Intel's Linux & Open-Source Advancements In 2017
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 27 December 2017 at 08:57 AM EST. 1 Comment
INTEL --
With yesterday having looked at the AMD/Radeon popular Linux/open-source achievements of the year, the tables have turned to now look at the Intel Linux/FLOSS activity.

In 2017 Intel remained one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel as well as continued investments into GCC, LLVM, Mesa, Glibc, and countless other components. From our coverage most of that was centered on their continued improvements to the Mesa i965 OpenGL and ANV Vulkan drivers as well as other plumbing throughout the Mesa/DRM/X.Org components. Intel developers have also been busy adding support for next-gen Cannonlake and Icelake processor features as well as the recently-launched Geminilake. Intel's Clear Linux project has also continued propelling the performance potential of Linux distributions in 2017 by continuing to offer leading out-of-the-box performance near universally across major Linux distributions on modern x86 hardware.

On the hardware side was the interesting Coffee Lake launch and finally getting CPUs with higher core/thread counts to battle AMD Ryzen, the announcement of upcoming Intel CPUs to feature Radeon graphics, Xeon Scalable CPUs offer a lot of data center potential this year, and the latest Intel Extreme Edition CPUs have been packing serious performance.

First up is the most-viewed featured Intel Linux articles of 2017:

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X vs. Intel Core i7 7700K Linux Gaming Performance
For those craving some Linux gaming benchmarks from the newly-released AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor, here are some test results. In this initial comparison are benchmarks of the Ryzen 7 1800K to Core i7 7700K when running these processors at stock speeds while using a Radeon R9 Fury graphics card paired with AMDGPU+RadeonSI for the Linux graphics driver stack.

Ubuntu vs. Fedora vs. openSUSE vs. Manjaro vs. Clear Linux On Intel's Core i9 7900X
Continuing on with our Core i9 7900X Linux benchmarking this week are some numbers when testing this ten-core Skylake-X processor on various Linux distributions under an array of different workloads. Tested for this roundup was Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu 17.04, Fedora 26, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Manjaro 17.0.2, and Clear Linux 16160.

Intel Celeron G3930 On Linux: A Dual-Core Kabylake CPU For $40
Earlier this week we posted Linux benchmarks of the Intel Pentium G4600 as a 3.6GHz processor for around $90 USD. It was an interesting processor for the value, but if your wallet is tighter, the Celeron G3930 is selling for about $40 as a dual-core sub-3GHz Kabylake processor. Here are those test results.

Intel Pentium G4600: A Surprising 3.6GHz Kabylake CPU For $90
If you are looking to upgrade to a Kabylake processor but the Core i7 7700K at $350 and other higher-end models are too expensive, the Pentium G4600 is available at under $90 USD for a dual-core processor with Hyper Threading and clocks up to 3.6GHz.

Trying Out Intel Optane Memory On Linux
Here are some of my initial tests of trying out an Intel Optane memory module under Ubuntu Linux with a Kabylake system.

Intel Core i3 2100 Sandy Bridge vs. Core i3 7100 Kabylake Performance
At the end of January I published my initial Core i3 7100 Linux benchmarks while for those still on older Sandy Bridge hardware and thinking of upgrading to a Core i3 Kabylake, here are some interesting comparative benchmarks. For these weekend tests are raw performance and performance-per-Watt metrics for the Core i3 2100 Sandy Bridge to the Core i3 7100 Kabylake processors.

Intel UHD Graphics 630 "Coffee Lake" On Linux
This morning I delivered the initial Linux processor benchmarks of the Core i7 8700K and Core i5 8400 for the just-launched "Coffee Lake" desktop processors. With these Intel "Gen 8" processors, the integrated "HD Graphics" from Kabylake have been rebranded to "UHD Graphics". While there wasn't any real changes architecturally to the graphics hardware, right now the Linux support isn't quite out-of-the-box.

Intel Kabylake: Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL Performance
For those curious about the current Kabylake graphics performance between Windows 10 and Linux, here are some OpenGL benchmark results under each operating system. Windows 10 Pro x64 was tested and the Linux distributions for comparison were Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux, Antergos, Fedora 25 Xfce, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

6-Way Linux Distribution Comparison On AMD's Ryzen
Given AMD's Ryzen is a very new platform, some Phoronix readers have inquired whether a given distribution is a faster and better-supported than others. Here are tests of Ubuntu, Clear Linux, Debian, Antergos, Fedora, and openSUSE tested with an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X system.

Clear Linux Switches From Xfce To GNOME, Benchmarks
The Intel-developed high-performance Clear Linux operating system has decided to shift their desktop focus from Xfce to GNOME.

Intel Core i3 8100: 3.6GHz Quad-Core With UHD Graphics For Less Than $120 USD
The new Intel Core i3 8100 processor is a quad-core CPU running at 3.6GHz, offers integrated UHD Graphics 630, 6MB L3 cache, and has a 65 Watt TDP. This Intel quad-core CPU will cost you less than $120 USD. As about to be shown in these Ubuntu Linux benchmark results, this lowest-end Coffeelake CPU right now has a lot to offer. Here is a 30-way Intel/AMD Ubuntu benchmark comparison featuring the i3 8100, i5 8400, i7 8700K, and many other CPUs going back to the Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer days.

26-Way Intel/AMD CPU System Comparison With Ubuntu 16.10 + Linux 4.10 Kernel
In preparation for Intel Kaby Lake socketed CPU benchmark results soon on Phoronix, the past number of days I have been re-tested many of the systems in our benchmark server room for comparing to the performance of the new Kaby Lake hardware. For those wanting to see how existing Intel and AMD systems compare when using Ubuntu 16.10 x86_64 and the latest Linux 4.10 Git kernel, here are those benchmarks ahead of our Kaby Lake Linux CPU reviews.

Intel Core i3 7100 Kabylake Linux Benchmarks
Last week I began delivering Linux Kabylake benchmarks with the Core i5 7600K while this week I finally am set to receive the Core i7 7700K. But for those curious how Kabylake is looking on the low-end, I picked up a Core i3 7100 as currently the cheapest Kabylake desktop processor. Here are some initial Linux benchmarks of this Core i3 processor on Ubuntu Linux.

Linux 4.12 Ubuntu Benchmarks With AMD Ryzen, Intel Kabylake - 12 Systems
While waiting for my motherboards to arrive for the new Core i7 7740X and Core i9 7900X, I've been re-testing many of my AMD/Intel boxes with Ubuntu 17.04 on the latest Linux 4.12 kernel for comparison to Intel's new high-end processors. Here is a look at 12 of the existing systems when running on the Linux 4.12 kernel as well as all of the systems have the latest BIOSes, etc.

Intel Core i7 8700K Linux Benchmarks
2017 has been an interesting year for processors with AMD's long awaited introduction of the Zen-based Ryzen / Threadripper / EPYC processors, Intel's Core X-Series processors for high-end desktops, the Xeon Scalable processor family introduction, and now the launch of Coffee Lake as a "Kaby Lake Refresh" step before the Cannonlake desktop processors expected in 2018. While another 14nm CPU, Coffee Lake is interesting is that Intel has now upped their desktop core counts in response to Ryzen. With the Core i7 series is now six cores plus Hyper Threading, compared to 4 cores plus HT with previous i7 models. The Core i5 CPUs are also now six core but sans Hyper Threading and there is also the just-published Core i5 8400 Linux benchmarks. This article serves as our first look at the Coffee Lake Core i7 CPUs in the form of the 8700K.

Intel OpenGL Performance On macOS 10.12 vs. Clear Linux, Ubuntu
In addition to having some fresh Radeon Linux vs. Windows GPU driver numbers as an added bonus as we celebrate Phoronix's 13th birthday this week are some fresh macOS vs. Linux OpenGL performance figures.

An Early Look At Debian 9.0 Performance vs. Debian 8.8, Ubuntu 17.04, CentOS 7, Clear Linux
With Debian 9.0 "Stretch" being released in a few weeks, you can expect to find a number of Debian GNU/Linux comparisons coming up on Phoronix in June. For those curious how the performance of Debian Stretch is looking now that it's nearly finalized, here are some initial benchmarks compared to the current stable Debian 8.8 release as well as Ubuntu 17.04, CentOS 7, and Clear Linux.

Linux Memory Performance With Intel Kabylake From DDR4-1600 To DDR4-3333MHz
For those that may be thinking about picking up an Intel Kabylake processor and trying to justify if DDR4-2400 memory is worthwhile for your budget, or even faster DDR4 memory via XMP profiles / overclocking, here are some tests using a Kabylake CPU and testing DDR4 memory at frequencies from 1600MHz up to 3333MHz.

Fedora vs. Ubuntu vs. openSUSE vs. Clear Linux For Intel Steam Gaming Performance
With this week Clear Linux now being able to run Steam, I was excited to see how this performance-minded Linux distribution out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center would compare to other more popular Linux distributions when it comes to Intel Linux gaming performance. Here are some benchmarks of this traditionally workstation/server-oriented Intel Linux distribution running some Steam Linux games.

Intel Graphics Performance: Ubuntu 17.04 vs. 17.10
Given the Ubuntu 17.10 release this week and its massive desktop changes from GNOME Wayland to Mesa/kernel upgrades, we've been busy benchmarking this new Ubuntu OS release. Complementing the Radeon Ubuntu 17.04 vs. 17.10 gaming comparison are now some OpenGL/Vulkan benchmarks when using Intel Kabylake graphics hardware on Ubuntu 17.04, 17.10 with X.Org and Wayland, and the performance if upgrading against Linux/Mesa Git.

Below is a look at the most popular Intel Linux news on Phoronix this year.

Intel Memory Bandwidth Allocation Coming To Linux 4.12
Intel Memory Bandwidth Allocation (MBA) support is coming to the Linux 4.12 kernel for allocating defined bandwidth between CPU cores.

It's Now Possible To Disable & Strip Down Intel's ME Blob
Many free software advocates have been concerned by Intel's binary-only Management Engine (ME) built into the motherboards on newer generations of Intel motherboards. The good news is there is now a working, third-party approach for disabling the ME and reducing the risk of its binary blobs.

Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu On An Intel Pentium CPU
When we are usually running our cross-distribution/OS Linux comparisons, we are generally using Intel Xeon or Core i5/i7 CPUs and whatever else is the latest and greatest hardware, since that's what excites us the most. But a Phoronix Premium member recently inquired whether Intel's performance-oriented Clear Linux distribution would also be of benefit on lower-end hardware. So for some benchmarking fun this weekend, here are some Ubuntu 16.10 vs. Clear Linux results on an older Pentium system.

Debian Warns Of Hyper Threading Issue With Intel Sky/Kaby Lake CPUs
The Debian project is warning Intel Skylake and Kaby Lake users to disable Hyper Threading (HT) on their CPUs due to a possible issue affecting those with out-of-date microcode.

Intel Confirms Vulnerability In Intel AMT/ME
Many of you already have expressed your displeasure over Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) and Management Engine (ME) for various reasons in the past and now it's been disclosed that for years there has been a vulnerability in this business-oriented feature that could open your Intel systems up to attackers.

Google Even Fear Intel ME, Reduce Their Attack Vector With NERF
Even Google is concerned about attack vectors with UEFI and Intel's Management Engine that their NERF project seeks to alleviate some of these concerns and is used by their servers.

Intel Planning To End Legacy BIOS Support By 2020
Intel is planning to end "legacy BIOS" support in their new platforms by 2020 in requiring UEFI Class 3 or higher.

Realtek ALC299/ALC1220 Support, Intel Audio Updates In Linux 4.11
Takashi Iwai has submitted the sound subsystem updates for the Linux 4.11 kernel with most of that work happening in the audio driver space.

Fedora Switching Away From Intel X.Org DDX Driver
Fedora is the latest Linux distribution abandoning the xf86-video-intel driver in favor of the generic xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver.

Intel Optane Memory Now Available
After talking about it for a long time, Intel Optane Memory is now officially available. A 16GB module will cost just $44 USD or $77 for a 32GB capacity.

AMD Kaveri vs. Intel Skylake With The Latest Linux/Mesa Open-Source Drivers
I'm in the process of testing a lot of my different CPUs/APUs in preparation for some Kaby Lake Linux benchmarks next week with the Core i5 7600K and Core i7 7700K. Along the way with the different CPU benchmarks I've also been running some fresh integrated Linux graphics tests on the newer and interesting hardware.

Wine 3.0-RC1 Released, Direct3D 11 Enabled For Intel/AMD GPUs
Just as planned, the first release candidate for Wine 3.0 and it also marks the project's code/feature freeze.

How An Old PowerMac G5 Compares To Modern Intel CPUs
With Debian and Ubuntu dropping 32-bit PowerPC support in their future releases, you may be curious how the older PowerPC hardware compares to Intel's modern x86 processors if you are wishing to switchover. Here are some benchmarks.

Early Benchmarks Of The Intel Core i7 7700K On Linux
For those curious how Intel's flagship Core i7 7700K "Kabylake" processor is performing under Linux, my sample arrived yesterday and I've begun putting the CPU through its paces.

Intel's Linux Graphics Driver To Enable Atomic Support By Default
The patch landed in Intel's drm-intel-next-queued branch this week for enabling atomic support by default on the hardware platforms where it's fully supported.

Intel RealSense SR300 Camera Support Added To Linux 4.12
The media subsystem updates were submitted earlier today for the Linux 4.12 development cycle.

A Workaround To Disable Intel Management Engine 11
Many Phoronix readers have written in over the past day being excited over the prospects of being able to disable a newer version of Intel's Management Engine.

Intel Haswell May Soon See Less Hangs With Mesa
If you are running Intel Haswell hardware with integrated graphics and have been seeing hangs under Linux, you're not alone but a fix is in the works.

Intel Announces CPU With HBM2 Memory & AMD Graphics
Following the rumors for months about an Intel CPU with integrated AMD graphics, it has been announced today and is actually happening!

Experimenting With Virtual GPU Support On Linux 4.10 + Libvirt
With the Linux 4.10 kernel having initial but limited Intel Graphics Virtualization Tech support, you can begin playing with the experimental virtual GPU support using the upstream kernel and libvirt.

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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