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Even With A $199 Laptop, Clear Linux Can Offer Superior Performance To Fedora Or Ubuntu

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  • Even With A $199 Laptop, Clear Linux Can Offer Superior Performance To Fedora Or Ubuntu

    Phoronix: Even With A $199 Laptop, Clear Linux Can Offer Superior Performance To Fedora Or Ubuntu

    The latest in our benchmarking fun with the $199+ Motile M141 laptop is seeing how well Intel's Clear Linux performs on it in relation to Ubuntu and Fedora.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=28844

  • #2
    Clear Linux keeps kicking but. It's strange that they don't yet turn it into a commercial project yet by offering support services for it. It could be useful in specific cases where the best performance possible is required

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    • #3
      The outcome is hardly surprising given the difference in focus between Clear Linux (pure speed) and Fedora. Here are the default compiler flags for Fedora 31:

      -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Werror=format-security -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wp,-D_GLIBCXX_ASSERTIONS -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong -grecord-gcc-switches -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-cc1 -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-annobin-cc1 -m64 -mtune=generic -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -fstack-clash-protection -fcf-protection

      Not really Formula 1 settings I doubt that Clear Linux would still be faster if they recompiled their stuff with these flags.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by EarthMind View Post
        Clear Linux keeps kicking but. It's strange that they don't yet turn it into a commercial project yet by offering support services for it. It could be useful in specific cases where the best performance possible is required
        That certainly would be interesting. With the demise of the fat client and popularity of web-based SaaS the world could use a supported Linux OS to replace that swiss cheese desktop OS But, Wintel brings Intel a ton of revenue so not sure if we'll ever see a supported Clear Linux.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lowlands View Post
          The outcome is hardly surprising given the difference in focus between Clear Linux (pure speed) and Fedora. Here are the default compiler flags for Fedora 31:

          -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Werror=format-security -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wp,-D_GLIBCXX_ASSERTIONS -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong -grecord-gcc-switches -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-cc1 -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-annobin-cc1 -m64 -mtune=generic -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -fstack-clash-protection -fcf-protection

          Not really Formula 1 settings I doubt that Clear Linux would still be faster if they recompiled their stuff with these flags.
          well it is worthwhile to have a look at their github repo - there is more ongoing eg. plenty of patches adding avx support to certain packages.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EarthMind View Post
            Clear Linux keeps kicking but. It's strange that they don't yet turn it into a commercial project yet by offering support services for it. It could be useful in specific cases where the best performance possible is required
            please go back to the nvidia on windows user forum ... just a joke but dont feed them with such ideas

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EarthMind View Post
              Clear Linux keeps kicking but. It's strange that they don't yet turn it into a commercial project yet by offering support services for it. It could be useful in specific cases where the best performance possible is required
              It won't be Intel that does it. Clear Linux is one big advertisement for Intel hardware. It's a showcase and relatively small scale research project of what's possible should anyone care to tune for raw performance. That's all it's meant to be.

              The reality is generic distributions don't tune for raw performance. They conservatively tune for various ranges of compatibility and security settings instead, hopefully without sacrificing too much performance. That's not an unreasonable goal when you have no control over what hardware your software is going to be deployed on.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lowlands View Post
                The outcome is hardly surprising given the difference in focus between Clear Linux (pure speed) and Fedora. Here are the default compiler flags for Fedora 31:

                -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Werror=format-security -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wp,-D_GLIBCXX_ASSERTIONS -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong -grecord-gcc-switches -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-cc1 -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-annobin-cc1 -m64 -mtune=generic -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -fstack-clash-protection -fcf-protection

                Not really Formula 1 settings I doubt that Clear Linux would still be faster if they recompiled their stuff with these flags.
                That.

                Defining an "-mtune=generic-aes" profile that's essentially Westmere in all but name would do wonders for modern desktops and laptops, especially on distributions where security is a major focus; Xeon Westmeres, Core i7-9xx, AMD FX Bulldozers & Opterons would be the minimum targeted CPUs. "-mtune=generic -march=x86_64", which is what is used if nothing is defined, doesn't enable AES and it's something that you'd want if you're using encryption and more hardened settings like Red Hat/Fedora.

                One of the "tricks" that Clear does is target Sandy Bridge and up (one gen newer than Westmere) because Sandy is the first Intel CPU generation with AVX support. I figure by going one generation earlier and targeting AES as a minimum, they (the distributions) won't have to worry about people who buy cheap and gimped Intel Celerons and Atoms and can say "CPUs released from 2010 and up are supported".

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by stormcrow View Post
                  [...] Clear Linux is one big advertisement for Intel hardware. It's a showcase and relatively small scale research project of what's possible should anyone care to tune for raw performance. That's all it's meant to be.

                  The reality is generic distributions don't tune for raw performance. They conservatively tune for various ranges of compatibility and security settings instead, hopefully without sacrificing too much performance. That's not an unreasonable goal when you have no control over what hardware your software is going to be deployed on.
                  I would say there two caveats here. One, Clear linux has shown better performance on all the x86-64 platforms it has been tested on by Phoronix, notably in this article, one of their main competitors low end apus. Two, they demonstrate that there are low hanging fruit that pretty much every distribution could be looking at that targets marginally recent x86-64 platforms... ie. I would not dismiss Clear as an impractical toy.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by set135 View Post

                    I would say there two caveats here. One, Clear linux has shown better performance on all the x86-64 platforms it has been tested on by Phoronix, notably in this article, one of their main competitors low end apus. Two, they demonstrate that there are low hanging fruit that pretty much every distribution could be looking at that targets marginally recent x86-64 platforms... ie. I would not dismiss Clear as an impractical toy.
                    I didn't dismiss Clear as a toy. Quite the opposite. I said it's a relatively small (in comparison to Intel's other research efforts in terms of funding) research project into what's possible if people are willing to make those changes. It is an advertisement for their hardware. That's part of the point. Yes those options show improvements to AMD hardware too, but that's not the primary emphasis with Clear Linux. They're upfront and honestly showcasing what their hardware can do even against their only real competition on the same software and optimization level. Macy used to use a similar advertising tactic against Gimbel Brothers back in the day. Macy upstaged Gimbel's by being upfront and honest with customers where to find products, even if it sent them to arch rival Gimbel Brothers if Macy didn't carry the product.

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