Software Archives
Zombieload V2 TAA Performance Impact Benchmarks On Cascade Lake

While this week we have posted a number of benchmarks on the JCC Erratum and its CPU microcode workaround that introduces new possible performance hits, also being announced this week as part of Intel's security disclosures was "Zombieload Variant Two" as the TSX Async Abort vulnerability that received same-day Linux kernel mitigations. I've been benchmarking the TAA mitigations to the Linux kernel since the moment they hit the public Git tree and here are those initial benchmark results on an Intel Cascade Lake server.

14 November 2019 - 17 Comments
The Firefox + Chrome Web Browser Performance Impact From Intel's JCC Erratum Microcode Update

With yesterday's overview and benchmarks of Intel's Jump Conditional Code Erratum one of the areas where the performance impact of the updated CPU microcode exceeding Intel's 0~4% guidance was on the web browser performance. Now with more time having passed, here are more web browser benchmarks on both Chrome and Firefox while comparing the new CPU microcode release for the JCC Erratum compared to the previous release. Simply moving to this new CPU microcode does represent a significant hit to the web browser performance.

13 November 2019 - 21 Comments
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.

11 November 2019 - 96 Comments
A Quick Look At EXT4 vs. ZFS Performance On Ubuntu 19.10 With An NVMe SSD

For those thinking of playing with Ubuntu 19.10's new experimental ZFS desktop install option in opting for using ZFS On Linux in place of EXT4 as the root file-system, here are some quick benchmarks looking at the out-of-the-box performance of ZFS/ZoL vs. EXT4 on Ubuntu 19.10 using a common NVMe solid-state drive.

16 October 2019 - 50 Comments
PostgreSQL 12 Performance With AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 Benchmarks

One of the areas of performance I had been meaning to look more at following the recent AMD EPYC 7002 series launch was for database servers. With the original EPYC 7000 series performance, the performance came up short in competing with Intel Xeon CPUs, but for the EPYC Rome processors it ends up being a very different story. Given the launch last week of PostgreSQL 12, I've been trying out this new database server release on both EPYC and Xeon processors.

7 October 2019 - 5 Comments
Blender 2.80 & LuxCoreRender Performance With NVIDIA RTX SUPER Comparison

Complementing the 18-way NVIDIA GPU compute comparison from earlier this week with now having our hands on the RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER graphics cards, this round of NVIDIA Linux testing is looking at the Blender 2.80 and LuxCoreRender 2.1/2.2 performance for these popular rendering programs that offer CUDA acceleration.

4 October 2019 - 5 Comments
The Xeon vs. EPYC Performance With Intel's oneAPI Embree & OSPray Render Projects

With Intel seemingly ramping up work on their open-source OSPray portable ray-tracing engine now that they have pulled it under their oneAPI umbrella as part of a forthcoming rendering tool-kit, I figured it would be the latest interesting candidate for benchmarking of AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance. In addition, the Embree ray-tracing kernels are also being benchmarked as part of this performance comparison.

30 September 2019 - 14 Comments
Linux 5.4 Features Are Huge From exFAT To New GPUs To Enabling Lots Of New Hardware

The Linux 5.4 merge window is set to end today with the release of Linux 5.4-rc1. With the major pull requests in, here is a look at the prominent changes and new features coming with Linux 5.4. As is standard practice, there will be about eight weekly release candidates of Linux 5.4 prior to officially releasing this kernel as stable in late November or potentially early December depending upon how the cycle plays out.

29 September 2019 - 35 Comments
Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

17 September 2019 - 5 Comments
AMD/Intel Benchmarks: Building The Mainline Linux x86_64 Kernel With LLVM Clang

With the upcoming LLVM Clang 9.0 compiler release there is an amazing achievement more than a decade in the making... The mainline Clang compiler can finally build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel. The AArch64 state has been in better shape in recent years with multiple Arm vendors using Clang as their default compiler including to build the Linux kernel, but finally in 2019 the mainline Clang can build mainline Linux x86_64. There are a few caveats, but in this article is my experience in doing so with LLVM Clang and the Linux 5.3 kernel as well as running some preliminary benchmarks on AMD and Intel hardware.

12 September 2019 - 23 Comments
Firefox 69 / 70 Beta Against Chrome 76 On Ubuntu Linux

With Firefox 69 released and Firefox 70 entering beta, here are some fresh web browser benchmarks between Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome from Ubuntu Linux. On the Firefox size, Firefox 68, 69, and 70 Beta were tested with and without WebRender being enabled and compared to Google's current Chrome 76 stable release.

6 September 2019 - 22 Comments
GCC vs. LLVM Clang vs. AOCC Compiler Benchmarks On The AMD EPYC 7742

While AMD's hardware folks were launching the EPYC 7002 series, their software crew was pushing out the AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler 2.0 with support/optimizations for the Zen 2 micro-architecture. Using the top-end AMD EPYC 7742 in a 2P Linux server configuration, here are C/C++ compiler benchmarks looking at the performance when built by the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), LLVM Clang, and AOCC 2.0.

9 August 2019 - 15 Comments
Initial Benchmarks Of The Spectre "SWAPGS" Mitigation Performance Impact

Yesterday the SWAPGS vulnerability was made public as a new variant of Spectre V1 that affects all operating systems and is believed to affect only Intel CPUs. The SWAPGS discovery by Bitdefender was quietly mitigated by Microsoft for Windows 10 last month while yesterday the patches were posted for the mainline Linux kernel as the Grand Schemozzle. As soon as learning of this SWAPGS vulnerability and seeing the kernel code, I began running some preliminary performance tests to look at the impact of this latest CPU mitigation.

7 August 2019 - 22 Comments
AMD Zen 2 Performance Looking Even Better With GCC 10

While this year's GCC 9 compiler release brought initial support for AMD Zen 2 processors with the Znver2 target, the support was sadly incomplete. While the GCC 9 support added some of the new instructions, it wasn't complete (such as RDPRU support remains missing) and the cost tables and scheduler model were not updated from Znver1 to account for the microarchitectural changes. Thankfully, SUSE's compiler experts recently fixed up this support for the GCC 10 compiler and more recently were able to get it back-ported for the upcoming GCC 9.2 for the Linux distributions that will upgrade to that point release. Here are some benchmarks looking at the performance impact of that updated AMD Zen 2 compiler code.

2 August 2019 - 23 Comments
GCC vs. Clang Compiler Benchmarks On POWER9 With Raptor's Blackbird

While for Intel x86_64 with the latest compilers it's a very competitive race between LLVM Clang and GCC, how is that battle playing out on the IBM POWER9 front? Using the interesting Raptor Blackbird with IBM POWER9 4-core / 16-thread CPU, here are some recent benchmarks I did between GCC 9, GCC 10, and LLVM Clang 8.

23 July 2019 - 6 Comments
The New Features & Improvements Of The Linux 5.3 Kernel

The Linux 5.3 kernel merge window is expected to close today so here is our usual recap of all the changes that made it into the mainline tree over the past two weeks. There is a lot of changes to be excited about from Radeon RX 5700 Navi support to various CPU improvements and ongoing performance work to supporting newer Apple MacBook laptops and Intel Speed Select Technology enablement.

21 July 2019 - 7 Comments
Firefox 69 Beta On Linux Bringing Better Performance

With the recent release of Mozilla Firefox 68 there are some nice WebRender performance improvements that Linux users can enjoy. But with Firefox 69 now in beta there is even better performance, including when enabling WebRender on Linux.

16 July 2019 - 32 Comments
The Performance Impact To AMD Zen 2 Compiler Tuning On GCC 9 + Znver2

One of the areas that I always have "fun" benchmarking for new CPU launches is looking at the compiler performance. Following the recent Ryzen 3000 series launch I carried out some initial benchmarks looking at the current Zen 2 performance using the newest GCC 9 stable series with its "znver2" optimizations. Here is a look at how the Znver2 optimizations work out when running some benchmarks on the optimized binaries with a Ryzen 9 3900X running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

11 July 2019 - 36 Comments
Intel Xeon Cascade Lake Compiler Performance - GCC 9/10 vs. LLVM Clang 8/9

At least for the newest Intel Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors, the LLVM Clang compiler is running incredibly well compared to the long-standing GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). Overall, LLVM clang is now nearly at performance parity to GCC 9 and the in-development GCC 10 compilers. Here are some Linux compiler benchmarks using the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 server built around the Gigabyte S3461-3R0.

27 June 2019 - 16 Comments
Benchmarking The Intel Performance Change With Linux FSGSBASE Support

As covered last week, the Linux kernel is finally about to see FSGSBASE support a feature supported by Intel CPUs going back to Ivybridge and can help performance. Since that earlier article the FS/GS BASE patches have been moved to the x86/cpu branch meaning unless any last-minute problems arise the functionality will be merged for the Linux 5.3 cycle. I've also begun running some benchmarks to see how this will change the Linux performance on Intel hardware.

24 June 2019 - 17 Comments
Chrome 75 vs. Firefox 67 / 68 Beta Linux Performance

With last week's release of Chrome 75 I have now wrapped up some benchmarks seeing how the performance of the updated Google web-browser compares to that of the current Firefox 67 stable release as well as Firefox 68 beta, including with WebRender activated. Here are those latest Linux web browser benchmarks.

10 June 2019 - 77 Comments
Benchmarking AMD FX vs. Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPUs Following Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF, Zombieload

Now with MDS / Zombieload being public and seeing a 8~10% performance hit in the affected workloads as a result of the new mitigations to these Microarchitectural Data Sampling vulnerabilities, what's the overall performance look like now if going back to the days of AMD FX Vishera and Intel Sandybridge/Ivybridge processors? If Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF/Foreshadow, and now Zombieload had come to light years ago would it have shaken that pivotal point in the industry? Here are benchmarks looking at the the performance today with and without the mitigations to the known CPU vulnerabilities to date.

24 May 2019 - 48 Comments
Firefox 68 Performance Is Looking Good With WebRender On Linux

With Firefox 67 having released this week, Firefox 68 is in beta and its performance from our tests thus far on Ubuntu Linux are looking real good. In particular, if enabling the WebRender option that remains off by default on Linux, there are some nice performance gains especially.

23 May 2019 - 40 Comments
A Look At The MDS Cost On Xeon, EPYC & Xeon Total Impact Of Affected CPU Vulnerabilities

This weekend I posted a number of benchmarks looking at the performance impact of the new MDS/Zombieload vulnerabilities that also included a look at the overall cost of Spectre/Meltdown/L1TF/MDS on Intel desktop CPUs and AMD CPUs (Spectre). In this article are similar benchmarks but turning the attention now to Intel Xeon hardware and also comparing those total mitigation costs against AMD EPYC with its Spectre mitigations.

20 May 2019 - 16 Comments

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