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Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Under LLVM 2.9

Version 2.9 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine is set to be released in a little more than a week, but what will it mean much for users in terms of performance? We will be looking at the LLVM 2.9 and Clang performance in the coming days (along with GCC 4.6, which was just released). We are beginning this weekend by providing a look at how using LLVM 2.9 affects the performance of the Mesa Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver relative to the previous LLVM 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8 releases.
26 March 2011 - 4 Comments

Btrfs LZO Compression Performance

While the performance of the Btrfs file-system with its default mount options didn't change much with the just-released Linux 2.6.38 kernel as shown by our large HDD and SSD file-system comparison, this new kernel does bring LZO file-system compression support to Btrfs. This Oracle-sponsored file-system has supported Gzip compression for months as a means to boost performance and preserve disk space, but now there's support for using LZO compression. In this article we are looking at the Btrfs performance with its default options and then when using the transparent Zlib and LZO compression.
18 March 2011 - 20 Comments

Does Compiz Still Slow Down Your System?

There have been a flurry of comments this week following my post why software defaults are important and why in the Linux benchmarks at Phoronix.com the tests are most often carried out in their default/stock configurations: it's what most everyone uses. There have been comments by Ted Ts'o on file-system default mount options and whether they are sane or not in the non-enterprise distributions and others have questioned if defaults like Compiz on in Ubuntu by default makes sense. Does using Compiz still hurt your graphics performance?
10 March 2011 - 41 Comments

Large HDD/SSD Linux 2.6.38 File-System Comparison

Here are the results from our largest Linux file-system comparison to date. Using the soon-to-be-released Linux 2.6.38 kernel, on a SATA hard drive and solid-state drive, we benchmarked seven file-systems on each drive with the latest kernel code as of this past weekend. The tested file-systems include EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, JFS, ReiserFS, and NILFS2.
9 March 2011 - 65 Comments

Linux 2.6.38 Kernel Multi-Core Scaling

Last month there were benchmarks on Phoronix looking at the multi-core scaling performance of multiple operating systems, including CentOS 5.5, Fedora 14, FreeBSD 8.1, and OpenIndiana b148. CentOS 5.5 uses the long-term Linux 2.6.18 kernel while Fedora 14 has the more recent Linux 2.6.35 kernel by default, but a number of users asked how the Linux 2.6.38 kernel would fair for multi-core scaling with the removal of the Big Kernel Lock and various other low-level improvements in this forthcoming kernel. Here are some benchmarks showing just that.
6 March 2011 - 26 Comments

VirtualBox 4.0 Acceleration Leaves Room For Improvement

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.
3 March 2011 - 10 Comments

Making More Informed Linux Hardware Choices

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.
27 February 2011 - 8 Comments

LLVM 2.9 Clang Performance On Intel's Sandy Bridge

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.
18 February 2011 - 9 Comments

What OpenBenchmarking.org Is About

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.
2 February 2011 - 11 Comments

A Linux Compiler Deathmatch

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.
31 January 2011 - 76 Comments

455 software articles published on Phoronix.
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