Computers Archives
CompuLab's Airtop 3 Is The Most Powerful Fan-Less Computer We've Tested Yet

The past month and a half we have been putting CompuLab's Airtop 3 computer through some demanding benchmarks and a variety of endurance workloads. With the Airtop 3 under test loaded with an 8-core / 16-thread Xeon processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics, and 64GB of RAM with NVMe SSD storage there were some concerns over thermal throttling and if this fan-less industrial PC design could really deal with the generated heat. But after all of this testing, the Airtop 3 continues running strong and another shining example of CompuLab's engineering strength.

9 September 2019 - 22 Comments
UP Squared Is A Very Capable Intel SBC For Makers & IoT

After learning of the UP-Squared SBC maker board this summer when this Intel Apollolake single board computer was added to Coreboot, the company sent over a review sample and for the past number of weeks have been putting this mini board through its paces and performance tests.

28 August 2019 - 39 Comments
Blender 2.80 Performance With Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 vs. AMD EPYC 7742

The Blender 2.80 release arrived at the end of July that unfortunately was too late for using that big new release in our launch-day testing of AMD's EPYC 7002 "Rome" processors but as a follow-up here are AMD EPYC 7742 performance benchmarks up against the Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascade Lake as well as the AMD EPYC 7601 2P. Blender 2.80 performance is the focus of this article along with some other renderer benchmarks.

14 August 2019 - 15 Comments
CompuLab Turns An 8-Core/16-Thread Xeon, 64GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 Into Fan-Less Computer

Three years ago we checked out the CompuLab Airtop as a high-performance fanless PC. Back then it was exciting to passively cool an Intel Core i7 5775C, 16GB of RAM, SATA 3.0 SSD, and a GeForce GTX 950 graphics card. But now in 2019 thanks to the continued design improvements by CompuLab and ever advancing tech, their newly-launched CompuLab 3 can accommodate an eight-core / sixteen-thread Xeon CPU, 64GB of RAM, NVMe SSD storage, and a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics card without any fans!

17 July 2019 - 65 Comments
Initial Raspberry Pi 4 Performance Benchmarks

It's been (and still is) a particularly busy few weeks for benchmarking. For those curious about the Raspberry Pi 4 performance that was announced at the end of June along with Raspbian 10, here are our initial performance benchmarks of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B in 2GB and 4GB variants compared to various other ARM SBCs.

12 July 2019 - 82 Comments
Gigabyte S451-3R0 Storage Server Offers A Great Xeon Scalable Platform With Up To 38 Drives

Since the Intel Cascade Lake launch in early April, the platform we've been using for our Xeon Platinum 8280 Linux/BSD testing has been the Gigabyte S451-3R0 Storage Server. Now having tested this Gigabyte server on a number of different Linux distributions as well as the BSDs and in an assortment of software configurations, we're quite confident in its abilities for those needing an Intel Xeon Scalable server platform that can accommodate a great deal of drives.

4 June 2019 - 1 Comment
Logic Supply's Karbon 300: A Well Built, Extremely Durable Linux PC For Demanding Low-Power Environments

Back in March we wrote about industrial-grade PC manufacturer Logic Supply announcing the Karbon 300 as a compact and rugged Ubuntu/Windows system. Fast forward to last month, Logic Supply sent over the now-shipping Karbon 300 system to put it through our tests at Phoronix. This passively-cooled PC has passed our tests after weeks of benchmarking and is running great.

3 June 2019 - 9 Comments
Raptor's Blackbird Arrives As The Most Open-Source Yet Fast Desktop System

The Blackbird has arrived for testing! As written about last week, the Blackbird has begun shipping and is in mass production as the micro-ATX POWER9 system that is the little brother to Raptor Computing System's long-standing, high-performance, fully open-source Talos II workstation. The Raptor Blackbird is lower-cost while being able to handle up to 160 Watt Sforza 8-core processors, dual DDR4 ECC memory modules, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, and other common features of desktop/workstation motherboards.

28 May 2019 - 45 Comments
LG's 4K FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync Display For Just $219 USD

Now that the Radeon FreeSync support is in good standing with Linux 5.0+ and Mesa 19.0+ (or Mesa 19.1+ for RADV Vulkan support) as well as NVIDIA offering G-SYNC Compatible Linux support, if you have been desiring a FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync display but are on a limited budget, LG has an interesting 24-inch contender... A 4K FreeSync-supported display for just $219 USD?!?

1 May 2019 - 32 Comments
The Thermal Performance Of NVIDIA's Jetson Nano $99 Developer Board

One of the exciting product launches for this month has been the introduction of the NVIDIA Jetson Nano as a $99 Arm developer board offering four Cortex-A57 cores that isn't too special itself but packing in a 128-core Maxwell NVIDIA GPU makes this board interesting for the price. Out-of-the-box the Jetson Nano is just passively cooled by a small aluminum heatsink, but does it work any better if actively cooled to avoid any potential thermal throttling? Here are some thermal benchmarks.

30 March 2019 - 19 Comments
Benchmarking A 10-Core Tyan/IBM POWER Server For ~$300 USD

If you live in the EU and have been wanting to explore IBM POWER hardware on Linux, a load of Tyan Habanero servers recently became available through a German retailer for 269 EUR (~$306 USD) that comes equipped with a 10-core POWER8 processor. While not POWER9, it's still an interesting Linux-capable beast and the price is unbeatable if you have been wanting to add POWER hardware to your collection. Phoronix reader Lauri Kasanen recently bought one of these IBM POWER servers at the 269 EUR price point and has shared thoughts on this server as well as some benchmarks. Here is Lauri's guest post checking out this low-cost 2U IBM server.

21 March 2019 - 102 Comments
NVIDIA Jetson Nano: A Feature-Packed Arm Developer Kit For $99 USD

One of the most interesting announcements out of NVIDIA's 2019 GTC conference is the introduction of the Jetson Nano, NVIDIA's latest Arm developer board featuring a Tegra SoC. This developer board is very different from the past Jetson boards in that it's aiming for a very affordable price point: just $99 USD.

18 March 2019 - 25 Comments
AMDGPU vs. Radeon Kernel Driver Performance On Linux 5.0 For AMD GCN 1.0/1.1 GPUs

A seldom advertised experimental feature of the AMDGPU kernel driver has long been the GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics support. By default these Southern Islands and Sea Islands graphics processors default to the Radeon DRM driver, but with some kernel command lime parameters can use the AMDGPU Direct Rendering Manager driver. The AMDGPU code path is better maintained since it's used for all modern Radeon GPUs, using AMDGPU opens up Vulkan driver support, and possible performance benefits. It's a while since last testing the Radeon vs. AMDGPU driver performance for these original GCN graphics cards, so here are some fresh benchmarks using the Linux 5.0 kernel and Mesa 19.1-devel.

7 March 2019 - 76 Comments
Linux 5.0 HDD I/O Scheduler Benchmarks - BFQ Takes The Cake

Recently I published a number of Linux 5.0 I/O scheduler benchmarks on laptop and desktop hardware with solid-state storage. A number of Phoronix readers were interested in seeing similar tests done but with traditional hard drives, so here are those results using two different drives and the different blk-mq I/O scheduler options with the new Linux 5.0 kernel.

5 March 2019 - 21 Comments
Dell XPS 13 9380 + Intel Core i7 8565U Ubuntu Linux Performance Benchmarks

At the end of January, Dell announced the Dell XPS 13 9380 Developer Edition laptop as an upgraded version of the XPS 9370 with now having Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs and other minor improvements. Over the past two weeks I've been testing out the Dell XPS 9380 with Intel Core i7 8565U processor with 256GB of NVMe SSD storage and 16GB of RAM. Here are benchmarks of the Dell XPS 9380 compared to several other laptops running Ubuntu Linux as well as looking at the system thermal and power consumption among other metrics.

11 February 2019 - 12 Comments
Six Linux Distributions Benchmarked On The Dell XPS 9380 Laptop

While Dell is offering the option of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as the Linux option with their new XPS 9380 laptop, what happens if the Bionic Beaver isn't of interest to you? As part of our testing of the Dell XPS 9380 with Core i7 8565U laptop, I've just finished up testing six different Linux distributions on this 13-inch laptop.

6 February 2019 - 15 Comments
Running The Flash-Friendly File-System On A Hard Drive? Benchmarks Of F2FS On An HDD

While I have benchmarked the F2FS file-system a lot since it was mainlined back in 2013, it's all been on solid-state drives or even other forms of flash storage like USB drives. After all, F2FS is short for the Flash-Friendly File-System. But a Phoronix reader recently suggested that F2FS also works out well for traditional, rotating hard drives so I decided to run some benchmarks.

28 January 2019 - 17 Comments
NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Benchmarks - Incredible Performance On The Edge

Each year it's been quite fascinating to see the advance of NVIDIA's Tegra-powered Jetson developer boards with their increasing GPU and CPU capabilities. With the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier that began shipping at the start of this quarter (as well as the AGX Xavier Module now shipping as of this month), there is a tremendous performance upgrade compared to the previous-generation Jetson TX2. I have been benchmarking the Jetson AGX Xavier the past number of weeks and continue to be surprised by its performance potential for relatively low power that makes it suitable for robotics and other AI applications. Here is a bulk of the initial benchmarks I've been running on the NVIDIA Jetson AGX with its 512-core Volta GPU and eight ARMv8.2 Carmel CPU cores.

26 December 2018 - 18 Comments
ODROID-XU4: Much Better Performance Than The Raspberry Pi Plus USB3 & Gigabit Ethernet @ $60

Hardkernel recently sent over the ODROUD-XU4 for benchmarking. This ARM SBC that just measures in at about 82 x 58 x 22 mm offers much better performance than many of the sub-$100 ARM SBCs while also featuring dual USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, eMMC storage, and is software compatible with the older XU3 ARM SBCs. Here's a look at the performance of the ODROID-XU4 compared to a variety of other single board computers.

11 December 2018 - 33 Comments
Benchmarking Amazon's ARM Graviton CPU With EC2's A1 Instances

Monday night Amazon announced the new "A1" instance type for the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that is powered by their own "Graviton" ARMv8 processors. Since then I have been running benchmarks on Amazon's first-generation 64-bit ARM processors and seeing how these ARM cloud instances compare to their Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC performance on EC2 in both raw performance as well as performance-per-dollar.

28 November 2018 - 31 Comments
A Look At The Open-Source Talos II POWER9 Performance Against x86_64 Server CPUs

In the benchmarks earlier this month looking at the Talos II POWER9 dual 22-core performance its performance was compared to various AMD Threadripper and Intel Core i9 CPUs. They were used as comparison points since all of those CPUs sport four memory channels, including the Sforza POWER9 CPUs, while IBM caters the larger LaGrange/Monza POWER9 modules with eight memory channels as competition to Xeon and EPYC. But for those wondering how the POWER9 Sforza performance compares to Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC processors, here are some benchmarks.

27 November 2018 - 33 Comments
Benchmarking The $25 Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ Performance

Released last week was the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ as their latest ARM SBC coming in at the $25 USD price point and their last board release before doing a redesign. I was able to snag a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ for $25 with availability appearing to be better than some of the past Raspberry Pi releases. Here are some initial benchmarks of the RPi 3 Model A Plus compared to a few other ARM boards.

23 November 2018 - 26 Comments
Void Linux, Solus, Manjaro, Antergos, Sabayon & Clear Linux Put To A Performance Battle

Given last week's new images release of the rolling-release, systemd-free, original-creation Void Linux I decided to take it for a spin with some fresh benchmarking as it had been two years or so since last trying out that Linux distribution with its XBPS packaging system. For seeing how the performance compares, I benchmarked it against some of the other primarily enthusiast/rolling-release/performant Linux distributions including Antergos, Clear Linux, Debian Buster Testing, Fedora Workstation 29, Manjaro 18.0, Sabayon Linux, Solus, and Ubuntu 18.10.

19 November 2018 - 24 Comments
Benchmarking Packet.com's Bare Metal Intel Xeon / AMD EPYC Cloud

With the tests earlier this week of the 16-way AMD EPYC cloud comparison the real standout of those tests across Amazon EC2, Packet, and SkySilk was Packet's bare metal cloud. For just $1.00 USD per hour it's possible to have bare metal access to an AMD EPYC 7401P 24-core / 48-thread server that offers incredible value compared to the other public cloud options for on-demand pricing. That led me to running some more benchmarks of Packet.com's other bare metal cloud options to see how the Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC options compare.

15 November 2018 - 2 Comments
16-Way AMD EPYC Cloud Benchmark Comparison: Amazon EC2 vs. SkySilk vs. Packet

With last week Amazon Web Services rolling out AMD EPYC cloud instances to EC2, I figured it would be an interesting time for a fresh benchmark look at how the AMD Linux cloud performance compares from some of the popular cloud providers. For this article are sixteen different instances benchmarked while looking at the raw performance as well as the value on each instance type relative to the benchmark performance and time consumed for the on-demand spot instancing. EPYC instances were tested from Amazon EC2, Packet.com, and SkySilk.

12 November 2018 - 7 Comments
System76 Shares With Us More Details On Thelio Open Hardware, Pricing Starts At $1,100 USD

While System76 is officially announcing their Thelio systems next week on 1 November with plans to then begin shipping these "open hardware" systems in December, today the Linux-friendly PC vendor shared with us some more exclusive details on the forthcoming hardware being manufactured in Denver, Colorado. Here are those exciting details -- much more than just some digital web saga.

26 October 2018 - 48 Comments
Hands On & Initial Benchmarks With An Ampere eMAG 32-Core ARM Server

Especially with Qualcomm's Centriq efforts going quiet in recent months, one of the most interesting ARM server efforts at the moment is Ampere Computing -- the company founded by former Intel president Renee James and with several other ex-Intel employees on staff. They started off with the acquired assets from what was AppliedMicro and their X-Gene ARMv8 IP and for the past year have been improving it into their recently announced eMAG processors.

11 October 2018 - 34 Comments

174 computers articles published on Phoronix.