28 December 2010 - 23 Comments
Following last week's KVM vs. VirtualBox benchmarks and then looking at the multi-core scaling of KVM virtualization, we now have up some benchmarks of Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) looking at the performance of this leading cloud computing service. This is just the start of some Amazon EC2 benchmarks with this article looking at the performance of their m1.large and m1.xlarge instances compared to some other hardware. There is also an OpenBenchmarking.org ID for those interested in replicating these tests.
21 December 2010 - 10 Comments
Earlier this week we published benchmarks comparing Oracle VM VirtualBox to Linux KVM and the Linux system host performance. Some of the feedback from individuals said that it was a bad idea using the Intel Core i7 "Gulftown" with all twelve of its CPU threads available to the hardware-virtualized guest since virtualization technologies are bad in dealing with multiple virtual CPUs. But is this really the case? With not being able to find any concrete benchmarks in that area, we carried out another set of tests to see how well the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine scales against the host as the number of CPU cores available to each is increased. It can be both good and bad for Linux virtualization.
15 December 2010 - 18 Comments
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.
1 November 2010 - 15 Comments
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.
27 October 2010 - 16 Comments
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.
5 July 2010 - 11 Comments
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