Latest Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source News & Benchmarks

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 - 6 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 - 12 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
Intel Core i3 14100 / i5 14500 vs. AMD Ryzen 5 8500G / 8600G In 500+ Benchmarks
22 February 01:00 PM EST - Processors - 29 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
Mesa Looks At Making The Zink Driver Build By Default
22 February 06:48 AM EST - Mesa - Default Drivers Build - 20 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
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
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 - 56 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
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
A Linux Kernel API For Today's Complex RGB Devices Is Being Devised
21 February 06:39 AM EST - Hardware - Modern RGB Lighting - 19 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.

20 February

AMD's Latest ROCm Effort: More Blogging With A New Blog Platform
20 February 07:40 PM EST - AMD - AMD ROCm Software Blog Platform - 21 Comments

As many enthusiasts wait to hear from AMD more broadly supporting ROCm in an official capacity across consumer Radeon GPUs and/or hearing about better supporting more Linux distributions outside of the major enterprise Linux distributions, today AMD announced a new medium for their communications with the community: the "New AMD ROCm Software Blog Platform" will be rolling out.

NVIDIA GH200 72 Core Grace CPU Performance vs. AMD Ryzen Threadripper Workstations
20 February 10:55 AM EST - Computers - 29 Comments

Earlier this month I posted some initial CPU benchmarks of the NVIDIA GH200 Grace Hopper up against AMD EPYC Zen 4 and Intel Xeon Emerald Rapids processors. That was a very interesting battle and showed the interesting capabilities of the 72 Arm Neoverse-V2 cores. With this GPTshop.ai GH200 system actually being in workstation form, I also ran some additional benchmarks looking at the CPU capabilities of the GH200 compared to AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 series workstations.

X.Org Server Clears Out Remnants For Supporting Old Compilers
20 February 06:27 AM EST - X.Org - Sun Pro / Sun Studio & More - 157 Comments

There are still no signs of a new X.Org Server feature release coming in the near-term with most of the major stakeholders divesting from the xorg-server besides the XWayland portion of the code-base. But for those interested in the past few days there have been some NetBSD/OpenBSD build fixes to the X.Org Server as well as clearing out some remnants of old compiler support.

19 February

Windows NT Synchronization Primitive Driver Updated For The Linux Kernel
19 February 07:54 PM EST - WINE - NTSYNC - 26 Comments

For years Wine developers have been after a better synchronization API for the Linux kernel to better match the semantics of Microsoft Windows. Posted back in January was a request for comments on an "NTSYNC" Linux kernel driver to implement Windows NT synchronization primitives for the Linux kernel. At the start of the month a post-RFC version was posted of this open-source driver and today the latest iteration of that work has been published to the kernel mailing list.

Fedora Workstation's Anaconda Web UI Installer Delayed To Fedora 41
19 February 05:50 PM EST - Fedora - Anaconda Web Installer - 22 Comments

For over two years Red Hat's engineers working on the Anaconda installer have been working on a modern web-based installer UI that integrates with Cockpit and is a modern alternative to their GTK-based installer interface for deploying Fedora Linux and eventually RHEL too. The hope was to offer this web UI installer option for Fedora Workstation 40 but that's now been delayed to Fedora 41.

Linux Still Working To Disable RNDIS Drivers In 2024
19 February 06:35 AM EST - Hardware - Microsoft RNDIS - 62 Comments

Back in January 2023 was an attempt to disable kernel drivers for Microsoft's RNDIS protocol. The Remote Network Driver Interface Specification (RNDIS) is home to security concerns for this protocol built atop USB for virtual Ethernet functionality. Later in the year the effort to disable RNDIS on Linux was tried again without going mainline. In recent days it looks like there will be a fresh attempt at getting the RNDIS driver support disabled.

Third Version Of Linux Atomic Console Support Posted
19 February 06:24 AM EST - Linux Kernel - Needed For Linux Real-Time RT - 10 Comments

Posted on Sunday was the third iteration of the patches working toward the threaded/atomic non-blocking console "NBCON" support that is known to be one of the last blockers to sort out before the remainder of the Linux real-time "RT" patches can be upstreamed.

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