Ice Lake, Threadripper, New CPU Vulnerabilities + Linux 5.4 Release Dominated November

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 30 November 2019 at 11:56 PM EST. 2 Comments
Looking back on November there was the exciting release of new AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X/3970X processors, Intel Core i9 10980XE Cascadelake-X also released, various new CPU vulnerabilities were disclosed, Linux gaming performance continued getting better with Mesa, the Linux 5.4 got buttoned up and released with its many new features, and other open-source milestones achieved. And there's a new Phoronix worker in-training.

During November on Phoronix were 296 original news articles and 24 featured articles, which is still roughly jiving with my aim of around 10 original news articles each and every day as well as one featured article / Linux hardware review per day. It's been that way for years and in fact the last calendar day without any new content was close to seven years ago. It was a battle this month keeping up with the usual pace of Linux benchmarking and news especially with my wife giving birth, but alas paternity leave lasted ultimately a couple of hours here and there plus an eventual Phoronix worker in training as long as ad-blockers don't destroy things before the time comes. On top of all the articles, Phoronix Test Suite 9.2 is on track for releasing in the next week and there were numerous updated/new test profiles over the course of November on

So there's a lot going on right now but sadly only continued pressure applied by ad-block users. Most days around half or more of the traffic is blocked via ad-blockers while a small minority of users partake in Phoronix Premium for legitimately enjoying the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits.

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With all those service announcements out of the way, the most popular articles on Phoronix for November included:

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 vs. Clear Linux Performance On The Dell Ice Lake Laptop
Last month I posted benchmarks looking at the Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL and Vulkan graphics performance for the Ice Lake "Gen11" graphics. But for those wondering about the CPU/system performance between Windows and Linux for the Core i7-1065G7 with the Dell XPS 7390, here are those benchmarks as we compare the latest Windows 10 to Ubuntu 19.10 and Intel's own Clear Linux platform.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X / 3960X Linux Benchmarks
After the embargo on the Intel Core i9 10980XE expired a few hours ago, now we are allowed to share the performance numbers on the new AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and 3970X processors. These new Zen 2 HEDT CPUs pack a real performance punch, but do come in as more expensive than the i9-10980XE and there is one boot-stopping Linux bug to mention with a workaround... But besides that lone Linux support caveat, the Threadripper 3960X and Threadripper 3970X absolutely dominate in performance.

The Disappointing Direction Of Linux Performance From 4.16 To 5.4 Kernels
With the Linux 5.4 kernel set to be released in the next week or two, here is a look at the performance going back to the days of Linux 4.16 from early 2018. At least the Linux kernel continues picking up many new features as due to security mitigations and other factors the kernel performance continues trending lower.

Windows 10 vs. Linux Performance On The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
The new AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X is performing faster on Linux than Microsoft Windows 10. When carrying out more than 80 different tests on Windows 10 compared to five Linux distributions, Windows 10 was beat out by the open-source competition. However, the performance loss for Windows isn't as dramatic as we have seen out of earlier generations of Ryzen Threadripper HEDT workstations. Here are those benchmarks of Windows 10 compared to Ubuntu 19.10, CentOS 8, Clear Linux, Fedora Workstation 31, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

Benchmarks Of JCC Erratum: A New Intel CPU Bug With Performance Implications On Skylake Through Cascade Lake
Intel is today making public the Jump Conditional Code (JCC) erratum. This is a bug involving the CPU's Decoded ICache where on Skylake and derived CPUs where unpredictable behavior could happen when jump instructions cross cache lines. Unfortunately addressing this error in software comes with a performance penalty but ultimately Intel engineers are working to offset that through a toolchain update. Here are the exclusive benchmarks out today of the JCC erratum performance impact as well as when trying to recover that performance through the updated GNU Assembler.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER Linux Gaming Performance
Last week NVIDIA announced the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER as their newest Turing "SUPER" graphics card coming in at $229+ USD and delivering around 1.5x faster performance than the GeForce GTX 1060. For those wondering about the Linux gaming performance potential for this graphics card, here are our initial tests of this new graphics card using the EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER.

Firefox vs. Chrome Browser Performance On Intel Ice Lake + Power/Memory Usage Tests
Using Firefox 70 (including WebRender) and Google Chrome 78, here are our latest round of Linux web browser benchmarks tested on the Dell XPS Ice Lake laptop. Making this round of Linux browser benchmarking more interesting is also including power consumption and RAM usage metrics for the different browser benchmarks.

The Gaming Performance Impact From The Intel JCC Erratum Microcode Update
This morning I provided a lengthy look at the performance impact of Intel's JCC Erratum around the CPU microcode update issued for Skylake through Cascade Lake for mitigating potentially unpredictable behavior when jump instructions cross cache lines. Of the many benchmarks shared this morning in that overview, there wasn't time for any gaming tests prior to publishing. Now with more time passed, here is an initial look at how the Linux gaming performance is impacted by the newly-released Intel CPU microcode for this Jump Conditional Code issue.

300+ Benchmarks With AMD Threadripper 3960X vs. Intel Core i9 10980XE
Complementing our launch-day Intel Core i9 10980XE and AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X/3970X Linux benchmarks, here is much more data now that we've had the additional time for carrying out more tests... For your viewing pleasure this US holiday week are more than 330 benchmarks carried out on both the Core i9 10980XE and Threadripper 3960X in the same configuration while running Ubuntu Linux.

Intel Core i9 10980XE Linux Performance Benchmarks
Intel today is rolling out the Core i9 10980XE as their new Cascade Lake X-Series processor that features 18 cores / 36 threads with a maximum turbo frequency of 4.6GHz and TBM 3.0 frequency of 4.8GHz. Following a last minute change, Intel moved up the embargo lift time of the Core i9 10980XE so here are the results we can share with you right now.

And the most popular news of the month:

Netflix Optimized FreeBSD's Network Stack More Than Doubled AMD EPYC Performance
Drew Gallatin of Netflix presented at the recent EuroBSDcon 2019 conference in Norway on the company's network stack optimizations to FreeBSD. Netflix was working on being able to deliver 200Gb/s network performance for video streaming out of Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC servers, to which they are now at 190Gb/s+ and in the process that doubled the potential of EPYC Naples/Rome servers and also very hefty upgrades too for Intel.

The Linux Kernel Disabling HPET For Intel Coffee Lake
Another Intel change being sent off for Linux 5.4 and to be back-ported to current stable series is disabling of HPET for Coffee Lake systems.

LinuxBoot Continues Maturing - Now Able To Boot Windows
LinuxBoot is approaching two years of age as the effort led by Facebook and others for replacing some elements of the system firmware with the Linux kernel.

BMW Continues Making Great Progress With Linux
In recent years we have seen prominent automobile manufacturer BMW engaging more with open-source and Linux. At this week's Open-Source Summit Europe / Embedded Linux Conference Europe they talked more about their increasing usage of Linux from their assembly line to within automobiles.

AMD Details 3rd Gen Threadripper, Ryzen 9 3950X + Their New $49 USD CPU
While the processors are not shipping until later this month, AMD is today making known their next batch of CPUs being released.

VirtualBox SF Driver Ejected From The Linux 5.4 Kernel
Merged to the mainline Linux kernel last week was a driver providing VirtualBox guest shared folder support with the driver up to now being out-of-tree but important for sharing files between the host and guest VM(s). While the driver was part of Linux 5.4-rc7, Linus Torvalds decided to delete this driver on Tuesday.

Glimpse 0.1 Released As The Rebranded Fork Of The GIMP
The inaugural release of Glimpse is now available, the fork born out of calls for renaming The GIMP project to something not considered offensive.

Bootlin's Best Techniques For A Smaller Kernel + Faster Boot Times
In addition to a talk at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe on trimming the Linux boot time with systemd changes, Michael Opdenacker of embedded Linux engineering firm Bootlin presented on their techniques for not only speeding up the Linux boot time but also reductions in the kernel image size.

GNU Assembler Patches Sent Out For Optimizing The Intel Jump Conditional Code Erratum
Now that Intel lifted its embargo on the "Jump Conditional Code" erratum affecting Skylake through Cascade Lake processors, while Intel's own Clear Linux was first to carry these patches they have now been sent out on the Binutils mailing list for trying to get the JCC optimization patches into the upstream Binutils/GAS code-base.

Various Game Emulators Are Faster On Mesa Drivers Now Thanks To OpenGL Threading
A few days ago 7 Days to Die saw a performance boost on Mesa Git from its "glthread" threading implementation while now a number of game emulators have seen similar whitelisting.
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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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