AMD Zen 4, Apple Silicon, Intel Arc Graphics & More Excited Linux Users This Year

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 30 December 2022 at 06:36 AM EST. 1 Comment
While there still are a few more articles coming up on Phoronix over the next day before closing out 2022, for this year on Phoronix there were 191 Linux hardware reviews and featured articles along with 2,846 original news articles on Linux, open-source, and hardware topics. Here is a look back at what excited our Linux/open-source readers the most over the course of 2022.

Below is a look at the most popular Linux reviews and news on Phoronix for the year. As a final reminder, the Phoronix Premium end-of-year sale ends this weekend if wanting to support the site, go ad-free, enjoy multi-page articles on a single page, and use the new optional dark mode. Follow the latest daily Phoronix content on Facebook and Twitter. Happy New Year to all Phoronix readers.

Apple M2 vs. AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U Performance In Nearly 200 Benchmarks
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.

Apple M2 vs. AMD Rembrandt vs. Intel Alder Lake Linux Benchmarks
Given the significant interest from Phoronix readers about how well Apple M2 performs on Linux, especially after it was noted Linus Torvalds using an Apple MacBook Air M2, here are the first of many benchmark articles to come looking at how well Apple's M2 performs under Linux against Intel/AMD x86_64 competition. The new Apple MacBook Air with M2 was benchmarked for this article against the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U "Rembrandt" Zen 3+, Intel Core i7 1280P "Alder Lake P", an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX "Cezanne H", and also for reference an Apple Mac Mini M1 model. All of these laptops were tested under Arch Linux (x86_64) and the Arch-based Asahi Linux (M1/M2).

Python 3.11 Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Fantastic
Last month Python 3.11 Beta 1 was released as their first preview of this major update to the Python programming language. Besides new language features and other improvements, Python 3.11 performance is looking fantastic with very nice performance uplift over prior Python 3.x releases.

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X / Ryzen 9 7950X Benchmarks Show Impressive Zen 4 Linux Performance
The review embargo just lifted for the AMD Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" desktop processors ahead of their retail availability this week. As such there are a few Phoronix articles today looking at these Zen 4 processors under Linux and many benchmarks whole several more follow-up articles will be coming over the weeks ahead. For the launch-day review I have the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X processors. Let's take a look at the significant performance improvements to find with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900 series under Linux.

Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit vs. 64-bit Performance
Last week marked the long awaited release of a 64-bit spin of Raspberry Pi OS. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has now made available a 64-bit build of their default Linux OS build derived from Debian for all recent Raspberry Pi hardware supporting AArch64. For those curious, here are some benchmarks looking at the performance improvement by switching from Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit to 64-bit.

Intel Arc Graphics A380: Compelling For Open-Source Enthusiasts & Developers At ~$139
Last week I outlined getting Intel Arc Graphics running on a open-source Linux graphics driver when using Linux 6.0 and later (along with a currently-experimental module option override) and then Mesa 22.2+. Now that I've had more days with the Intel Arc Graphics A380 as the company's budget discrete GPU, here are more of my thoughts on this graphics card that has begun retailing in the US for $139.

NVIDIA Transitioning To Official, Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver
The day has finally come: NVIDIA IS PUBLISHING THEIR LINUX GPU KERNEL MODULES AS OPEN-SOURCE! To much excitement and a sign of the times, the embargo has just expired on this super-exciting milestone that many of us have been hoping to see for many years. Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack, but with the success of AMD's open-source driver effort going on for more than a decade, many have been calling for NVIDIA to open up their drivers. Their user-space software is remaining closed-source but as of today they have formally opened up their Linux GPU kernel modules and will be maintaining it moving forward. Here's the scoop on this landmark open-source decision at NVIDIA.

Intel Arc Graphics A750 + A770 Linux Gaming Performance
Today the embargo lifts on reviews of the Intel Arc Graphics A750 and A770 graphics cards ahead of their retail availability set for next week. I've had the A750 and A770 at Phoronix the past week and today can share initial performance figures on these Intel DG2/Alchemist discrete graphics cards under Linux with their open-source driver stack.

Intel's Clear Linux Outpacing Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Fedora 36 & Other H1'2022 Distros
Given the recent releases of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Fedora 36 among other recent OS updates, it's time for a fresh look at how various Linux distributions are performing. This Linux benchmarking bout is looking at the Xeon Platinum 8380 2P "Ice Lake" performance across Arch Linux, Debian, openSUSE, CentOS Stream, AlmaLinux, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Intel's Clear Linux.

Windows 11 vs. Linux Performance For Intel Core i9 12900K In Mid-2022
Last year when the Intel Core i9 12900K "Alder Lake" processor launched, Windows 11 was outperforming Linux to much surprise in general but explainable due to some late Linux kernel patches around Intel's hybrid architecture. Back in February I looked at the situation again and Linux started outrunning Windows 11 on the i9-12900K with the latest Linux kernel at the time. But with a few more months having passed and for the Intel Alder Lake hybrid processors to mature under Windows and Linux, how do things stand now? Here are some new benchmarks.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX + RX 7900 XT Linux Support & Performance
Today's the day that the embargo expires on being able to provide reviews on the AMD Radeon RX 7900 series graphics cards... After testing both the Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX graphics cards the past two weeks, today I have the initial performance numbers to share on these graphics cards and the current state of the open-source Linux graphics driver for these first RDNA3 graphics cards. Here is the first look at AMD's new flagship desktop Radeon graphics cards running under Linux with fully upstream and open-source graphics drivers.

AMD EPYC 9554 & EPYC 9654 Benchmarks - Outstanding Performance For Linux HPC/Servers
After showcasing the AMD EPYC 9004 "Genoa" series and geeking out over AMD's reference platform running the Linux-powered open-source OpenBMC, it's time to move on to benchmarking. For evaluating the EPYC Genoa performance under Linux, AMD kindly provided review samples of the EPYC 9654 flagship 96-core processor, the EPYC 9554 64-core processor, and the EPYC 9374F 32-core high frequency CPU. In today's benchmark review I am looking at the EPYC 9554/9654 CPUs while the EPYC 9374F will be featured in its own review in the coming days on Phoronix.

Benchmarking The Linux Kernel With An "-O3" Optimized Build
Stemming from last weeks Linux kernel patches suggesting an -O3 experimental option for all CPU architectures and Linus Torvalds rather quickly shooting it down, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Linux kernel performance when the kernel image is rebuilt with the -O3 optimization level rather than -O2.

Intel Core i9 13900K Linux Benchmarks - Performing Very Well On Ubuntu
Last week Intel began shipping their 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake" processors. As noted in that launch-day article last week, unfortunately I wasn't able to deliver my usual Linux performance review in time due to hitting some DDR5 issues with my test platform, but those have now been resolved with a new Z790 motherboard. So as the first of my Raptor Lake Linux benchmarks, here is a look at how the top-end Core i9 13900K performs against the AMD Ryzen 7000 series on Ubuntu Linux along with the older Intel/AMD processors.

Benchmarking The Linux Mitigated Performance For Retbleed: It's Painful
Yesterday Retbleed was made public as a new speculative execution attack exploiting return instructions. While the "good" news is Retbleed only impacts prior generations of AMD and Intel processors, the bad news is the mitigated performance impact on Linux is quite severe. Since yesterday I have been benchmarking the newly-merged Linux patches on various Intel and AMD processors affected by Retbleed. It's very bad if you are on an affected processor.

Amazon Graviton3 vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance
Earlier this week AWS announced general availability on their new Arm Neoverse-V1 based processors, Graviton3. Right after that I posted some initial Graviton3 benchmarks against prior-generation Graviton2 for showing the very sizable generational improvement with Amazon's new in-house Arm server processors. Since then I have been carrying out a more robust set of around 100 benchmarks across the original Graviton instance, Graviton2, Graviton3, and then up again Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC competing instances. Here is that much larger collection of Graviton3 performance benchmarks carried out on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

HP Dev One - A Great, Well Engineered AMD Ryzen Linux Laptop
Earlier this month marked the launch of the HP Dev One as an interesting collaboration between HP and System76 for a laptop optimized for Linux developers and running System76's Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS operating system. It's a very interesting laptop and well thought out for Linux use with an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U SoC and integrated Radeon graphics for satisfying the preferences of many Linux developers preferring a fully open-source driver stack. Thanks to the large scale manufacturing of HP, it's also a competitively-priced Linux laptop compared to many of the Linux laptops from smaller vendors that are based on Clevo or other white box laptop designs.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D On Linux: Not For Gaming, But Very Exciting For Other Workloads
Last week AMD began shipping the much anticipated Ryzen 7 5800X3D as their first 3D V-Cache consumer CPU and their claims to be "the world's fastest PC gaming processor" in being able to outperform even the Core i9 12900K / 12900KS for Windows gaming. We weren't seeded by AMD for this launch, leading us to anticipate that it's not too good for Linux gaming / not their target market. But after the great success I've had with AMD Milan-X performance on Linux, I was very eager to try out this consumer CPU with the 3D-stacked L3 cache and ended up purchasing a 5800X3D. Indeed the Ryzen 7 5800X3D turned out to be disappointing for Linux gaming performance but the 5800X3D was very interesting for a range of other technical workloads and making me very excited for future Ryzen CPUs with 3D V-Cache.

NVIDIA Linux Gaming Performance For Wayland vs. X.Org On Ubuntu 22.04
With NVIDIA's newly-introduced 510 Linux driver series paired with the latest XWayland and a modern Wayland compositor like the newest GNOME/Mutter packages, the NVIDIA (X)Wayland experience is in great shape and delivering comparable performance to a traditional X.Org session. The NVIDIA Wayland support with GBM usage has stabilized and appears to be in good shape for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release. Here are some benchmarks of the NVIDIA 510 driver on the current state of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

AMD Makes A Compelling Case For Budget-Friendly Ryzen Dedicated Servers
While AMD EPYC processors offer phenomenal performance at the high-end for servers with up to 64 cores / 128 threads per socket, eight memory channels, and other features, not all server deployments call for such capabilities. In the lower-end dedicated web server rental space, budget web hosting, and similar personal / small office server space, AMD Ryzen processors can prove more than capable. Already some dedicated server providers are offering AMD Ryzen powered servers and more are expected to come soon -- especially with even more server-minded wares for Ryzen expected next generation. In looking at this space, we have been testing a number of AMD Ryzen processors recently compared to Intel Xeon E class competition for looking at the performance and value in the low-end dedicated server space.

And the most popular Phoronix news this year included:

Ubuntu Achieves A ~50% Reduction In Start Time For Firefox Snap
Canonical engineers have been continuing their quest to improve the start-up time for the Snap version of Mozilla Firefox that is used by default on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. With the latest improvements now pushed to the Firefox Snap, they are seeing around a 50% reduction in start-time for the web browser.

Systemd Creator Lands At Microsoft
Yesterday's surprise was that Lennart Poettering quietly had left Red Hat following a decade and a half there leading PulseAudio among other projects and ultimately going on to start systemd that has fundamentally reshaped modern Linux distributions. It turns out he had joined Microsoft and continuing his work on systemd.

A 20 Year Old Chipset Workaround Has Been Hurting Modern AMD Linux Systems
AMD engineer K Prateek Nayak recently uncovered that a ~20 year old chipset workaround in the Linux kernel still being applied to modern AMD systems is responsible in some cases for hurting performance on modern Zen hardware. Fortunately, a fix is on the way for limiting that workaround to old systems and in turn helping with performance for modern systems.

Cloudflare Ditches Nginx For In-House, Rust-Written Pingora
Cloudflare has long relied upon Nginx as part of its HTTP proxy stack but now has replaced it with their in-house, Rust-written Pingora software that is said to be serving over one trillion requests per day and delivering better performance while only using about a third of the CPU and memory resources.

Linus Torvalds: Rust For The Kernel Could Possibly Be Merged For Linux 5.20
Speaking this morning at The Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit, Linus Torvalds talked up the possibilities of Rust within the Linux kernel and that it could be landing quite soon -- possibly even for the next kernel cycle.

Massive ~2.3k Patch Series Would Improve Linux Build Times 50~80% & Fix "Dependency Hell"
Longtime Linux kernel developer Ingo Molnar posted a massive set of patches today: 2,297 patches that have been in the works since late 2020 and completely rework the Linux kernel's header file hierarchy. The goal of this "fast kernel headers" effort is to speed up kernel build times and also clean-up a lot of things in the process to address the "dependency hell".

The Linux Kernel Has Been Forcing Different Behavior For Processes Starting With "X"
An ugly hack within the Linux kernel that has been in mainline for over three years has been called out. Due to a buggy X.Org Server / xf86-video-modesetting DDX, the Linux kernel has been imposing different behavior on whether a process starts with "X" and in turn disable the atomic mode-setting support.

Linus Torvalds Bashes Intel's LAM - Rejected For Linux 6.2
Linus Torvalds can be known for his hardware commentary at times like hoping AVX-512 "dies a painful death", Intel's "bad policies" around ECC memory, and giving NVIDIA the finger. The latest colorful commentary by the Linux creator is around Intel's new Linear Address Masking (LAM) feature that aimed to land in Linux 6.2 but is now delayed until the code can be reworked.

AMD Finally Opens Up Its Radeon Raytracing Analyzer "RRA" Source Code
This summer AMD announced the Radeon Raytracing Analyzer "RRA" as part of their developer software suite for helping to profile ray-tracing performance/issues on Windows and Linux with both Direct3D 12 and the Vulkan API. Initially the RRA 1.0 release was binary-only but now AMD has made good on their "GPUOpen" approach and made it open-source.

Google Chrome Is Already Preparing To Deprecate JPEG-XL
JPEG-XL has been looked on rather favorably as a royalty-free, next-generation lossy/lossless image format with much better performance than JPEG. To much surprise, Google Chrome is already making preparations to deprecate JPEG-XL image support in their browser.

New NVIDIA Open-Source Linux Kernel Graphics Driver Appears
Appearing with NVIDIA's latest Linux4Tegra code drop is a new open-source kernel graphics driver not previously published. This driver isn't based on the existing Nouveau driver but rather appears to be derived from their internal driver code-base with some copyright references going back to 90's.

Linus Torvalds Comments On The NTFS Linux Driver Situation
As written about earlier this week, concerns have been raised over the "new" NTFS Linux driver that it's effectively unmaintained already less than one year after being mainlined. Linus Torvalds has since commented on the matter and opens up the door for other developers to maintain it.

NVIDIA Publishes 73k Lines Worth Of 3D Header Files For Fermi Through Ampere GPUs
In addition to NVIDIA being busy working on transitioning to an open-source GPU kernel driver, yesterday they made a rare public open-source documentation contribution... NVIDIA quietly published 73k lines worth of header files to document the 3D classes for their Fermi through current-generation Ampere GPUs!

Whoops: Linux's strcmp() For The m68k Has Always Been Broken
It turns out the hand-written Assembly code providing an optimized string comparison "strcmp" function for the Motorola 68000 (m68k) processor architecture has "always been broken" and only now uncovered at the end of 2022.

Btrfs With Linux 6.2 Bringing Performance Improvements, Better RAID 5/6 Reliability
The Btrfs and EXT4 file-system updates for the Linux 6.2 merge window have been submitted. The Btrfs changes are rather notable with continued performance enhancements as well as making some reliability improvements to its native RAID5/RAID6 modes.

System76's Pop!_OS COSMIC Desktop To Make Use Of Iced Rust Toolkit Rather Than GTK
System76 has been developing their own COSMIC desktop as the next evolution for their Pop!_OS Linux distribution built atop an Ubuntu base. Interestingly with this big COSMIC desktop undertaking, which is being written in the Rust programming language, they have decided to shift away from using the GTK toolkit to instead make use of Iced-Rs as a Rust-native, multi-platform graphical toolkit.

Google Outlines Why They Are Removing JPEG-XL Support From Chrome
Following yesterday's article about Google Chrome preparing to deprecate the JPEG-XL image format, a Google engineer has now provided their reasons for dropping this next-generation image format.

Wayland Protocol Finally Ready For Fractional Scaling
After many months of work, the wp-fractional-scale-v1 protocol for Wayland is set to be merged imminently for fractional scaling support.

Google Announces KataOS As Security-Focused OS, Leveraging Rust & seL4 Microkernel
Google this week has announced the release of KataOS as their newest operating system effort focused on embedded devices running ambient machine learning workloads. KataOS is security-minded, exclusively uses the Rust programming language, and is built atop the seL4 microkernel as its foundation.

Concerns Raised Over The "New" NTFS Linux Driver That Merged Last Year
Back in 2020 file-system driver provider Paragon Software announced they wanted to upstream their NTFS driver into the Linux kernel. This driver was previously a proprietary, commercial offering from the company but given the state of NTFS these days they wanted to upstream this driver with full read/write support and other features not found within the existing NTFS driver. Finally last year after going through many rounds of review, the new driver was merged into Linux 5.15. Sadly, less than one year later, concerns have been raised that the driver is already effectively orphaned and not being maintained.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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