Raspberry Pi Vulkan, WSL2, Renoir, Linux 5.8 + PHP8 Was Exciting For June
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 July 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Aside from the H1'2020 open-source/Linux highlights, here is our look at the top stories for June 2020 on Phoronix with many interesting software and hardware topics.

During the month of June on Phoronix your's truly wrote 261 original news articles and 22 featured Linux hardware reviews / benchmark articles. Even with the pandemic going on and everything else in the world, there continues to be new Phoronix content each and every day of the year and it's been that way now since the last 24 hour period without new and original content being 2012. If you enjoy all of the Phoronix content during these trying times, consider joining premium, offering a tip, or at the very least not using any ad-blocker when browsing this site.

Exciting for June is that it also marked Phoronix.com turning 16 years old and the Phoronix Test Suite 12 years.

When it comes to the most popular news content for June it includes:

A NVIDIA Engineer In His Spare Time Wrote A Vulkan Driver That Works On Older Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi 1 through Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and even the Raspberry Pi Zero can now see Vulkan support via a new unofficial "RPi-VK-Driver" that is offering even better performance than the Broadcom OpenGL driver.

In 2020 The Linux Kernel Is Still Seeing Driver Work For The Macintosh II
The Linux kernel is seeing some modern work done to its driver for supporting the Apple Desktop Bus on Macintosh II era systems.

Torvalds Blasts "Beyond Stupid" Flushing L1d On Context Switches - Reverts Code For Now
As part of the initial set of changes merged today for Linux 5.8 was the x86/mm material that included the controversial feature of opt-in flushing of the L1 data cache on context switching. Linus Torvalds ended up deciding to revert this functionality as for now at least he views it as crazy.

RdRand Performance As Bad As ~3% Original Speed With CrossTalk/SRBDS Mitigation
Following today's disclosure by Intel of the CrossTalk/SRBDS vulnerability that is MDS-based and vulnerable across physical cores with affected instructions, Intel released new CPU microcode to mitigate the most prone/significant instructions. I've been benchmarking the impact of this new microcode on multiple systems and will have a full report tonight or tomorrow morning... But here is a look specifically at the look at the impact on the RdRand performance.

Linux To Begin Tightening Up Ability To Write To CPU MSRs From User-Space
The Linux 5.9 kernel is slated to begin introducing new restrictions on allowing writes to CPU model specific registers (MSRs) from user-space.

Apple Confirms Their Future Desktops + Laptops Will Use In-House CPUs
Apple finally confirmed the log-running rumor that their future laptops and desktop computers will be using in-house silicon with their custom designed Arm-based chips.

Amazon Introduces AWS Snowcone: 8TB Of Storage For Edge Computing Within 9 x 6 x 3 Inches
Amazon's AWS has today introduced the smallest member of the "Snow" family for migrating data into/out-of the cloud.

An Early Benchmark Of The NVIDIA CUDA GPU Performance On WSL2
Our recent benchmarks have shown WSL/WSL2 performance on the latest Windows 10 builds to generally be quite good compared to running bare metal Linux. But past the May 2020 Update and on the latest Insider Preview builds is the initial support for GPU acceleration in conjunction with updated Windows graphics drivers. The initial emphasis is on GPU compute with DirectML and for NVIDIA hardware CUDA support as well. Here are a couple CUDA benchmarks that ran gracefully under WSL2 albeit the performance leaves a lot to be desired.

Google Engineer Uncovers Holes In Linux's Speculative Execution Mitigations
There are some urgent fixes pending for the x86/x86_64 speculative execution handling for the Linux kernel following a Google security engineer discovering these issues, including one of the fixes address a situation that unfairly impacted AMD CPUs.

Futex2 Proposed In Latest Effort For Linux Kernel Optimization That Can Benefit Gamers
Last year Valve in cooperation with consulting firm Collabora published their work on extending the futex system call for more optimal thread pool synchronization with a means of waiting on any of several futexes. This kernel-level work paired with patched user-space for Wine/Proton allows better matching behavior on Windows. It's been months since hearing anything on Valve's futex effort while today a futex2 system call was published for discussion.

Linux 5.8-rc1 Arrives As One Of The Biggest Releases Of All Time
Linus Torvalds just released the Linux 5.8-rc1 test build as what he describes as one of the biggest releases of all time.

Fedora Developers Restart Talk Over Using Nano As The Default Text Editor
Fedora developers are once again discussing a proposal on switching to Nano as the default text editor on Fedora systems.

GNOME X.Org vs. Wayland Performance + Power Usage On Fedora 32 With AMD Renoir Laptop
As part of our ongoing testing of the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U "Renoir" mobile processors, here is some Wayland vs. X.Org data with the GNOME desktop on Fedora Workstation 32.

Firefox Private Network Is Now Official As Mozilla VPN
Following a beta period since last year as the Firefox Private Network, Mozilla's virtual private network offering is now going official and under the Mozilla VPN branding.

"CrossTalk" / SRBDS Is The Newest Side-Channel Vulnerability
Details are still coming in but INTEL-SA-00320, a.k.a. "CrossTalk", is the newest Intel side-channel CPU vulnerability.

Wine 5.10 Starts Work On A Unix Library For NTDLL, More WineD3D Vulkan
Wine 5.10 is out as the latest bi-weekly development release of this open-source project for allowing Windows games and applications to run generally gracefully on Linux (and other) platforms.

Intel Announces Jim Keller's Departure, Other Leadership Changes
Legendary processor engineer Jim Keller has resigned from Intel just over two years since he joined the company to much fanfare.

Another Intel 4K + GNOME Optimization Yields 5% Faster Render Times, 10% Lower Power Use
Daniel van Vugt of Canonical who has been responsible for many GNOME performance optimizations in recent years has another tantalizing improvement under review.

GNOME's Window Rendering Culling Was Broken Leading To Wasted Performance
It turns out for the GNOME 3.34 and 3.36 series, Mutter's window rendering culling code was broken and that led to extra rendering of windows not even visible... A fix is in the works and can lead to the performance doubling or more.

FFmpeg 4.3 Released With AMD AMF Encoding, Vulkan Support, AV1 Encode
FFmpeg 4.3 is out as the latest version of this key open-source multimedia library. FFmpeg 4.3 is quite a big release.

And the most popular featured articles:

AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Performance On Windows 10 vs. Six Linux Distributions
As part of our Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U Linux benchmarking there have been multiple requests for showing how various Linux distributions run and perform with these exciting Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPUs. Here are some benchmarks not only looking at six Linux distributions but also the performance of Microsoft Windows 10 as was preloaded on the Lenovo Flex 5 15-inch 2-in-1.

AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Benchmarks - Previously Unimaginable Performance For Sub-$600 Laptops
A few weeks back I began delivering Ryzen 7 4700U Linux laptop benchmarks for this 8-core Zen 2 mobile CPU with Vega graphics. The results have been very good and the support is in good shape with the latest Linux kernel, but many have been wondering about the Ryzen 5 4500U. The Ryzen 5 4500U is beginning to appear in several $500~600 USD laptops and offers six cores. Here are benchmarks and initial impressions with the Lenovo Flex 5 that features a 14-inch 1080p display, 16GB dual channel memory, 256GB SSD, and the Ryzen 5 4500U all for just $599!

Ubuntu 20.04 vs. Windows 10 WSL/WSL2 Performance In 170+ Benchmarks
Earlier this month was a look at the Windows 10 May 2020 Update performance for WSL/WSL2 with many benchmarks and testing on an Intel Core i9 10900K. Here is a follow-up round of testing this time with HEDT performance in the form of running an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X and running even more benchmarks up to 172 in total for this comparison of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS against WSL and WSL2 performance on this newest Microsoft Windows 10 update.

Windows 10 May 2020 Performance For WSL vs. WSL2
For those curious about the performance of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) with the recently released Windows 10 May 2020 Update, here are benchmarks of Ubuntu 20.04 on both WSL and WSL2 compared to the bare metal Ubuntu 20.04 LTS performance on the same system.

Windows 10 May 2020 vs. Linux Performance On AMD Ryzen Threadripper
Given the recent release of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, here are some fresh benchmarks showing how the latest Windows 10 software update paired with the latest AMD drivers performs against the latest 2020 Linux distribution releases. This testing was done on an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X box given the interesting performance differences we have seen in the past to Linux's advantage with these HEDT processors. The Linux distributions tested against Windows 10 May 2020 Update were Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch-based Manjaro 20.0.2, Clear Linux 33250, and Fedora Workstation 32.

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X vs. Intel Core i3 10100 In 350+ Benchmarks
Following our Intel Core i5 10600K and Core i9 10900K Linux benchmarks, here is a look at the lowest-end Core "Comet Lake" processor in the form of the Core i3 10100. Thanks to the increased pressure from AMD Ryzen, Intel now has a 4 core / 8 thread Core i3 processor at less than $150 USD. Here is a head-to-head matchup of the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and Intel Core i3 10100 processors in more than 350 benchmarks while also looking at the power and thermal efficiency in this largest comparison to date for these low-end desktop CPUs.

Windows 10 May 2020 vs. Ubuntu 20.04 Is A Surprisingly Heated Race On The Intel Core i9 10900K
Last week I provided some fresh benchmarks of Windows 10 May 2020 vs. Linux on AMD. As has been common across multiple systems particularly with Threadripper, using Linux leads to a ~20% uptick in performance at large over Windows. While at times we have seen similar advantages for Intel CPUs on Linux, with the new Intel Core i9 10900K Comet Lake processor it is a very competitive race between Windows 10 May 2020 Update and Ubuntu Linux.

The AMD Ryzen 5 4500U / Ryzen 7 4700U Against Intel With 141 Benchmarks
Following the initial benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U performance a few days ago, here is another more exhaustive look at the performance of this six-core Zen 2 mobile processor as well as that of the eight core Ryzen 7 4700U and several competing Intel CPUs in 140+ benchmarks.

PHP 8.0 JIT Is Offering Very Compelling Performance Ahead Of Its Alpha
With the PHP 8.0 schedule putting the first alpha release for the middle of June, I've been trying out its latest Git state in recent days for looking at its performance as well as when enabling its brand new JIT (Just In Time) compiler support that is new to PHP8. The results are quite compelling and here are metrics going back to the days of PHP 5.4 for comparison.

Linux 5.8 Kernel Features Include New Intel/AMD Capabilities, Security Improvements, Optimizations
Linus Torvalds is expected to release Linux 5.8-rc1 following the two week long Linux 5.8 kernel merge window. Here is our overview of all the big changes coming with this next version of the Linux kernel.
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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 20,000 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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