Raspberry Pi 3, Linux 4.6 & AMDGPU Were Popular Among Our 300+ Articles This Month

Written by Michael Larabel in Premium on 31 March 2016 at 08:09 PM EDT. Add A Comment
With Linux 4.6 entering development, AMD releasing their new "PRO" hybrid driver stack, Raspberry Pi 3 and other 64-bit ARM boards becoming popular, NVIDIA releasing their new driver with Mir and Wayland support, and other open-source milestones reached, March 2016 was another exciting month for Linux enthusiasts.

This month on Phoronix we wrote a total of 315 original news articles and 29 featured length articles/reviews. Yep, continuing to hit more than 10 original articles per day -- nearly all of which are your's truly. So with that said, it's time for the monthly reminder that if you appreciate everything being produced on Phoronix.com 7 days per week, 365 days per year, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip. These contributions go to allow more content to be written for Phoronix.com, more hardware to be reviewed under Linux, and to continue the development of the open-source Phoronix Test Suite, OpenBenchmarking.org, and more. If you aren't able to help out directly, please at least don't view this site with any ad-blockers enabled as pay-per-impression advertisements are the primary means of making this site possible.

The most popular news this month included:

An AMD ARM 64-bit Dev Board Is Launching For $299 USD
Since last year we have been waiting for AMD to launch their "HuskyBoard" ARM development board built around their Opteron A1100 ARM 64-bit SoC. That board was originally supposed to ship in Q4'15 while now available for pre-order is a new A1100 development board that looks like it may be taking its place.

Mozilla's Servo Is Whooping The Other Browsers In Performance
While the Rust-written Servo engine being developed by Mozilla is still experimental, Google's Jake Archibald has done a performance comparison of Servo against other engines and the results are mighty impressive.

Rumor: NVIDIA Working On Their Own Distribution For Linux Gamers
Making the rounds on the Internet today is a rumor that NVIDIA Corp is allegedly working on their own Linux distribution.

Ubuntu Is Deprecating fglrx (Catalyst) In 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu developers have deprecated the fglrx / Catalyst Linux display stack for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Users of this upcoming Ubuntu release are now encouraged to use the open-source Radeon display stack.

Here Is A $5 Fix To Cool Your Raspberry Pi 3
Over the past week of running benchmarks on the Raspberry Pi 3 we have seen how warm this new $35 quad-core ARM 64-bit developer board can get and it's significantly hotter than the Raspberry Pi 2.

OrangeFS Lands In Linux 4.6 Kernel
A new file-system has been merged for the Linux 4.6 kernel.

Not Everyone Is Excited About The Raspberry Pi 3
While the Raspberry Pi 3 should be much more powerful than its predecessors thanks to finally having a ARMv8 processor (and quad-core Cortex-A53 at that), it's not for everyone.

NVIDIA 364.12 Arrives With Wayland & Mir Support
NVIDIA's 364 Linux driver series is now available and it's pretty darn exciting!

Linux 4.6 To Offer Faster Raspberry Pi 3D Performance
Broadcom's Eric Anholt sent in the VC4 DRM driver updates today for DRM-Next merging to in turn get into the Linux 4.6 kernel merge window.

Epic Games' Tim Sweeney Is Warning Of Microsoft's Closed Gaming Ecosystem
Epic Games' Tim Sweeny has written a lengthy op-ed coming out against Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) effort that would close up the Windows gaming ecosystem as "a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10."

And the most popular featured articles were:

Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards
On Friday my Raspberry Pi 3 arrived for benchmarking. For our first benchmarks of this Cortex-A53 64-bit ARM $35 development board is a comparison against eight other ARMv7 and ARMv8 development boards running their official Linux distributions while carrying out a range of benchmarks. Here are those raw performance results along with a performance-per-dollar comparison for additional insight into this low-cost ARM development board.

For A Few Dollars More Than The Raspberry Pi 3 You Can Have A Much Faster Board
Yesterday's Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards was quite interesting while today I have a complementary data point: the Raspberry Pi 3 compared to the ODROID-C2. The ODROID-C2 costs just a few dollars more ($40 USD) while having a faster SoC and other advantages.

15-Way Linux OS Comparison Shows Mixed High-Performing Linux Distributions
Succeeding January's 10-way Linux distribution battle is now a 15-way Linux distribution comparison on an Intel Xeon "Skylake" system with Radeon R7 graphics. Distributions part of this Linux OS performance showdown include Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OpenSUSE, Antergos, Sabayon, Void Linux, Zenwalk, KaOS, Clear Linux, and Alpine Linux.

AMD vs. NVIDIA Vulkan & OpenGL Linux Performance With The New Drivers
Thanks to AMD having released their new GPU-PRO "hybrid" Linux driver a few days ago, there is now Vulkan API support for Radeon GPU owners on Linux. This new AMD Linux driver holds much potential and the closed-source bits are now limited to user-space, among other benefits covered in dozens of Phoronix articles over recent months. With having this new driver in hand plus NVIDIA promoting their Vulkan support to the 364 Linux driver series, it's a great time for some benchmarking. Here are OpenGL and Vulkan atop Ubuntu 16.04 Linux for both AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.

How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing With AMDGPU/Radeon Graphics Compared To Ubuntu 14.04 With FGLRX
With Ubuntu dropping support for the AMD fglrx/Catalyst driver in their upcoming 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" release and manually installing the driver doesn't sound like an option, many have renewed interest in how the open-source Radeon driver stack is performing for Ubuntu 16.04 that's due out next month. In this article are benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (on both the open and closed drivers) to that of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the sole AMD Linux driver option on a variety of graphics cards.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux Performance
Every year or two we run >32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux benchmarks. While x86_64 Intel/AMD hardware has been extremely common for quite some time, we continue to be amazed at the number of people still running an i686 Linux distribution on x86_64 hardware.

Tonga AMDGPU Performance On Ubuntu 16.04 Has 80~90%+ Performance Of Catalyst
Earlier this week was the How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing With AMDGPU/Radeon Graphics Compared To Ubuntu 14.04 With FGLRX, which showed off some interesting open-source Radeon Linux driver results but the Radeon R9 285 "Tonga" graphics card at the time couldn't be tested on Ubuntu 16.04's kernel due to a regression. That issue is fortunately now resolved in the latest Xenial Xerus kernel so here are those numbers.

Linux 4.6 Set To Bring A Significant Number Of New Features
Linus Torvalds ended up tagging the Linux 4.6-rc1 kernel on Saturday night rather than opting for Sunday. While we tend to get excited about every major update to the Linux kernel, Linux 4.6 is coming in particularly heavy with new functionality and notable improvements to existing features. Linux 4.6 is arguably looking like the most exciting release in a few kernel cycles.

Trying The New AMD GPU-PRO Linux Driver On Ubuntu With Vulkan, OpenCL & OpenGL
On Friday night to much surprise, AMD published the beta version of their new hybrid Linux driver stack with Vulkan support alongside OpenCL, OpenGL, and VDPAU support. Here's some more details from my initial testing of this new driver that AMD is currently calling the Radeon Software AMD GPU-PRO Beta Driver for Linux.

NVIDIA GeForce vs. Radeon/AMDGPU OpenGL Performance On Ubuntu 16.04
This week we showed how the new AMDGPU driver stack is performing on Ubuntu 16.04 and that the recent generations of Radeon graphics cards are commonly seeing 80~90% the performance of Catalyst. However, it's important to keep in mind that aside from Catalyst being more buggy than the proprietary NVIDIA driver, the NVIDIA binary driver also tends to be more performant. So for putting the Ubuntu 16.04 open-source Radeon numbers into perspective, here are results putting them against the GeForce Kepler and Maxwell graphics cards.
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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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