March 03, 2011 -- VirtualBox, the Sun/Oracle virtualization platform, has supported OpenGL acceleration and Direct3D acceleration within virtual machines for more than two years. When the host system has hardware GPU acceleration, OpenGL/Direct3D calls can be passed from the guest to the host when the VirtualBox guest driver is installed. There has been the Linux 3D support since VirtualBox 2.2 and was initially limited to OpenGL 1.4 support and in the summer of 2009 it turned to OpenGL 2.0. We had not delivered any early benchmarks as the initial support was too buggy, but even with the recently released VirtualBox 4.0, while the support is usable and stable for the most part, it is still far from being very efficient and will crash under some OpenGL software.
February 27, 2011 -- Matthew Tippett and I talked this weekend at the Southern California Linux Expo on the matter of making more informed Linux hardware choices. While Linux hardware support has come along way, it is not perfect and there are still shortcomings. However, with Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 and OpenBenchmarking.org, which were released in Los Angeles, we believe there are now the capabilities to dramatically enhance the Linux hardware and software experience. These freely available tools are not only a game-changer for Linux, but have the capabilities to impact how projects and organizations handle their Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, and Solaris testing as well.
February 18, 2011 -- Earlier this month benchmarks were published on Phoronix showing the GCC 4.6 compiler performance with AVX support under Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors that are the first to provide Advanced Vector Extensions support. The Core i5 2500K CPU performance is already great under Linux, but once more Linux software supports taking advantage of this latest cross-vendor instruction set, there will be even more speed-ups. While the Low-Level Virtual Machine does not yet have full support for taking advantage of the Advanced Vector Extensions support, in this article we are looking at how the latest development code for LLVM 2.9 and the Clang compiler are performing on Intel's Sandy Bridge in relation to GCC.
February 02, 2011 -- February has finally arrived. Later this month Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 "Iveland" and OpenBenchmarking.org will be officially unveiled from the Southern California Linux Expo during the talk entitled "Making Better Linux Hardware Choices" by myself and Matthew Tippett, the former ATI/AMD Linux Core Engineering Manager. Before the California Linux event, there may also be a public demonstration in Munich of this major Linux testing/benchmarking breakthrough. While the Phoronix Test Suite 3.0-Iveland software can currently be downloaded as beta, OpenBenchmarking.org is not yet publicly available nor have we said much about the project. What has been said though is that it will cause Linux benchmarking to change, it will likely cause a greater impact than Phoronix.com, may result in my editorial departure from Phoronix, and will change the way that you find Linux compatible hardware. Here though is a primer of some of what you can expect out of OpenBenchmarking.org when it becomes available late in the month.
January 31, 2011 -- Started by one of our readers more than a week ago was a compiler deathmatch for comparing the performance of GCC, LLVM Clang, PCC (the Portable C Compiler), TCC (Tiny C Compiler), and Intel's C Compiler under Arch Linux. This user did not stop there with compiling these different x86_64 code compilers, but he also went on to look at the compiler performance with different compiler flags, among other options. The results are definitely worth looking at and here are some more.
January 27, 2011 -- Last summer we delivered the news that a native ZFS file-system implementation for Linux was coming by an Indian company known as KQ Infotech where they leveraged the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories ZFS Linux code, finished it off in some areas, and took care of the POSIX support. This ZFS Linux module was eventually released to a group of beta testers -- us included -- and we ran some ZFS Linux benchmarks back in November using the latest beta code. Since that point, however, KQ Infotech has made their ZFS Linux port publicly available and earlier this month they declared this work as stable via its general availability release. We have decided to benchmark this latest ZFS Linux code to see where the performance now stands against the EXT4, Btrfs, and XFS file-systems.
January 12, 2011 -- Last month we delivered our first benchmarks of the Amazon EC2 Cloud, but those initial tests were limited to just a few of their cloud computing instances due to failures with the Ubuntu EC2 operating system on their other compute instances. Earlier this month we then showed how the Amazon EC2 Micro was comparable to a Nokia N900 and Intel Atom, but now we have a more exhaustive comparison complete of all major Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud types. Using the Amazon Linux AMI operating system, we have run a plethora of performance benchmarks on the m1.small, m1.large, m1.xlarge, m2.xlarge, m2.2xlarge, m2.4xlarge, c1.medium, and c1.xlarge cloud computing instances.
January 07, 2011 -- The most common Linux file-systems we talk about at Phoronix are of course Btrfs and EXT4 while the ZFS file-system, which is available on Linux as a FUSE (user-space) module or via a recent kernel module port, gets mentioned a fair amount too. When it comes to the FreeBSD and PC-BSD operating systems, ZFS is looked upon as the superior, next-generation option that is available to BSD users. However, with the DragonFlyBSD operating system there is another option: HAMMER. In this article we are seeing how the performance of this original creation within the DragonFlyBSD project competes with ZFS, UFS, EXT3, EXT4, and Btrfs.
January 03, 2011 -- In December we published our first set of Amazon EC2 benchmarks for their Elastic Compute Cloud using Ubuntu EC2 and the different instances that were compatible. Now though we are in the process of carrying out a new set of benchmarks from Amazon's cloud that not only contains more tests, but using the official Amazon Linux AMI we tested nearly every instance type. Except what is missing are the results for the "micro" (the t1.micro API name) instance. Why? It is simply too slow and irregular.
December 29, 2010 -- With 2010 now coming to an end, what were the most popular Phoronix stories this year? For those curious about the most viewed articles and news posts on Phoronix in 2010, here's a list. Exclusive information on Valve's forthcoming Linux Steam client, photographs from my adventure to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Site, and multi-OS benchmarks had dominated 2010.