Radeon RX 7900 XT/XTX, EPYC Genoa & Linux 6.2 Developments Made For An Exciting Month

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 January 2023 at 10:47 AM EST. 3 Comments
While there were various holidays in December, there continued to be daily and original content on Phoronix each and every day. During December there were 228 original news articles on Phoronix and 18 featured hardware reviews / multi-page benchmark articles. Here is a look back at all of the exciting Linux hardware content and software news for closing out 2022.

In case you missed it from a few days back there was the top Phoronix articles for 2022 while this article is just the monthly recap for looking at all of the exciting content during December. With the launch of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 series, continued testing of AMD 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" processors, Linux 6.1 reaching stable, the Linux 6.2 merge window being very exciting, GCC Rust being merged, and other hardware/software milestones, it was a great close for 2022... At least as far as interesting content is concerned, while operations remain difficult due to the unfortunate and rampant use of ad-blockers by readers. If you would for a 2023 new year's resolution, consider disabling your ad-blocker on Phoronix as impression-based advertisements is the primary funding for Phoronix.com Alternatively you can join Phoronix Premium to enjoy the site ad-free, view multi-page articles on a single page, and enjoy the optional new dark mode.

The most popular news on Phoronix during December included:

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.

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.

Ikey Doherty's Serpent OS Spins Its First ISO
After two years of work, the Serpent OS Linux distribution has released its first public image for this innovative and original open-source operating system.

Linux 6.1 Lands Revert For "Huge Performance Regressions" From Three Lines Of Code
Ahead of the Linux 6.1-rc8 kernel that Linus Torvalds is expected to issue shortly rather than going straight to Linux 6.1 stable, a revert for a small change leading to "huge performance regressions" in select areas has fortunately been caught and reverted.

Fedora 38 Wants To Make Sure Shutdowns & Reboots Are Faster
A change proposal to be evaluated still by FESCo would help ensure that system shutdowns and reboots can happen faster on Fedora Linux.

Linux 6.1 Released With MGLRU, Initial Rust Code
Linus Torvalds just released Linux 6.1 as stable!

Linux 6.2 Speeds Up A Function By 715x - kallsyms_lookup_name()
As a nice Christmas present, code merged today to the Linux 6.2 kernel speeds up a core kernel function by a factor of 715x.

Linux 6.2 Brings A Big Rework To The MSI Subsystem
The IRQ pull request that was merged early in the Linux 6.2 cycle has a big rework to the Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI) subsystem.

Steam On Linux Usage Climbs Higher Thanks To The Steam Deck
Valve just posted their November 2022 Steam Survey results and it shows the Linux gaming marketshare continue to climb, driven by the success of their Arch Linux powered Steam Deck handheld gaming console.

Rust-GPU 0.4 Released To Provide "First Class" GPU Graphics & Compute Shaders With Rust
Embark Studios has released a new version of Rust-GPU that has a goal of making Rust a first-class programming language and ecosystem for GPU shader development.

New Patches Aim To Boost Linux 9p Performance By ~10x
A new set of patches posted for the Plan 9 (9p) resource sharing protocol code inside the Linux kernel can deliver roughly 10x better performance for file transfers.

Arch-Powered Manjaro 22.0 Released With Xfce 4.18 Desktop, Linux 6.1 Kernel
Among many open-source software project releases timed for the holidays is Manjaro 22.0 now being available for this popular desktop distribution built atop Arch Linux.

Ruby 3.2 Released With WebAssembly Support, Production-Grade YJIT
Ruby programming language developers have issued a Christmas release of the latest iteration of this language focused on simplicity and productivity.

Sway 1.8 Released With More Secure Screen Locking, High Res Scroll Wheel Events
Sway 1.8 is out this Christmas as the newest feature release to this i3-inspired Wayland compositor.

Microsoft Begins Providing DirectX Shader Compiler Linux Binaries
In early 2017 Microsoft open-sourced their DirectX shader compiler and shortly thereafter it's been possible to build it on Linux while finally as of this week Microsoft has begun providing official Linux binaries of their shader compiler.

Wine 8.0-rc2 Released With 50 Fixes
Following the Wine 8.0-rc1 and code freeze from earlier this month, Wine 8.0-rc2 is out today as an off-schedule-due-to-holidays release.

Linux 6.2 Lands Support For Multiple Compression Streams With ZRAM
Merged last week to Linux 6.2 as part of Andrew Morton's memory management related patches is support within ZRAM for multiple compression streams.

AMD Improving The Linux Experience When Running New GPUs Without Proper Driver Support
While AMD provided upstream open-source driver support for the Radeon RX 7900 series launch, the initial user experience can be less than desirable if running a new Radeon GPU but initially running an out-of-date kernel or lacking the necessary firmware support. With a new patch series posted AMD is looking to improve the experience by being able to more easily fallback to the firmware frame-buffer when their AMDGPU kernel graphics driver fails to properly load.

GCC Rust Front-End v4 Posted - Now Cleared For Merging In GCC 13
The GCC Rust front-end that provides very preliminary support for the Rust programming language atop the GNU Compiler Collection is now cleared for merging to the mainline codebase!

And the most popular hardware reviews / featured articles for the month included:

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.

Radeon Gaming/Graphics Performance: Windows 11 vs. Linux GPU Benchmarks
With the end of the year upon us it's a great time to see how the Windows vs. Linux gaming performance is looking as we enter 2023. In particular, it's interesting on the AMD Radeon side with the open-source Linux graphics driver stack having made great gains this year thanks to the continued investment by AMD and heavy contributions by Valve to the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver that is used by the Steam Deck and commonly in general by Linux gamers. Here is a look at the Windows vs. Linux GPU performance both for the mature RDNA2 support as well as the recently-released RDNA3 graphics.

AMD Radeon With Linux 6.1 + Mesa 23.0-dev vs. NVIDIA R525 Gaming Performance
With the Linux 6.1 kernel due to be released in the next week, Mesa 23.0-devel continuing to see a lot of improvements land for RADV and RadeonSI, and the NVIDIA R525 Linux driver series being available, here is a fresh look at the AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux gaming performance with various graphics cards and an assortment of Linux games -- both native and via Valve's Steam Play.

AMD 4th Gen EPYC 9654 "Genoa" AVX-512 Performance Analysis
With the great AMD 4th Gen EPYC Linux performance showing significant generational uplift and dominating against the current Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake" competition, it's a combination of the twelve channels of DDR5 system memory support, up to 96 cores per socket, introduction of AVX-512, and other Zen 4 micro-architectural improvements. As follow-up testing articles to all of the Genoa data delivered thus far, over the weeks ahead I have additional benchmark results to share looking more closely at these different areas of improvement for AMD 4th Gen EPYC. In today's article is a look at the EPYC 9654 2P performance with AVX-512 on/off while also looking at the CPU power consumption impact and the affect on CPU clock frequencies and thermals.

The Performance Of Arch Linux Powered CachyOS
Recently there have been a number of Phoronix readers writing in about CachyOS, an Arch Linux based distribution that is new and is focused on " better speed, security and ease of use," So of course there has been requests to see how well CachyOS performs against other distributions... In thus article is an initial look at the CachyOS performance compared to that of also Arch Linux based Endeavour OS, Ubuntu 22.10, Fedora Workstation 37, and then Intel's Clear Linux that is already well known for its performance attributes.

Linux 6.2's Call Depth Tracking Helps Recover Lost Performance On Intel Skylake CPUs
When the Retbleed security vulnerability was introduced earlier this year mitigating it for Intel Skylake and Skylake-derived CPU cores required imposing Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) that further tanked the out-of-the-box performance for these aging Intel CPUs. But being introduced now with Linux 6.2 is a new mitigation technique named Call Depth Tracking that is helping recover some of that lost performance and in turn extending the usefulness of the Skylake-derived processors still in service.

Blender 3.4 HIP Performance With Radeon RX 7900 Series + RDNA3 OpenCL Compute Benchmarks
Earlier this week was the initial Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX Linux review focusing on the gaming performance while in today's article is a look at the Radeon RX 7900 series when running on Blender 3.4 with its Cycles HIP back-end as well as various OpenCL compute benchmarks against the older Radeon graphics cards and NVIDIA GeForce competition.

Running The New Open-Source NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Support In Linux 6.2
While NVIDIA is already out with multiple GeForce RTX 40 series products, coming only now with the Linux 6.2 kernel is initial open-source 3D acceleration support for the GeForce RTX 30 "Ampere" graphics processors. Here is my initial experience with this open-source NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series support in Linux 6.2.

AMD Secure Memory Encryption "SME" Performance With 4th Gen EPYC Genoa
One of the security improvements made by AMD with their 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" processors is upping their Secure Memory Encryption (SME) support from 128-bit to now 256-bit AES-XTS. AMD Secure Memory Encryption can be used for helping thwart attacks on the main system memory, but at what performance cost? In this article is an initial look at the AMD EPYC Genoa performance with AMD SME enabled/disabled.

Intel's Clear Linux Helping AMD EPYC Genoa Hit New Performance Heights
Similar to the great results of Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux on the Ryzen 9 7950X, making use of Clear Linux on the new 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" processors also helps in maximizing performance for these AVX-512 server processors. Here are some initial benchmarks.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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