The Most Popular AMD/Radeon Linux News Of 2018
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 26 December 2018 at 05:23 PM EST. 6 Comments
AMD --
After looking yesterday at the most popular Intel Linux news of 2018, the tables have turned and this article is looking at the most popular AMD/Radeon news for the year on Phoronix.

This year was very interesting for AMD with the successful launch of the Threadripper 2 series, new Ryzen CPUs, EPYC processors continuing to pickup sever marketshare, AMD being less affected by Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities compared to Intel, the Radeon graphics driver stack continuing to advance a great deal (finally having FreeSync is the latest feature ending out the year!), early hardware enablement signs for Zen 2 / next-gen EPYC, continued znver1 compiler tuning, and much more happened in 2018.

Of 454 AMD Linux/open-source original news articles on Phoronix this year, the most popular included:

AMD Cuts Ryzen Prices, Confirms New Hardware, New Ryzen CPUs With Vega
While Intel announced their new CPUs with Radeon Vega M graphics, AMD had a host of announcements on their own for getting CES 2018 started with some excitement.

NVIDIA RTX, AMD On Linux & Distro Performance Dominated Linux Discussions In October
During the month of October on Phoronix there were 330 original news stories and 26 featured articles / Linux hardware reviews penned by your's truly.

For Now At Least AMD CPUs Are Also Reported As "Insecure"
Right now with the big mysterious security vulnerability causing the rush of the x86 Page Table Isolation work that landed in the Linux kernel days ago, it's believed to be a problem only affecting Intel CPUs. But at least for now the mainline kernel is still treating AMD CPUs as "insecure" and is too taking a performance hit.

Linux Will End Up Disabling x86 PTI For AMD Processors - Update: Now Disabled
While at the moment with the mainline Linux kernel Git tree AMD CPUs enable x86 PTI and are treated as "insecure" CPUs, the AMD patch for not setting X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE will end up being honored.

Sony Is Working On AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements - Possibly For The PlayStation 5
One of Sony's compiler experts has taken to working on some tuning for the AMD Ryzen "znver1" microarchitecture support within the LLVM compiler stack. This begs the question why Sony is working on Ryzen improvements if not for a future product.

Hygon Dhyana: Chinese x86 Server CPUs Based On AMD Zen
While there are the VIA/Centaur-based Zhaoxin desktop CPUs targeted for the Chinese market, it turns out there is another x86 Chinese CPU effort but this time is a collaboration with AMD.

AMD PSP Affected By Vulnerability
While all eyes have been on Intel this week with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, a disclosure was publicly made this week surrounding AMD's PSP Secure Processor in an unrelated security bulletin.

Seven Reasons To Already Get Excited For Linux 4.17, Especially For AMD/Radeon Users
While Linux 4.16 is coming in the next few days, I am already quite excited about the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel cycle and the changes it will bring.

Linux 4.17 To Enable AMDGPU DC By Default For All Supported GPUs
Since the introduction of the AMDGPU DC display code (formerly known as DAL) in Linux 4.15, this modern display stack has just been enabled by default for newer Radeon Vega and Raven Ridge devices. With Linux 4.17 that is changing with AMDGPU DC being enabled by default across the board for supported GPUs.

AMD Retpoline Benchmarks From FX To Threadripper & EPYC
For those curious about the performance impact of the Retpoline patches as found in the latest Linux 4.15 kernel, here are some benchmarks on an assortment of old and new AMD Linux systems.

AMD FreeSync 2 HDR Coming To The Linux Kernel In 2019
Next year is when all of the pieces of the open-source puzzle for fully supporting FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync/VRR displays with AMD graphics cards should be in place for allowing out-of-the-box support.

AMD Did NOT Disable Branch Prediction With A Zen Microcode Update
With the plethora of software security updates coming out over the past few days in the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre disclosure, released by SUSE was a Family 17h "Zen" CPU microcode update that we have yet to see elsewhere... It claims to disables branch prediction, but I've confirmed with AMD that is not actually the case.

This Chart Shows How The Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 Now Compete Under Linux
It was just last year that open-source RadeonSI/RADV developers were trying to get the Radeon RX 580 "Polaris" GPU to be competitive with the GeForce GTX 1060 as it is under Windows given each GPU's capabilities. We've seen the RX 580 and GTX 1060 dancing under Linux the past few months and yesterday's 20-way GPU comparison with Rise of the Tomb Raider was quite significant -- perhaps most surprising being how well the RX 580 performed. Heck, just one or two years ago it was an accomplishment seeing any official Radeon driver support at-launch for new Linux game releases. So here are some extensive tests looking closer at the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle in this latest Vulkan-powered Linux game port.

AMD Zen CPU Microcode Added To Linux-Firmware Tree, Bulldozer Updated
Ensuring your CPU microcode is kept up-to-date for Zen processors is now a little bit easier with the microcode files being added to the linux-firmware.git collection.

A Look At The Linux vs. Windows Power Use For A Ryzen 7 + Radeon RX Vega Desktop
Recently I have been posting a number of Linux laptop battery benchmarks including how the power consumption compares to Windows 10. If you are curious how these numbers play out on the desktop side and when using AMD hardware, here are some results for your viewing pleasure with a Ryzen 7 2700X and Radeon RX Vega 64 desktop system.

Radeon Vega 20 Will Have XGMI - Linux Patches Posted For This High-Speed Interface
It has been expected that Vega 20 would feature XGMI as a high-speed GPU interconnect alternative to PCI Express and that was firmed up today thanks to a new set of AMDGPU Linux driver patches.

AMD Posts Open-Source Driver Patches For Vega 12
It's been a while since last hearing anything about the rumored "Vega 12" GPU but coming out this morning are a set of 42 patches providing support for this unreleased GPU within the mainline Linux kernel.

AMD's Raven Ridge Botchy Linux Support Appears Worse With Some Motherboards/BIOS
With my launch testing of the Raven Ridge desktop APUs with the Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G there were some stability issues to report and some hangs within games and mode-setting issues. It appears those issues are exacerbated with some motherboards: the past few days with two different AMD B350 motherboards have been a real pain getting the current AMDGPU driver stack working -- and even Linux 4.17 AMDGPU WIP code -- on either of these Raven Ridge APUs.

AMD Finally Rolls Out New Linux Patches For Adaptive-Sync / VRR (FreeSync)
While the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics stack has gotten into particularly good shape the past two years or so, one of the areas that has left the red Linux gamers unsatisfied is the lack of FreeSync support (or DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync / HDMI Variable Refresh Rate) when using the fully open-source stack. It looks like that could be changing soon with the new set of patches under review.

Linux Kernel Expectations For AMD Threadripper 2
If you have already pre-ordered your AMD Threadripper 2990WX processor or just planning to be an early customer of that high-end desktop processor or the Threadripper 2950X, you may be wondering about Linux requirements from these new high-end AMD CPU offerings. Here's the gist of the Linux support state of AMD Zen+ CPUs for those wanting to get ready for Threadripper 2.

And our most viewed reviews/benchmarks:

AMD Threadripper 2990WX Linux Benchmarks: The 32-Core / 64-Thread Beast
Whether you are compiling a lot of code, rendering models with Blender, or running various scientific workloads with OpenMP or MPI, the AMD Threadripper 2990WX is capable of delivering immersive Linux performance with its 32-cores and 64 total threads. While coming in at $1800 USD, the AMD Threadripper 2990WX can deliver better performance than the more expensive Intel Core i9 7980XE. Beyond being mesmerized about the performance today with this high-end desktop/workstation processor with the many thread-happy Linux workloads we encounter daily, this 32-core Zen+ processor has us even more eager to see AMD's next-generation Zen2-based EPYC CPUs next year.

A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Performance On AMD Threadripper 2990WX
Complementing the extensive Linux benchmarks done earlier today of the AMD Threadripper 2990WX in our review (as well as on the Threadripper 2950X), in this article are our first Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks of this 32-core / 64-thread $1799 USD processor. Tests were done from Microsoft Windows 10 against Clear Linux, Ubuntu 18.04, the Arch-based Antergos 18.7-Rolling, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

POWER9 Benchmarks vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance On Debian Linux
For several days we've had remote access to one of the brand new Raptor Talos II Workstations that is powered by POWER9 processors and open-source down through the firmware. For those curious how these latest POWER processors compare to AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors, here are some benchmarks comparing against of the few other systems in house while all testing was done from Debian GNU/Linux.

Ryzen 5 2400G Radeon Vega Linux OpenGL/Vulkan Gaming Benchmarks
Here are our initial performance figures for the Vega graphics found on the newly-released Ryzen 5 2400G "Raven Ridge" APU under Linux and testing both OpenGL and Vulkan graphics benchmarks. CPU tests as well as benchmarks of the Ryzen 3 2200G under Linux are forthcoming on Phoronix.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X + Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Benchmarks
The embargo on the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 7 2700X processors has expired now that these Ryzen+ CPUs are beginning to ship today. We can now talk about the Linux support and the initial performance figures for these upgraded Zen desktop CPUs.

A Look At The Windows vs. Linux Scaling Performance Up To 64 Threads With The AMD 2990WX
This past week we looked at the Windows 10 vs. Linux performance for AMD's just-launched Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and given the interest from that then ran some Windows Server benchmarks to see if the performance of this 64-thread CPU would be more competitive to Linux. From those Windows vs. Linux tests there has been much speculation that the performance disparity is due to Windows scheduler being less optimized for high core/thread count processors and its NUMA awareness being less vetted than the Linux kernel. For getting a better idea, here are benchmarks of Windows Server 2019 preview versus Ubuntu Linux when testing varying thread/core counts for the AMD Threadripper 2990WX.

AMD Ryzen 7 Performance On Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Six Linux Distributions
Our latest Windows vs. Linux benchmarking interest has been seeing how the AMD Ryzen 7 performance compares with the latest operating systems / Linux distributions. We have recently posted some Windows 10 vs. Windows WSL vs. Windows Linux benchmarks, relative Spectre/Meltdown mitigation impact tests on Windows vs. Linux, and other benchmarks but has mostly been done with Intel or server hardware. For those curious, today's tests were done with an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 platform.

AMD Athlon 200GE: Benchmarking The $60 Zen+Vega Chip
At the high-end of the AMD desktop CPU 2018 spectrum is the insanely fast Threadripper 2990WX while at the opposite end of that spectrum is the recently announced Athlon 200GE. For just $60 USD is this Zen+Vega chip that we have begun testing and have our initial Linux performance benchmarks out today compared to a range of lower-end and older desktop CPUs as well as integrated graphics test results, power consumption data, and performance-per-dollar metrics.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux With Radeon / GeForce GPUs On The Latest 2018 Drivers
Given how fiercely the latest open-source AMD Linux driver code is running now up against NVIDIA's long-standing flagship Linux GPU driver, you might be curious how well that driver stacks up against the Radeon Software driver on Windows? Well, you are in luck as here are some fresh benchmarks of the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 as well as the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 Ti while being tested both under Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS while using the latest AMD/NVIDIA drivers on each platform.

NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance At The Start Of 2018
Here is a fresh look at the NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon Linux graphics card performance as we start 2018. Testing was done using the latest Linux 4.15 Git kernel -- including the KPTI page table isolation support -- as well as using the newest Mesa 17.4-dev driver code for RadeonSI/RADV and on the NVIDIA side is their brand new 390.12 beta driver.

AMD Vega 8 Graphics Performance On Linux With The Ryzen 3 2200G
Yesterday I posted the initial Ryzen 5 2400G Vega 11 Linux graphics benchmarks while for your viewing please today -- as well as this morning's 21-way Intel/AMD CPU Linux comparison that featured these new Raven Ridge APUs -- the results now completed are initial OpenGL and Vulkan performance figures for the Vega 8 graphics found on the Ryzen 3 2200G.

The NVIDIA/AMD Linux GPU Gaming Benchmarks & Performance-Per-Dollar For July 2018
In part with GPU demand by crypto-currency miners waning a bit, NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics card availability at retailers has been improving in recent weeks as well as seeing less inflated prices than just recently had been the case. Given the better availability and stabilizing prices, here is a fresh look of the current line-up of GeForce and Radeon graphics cards under Ubuntu Linux using the newest AMD/NVIDIA drivers and also providing performance-per-dollar metrics given current retail prices.

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G + Ryzen 5 2400G Linux CPU Performance, 21-Way Intel/AMD Comparison
Yesterday I posted some initial Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2400G Raven Ridge APU when looking at the Vega 11 graphics, but for those curious about the CPU performance potential of the Ryzen 5 2400G and its ~$100 Ryzen 3 2200G sibling, here are our first CPU benchmarks of these long-awaited AMD APUs. These two current Raven Ridge desktop APUs are compared to a total of 21 different Intel and AMD processors dating back to older Kaveri APUs and FX CPUs and Ivy Bridge on the Intel side.

Raptor Talos II POWER9 Benchmarks Against AMD Threadripper & Intel Core i9
For those curious about the performance of IBM's POWER9 processors against the likes of today's AMD Threadripper and Intel Core i9 HEDT processors, here are some interesting benchmarks as we begin looking closer at the POWER9 performance on the fully open-source Raptor Talos II Secure Workstation. This open-source, secure system arrived for Linux testing with dual 22-core POWER9 CPUs to yield 176 total threads of power.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 / Ryzen 7 2700 Benchmarks On Linux, 9-Way Ubuntu CPU Comparison
Last month we delivered launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 7 2700X for these new "Zen+" processors while recently we received the non-X Ryzen 5 2600 and Ryzen 7 2700 processors for Linux testing as well. In this article are benchmarks of these new AMD Ryzen processors as well as other Intel/AMD CPUs for delivering a fresh nine-way Linux distribution comparison using the very latest software components.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X: Windows 10 vs. Linux Performance
Recently there have been several Linux distribution benchmark comparisons on Phoronix to test the latest Linux OS releases, including several comparing to the current Microsoft Windows 10 performance. Those recent tests have all be done with various Intel CPUs, but for those curious about the AMD Windows vs. Linux performance, here are some fresh benchmarks as we approach the end of July.

Radeon GPUs Are Increasingly Competing With NVIDIA GPUs On Latest RadeonSI/RADV Drivers
As it's been a few weeks since last delivering a modest Linux GPU comparison and given the continuously evolving state of the Linux kernel Git tree as well as the Mesa project that houses the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers, here are our latest benchmarks showing the current state of the AMD Radeon open-source Linux graphics driver performance relative to NVIDIA's long-standing and high-performance but proprietary driver using several different graphics cards.

36-Way Comparison Of Amazon EC2 / Google Compute Engine / Microsoft Azure Cloud Instances vs. Intel/AMD CPUs
Earlier this week I delivered a number of benchmarks comparing Amazon EC2 instances to bare metal Intel/AMD systems. Due to interest from that, here is a larger selection of cloud instance types from the leading public clouds of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine.

The Current Linux Performance On 22 Intel / AMD Desktop Systems
For your Linux benchmark viewing pleasure today are test results from twenty-two distinct Intel / AMD systems when running a recent release of the performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution and the hardware spanning from old AMD FX and Intel Core i3 Haswell CPUs up through the high-end desktop Core i9 and Threadripper processors.

Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux vs. FreeBSD Performance On A 2P EPYC Server
When Microsoft rolled out their Windows 10 October 2018 Update they also released Windows Server 2019. Now over the slower holiday period I am finally getting caught up in benchmarking Windows Server 2019. For this initial benchmark comparison is a look at the Microsoft Windows Server 2019 performance against a handful of Linux distributions as well as FreeBSD 12.0 for seeing how this latest Windows Server performance compares on a dual AMD EPYC 7601 server.
About The Author
Author picture

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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