AMD, Kernel Advancements & Tiger Lake Captivated Linux Readers In October

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 November 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Another month in the books, another month closer to the end of the dreadful 2020. It was at least an eventful October with 268 original news articles and another 21 multi-page featured articles and Linux hardware reviews. The content ranged from the continuous Linux kernel advancements to exciting hardware announcements.

As a friendly monthly reminder, if you appreciate all of the Phoronix content each and every day be sure to share it on the likes of Facebook and Twitter. If you really enjoy the continuous flow of original open-source/Linux-minded content you can also join Phoronix Premium to enjoy the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits. PayPal tips are also accepted. At the very least please do not use any ad-blocker with this site as they are very detrimental to the continued coverage on Phoronix after 16+ years and the COVID-19 pandemic also further negatively impacting the ad industry.

Of all the news on Phoronix during October, the most popular news included:

The AMD Radeon Graphics Driver Makes Up Roughly 10.5% Of The Linux Kernel
Given the impending release of Linux 5.9, I was having some fun with cloc today looking at the current lines of code count for this near-final Linux 5.9 kernel state.

It's Time To Admit It: The X.Org Server Is Abandonware
The last major release of the X.Org Server was in May 2018 but don't expect the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.21 to actually be released anytime soon.

CUPS Printing System Open-Source Development Has Seemingly Dried Up
At the end of 2019 the lead developer of CUPS left Apple after he joined Apple and the company purchased the source code a decade prior for this long-standing open-source printing system used by not only macOS but also Linux and other Unix-like platforms. This unfortunately has not bode well for CUPS in 2020.

XFS File-System With Linux 5.10 Punts Year 2038 Problem To The Year 2486
Not only is Btrfs seeing notable improvements with the in-development Linux 5.10 kernel but the XFS file-system also has some prominent changes of its own.

Linux Developers Discussing Possible Kernel Driver For Intel CPU Undervolting
While the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) on Windows allows for undervolting laptop processors, currently on Linux there isn't any Intel-endorsed way for undervolting your CPU should you be interested in better thermal/power efficiency and other factors. But a hypothetical Linux kernel driver could be coming for filling such void.

FreeBSD Can Now Be Built From Linux/macOS Hosts, Transition To Git Continues
The FreeBSD project has published their Q3-2020 report on the state of this leading BSD operating system.

The Linux Kernel Looks To Eventually Drop Support For WiMAX
With the WiMAX 802.16 standard not being widely used outside of the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) and usage in some developing nations, the Linux kernel may end up dropping its support for WiMAX but first there is a proposal to demote it to staging while seeing if any users remain.

PowerPC 601 Support Being Retired In Linux 5.10 - The First 32-bit PowerPC CPU
The PowerPC 601 as the first-generation processor supporting the 32-bit PowerPC RISC instruction set in the early 90's is being retired with the upcoming Linux 5.10 kernel.

NVIDIA Doesn't Expect To Have Linux 5.9 Driver Support For Another Month
While NVIDIA is usually quite timely in supporting new versions of the Linux kernel and aim to have out a driver by the end of the release candidates for new series, in the case of the recently minted Linux 5.9 kernel it's taking a lot longer.

Linux 5.10 ARM64 Has A "8~20x" Performance Optimization Forgotten About For Two Years
Last week was the main set of ARM 64-bit architecture updates for Linux 5.10 while today a second batch of changes were sent in for this kernel. That first round had the Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) and Pointer Authentication support among other improvements while this secondary pull has two notable performance optimizations.

Linux 5.9 Released With Initial AMD RDNA 2 GPU Enablement, Other New Hardware Support
Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.9 as stable.

Mesa Developers Discuss The Possibility Of Rust Graphics Driver Code
A proposal is being discussed over the possibility of beginning to make use of the Rust programming language within Mesa 3D for this open-source OpenGL/Vulkan driver stack along with the likes of Gallium3D video acceleration.

Valve/CodeWeavers Releases Proton 5.13-1 With More Windows Games Running On Linux
The Wine-based Proton development has been disappointingly quiet in recent weeks but fortunately it's alive and ticking with today's Proton 5.13-1 release for powering Valve's Steam Play to run many modern Windows games gracefully on Linux.

KDE Begins Landing "Breeze Evolution" Refresh For Default Theme
KDE developers for more than one year have been working to evolve the default Breeze theme and the work by the KDE Visual Design Group is finally paying off with the initial "Breeze Evolution" changes landing.

The Failed OUYA Game Console Seeing Work For Mainline Linux Kernel Support
It's been eight years already since the launch of the OUYA game console built atop Android and initially driven up by hype as a new low-cost gaming platform only to turn out to be a commercial failure. Razer bought out OUYA's software assets in 2015 and last year finally shutdown all of the console services. But if you still have the OUYA hardware it soon may start running off the mainline Linux kernel.

Linux 5.10 Will Be Able To Hibernate + Resume Much Faster
If you frequently put your system(s) through hibernation cycles, the performance should be much better beginning with the soon-to-start Linux 5.10 cycle.

Python 3.9 Released With Multi-Processing Improvements, New Parser
Python 3.9 is out today as the newest feature update to this extremely popular language in open-source crowds.

Sony Engineer Talks Up Using Flutter + Wayland For Their Embedded Interfaces
A Sony engineer confirmed at this week's Embedded Linux Conference Europe that the company has begun using the Flutter toolkit atop Wayland as their means of developing user-interfaces on embedded systems.

Steam On Linux Ticks Closer To 1.0%, AMD CPUs Now Power A Third Of Linux Gaming Systems
Valve has updated their monthly Steam Hardware/Software Survey statistics for September and they indicate the closest we've seen in a while for Steam on Linux closing back in on the 1.0% threshold.

EXT4 "Fast Commits" Coming For Big Performance Boost In Ordered Mode
After being in development for more than one year, it looks like with Linux 5.10 there will be EXT4 fast commit support.

And the most popular featured articles/reviews:

Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" Linux Performance With The Dell XPS 13 9310
Here are our initial benchmarks of Intel Tiger Lake on Ubuntu Linux via the premium Core i7 1165G7 processor. This also appears to be the first public benchmarks of the new Dell XPS 13 9310 laptop that just-launched as the refreshed XPS notebook for Tiger Lake and with Intel EVO certification.

How Intel's Clear Linux Is Competing Against Late-2020 Linux Distributions
As it's been a while since running a fresh Linux distribution comparison with Intel's Clear Linux platform and given all the autumn distribution updates inbound, here is a fresh look at the rolling-release Clear Linux up against a snapshot of Ubuntu 20.10, Fedora Workstation 33 Beta, openSUSE Tumbleweed 20200929, Arch-based Endeavour OS, and Debian Testing from the start of October.

The Most Innovative ~$50 Graphics Card For Linux Users
This ~$50 USD graphics card is open-source friendly, can drive four display outputs simultaneously, passively cooled, and can fit in a PCI Express x1 slot. It's a unique card offering good value especially for those Linux users wanting open-source friendly hardware.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 20.10 Performance With Intel Tiger Lake, AMD Renoir
Stemming from our initial Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" benchmarks on the Dell XPS 13 9310 last week and then also discovering better single-threaded performance on Ubuntu 20.10, one of the pressing questions was whether this is expected performance on Linux or if it's coming up short of Microsoft Windows for this first tier-one notebook to market with Intel Tiger Lake. So following those earlier tests I proceeded to do a Windows 10 Pro with all available updates comparison on Ubuntu 20.10 with the i7-1165G7. For added context, the same software stack and tests were repeated on an AMD Ryzen "Renoir" notebook.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Linux Gaming Performance
After last week exploring the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Linux GPU compute performance for this Ampere graphics card along with the Blender 2.90 performance, today is a look at the Linux gaming performance for the RTX 3080 both for native games as well as those Windows games running on Linux via Steam Play (Proton).

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Offers Up Incredible Linux GPU Compute Performance
Yesterday I finally received a GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card from NVIDIA for being able to deliver the first of our Linux benchmarks on the new RTX 30 Ampere series. What is immediately clear is the huge performance uplift for OpenCL and CUDA workloads with the RTX 3080 compared to its predecessors. The raw performance and even performance-per-dollar is staggering out of the GeForce RTX 3080 with the initial tests carried out on Ubuntu Linux. Linux gaming benchmarks will be out in the days ahead but for now is a look at the RTX 3080 compute performance across dozens of benchmarks and going as far back as the GeForce GTX 980 series for comparison.

Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance On The Linux 5.8 Kernel
Given that Ubuntu 20.10 will be shipping with Linux 5.8 out-of-the-box along with other autumn 2020 Linux distributions where Linux 5.9 is landing too late, here is a fresh comparison of several different AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" and Intel Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors on this current stable kernel release for seeing how the performance is standing up as we approach this next round of Linux distribution releases.

Intel Xe Graphics' Incredible Performance Uplift From OpenCL To oneAPI Level Zero To Vulkan
Since picking up the Dell XPS 13 9310 for delivering Tiger Lake Linux benchmarks, most of the focus so far has been about the overall processor performance while in this article is our first deep dive into the Gen12 Xe Graphics performance on Linux with Intel's fully open-source graphics and compute stack. Here is a look at how the Tiger Lake Xe Graphics performance is with the Core i7-1165G7 ranging from OpenGL and Vulkan graphics tests to OpenCL, oneAPI Level Zero, and Vulkan compute tests.

Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Linux Performance
The Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid-state drives are now available from Internet retailers. For those wondering how these SSDs compare with EXT4 under Linux against other PCIe 4.0/3.0 drives, here are a variety of benchmarks.

Further Exploring The Intel Tiger Lake Core i7-1165G7 Performance On Ubuntu Linux
Last week I published initial benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" performance on Linux with the Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition laptop. Of most surprise from those preliminary Linux figures were finding that for some single-threaded workloads the performance was actually worse than the previous generation Ice Lake. Since then I've been running more tests around the clock with some interesting discoveries to note today. It is possible to enhance the single-threaded performance so it's performing better than Ice Lake as would be expected, but comes with lowering the multi-threaded performance compared to the results shared last week.
Related News
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

Popular News This Week