AMD Dominated Q3 In Wooing Over Linux / Open-Source Fans
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 3 October 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT. 7 Comments
PHORONIX --
Here is our recap of the most popular content on Phoronix for Q3. This is also the first time any one vendor has nearly dominated the charts thanks to multiple successful product launches and growing embrace for Linux/open-source.

During Q3'2019 on Phoronix were 841 original news articles on the site focused on our Linux/open-source niche. In addition, there were 58 featured-length benchmark articles / Linux hardware reviews. It was another busy quarter and continuing to single-handedly provide new original Linux/open-source content 365 days per year while now being well into the 15th year of Phoronix.com and 11th for the Phoronix Test Suite.

Before getting to the highlights for Q3, just a friendly reminder if you enjoy the daily original content on Phoronix please consider showing your support by "going premium" to support these operations while enjoying the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, priority feedback, and other benefits. Thanks for considering or at the very least avoiding ad-block use.

With that said, below is the most popular articles on Phoronix for Q3 followed by the most popular news items. Q4 is certain to be another exciting ride!

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X + Ryzen 9 3900X Offer Incredible Linux Performance But With A Big Caveat
After weeks of anticipation, we can now share how the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X performance is under Linux. These first Zen 2 processors do indeed deliver a significant improvement over Zen/Zen+ processors and also battle Intel's latest 14nm CPUs but for Linux users there is one big, unfortunate issue right now.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Performance On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
For those wondering how the performance compares of AMD's new Zen 2 processors between Windows 10 and Linux, here are our initial benchmarks across dozens of benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on Windows 10 Pro 1903 against Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS.

AMD EPYC 7502 + EPYC 7742 Linux Performance Benchmarks
Now that you have read our AMD EPYC "Rome" 7002 series overview, here is a look at the initial performance benchmarks from our testing over the past few weeks. This testing focused on the new AMD EPYC 7502 and EPYC 7742 processors in both single (1P) and dual (2P) socket configurations using AMD's Daytona server reference platform. Tests were done on Ubuntu Linux and compared to previous AMD EPYC processors as well as Intel Xeon Scalable.

The Sandy Bridge Core i7 3960X Benchmarked Against Today's Six-Core / 12 Thread AMD/Intel CPUs
Complementing our recent AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Linux benchmarking, with recently having out the Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition, here are benchmarks showing that previous $999 USD six-core / twelve-thread processor compared to today's Ryzen 5 3600X (and previous-generation Ryzen 5 2600X) as well as the Core i7 8700K.

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.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 / RX 5700XT Linux Gaming Benchmarks
While last month we could talk all about the specifications for the Radeon RX 5700 series, today the embargo has lifted concerning the Radeon RX 5700/5700XT graphics cards so we can finally talk about the actual (Linux) performance. The road is a bit rougher than we had hoped, but it's possible to drive these new Navi graphics cards today using their open-source graphics driver stack at least for OpenGL games/applications. Over the weeks ahead, the Linux driver support for Navi will continue to improve.

POWER9 & ARM Performance Against Intel Xeon Cascadelake + AMD EPYC Rome
For those wondering how ARM and IBM POWER hardware stack up against AMD's new EPYC "Rome" processors and that of Intel's existing Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors, here is a round of tests from the POWER9 Talos II, Ampere eMAG, and Cavium ThunderX in looking at the cross-architecture Linux CPU performance currently in the server space.

Intel Core i9 9900K vs. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Linux Gaming Performance
Here is our most extensive look yet at the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Linux gaming performance up against the Intel Core i9 9900K while testing the latest Linux drivers with the Radeon RX 5700 XT as well as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 graphics cards. Beyond testing all the benchmark-friendly Linux-native and Steam Play OpenGL/Vulkan games, the performance-per-Watt and performance-per-dollar of the tested systems are also being covered.

Spectre Mitigation Performance Impact Benchmarks On AMD Ryzen 3700X / 3900X Against Intel
AMD Zen 2 processors feature hardware-based mitigations for Spectre V2 and Spectre V4 SSBD while remaining immune to the likes of Meltdown and Zombieload. Here are some benchmarks looking at toggling the CPU speculative execution mitigations across various Intel and AMD processors.

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.

And the most popular Q3 news:

NVIDIA Starts Publishing GPU Hardware Documentation To Help Open-Source Drivers
Today is a wild one for open-source/Linux users. Let's begin with the unexpected news: NVIDIA is releasing more GPU hardware documentation at long last! Yes, freely-available hardware interface documentation to assist in the development of the open-source NVIDIA Linux driver (Nouveau).

The Ryzen 3000 Boot Problem With Newer Linux Distros Might Be Due To RdRand Issue
As outlined yesterday, AMD's Ryzen 3000 processors are very fast but having issues booting newer Linux distributions. The exact issue causing that boot issue on 2019 Linux distribution releases doesn't appear to be firmly resolved yet but some are believing it is an RdRand instruction issue on these newer processors manifested by systemd.

Summing Up The AMD EPYC 7742 2P Performance In One Graphic
If you didn't have a chance since last night to check out our benchmarks of the AMD EPYC 7742 and EPYC 7502 Linux performance, I certainly encourage you to do so. Even if you aren't a server enthusiast, it's incredible to see the engineering achievement of AMD with Zen 2 and how the race is certainly back on in the CPU space. If you are short on time, here's the quick summary of our initial AMD EPYC 7002 benchmark results.

AMD Releases BIOS Fix To Motherboard Partners For Booting Newer Linux Distributions
AMD has just alerted us that they have released a BIOS fix to their motherboard partners that takes care of the issue around booting newer Linux distributions on the new Zen 2 processors.

Yes, Linux Does Bad In Low RAM / Memory Pressure Situations On The Desktop
It's been a gripe for many running Linux on low RAM systems especially is that when the Linux desktop is under memory pressure the performance can be quite brutal with the system barely being responsive. The discussion over that behavior has been reignited this week.

Systemd-homed: Systemd Now Working To Improve Home Directory Handling
Kicking off today in Berlin is the annual All Systems Go conference focused on systemd and other user-space components. Systemd lead developer Lennart Poettering presented on systemd-homed as a new component to systemd that is focused on improving home directory handling.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server Planning A New Means For Automated Installations
Canonical's server team is working on a new means of carrying out automated installations of Ubuntu Server in time for their 20.04 LTS release.

CVE-2019-1125 "SWAPGS" Is The Newest Spectre Vulnerability
CVE-2019-1125 was made public today or also referred to as the "SWAPGS" vulnerability as a new variant of Spectre V1 affecting Windows and Linux with Intel (and according to mixed information, AMD - though the current Linux kernel patches at least seem to only apply to Intel) x86_64 processors.

Debian 10.0 "Buster" Now Available - Powered By Linux 4.19, GNOME + Wayland
After a long day of preparations, Debian 10.0 "Buster" is now available as planned with the CD/DVD images having just hit the mirrors.

How Intel's Clear Linux Team Cut The Kernel Boot Time From 3 Seconds To 300 ms
Intel engineer Feng Tang spoke at this week's Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon, Portugal on how the Clear Linux team managed to boot their kernel faster. They started out with around a three second kernel boot time but cut it down to just 300 ms.
About The Author
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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 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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