Below is our usual list of the most popular news and reviews for the past month. With the start of the new month also comes the usual reminder that if you appreciate all of the work invested in Phoronix for leading Linux hardware reviews, open-source benchmarking, and more, consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium to help support the site. For a few dollars per month you can experience the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, HTTPS by default, and other benefits while the money goes to provide more resources to operate the site now into its 13th year. You can also help also by a PayPal tip or Bitcoin tip. If you can't help financially, you can always help out by following and sharing our news on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
The ten most popular articles/reviews on Phoronix for October 2016 were:
Linux 3.9 To Linux 4.9 Kernel Benchmarks: Testing The 21 Last Kernels
With the in-development Linux 4.9 kernel showing signs of some performance improvements, I've gone ahead and tested the last 21 major kernel releases on the same system. From Linux 3.9 to Linux 4.9, each of the major kernel releases was tested from the same Intel Core i7 desktop with a variety of benchmarks.
Ubuntu 16.10 Desktop Gaming Benchmarks: Unity, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE, KDE, Openbox, MATE
As usual when there's a new Ubuntu Linux, the requests come in for running OpenGL graphics/game benchmarks under the different desktop options. For some Ubuntu 16.10 on Intel Mesa graphics tests are results for GNOME Shell, Xfce, LXDE, KDE Plasma, Openbox, MATE, and Unity running atop X.Org.
NVIDIA 375.10 vs. Linux 4.8 + Mesa 13.1-dev AMD GPU Benchmarks
In prepping for the GeForce GTX 1050 Linux graphics card reviews this week, I've been re-testing my various AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards atop the very latest driver stacks. As a precursor while waiting for the GeForce GTX 1050 Linux review in the days ahead, here are those fresh benchmarks of the other graphics cards.
Radeon Vulkan Driver Added To Mesa, Fresh Radeon Vulkan vs. OpenGL Benchmarks + AMDGPU-PRO
Today the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver is landing in mainline Mesa and just hit the Git code minutes ago. Merging the RADV driver came up just over the past few weeks in time for next month's Mesa stable release while this community-based driver was developed over the summer by David Airlie and Bas Nieuwenhuizen. This "unofficial" Radeon Vulkan open-source driver is now becoming part of the Mesa code-base with it being able to support the few Vulkan Linux games but isn't yet a fully conformant driver. Here are fresh benchmarks of the RADV driver compared to the RadeonSI OpenGL driver and benchmarks compared to AMD's hybrid closed-source AMDGPU-PRO driver on several different graphics cards.
NVIDIA Linux Vulkan Performance vs. RADV / AMDGPU-PRO
On Thursday the RADV open-source Radeon Vulkan driver was merged into mainline Mesa and I provided bleeding-edge RADV vs. AMDGPU-PRO benchmark results for these two independent AMD Linux Vulkan driver implementations, plus comparison results to the OpenGL drivers in the same games. For those that have been wondering how the NVIDIA proprietary Vulkan driver compares to AMD's two Vulkan driver options, here are some fresh benchmark results.
Power Consumption & Efficiency Of The Linux Kernel For The Last Three Years
Earlier this week I published Linux 3.9 through Linux 4.9 kernel benchmarks looking at the raw performance of various subsystems when testing each of the major kernel releases as far back as this Core i7 Haswell system was supported. From that same system, today is a look at testing the kernels going back to Linux 3.11 when Haswell graphics support was first in good shape for this Core i7 4790K box while looking at the raw power consumption and performance-per-Watt for these 19 major kernel releases.
Nouveau Linux 4.8 + Mesa 12.1-dev vs. NVIDIA OpenGL Performance
It's been a while since last delivering any open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) Gallium3D driver benchmarks but for your viewing pleasure this Friday are some fresh Kepler and Maxwell test results for this reverse-engineered NVIDIA Linux driver code against the proprietary NVIDIA driver in various OpenGL test cases.
AMDGPU vs. Radeon GCN 1.0/1.1 Performance On Linux 4.9 DRM-Next
With the forthcoming Linux 4.9 kernel there is experimental AMDGPU Southern Islands support so that original AMD GCN 1.0 GPUs can optionally work with the newer AMDGPU DRM driver rather than the mature Radeon DRM driver. In this article are tests of some AMD graphics cards from GCN 1.0/1.1 era comparing the performance impact of switching the Radeon/AMDGPU kernel driver with this DRM-Next code for Linux 4.9.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 OpenGL/Vulkan/OpenCL Linux Performance
Earlier this week NVIDIA began shipping the GeForce GTX 1050 graphics cards and our first review is of a Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini. A GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Linux review is still coming up plus some other articles looking at performance-per-Watt and other interesting areas for these low-cost Pascal-based GPUs. Here are results of the latest NVIDIA Linux performance compared to the latest open-source AMD Linux driver with various Radeon GPUs.
Radeon vs. Nouveau Open-Source Drivers On Mesa Git + Linux 4.9
With Mesa Git and Linux 4.9 I have done AMDGPU vs. Radeon, AMD OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks, and other tests while in this article is our first side-by-side comparison of AMD Radeon GPUs on their open-source driver against NVIDIA GPUs on Nouveau when using Linux 4.9 Git and Mesa Git as of this week.
The most popular news:
Valve Expected To Show Off Linux VR Demo Today
The HTC Vive was supposed to ship with Linux support but that hadn't materialized... But it looks like it now has. Valve is expected to show off a VR Linux demo during this week's Steam Dev Days event in Seattle.
The Best Features Of The Linux 4.8 Kernel
If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.8 kernel will be officially released this afternoon by Linus Torvalds.
How Ubuntu 16.10 With Linux 4.8/4.9 Compares To Early 3.x Kernels
When having out the Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" HP EliteBook this weekend besides comparing fresh OpenGL numbers to early Sandy Bridge results going back to 2012, I also compared Ubuntu 16.10 / Linux 4.8 and Linux 4.9 compared to older kernel benchmarks I did with the same system.
Google Reveals Early Details About Android 7.1
Google has begun sharing early details about the forthcoming Android 7.1 Nougat update.
By Luck, Marek Discovers A "Serious Performance Fix" For RadeonSI
Marek Olšák, the prolific longtime contributor to Mesa and AMD developer, published a patch today with a big performance improvement that he says has been discovered by luck.
A Look At The Most Promising Next-Gen Linux Software Update Mechanisms
With traditional software package management solutions like APT and Yum showing their age and not adapting well to the embedded world and the slew of new areas for Linux like IoT, a new generation of atomic-based Linux software update solutions continue to be worked on. Matt Porter of the Konsulko Group is presenting at this week's Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016 with a comparison of these update technologies.
PHP 8.0 Likely To Have A New JIT Engine
Zend has begun developing a new JIT (Just-In-Time) Engine for PHP and is expecting it will likely be ready for PHP 8.0.
Mozilla Quantum: New Browser Engine Based On Servo/Rust For Firefox
Mozilla's latest secret project to go public is Quantum, a new browser engine for Firefox. But before wondering what happened to Servo, don't worry, Quantum makes use of Servo and Rust.
KDE's 20th Birthday Celebrated By Re-Releasing KDE 1
The 14th of October marks the KDE project's 20th birthday! In celebration, the last KDE 1.x release has been re-released with compatibility for the latest Linux distributions.
POWER8 Workstation Launches On Crowdfunding: $4k For Motherboard, $18k For System
The Talos Secure Workstation that we previously have covered on Phoronix has now launched on crowd-funding where they hope to raise close to four million dollars to make this POWER8 system that's free down to the firmware a reality.