Intel Linux Improvements, AMD openSIL, Zen 4 3D V-Cache & Other March Highlights

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 2 April 2023 at 12:22 PM EDT. Add A Comment
Along with the Phoronix Q1'2023 recap, here is a look back at what excited Phoronix readers the most in March when it came to all of the original open-source and Linux focused content. During March on Phoronix were 240 original news articles and 15 featured Linux hardware reviews / multi-page benchmark articles written by your's truly.

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Ahead of a very exciting April, here is a look back at the most exciting news during March on Phoronix:

ipmitool Repository Archived, Developer Suspended By GitHub
The ipmitool utility on Linux systems is widely-used for controlling IPMI-enabled servers and other systems. This tool for interacting with the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) is extremely common with server administrators while now its development is in a temporary state of limbo due to GitHub.

Intel Thunder Bay Is Officially Canceled, Linux Driver Code To Be Removed
I hadn't heard any mentions of Intel's Thunder Bay in quite a while besides the occasional Linux kernel patch while now it has been officially confirmed as a cancelled Intel product and the Linux driver code being worked on the past 2+ years is on the chopping block.

Intel Continues With More Big-Time Optimizations To The Linux Kernel
I love Linux kernel patches that mention "massively", use exclamation points when talking about performance, and/or simply mention big speed-ups. Quite often such patches come out of Intel and last week they sent out another great performance optimization patch series to improve additional low-level bits of the kernel.

Linux Kernel Networking Driver Development Impacted By Russian Sanctions
The US and western government sanctions around the Russian government and its defense industry/companies due to their war in Ukraine has caused interesting issues in the open-source world. A few days after ipmitool was archived/suspended on GitHub that turned out to be due to the current maintainer's affiliation with a Russian tech company, separately there is now a blocking of Linux kernel contributions from selected Russian developers.

Vanilla OS 2.0 Shifting From Ubuntu Base To Debian Sid
One of the newer Linux distributions that has been making waves is Vanilla OS as an immutable and atomic version of Ubuntu Linux that aims to provide a pleasant Linux desktop experience, close to upstream, and is augmented by the growing selection of Flatpak packages. Now though the project has decided to move from Ubuntu Linux as its base over to Debian Sid.

OBS Studio Lands AV1 & HEVC RTMP Streaming Support
In time for OBS Studio 29.1, the Veovera Software Organization non-profit has contributed support for AV1 and HEVC streaming via RTMP so that gamers and other creators can stream their content to the YouTube RTMP server using these newer video formats.

Still Have A Use For Adobe Flash? Ruffle Is Working To Safely Emulate It In Rust
While Adobe Flash is officially -- and thankfully -- dead, those interested in Adobe Flash Player for nostalgia or archival purposes, Ruffle is working to emulate Adobe Flash support via this open-source project making use of the Rust programming language.

Linux 6.4 AMD Graphics Driver Picking Up New Power Features For The Steam Deck
A pull request of early AMDGPU kernel graphics driver changes was submitted for DRM-Next on Friday as some of the early feature work accumulating for the Linux 6.4 kernel cycle.

AMD Preparing "openSIL" For Open-Source Silicon Initialization With Coreboot
If better open-source AMD Coreboot support was on your bingo card for years but long thought to be a lofty dream, get ready to celebrate... AMD dropped a juicy tid-bit of information to be announced next month with "openSIL" as it concerns open-source AMD x86 silicon initialization library, complete with AMD Coreboot support.

GNOME Shell & Mutter Complete Their Migration Away From GTK3
The GNOME Shell and the Mutter compositor have completed their migration off GTK3.

Linux 6.3 Adds Thunderbolt/USB4 DisplayPort Bandwidth Allocation Mode
Earlier this week Greg Kroah-Hartman submitted the USB/Thunderbolt subsystem updates for the ongoing Linux 6.3 kernel merge window.

Linux 6.3 Drops Support For The Intel ICC Compiler
On this last day of the Linux 6.3 kernel merge window, Linus Torvalds merged the patch dropping support for Intel (ICC) compiler support. Specifically this is Intel's long-standing ICC compiler now known as the "Intel C++ Compiler Classic" prior to its transition to being LLVM/Clang-based with the modern Intel DPC++ compiler.

Linux 6.4 To Remove Old Workaround For Running On Very Outdated Distributions
Linux 6.4 is set to remove the old CONFIG_SYSFS_DEPRECATED and CONFIG_SYSFS_DEPRECATED_V2 options that are used for running newer versions of the Linux kernel with very old Linux distributions and user-space tools. Pre 2007~2008 distributions as a result would likely run into trouble trying to run on Linux 6.4+ kernels.

Valve Officially Announces Counter-Strike 2
Following recent rumors and leaks, Valve today officially announced Counter-Strike 2 that they announce as the largest technical leap in Counter-Strike's history.

Godot 4.0 Stable Released As Major Step Forward For Open-Source Game Engines
The Godot engine developers are starting off March with a bang... The much anticipated Godot 4.0 engine that has been in development for years has been released as stable!

Raja Koduri Departing Intel To Start New Software Company
Prominent Intel leader Raja Koduri who currently serves as the company's Chief Architect is leaving to focus on a new software start-up.

Linux 6.4 Looking To Drop The SLOB Memory Allocator
A patch series is proposing that the SLOB memory allocator be removed from the Linux 6.4 kernel this summer.

Fedora 38 Beta Released With Many Exciting Updates
The beta of Fedora 38 is out and on-time this morning for those wanting to test this latest major update to Fedora Linux.

Linux 6.3 Improvements Yield Better Chances Of Successfully Compiling The Kernel With ~32GB RAM
For those doing large Linux kernel builds such as with the "allyesconfig" build option for including as many of the available drivers as possible into the assembled Linux kernel image, objtool improvements ready to go with Linux 6.3 should cut down on the RAM usage and also speed-up the kernel build time. These improvements were motivated by Linux kernel developers beginning to run out of memory when trying to carry out the "allyesconfig" kernel builds on desktops with 32GB of RAM.

Latest System76 Intel-Powered Laptops Added To Coreboot
Merged on Saturday to upstream Coreboot was support for some of the latest Intel Alderlake (and signs of Raptor Lake) powered laptops from Linux vendor System76.

And the most popular reviews/featured articles:

Orange Pi 5 Is A Great & Very Fast Alternative To The Raspberry Pi 4
With an 8-core Rockchip RK3588S SoC, the Orange Pi 5 is leaps and bounds faster than the aging Raspberry Pi 4. With up to 32GB of RAM, the Orange Pi 5 is also capable of serving for a more diverse user-base and even has enough potential for assembling a budget Arm Linux developer desktop. I've been testing out the Orange Pi 5 the past few weeks and it's quite fast and nice for its low price point.

The Technical Workloads Where AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D/7950X3D CPUs Are Excellent
While the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D and Ryzen 9 7950X3D are promoted as great "gaming processors", these new Zen 4 desktop CPUs with 3D V-Cache also have great capabilities for various technical computing workloads thanks to the hefty cache size. In prior articles I've looked at the Ryzen 9 7900X3D/7950X3D in around 400 workloads on Linux while in this article I am looking more closely at these technical computing areas where these AMD Zen 4 3D V-Cache processors show the most strength and value outside of gaming.

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D Linux Gaming Performance
After earlier this week providing the initial Linux benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D across many Linux gaming tests as well as nearly 400 other tests, in today's article I am looking at the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D as the 12-core / 24-thread processor with the hefty 128MB L3 cache on this Zen 4 desktop processor. Due to having less time with the 7900X3D thus far, today's article is just getting things started in looking at the Linux gaming performance -- both native Linux games as well as many Windows games running on Linux thanks to Valve's wonderful Steam Play (Proton + DXVK / VKD3D-Proton) software.

Intel's Open-Source Linux Compute Stack Maturing Very Well For Arc Graphics
From early December to late February there was an absence of new Compute-Runtime updates for that open-source stack for providing OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero support for Intel graphics hardware on Linux. It was out of trend as they worked to move from a weekly~biweekly release rhythm to a monthly release cadence while taking extra time for making various other changes too. After that three month lull, they are back to pushing out new compute updates and damn it's looking nice. At least in my testing, the progress they've quietly made over the past few months has been very nice for the compute stack compatibility/support and performance.

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D Linux Performance
Following last week's review of the brand new AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D and then moving on to looking at the Ryzen 9 7900X3D gaming performance, today's Linux hardware coverage on Phoronix is looking at the Ryzen 9 7900X3D Linux performance in other system/CPU workloads aside from gaming.

Testing The First PCIe Gen 5.0 NVMe SSD On Linux Has Been Disappointing
This past week saw the first two consumer PCIe 5.0 NVMe solid-state drives released to retail: the Gigabyte AORUS Gen5 10000 and the Inland TD510. I've been testing the Inland TD510 2TB Gen 5 NVMe SSD the past few days. While in simple I/O testing it can hit speeds almost up to 10,000 MB/s reads and writes, for more complex workloads it quickly dropped against popular PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD options. In my testing thus far of this first consumer Gen5 NVMe SSD it's left me far from impressed.

Intel Linux Kernel Optimizations Show Huge Benefit For High Core Count Servers
Earlier this month I wrote about Intel engineers working on more big optimizations to the Linux kernel with a focus on enhancing the kernel's performance at high core counts. The numbers shared then were very promising and since then I've had more time looking at the performance impact of Intel's stellar software optimization work and its impact on real-world workloads. Here is a look at how Intel's pending kernel optimization patches are a huge deal for today's high core count servers.

Amazon Linux 2023 Is Running Well, Boosting EC2 Performance Over Amazon Linux 2
For those currently making use of Amazon Linux 2 (AL2) as the operating system for Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, the newly-released Amazon Linux 2023 (AL2023) is delivering some worthwhile speed-ups for maximizing your performance and value in their public cloud.

The Current Intel Arc Graphics Linux Gaming Performance On Linux 6.2 + Mesa 23.1-dev
Last week I shared my findings over the great state of Intel's open-source compute stack for Arc Graphics now that the DG2/Alchemist support was promoted to stable in Linux 6.2 and the Compute-Runtime user-space stack for OpenCL and Level Zero is back to seeing regular updates with that code having matured particularly well. Here is a brief look at the current state of the Linux gaming performance for Arc Graphics on Linux 6.2 and making use of the latest Mesa 23.1-devel OpenGL and Vulkan drivers.

Intel Arc Graphics Show Good Potential For Linux Workstation OpenGL Performance
Recently I provided a fresh look at the Intel Arc Graphics Linux gaming performance with the newest open-source drivers. While it was a letdown with some of the newer Steam Play games still not working due to current limitations of the Intel "ANV" open-source Vulkan driver and some Vulkan performance issues in other titles, one area that stood out was the very good Linux OpenGL performance. That made me curious to look at the workstation OpenGL performance for Intel Arc Graphics, which is the focus of today's testing.
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About The Author
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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