Latest Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source News & Benchmarks

Apple M2 vs. AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U Performance In Nearly 200 Benchmarks
Apple M2 vs. AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U Performance In Nearly 200 Benchmarks
4 Hours Ago - Processors - 17 Comments

Last week I published initial Apple M2 vs. AMD Rembrandt vs. Intel Alder Lake Linux benchmarks using Asahi Linux and Arch Linux across the board. For ending out this week, here is a follow-up article looking more closely at the Apple M2 in the MacBook Air against the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U "Rembrandt" within the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen3. This time around are also results from performance tweaks to each laptop for the CPUFreq governor and platform profile.

18 August

KDE Gear - KDE Applications - 22.08 Released
KDE Gear - KDE Applications - 22.08 Released
18 August 06:30 PM EDT - KDE - KDE Gear 22.08 - 10 Comments

For what used to be known as part of the KDE Software Compilation... Then most recently the straight-forward KDE Applications name to refer to the set of official KDE applications... Now KDE Gear is the current name for the official set of KDE applications. KDE Gear 22.08 is out today as the newest collection of KDE apps.

GCC & LLVM Ready With x86 __bf16 Type Support
GCC & LLVM Ready With x86 __bf16 Type Support
18 August 02:45 PM EDT - Programming - BFloat16 - 4 Comments

Following optional "__bf16" support being added to the x86-64 psABI as a special type for representing 16-bit Brain Floating Point Format for deep learning / machine learning applications, the GCC and LLVM compilers have now landed their __bf16 type support.

Linux Update Acknowledges Your Old Intel CPUs Might Be Vulnerable To MMIO Stale Data
Linux Update Acknowledges Your Old Intel CPUs Might Be Vulnerable To MMIO Stale Data
18 August 02:00 PM EDT - Intel - MMIO Stale Data Vulnerability - 10 Comments

Made public back in June by Intel was the MMIO Stale Data vulnerabilities. The disclosure noted affected Intel products range from Haswell up through Rocket Lake on the client side or Xeon Scalable Ice Lake servers. However, pre-Haswell Intel CPUs might be impacted too while the Linux kernel to this point was incorrectly stating older CPUs are "not affected" by MMIO Stale Data.

Intel Xeon Platinum 8380: 2021 vs. 2022 Performance For Ubuntu, Clear Linux, CentOS Stream
Intel Xeon Platinum 8380: 2021 vs. 2022 Performance For Ubuntu, Clear Linux, CentOS Stream
18 August 12:00 PM EDT - Operating Systems - 7 Comments

With Intel Xeon Sapphire Rapids expected to make more of a splash coming up, it's a good time to revisit the Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 "Ice Lake" performance to see how the Linux software performance has evolved since last year's launch. In this article are benchmarks of the dual Xeon Platinum 8380 server from May 2021 with CentOS Stream, Clear Linux, and Ubuntu compared to fresh installs now of those latest Linux distribution releases.

AMDVLK 2022.Q3.3 Brings Some Performance Tuning For Linux Gamers
AMDVLK 2022.Q3.3 Brings Some Performance Tuning For Linux Gamers
18 August 05:34 AM EDT - Radeon - AMDVLK 2022.Q3.3 - 2 Comments

AMD has published their latest routine snapshot of AMDVLK, their official open-source Radeon Vulkan driver for Linux systems that is derived from their internal cross-platform Vulkan driver sources and is an alternative to the unofficial but popular Mesa Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver.

High Performance Mold Linker Begins Adding macOS, CMake Build Support
18 August 05:21 AM EDT - Programming - Mold 1.4.1 - 9 Comments

Last year marked the release of Mold 1.0 as a modern, high-speed linker alternative to the likes of GNU Gold and LLVM LLD. Mold was started by Rui Ueyama who previously worked on the LLVM linker. Mold has continued seeing new features added and out today is version 1.4.1 where "alpha" support for macOS is added and also beginning to work on CMake build system integration.

17 August

MGLRU Patches Picked Up By Andrew Morton's "mm-unstable" Branch Ahead Of Linux 6.1
MGLRU Patches Picked Up By Andrew Morton's "mm-unstable" Branch Ahead Of Linux 6.1
17 August 07:55 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - MGLRU For Linux 6.1 - Add A Comment

Multi-Gen LRU "MGLRU" is one of the most exciting low-level kernel innovations in recent time and is already used by Google's Chrome OS and Android as well as having proven itself in various other downstream kernel builds. MGLRU is planned for upstreaming in Linux 6.1 and in preparation for that, Andrew Morton has now queued those patches into his "mm-unstable" branch for further vetting.

VEIKK VK1200 Drawing Tablet With 11.6-inch 1080p Display Works On Linux For ~$169
VEIKK VK1200 Drawing Tablet With 11.6-inch 1080p Display Works On Linux For ~$169
17 August 02:40 PM EDT - Monitors - 10 Comments

VEIKK is a company I previously hadn't heard of that offers a range of pen displays and drawing tablets for digital artists. At first when they reached out around reviewing one of their drawing tablets, I questioned their Linux support but it turns out their graphics tablets do work across all major platforms. I've been trying out the VEIKK VK1200 the past few weeks and it's been working out decent as a 11.6-inch drawing monitor for just $169 USD.

Linux Patch Sparks Differing Views Over External Monitor Handling With iGPU vs. dGPU
Linux Patch Sparks Differing Views Over External Monitor Handling With iGPU vs. dGPU
17 August 06:05 AM EDT - Hardware - Laptop + External Monitor - 63 Comments

Canonical kernel engineer Kai-Heng Feng posted a patch on Tuesday for capable laptops to switch their external monitor connections to be routed through a laptop's discrete GPU rather than the integrated GPU. With select laptops this can be done with an ACPI call but raises questions among upstream developers rather this change is indeed desirable.

16 August

VFX & Animation Studios Urged To Upgrade To RHEL 9 Or Rocky Linux / AlmaLinux 9
VFX & Animation Studios Urged To Upgrade To RHEL 9 Or Rocky Linux / AlmaLinux 9
16 August 06:35 PM EDT - Operating Systems - VFX Linux Recommendations - 28 Comments

VFX Reference Platform as a standards body that aims to help standardize software platforms in the realm of digital content creation (DCC) has published a detailed report for studios to consider in choosing their next Linux platform. Their new recommendations for visual effects and animation studios about moving to newer Linux distributions over the next year -- especially with many still relying on CentOS 7 -- is for moving to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 otherwise one of the downstreams like Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux. Close behind in their recommendations and as a longer-term objective is also tossing some support behind Ubuntu Linux.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5965WX Memory Scaling Benchmarks On Linux
AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5965WX Memory Scaling Benchmarks On Linux
16 August 12:00 PM EDT - Memory - 23 Comments

For those weighing whether to pursue the full eight memory channel configuration for the new Ryzen Threadripper 5000 series or starting out with just four or six memory modules, here are some reference benchmarks across four, six, and eight memory channels with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5965WX 24-core processor while running Ubuntu Linux.

AMD CPU Microcode Loading On Linux Being Fixed Up To Be Per-Thread
AMD CPU Microcode Loading On Linux Being Fixed Up To Be Per-Thread
16 August 07:00 AM EDT - AMD - Not Per-Core - 30 Comments

Up to this point loading updated CPU microcode on AMD processors under Linux has checked just to ensure every physical CPU core was loaded with the new microcode but not sibling threads for SMT processors. While logically that makes sense, it turns out some AMD microcode updates do carry out per-thread modifications that means the microcode updating needs to be carried out on every thread. A Linux fix is on its way to the kernel to adjust that behavior.

OpenSUSE Developers Continue Discussing x86_64 Microarchitecture Feature Levels
OpenSUSE Developers Continue Discussing x86_64 Microarchitecture Feature Levels
16 August 05:50 AM EDT - Operating Systems - Newer CPU Requirements - 28 Comments

Ahead of the upcoming openSUSE/SUSE Adaptable Linux Platform (ALP), whether to raise the x86_64 micro-architecture feature level required by the Linux OS continues to be evaluated and what options there are for making use of newer x86_64 instruction set extensions without necessarily forcing tightened CPU requirements / eliminating old hardware support.

Lenovo Yoga C630 Snapdragon Laptop Seeing Fresh Linux Improvements
Lenovo Yoga C630 Snapdragon Laptop Seeing Fresh Linux Improvements
16 August 05:23 AM EDT - Arm - Snapdragon 850 Laptop - 4 Comments

When it comes to Linux on Arm laptops the recent excitement has been around the Asahi Linux porting work for the Apple M2 MacBooks and Linux 6.0 supporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 and the flagship Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Arm laptop. Launched a few years ago though was the Lenovo Yoga C630 powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 and thanks now to the work of Linaro that older Arm laptop is seeing Linux support improvements.

15 August

Qualcomm Posts "QAIC" DRM Accelerator Driver For Linux
15 August 03:00 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Qualcomm Cloud AI Accelerator - Add A Comment

After Qualcomm announced their Cloud AI 100 Accelerator back in 2019, in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic they posted a Linux driver for this accelerator. That driver didn't get picked up for the mainline Linux kernel and two years later there still is little fanfare around the Qualcomm AI Cloud Accelerator hardware. However, now they have posted a new Linux driver that goes the DRM driver route.

Android 13 Sources Released To AOSP
15 August 01:36 PM EDT - Google - Android 13 AOSP - 17 Comments

Google announced today that the Android 13 sources have been published to the Android Open-Source Project as part of officially releasing this newest version of Android.

Greg KH Recommends Avoiding Alder Lake Laptops - Intel Webcam Linux Driver Long Ways Out
15 August 06:50 AM EDT - Intel - New Webcamera Needs Lots Of Work - 50 Comments

Greg Kroah-Hartman as the Linux kernel's stable maintainer and effectively Linus Torvalds' second-in-command has suggested avoiding Intel Alder Lake laptops. While much of the Alder Lake laptop support for Linux is in good shape, the exception is around web cameras. These newer laptops with Intel's latest web-camera tech are not currently supported by the mainline kernel and require proprietary software for use. Some platforms like Ubuntu and ChromeOS are picking up these blobs for now while a proper open-source, upstream solution is likely months -- or likely about one year -- away.

MGLRU v14 Released For Improving Linux Low-Memory Performance
15 August 05:28 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - MGLRU v14 - 9 Comments

While Linux 6.0 will bring a lot of shiny new features, Multi-Gen LRU (MGLRU) is one of the anticipated changes that isn't going to land now until Linux 6.1. But in the interim, MGLRU v14 was posted today that re-bases the code against 6.0-rc1 to help facilitate more testing of this kernel change that primarily helps Linux systems under memory pressure.

14 August

Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 Performance Is Looking Great For Linux 6.0
14 August 06:16 AM EDT - Intel - Linux 6.0 + Xeon Platinum 8380 Ice Lake - 5 Comments

Not only is the AMD EPYC performance looking real good for Linux 6.0, but many of the scheduler changes and common kernel improvements also carry over well for Intel's Xeon Platinum 8380 "Ice Lake" server processors too. For your viewing pleasure this weekend are some initial benchmarks looking at Linux 5.19 stable compared to Linux 6.0 Git as we approach the end of the merge window.

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