16-Way Graphics Card Comparison With Radeon On ROCm, NVIDIA With Initial 2018 Linux Drivers

Towards the end of December AMD quietly released ROCm 1.7.60 as the newest version of their Radeon Open Compute stack complete with their maturing OpenCL implementation. With the improvements there plus NVIDIA recently introducing their 390 Linux driver series (390.12 Beta currently), I ran some fresh Linux OpenCL GPU compute benchmarks on a variety of AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards for those curious how the current performance stacks up.

18 January 05:05 PM EST - Display Drivers - 6 Comments
R600 Gallium3D Gets Some Last Minute Improvements In Mesa 18.0

These days when Dave Airlie isn't busy managing the DRM subsystem or hacking on the RADV Vulkan driver, he's been spending a fair amount of time on some OpenGL improvements to the aging R600 Gallium3D driver. That's happened again and he's landed some more improvements just ahead of the imminent Mesa 18.0 feature freeze.

18 January 05:39 AM EST - Radeon - R600g - 1 Comment
Open-Source HDCP Support Gets Extended To More Platforms

With the Linux 4.17 kernel (not the upcoming 4.16 cycle) there is likely to be added initial HDCP support to Intel's Direct Rendering Manager driver. Ahead of that this High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection support continues getting improved upon.

18 January 05:27 AM EST - Intel - i915 HDCP - 7 Comments

17 January

Arch Linux vs. Antergos vs. Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu Benchmarks

Last week when sharing the results of tweaking Ubuntu 17.10 to try to make it run as fast as Clear Linux, it didn't take long for Phoronix readers to share their opinions on Arch Linux and the request for some optimized Arch Linux benchmarks against Clear Linux. Here are some results of that testing so far in carrying out a clean Arch Linux build with some basic optimizations compared to using Antergos Minimal out-of-the-box, Ubuntu Server, and Clear Linux.

17 January 07:40 PM EST - Operating Systems - 19 Comments
LLVM 6.0-RC1 Makes Its Belated Debut

While LLVM/Clang 6.0 was branched earlier this month and under a feature freeze with master/trunk moving to LLVM 7.0, two weeks later the first release candidate is now available.

17 January 04:56 PM EST - LLVM - LLVM 6.0 - 1 Comment
24-Way NVIDIA/AMD GPU Benchmarks With X-Plane 11

With the next update to X-Plane 11 introducing VR support, I have renewed interest in this realistic, cross-platform flight simulator. It's been a few years since we last delivered any benchmarks with X-Plane, but for your viewing please today is an assortment of 24 graphics cards both old and new, low-end to high-end from NVIDIA and AMD in looking at how this flight simulator is running on Ubuntu Linux.

17 January 01:28 PM EST - Linux Gaming - 15 Comments
KDE's Discover Snap Support Is Maturing Too

While KDE Discover's Flatpak support was declared "production ready", that isn't the only app sandboxing tech they are working on: their Ubuntu Snap support is also coming together nicely.

17 January 06:09 AM EST - KDE - Discover Snap - 11 Comments
Benchmarking Retpoline Underflow Protection With Intel Skylake/Kabylake

Beyond the Retpoline support already found in the mainline Linux kernel, developers are working on Retpoline Underflow support that would be used for Intel Skylake and Kabylake CPUs. RETPOLINE_UNDERFLOW protects against falling back to a potentially poisoned indirect branch predictor when a return buffer underflows and this additional protection is needed for Intel Skylake/Kabylake processors. I ran a couple benchmarks.

17 January 05:58 AM EST - Intel - RETPOLINE_UNDERFLOW - 7 Comments

16 January

Benchmarking Retpoline-Enabled GCC 8 With -mindirect-branch=thunk

We have looked several times already at the performance impact of Retpoline support in the Linux kernel, but what about building user-space packages with -mindirect-branch=thunk? Here is the performance cost to building some performance tests in user-space with -mindirect-branch=thunk and -mindirect-branch=thunk-inline.

16 January 04:00 PM EST - Software - 5 Comments
Retpoline Support Backport Lands In GCC 7

The backporting of -mindirect-branch, -mindirect-return and -mindirect-branch-register, a.k.a. the GCC "Retpoline" patches, have been back-ported and merged into the GCC 7 branch.

16 January 07:35 AM EST - GNU - Retpoline GCC 7 - Add A Comment

15 January

16-Way GPU Comparison With NVIDIA GPUs Going Back To Kepler

Last week I provided a fresh look at the NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Linux gaming performance using the latest drivers at the start of 2018. That testing included the latest NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, but for those curious how these numbers compare for older NVIDIA GPUs, here's a look with the Kepler and Maxwell graphics cards added to the comparison.

15 January 02:17 PM EST - Linux Gaming - 14 Comments
Intel's Mesa Driver Is A Step Closer To ARB_gl_spirv Support

Igalia has sent out the fourth version of their patches for wiring in ARB_gl_spirv support into the Mesa OpenGL driver. This extension is the last main blocker from Intel having OpenGL 4.6 support and allows for SPIR-V ingestion support for better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan.

15 January 11:22 AM EST - Mesa - SPIR-V Ingestion - Add A Comment
Vulkan 1.0.68 Published

Coming just over one week since Vulkan 1.0.67 is now the Vulkan 1.0.68 graphics/compute programming specification update.

15 January 10:27 AM EST - Vulkan - Vulkan 1.0.68 - Add A Comment
ADATA XPG SX6000: Benchmarking A ~$50 USD 128GB NVMe SSD On Linux

While solid-state drives have generally been quite reliable in recent years and even with all the benchmarking I put them through have had less than a handful fail out of dozens, whenever there's a bargain on NVMe SSDs, it's hard to resist. The speed of NVMe SSDs has generally been great and while it's not a key focus on Phoronix (and thus generally not receiving review samples of them), I upgrade some of the server room test systems when finding a deal. The latest is trying an ADATA XPG SX6000 NVMe SSD I managed to get for $49.99 USD.

15 January 07:35 AM EST - Storage - 6 Comments

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