Latest Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source News & Benchmarks

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE Linux Performance
AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE Linux Performance
10 Hours Ago - Graphics Cards - 11 Comments

Last July AMD launched the Radeon RX 7900 GRE graphics card in China with a reduced Navi 31 GPU. Beginning tomorrow, 27 February, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE is being made available worldwide. Today the review embargo expires on the Radeon RX 7900 GRE for the worldwide scope and within the US will be priced around $549 USD.

Mesa OpenGL Threading Work Sees Much Reduced Memory Footprint For OpenGL Calls
Mesa OpenGL Threading Work Sees Much Reduced Memory Footprint For OpenGL Calls
13 Hours Ago - Mesa - GLthread Optimizations - 6 Comments

Longtime AMD open-source Mesa developer Marek Olšák after more than one decade working officially for AMD and years before that as an independent open-source contributor going back to the R300g days still has not run out of new performance optimizations to pursue. The most recent accomplishment for this leading Mesa contributor are some refinements to the OpenGL threading "glthread" code for lowering the memory footprint.

Reverse-Engineered NPU Driver Tantalizingly Close To Proprietary Driver Performance
Reverse-Engineered NPU Driver Tantalizingly Close To Proprietary Driver Performance
15 Hours Ago - Mesa - Etnaviv NPU - 2 Comments

When it comes to neural processing unit NPU/AI accelerators for Linux there is open-source options with the likes most notably of Intel-owned Habana Labs leading the way, Intel's iVPU driver for the NPU found within Meteor Lake SoCs, AMD recently posting a Ryzen AI Linux driver, etc. When it comes to reverse-engineered efforts, the Etnaviv project has expanded its scopes from just Vivante graphics IP to also embracing the Vivante NPU IP for running workloads like TensorFlow Lite. With the latest open-source achievements, the Etnaviv NPU performance is coming incredibly close to the proprietary and official driver.

25 February

Linux 6.8 x86/urgent Update Beefs Up Protection Against Side Channel CPU Bugs
Linux 6.8 x86/urgent Update Beefs Up Protection Against Side Channel CPU Bugs
25 February 06:41 AM EST - Intel - Intel MDS Buffers - 8 Comments

Sent in this morning via the "x86/urgent" pull request ahead of the Linux 6.8-rc6 kernel later today is a set of patches from Intel to ensure clearing of CPU buffers using the VERW instruction happens at the latest possible point in the return-to-userspace code path. This is being done to better protect against CPU bugs like Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS).

Bcachefs Publishes Patches For Disk Accounting Rewrite
Bcachefs Publishes Patches For Disk Accounting Rewrite
25 February 06:26 AM EST - Linux Storage - Bcachefs Disk Accounting Rewrite - 38 Comments

Kent Overstreet on Saturday evening posted a set of 21 patches to overhaul the disk accounting code for the Bcachefs file-system. This change does break compatibility with the existing disk accounting on-disk format and thus will require an upgrade when moving to the new version, which may land for Linux v6.9.

24 February

CachyOS Moves To Glibc 2.39 & Other Package Upgrades For February
CachyOS Moves To Glibc 2.39 & Other Package Upgrades For February
24 February 02:09 PM EST - Operating Systems - CachyOS 240224 - 17 Comments

CachyOS 240224 was released today for this Arch Linux derived desktop distribution that focuses on being a "blazingly fast and customizable Linux distribution" with a variety of desktop options, employing LTO and other optimizations for packages, optional x86-64-v3 binaries, and other tuning to make for a speedy out-of-the-box Linux experience.

KDE Plasma 6.0 Ready For Release Next Week, Plasma 6.1 Seeing Early Feature Work
KDE Plasma 6.0 Ready For Release Next Week, Plasma 6.1 Seeing Early Feature Work
24 February 06:23 AM EST - KDE - KDE Plasma 6 - 43 Comments

It's hard to believe we are already just down to a few days left before the release of Plasma 6.0 next week alongside KDE Frameworks 6 and KDE Gear apps ported over to the Qt6 toolkit. KDE Plasma 6.0 is pretty much primed for release while already fixes are beginning for Plasma 6.0.1 as well as early feature work underway for Plasma 6.1.

23 February

Linux 6.8 Features Excite With New Intel Xe Driver, Performance Optimizations & New Hardware
Linux 6.8 Features Excite With New Intel Xe Driver, Performance Optimizations & New Hardware
23 February 01:00 PM EST - Software - 15 Comments

While the Linux 6.8 kernel merge window has been over for several weeks now, due to a busy February of new hardware releases and lots of Linux hardware reviews/benchmarking, I've been behind in writing up my Linux 6.8 feature recap. For those wanting a concise look at the many great changes coming with Linux 6.8 that will debut as stable in March, here's an overview of the interesting Linux 6.8 changes.

SDL3 Introduces A Vulkan Renderer
SDL3 Introduces A Vulkan Renderer
23 February 06:48 AM EST - Vulkan - SDL3 Vulkan Renderer - 15 Comments

The Simple DirectMedia Library that is commonly used as an abstraction layer by cross-platform games and other software is now introducing a Vulkan renderer with SDL3.

22 February

Intel Core i3 14100 / i5 14500 vs. AMD Ryzen 5 8500G / 8600G In 500+ Benchmarks
22 February 01:00 PM EST - Processors - 30 Comments

As part of the recent AMD Ryzen 5 8500G and 8600G Linux reviews I ended up picking up the Core i3 14100 and Core i5 14500 Raptor Lake Refresh processors for the similarly-priced Intel competition. It's not too often receiving review samples from Intel of the lower-end processor SKUs, so I'm back around today with even more benchmarks of these lower-tier AMD and Intel processors. In this article are 500+ benchmarks looking at the CPU and iGPU performance of the Intel Core i3 14100 and Core i5 14500 processors up against the AMD Ryzen 5 8500G and Ryzen 5 8600G processors under Ubuntu Linux.

Mesa Looks At Making The Zink Driver Build By Default
22 February 06:48 AM EST - Mesa - Default Drivers Build - 21 Comments

With the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan driver implementation continuing to prove itself robust and as performant as native hardware OpenGL drivers, the Mesa developers continue exploring new opportunities for it. Given its successes, a merge request has been opened so Zink would become part of the default drivers built by Mesa out-of-the-box without needing to manually enable it for compilation.

DreamWorks Releases OpenMoonRay 1.5 Open-Source Renderer
22 February 06:18 AM EST - Free Software - OpenMoonRay 1.5 - Add A Comment

Back in August 2022 DreamWorks Animation announced plans to open-source MoonRay as their production-grade renderer used on films like Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and other animated films. Nearly one year ago in March 2023 MoonRay was open-sourced as OpenMoonRay while this week brings the latest iteration of it: OpenMoonRay 1.5.

KDE Slimbook V Announced: The First KDE Plasma 6 Laptop With AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU
22 February 05:58 AM EST - KDE - Slimbook V - 61 Comments

The KDE Plasma 6 open-source desktop environment is launching next week and ahead of that the Slimbook V has been announced, the latest laptop crafted in partnership between the KDE project and Slimbook. This KDE-catered Linux laptop will feature the Plasma 6.0 desktop experience out-of-the-box and is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS Zen 4 processor.

21 February

Intel Mesa Driver Code Working To Split Off Old Broadwell "Gen8" Graphics Code
21 February 11:00 AM EST - Intel - Focus On The Future - 14 Comments

Intel's Iris Gallium3D driver for modern OpenGL support works on hardware going back to old Broadwell processors with "Gen8" integrated graphics as does the HasVK Vulkan driver for Haswell/Broadwell. But in allowing to focus on the common Skylake "Gen9" graphics and newer/future Intel graphics architectures, pending Mesa code is working to split-off that old Broadwell/Gen8 code. The Gen8 support will continue to be in-tree but separated from the rest of the compiler code so that the code can continue to be improved for newer Intel hardware without risking regressions/breaking those still on Broadwell era processors.

A Linux Kernel API For Today's Complex RGB Devices Is Being Devised
21 February 06:39 AM EST - Hardware - Modern RGB Lighting - 20 Comments

When it comes to today's complex RGB lighting for PC peripherals and the like it's mostly been left up to user-space. With most RGB devices interfacing via USB, it's been up to Linux user-space projects like OpenRGB, OpenRazer, etc, to implement their RGB lighting controls as needed. But as RGB lighting use continues to grow in the PC space for better or worse, there's an increasing need for a kernel API to handle complex RGB devices. Such an API is currently being devised.

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