Verbose GPU, CPU Information Under Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 21 April 2012 at 01:14 PM EDT. 9 Comments
There's more improvements building for Suldal that yield greater CPU and GPU verbosity when detecting graphics and processor comparisons under Linux.

The latest work committed this weekend for Phoronix Test Suite 4.0 "Suldal" provides specialized component tables when the Phoronix Test Suite automatically detects a CPU or GPU comparison. There's long been the standard system software/hardware information tables with all Phoronix Test Suite results, but now when certain comparisons are detected, a secondary table will be generated that provides a greater level of detail about the hardware being tested.

While these new tables are still a work-in-progress, here's a preview of the CPU and GPU comparison tables that are now available to complement existing Phoronix Test Suite report data. Right now these tables are shown automatically within the Phoronix Test Suite Results Viewer, but they'll also be visible via in the near future.

Here's a work-in-progress CPU table that's automatically generated via the Suldal Git code. While the standard Phoronix Test Suite system information has already indicated the CPU model, the clock frequency, and number of logical cores, there's now a greater level of detail on the secondary table when a CPU comparison is detected. This is just one example from a recent result file being worked on for next week.

The Phoronix Test Suite automatically utilizes its captured log files of /proc/cpuinfo, lscpu, the CPUFREQ sysfs interfaces, and other captured outputs to provide more details on the CPU information after it shoves all the data back through Phodevi in real-time. Right now it's indicating the CPU model, physical core count, total thread count, L2 cache size, L3 cache size, virtualization method (if applicable), prominent CPU features (e.g. AVX or SSE4/SSE5), and the CPU flags. The Phoronix Test Suite also takes care of removing all of the CPU flags that are common to all of the CPUs being compared.

This table makes it much easier to glance at than digging through separate system log files to get the same level of detail. And with all of the Phoronix Test Suite capabilities, it's a feature that's seamlessly and automatically exposed.

Besides improving the formatting of the table itself, some other items I'm looking at adding to the CPU tables include the performance level / speed-steps for the CPU frequency scaling, Turbo frequencies (sadly that's still harder to detect under Linux with the standard interfaces), and more. Suggestions are also welcome.

On the GPU side, right now when a graphics comparison is detected it's showing more OpenGL information. It's showing the GL version, GLSL version, renderer string, and the supported OpenGL extensions for each graphics processor. Again, the Phoronix Test Suite takes care of factoring out all common OpenGL extensions that are found in each of the tested configurations.

Besides the OpenGL information, I'm also looking at adding in information on the GPU performance levels, number of Stream/CUDA cores, OpenCL attributes, and various other GPU details. Unfortunately here it's much less standardized under Linux compared to other subsystems. The reporting of this information isn't even standardized between the open-source Linux DRM kernel drivers with each main driver (Intel/Radeon/Nouveau) each exposing their key information in a uniquely different way over sysfs/debugfs; something I've been complaining to developers about for years. Anyhow, Phodevi improvements are still ongoing for abstracting out more of this information to conceal the driver interfaces.

These reporting improvements are another Phoronix Test Suite change that's being financed by a PTS Commercial enterprise customer and being allowed to be submitted back into the upstream, open-source Phoronix Test Suite code-base. Other recent reporting improvements are covered in Making Compiler, Disk Testing More Reproducible and Bringing Up Advancements In Compiler Testing.

Any feedback is welcome for other features or other information you would like to find on these detailed comparison tables for the Phoronix Test Suite. They will be found soon on (and thus embeddable into Phoronix articles and other web-pages) as well as within the Phoronix Test Suite 4.0 client due out this summer.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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