Ryzen & RX Vega Totally Dominated This Summer For Linux Users
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 September 2017 at 08:31 AM EDT. 1 Comment
HARDWARE --
With summer quickly coming to an end next week in the northern hemisphere, here's a look back at the most popular Linux/open-source articles and reviews for summer 2017.

Summer never means a slow period on Phoronix with continuing to work every single day and generally striving for around 10 original articles each and every day. Since the official start of summer on 20 June, there have been 835 news postings and 82 featured articles/reviews.

As always, if you enjoy all our benchmarks please consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip. It's also that time of the year where if you happen to be based in the US and traveling to Germany/Bavaria in the weeks ahead, if you are able to bring back any Augustiner / Oktoberfest beer, that also works for tips and/or premium-for-life... Sadly, 2017 is another year I am not able to partake in the annual pilgrimage to the wiesn and thus no Phoronix Oktoberfest meet-up.

The most popular news this summer on Phoronix included:

AMD Confirms Linux Performance Marginality Problem Affecting Some, Doesn't Affect Epyc / TR
This morning I was on a call with AMD and they are now able to confirm they have reproduced the Ryzen "segmentation fault issue" and are working with affected customers.

Ryzen-Test & Stress-Run Make It Easy To Cause Segmentation Faults On Zen CPUs
With running a number of new Ryzen Linux tests lately, a number of readers requested I take a fresh look at the reported Ryzen segmentation fault issues / bugs affecting a number of many Linux users. I did and still am able to reproduce the problem.

Oracle Layoffs Hit Longtime Solaris Developers Hard
It looks like the Oracle layoffs just before the US Labor Day indeed hit the SPARC and Solaris groups hard.

Stratis Is Red Hat's Plan For Next-Gen Linux Storage Without Btrfs
Yesterday at Phoronix we were the first to broadcast about Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 deprecating Btrfs and since then it's become more clear what their "next-gen" Linux storage focus has become.

Benchmarks Of PHP 7.2 Beta: PHP Is Still Getting Faster
PHP 7.2 Beta 1 was released yesterday as the next step towards this next refinement to PHP7 that is expected to be officially released in November. I couldn't help but to run some initial benchmarks.

Red Hat Appears To Be Abandoning Their Btrfs Hopes
Red Hat has (again) deprecated the Btrfs file-system from their Red Hat Enterprise Linux product, but this time it appears it may be for good.

What Excites Me The Most About The Linux 4.12 Kernel
If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.12 kernel will be officially released before the weekend is through. Here's a recap of some of the most exciting changes for this imminent kernel update.

2017 Linux Laptop Survey
It has been a few years since last running any Linux hardware surveys on Phoronix, as overall the ecosystem has rather matured nicely while of course there are still notable improvements to be had in the areas of GPUs and laptops. (Additionally, OpenBenchmarking.org provides a plethora of analytic capabilities when not seeking to collect subjective data / opinions.) But now we are hosting the 2017 Linux Laptop Survey to hopefully further improvements in this area.

Mozilla Firefox Finally Fixes An Awkward, 11 Year Old Linux Bug
It's taken more than a decade, but after enough user complaints, there is finally a patch queued for Firefox 57 to fix an arguably annoying default behavior of Firefox on Linux/Unix systems.

Oracle Reportedly Laying Off More Solaris & ZFS Staff
The mystery around the future of Solaris, ZFS, and SPARC continues with Oracle reportedly letting go of more developers and other staff members.

While our most popular featured articles included:

Radeon RX Vega On Linux: High-Performance GPUs & Open-Source No Longer An Oxymoron
The Radeon RX Vega is shipping today and for Linux gamers this is a serious AMD offering for being able to handle modern Linux games. But it goes beyond that in the RX Vega launch easily being the most successful launch ever for a GPU backed by open-source drivers on launch day. I've been spending the past several days testing the Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64. The RX Vega 56 is a very competent graphics card for $399 USD while those wanting to reach peak performance for Linux gaming on a open-source system can find the RX Vega 64 for $499 USD. The open-source support for Vega isn't without some initial setup hurdles and some growing pains along the way, but it's looking very good for launch-day and the best DRM+Mesa support we have ever seen at-launch for the premiere of a new discrete GPU architecture.

AMD Threadripper 1950X Linux Benchmarks
Last week I was able to finally get my hands on a Threadripper 1950X system thanks to AMD for being able to deliver some Linux tests from this high-end desktop platform. The Threadripper 1950X as a reminder is a 16-core processor with 32 threads via SMT, 3.4GHz base frequency, 4.0GHz boost frequency, quad-channel DDR4 support, and support for 64 PCI-E lanes. Threadripper sits between the Ryzen 7 desktop processors and the AMD EPYC server/workstation processors, which are still soon to be tested at Phoronix. The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X will set you back $999 USD, but compared to the Core i9 7900X at the same price, has six more cores / 12 threads and a slightly higher base clock frequency of 3.4GHz vs. 3.3GHz but a lower boost frequency of 4.0GHz vs. 4.3GHz.

Continuing To Stress Ryzen
In direct continuation of yesterday's article about easily causing segmentation faults on AMD Zen CPUs, I have carried out another battery of tests for 24 hours and have more information to report today on the ability to trivially cause segmentation faults and in some cases system lock-ups with Ryzen CPUs.

2017 Linux Laptop Survey Results
Following the two week survey process, here are the results from our inaugural Linux Laptop Survey. There are 30,171 responses, a lot of data to now sift through while in this article is an overview of the initial findings. There may be some additional follow-up articles in the days/weeks ahead when sifting through more of the data.

New Ryzen Is Running Solid Under Linux, No Compiler Segmentation Fault Issue
As a quick update to the AMD Linux "Performance Marginality Problem" affecting some early Ryzen processors under heavy load, today I received a new Ryzen 7 processor and indeed it's been running strong now for the past few hours under demanding load and has yet to hit the compiler segumentation fault bug.

Linux vs. BSD CPU Scaling Up To 20 Threads On The Core i9 7900X
With Intel's recently-launched Core i9 7900X I have carried out some interesting BSD vs. Linux benchmarks when testing out various distributions and comparing each of them at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 20 threads on this $999+ USD processor.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Radeon Gaming Performance With Linux 4.13 + Mesa 17.2
In the past few days I have posted benchmarks showing how AMD's latest open-source Radeon Linux driver code is faster than their hybrid/proprietary driver for OpenGL and perhaps most excitingly is finally how AMD Radeon GPUs are beginning to really compete with NVIDIA GPUs on Linux and in some cases performing better against the GeForce competition than they do under Windows. This comes after years of work on their open-source driver stack and especially a lot of work done over the past year not only by AMD but also Valve and other open-source contributors to Mesa, their RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, their AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end continues to be refined for compute and graphics, and the AMDGPU kernel driver. So here are the latest Windows vs. Linux gaming benchmarks on the Radeon side to see where things stand now with this latest code.

Ahead Of Radeon RX Vega, AMDGPU+RadeonSI Is Offering The Most Competitive Performance Yet Against NVIDIA On Linux
With the Radeon RX Vega 56 and Vega 64 shipping in two weeks, here are some benchmarks of the latest Radeon and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers with an assortment of modern GPUs. With these latest Linux GPU results are also the current performance-per-Watt and thermal metrics as recorded automatically via the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. This Radeon vs. NVIDIA Linux comparison should be particularly interesting given the very good Mesa Git performance results posted yesterday that show RadeonSI performing well beyond the AMDGPU-PRO OpenGL levels.

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.

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.

What were your summer highlights? Let us know in the forums.

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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