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Processors

HD Video Playback With A $20 CPU & $30 GPU On Linux

A month ago NVIDIA had introduced the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) that brought PureVideo-like features to Linux. Our initial benchmarks of this video decoding API within NVIDIA's binary driver were quite favorable as it was able to dramatically cut down on the CPU usage when playing H.264 video files. To see how well NVIDIA's VDPAU really is though, we have carried out some more thorough testing now and our hardware consists of a CPU we purchased for $20 USD and a NVIDIA GeForce graphics card that retails for just $30. Can this very low-end hardware manage to play high definition videos under Linux?
11 December 2008 - 34 Comments

Intel Atom Disk Encryption Performance

While the ASUS Eee PC 901 doesn't have its solid-state disk drives encrypted by default, if you are storing any potentially sensitive information on this netbook -- or any mobile device for that matter -- you really should encrypt the data. When you lose a mobile device or it has been stolen, it can be a nightmare if your banking information was stored on there or even just passwords to your Internet accounts. However, what is the performance cost for fully encrypting a hard drive on one of these Intel Atom computers? In this article we are looking at the performance impact of fully encrypting the solid-state storage versus an unencrypted LVM within Ubuntu Linux.
6 September 2008 - 11 Comments

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400

Back in March we had looked at the Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 mobile processor with its Penryn core and 6MB of shared L2 cache between its two cores clocked at 2.50GHz. We were very pleased with the performance of this mobile processor on Linux, which was found within a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook, and today we are looking at the Penryn's desktop counterpart. Intel's Core 2 Duo "Wolfdale" E8000 series processors were released earlier this year with 6MB of L2 cache, 45nm manufacturing, a 1333MHz FSB, and support for SSE 4.1. The processor from the Wolfdale series we are looking at today under Linux is the Core 2 Duo E8400.
1 July 2008 - 12 Comments

AMD Opteron 2356 Dual Quad-Core

When looking at the AMD Phenom 9500 under Linux, we had found this processor had posed a number of issues from kernel panics to other troubles when running Ubuntu 7.10 with the Linux 2.6.22 kernel. Once, however, upgrading to Ubuntu 8.04 with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel these problems had vanished and we were pleased by this native quad-core desktop processor from AMD. Released a month prior to the first Phenom desktop CPUs were the quad-core Opteron 2300 "Barcelona" processors. We hadn't looked at any AMD Barcelona processors at that time, but today we finally have our hands on two of the new AMD Opteron 2356 server/workstation processors. The Opteron 2356 CPUs come clocked at 2.30GHz, and is a revision B3 Opteron meaning that it has a proper fix for the TLB erratum -- this model was introduced only earlier this month. We have benchmarked the new Opteron 2356 in both single and dual CPU configurations and have compared the results -- under Linux -- to two of Intel's quad-core Xeon processors.
15 April 2008 - 11 Comments

Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 "Penryn"

For a year now Intel has been flaunting its 45nm "Penryn" processor core with its SSE4 instruction set, High-K metal gate transistors, and 6MB of L2 cache. Most of the Penryn media attention has been focused upon the desktop Core 2 processors, but in January at the 2008 Consumer Electronic Show Intel had rolled out sixteen new products and a dozen of them were mobile oriented. Among these Intel innovations were the first mobile Penryn processors. These mobile Intel 45nm CPUs accompanied the Penryn desktop line-up that first began in November of 2007 with Core 2 Extreme QX9650 and then continued with several new Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo models. On the server front, the Penryn equivalent is Harpertown and those quad-core Xeon processors have been shipping for the same length of time. Today we are focusing upon the Intel Penryn performance on the mobile front as we explore the Core 2 Duo T9300. The Core 2 Duo T9300 is running inside a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook and we have compared its performance against earlier Centrino-based ThinkPads as we look at how this latest Intel processor performs with Ubuntu Linux.
27 March 2008 - 6 Comments

AMD Phenom 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux

Since publishing our Linux review of the AMD Phenom 9500 on the Spider platform a month ago, we have continued in our investigation of this first AMD desktop quad-core processor that has been very problematic with Ubuntu 7.10 Linux. Fortunately though this support isn't stagnate and a better picture is painted when using the latest development builds of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel. Per reader requests, we have carried out additional benchmarks of the Phenom 9500 to compare its 32-bit and 64-bit Linux performance.
11 February 2008 - 19 Comments

AMD Phenom 9500 Linux Performance

Have you recently upgraded to AMD's Spider platform with their quad-core Phenom processor and are running Linux? If so, and are experiencing kernel panics, stability problems, and even a psychedelic Ubuntu logo, you're not alone. Earlier this week we had looked at AMD's new 790FX Chipset under Linux and now it's time to deliver the world's first Linux benchmarks of AMD's Spider platform. However, getting to the point of delivering these Linux benchmarks wasn't exactly smooth sailing. In this article, we'll be looking at the AMD Phenom 9500 performance under Ubuntu 7.10 as well as sharing our experiences with this new AMD platform.
5 January 2008 - 51 Comments

Intel Stoakley & Harpertown

IDF is winding down this afternoon but today we had the opportunity to listen to Intel's Faye A Briggs, Stephen Pawlowski, and Sanjay Sharma. This press-only session talked about Intel's upcoming Harpertown Xeon processors and the Stoakley platform. Harpertown will be shipping later this year but Intel had included some early prototype benchmarks comparing the Xeon 5400 series to the Xeon 5300 Clovertown quad-core processors as well as the AMD Opteron Socket F competition. While there were a number of benchmarks used, some of the results were done within Linux for kernel compilation, LAME encoding, and OpenSSL. We've published all of the slides that were shared with the press today, including the early Harpertown/Stoakley benchmarks.
20 September 2007

Sun UltraSPARC T2 "Niagara 2"

This morning Sun Microsystems will officially introduce their Niagara 2 processor, which consists of eight processing cores and is capable of handling 64 threads simultaneously. It's official name is the Sun UltraSPARC T2 and it will be unveiled at their Executive Briefing Center in Menlo Park, California. We were invited to this event, but we had run into scheduling problems at the last minute though we do have some information to share with you in this technical brief.
7 August 2007

Linux 2.6.23-rc2 Kernel Performance

While the Linux 2.6.23 kernel is only weeks into development, it's already generated quite a bit of attention. From the merging of the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) to the -rc2 kernel being "the new -rc1", the Linux 2.6.23 kernel is certainly in store for being an ornate release. Adding to this attention has been a stable user-space driver API and virtualization improvements (KVM, Xen, and LGuest). With all of this activity surrounding the Linux 2.6.23 kernel we've decided to conduct a handful of benchmarks comparing the Linux 2.6.20, 2.6.21, 2.6.22, and 2.6.23 kernel releases so far.
6 August 2007 - 11 Comments

112 processors articles published on Phoronix.
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