Monthly Archives: December 2018

That’s A Wrap For 2018 With 3,693 News Articles, 314 Linux Hardware Reviews/Benchmarks


PHORONIX --

That’s a wrap for 2018 with Phoronix this year having published 3,693 original Linux/open-source related news articles and 314 featured articles comprising of our Linux hardware reviews and multi-page benchmark specials. 2019 will bring us into the 15th calendar year since I started Phoronix and now around 4,000 featured articles in its time and more than 27,300 original news articles.

Thanks to those that have supported Phoronix over the course of 2018. As one last reminder, we are presently running our Phoronix Premium holiday special where you can support the site moving into the new year while enjoying the site ad-free and multi-page articles on a single page, among other benefits like priority feedback. It’s only though (pay-per-impression) advertisements and premium members along with PayPal tips. Due to the current ad climate and ad-blockers, I remain the one running the site and Phoronix Media operations single-handedly and responsible for 99% of the content. Thanks for your support as we move into 2019. The holiday special officially expires at the end of the year, but should any of you be reading this article late, I am still happy to honor the deal… See the details on that special in the aforelinked article.

Below is a look at the most popular Phoronix articles this year as well as our news. And with that, the last hours of 2018 will be spent enjoying some Bavarian beverages and catching up on some much needed sleep before being back to the Linux benchmarking grind bright and early in the morning.

First up, the most-viewed news overall on Phoronix for 2018:

Dell Rolls Out New XPS 13 Laptop For 2018
Just ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Dell has unveiled a new XPS 13 high-end laptop.

The Linux Kernel Is Now VLA-Free: A Win For Security, Less Overhead & Better For Clang
With the in-development Linux 4.20 kernel, it is now effectively VLA-free… The variable-length arrays (VLAs) that can be convenient and part of the C99 standard but can have unintended consequences.

Intel Rolls Out Their New CPUs With Radeon Vega M Graphics
Kicking off CES 2018, Intel launched their new CPUs featuring integrated Radeon Vega M Graphics.

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.

Linux Gaming Performance Doesn’t Appear Affected By The x86 PTI Work
With the recently published Initial Benchmarks Of The Performance Impact Resulting From Linux’s x86 Security Changes, one of the common questions that came up is whether gaming performance is adversely affected by the x86 Page Table Isolation changes recently merged to the Linux kernel.

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.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ Released For $25 USD
The Raspberry Pi Foundation today unveiled the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ ARM SBC that costs just $25 and offers Bluetooth, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, and a 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 processor.

Linus Torvalds Shows His New Polite Side While Pointing Out Bad Kernel Code
When Linus Torvalds announced last month that he would be taking a temporary leave of absence to work on his empathy and interpersonal skills as well as the adoption of a Linux kernel Code of Conduct, some Internet commenters thought this would lead Linus to being less strict about code quality and his standards for accepting new code to the mainline tree. Fortunately, he’s shown already for the new Linux 4.20~5.0 cycle he isn’t relaxing his standards but is communicating better when it comes to bringing up coding issues.

Valve Rolls Out Wine-based “Proton” For Running Windows Games On Linux
Valve has today announced a new version of Steam Play that allows Linux gamers to enjoy Windows games on Linux via their new Wine-based Proton project.

Apple’s New Hardware With The T2 Security Chip Will Currently Block Linux From Booting
Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops have become increasingly unfriendly with Linux in recent years while their Mac Mini computers have generally continued working out okay with most Linux distributions due to not having to worry about multiple GPUs, keyboards/touchpads, and other Apple hardware that often proves problematic with the Linux kernel. But now with the latest Mac Mini systems employing Apple’s T2 security chip, they took are likely to crush any Linux dreams.

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.

Debian’s Anti-Harassment Team Is Removing A Package Over Its Name
The latest notes from the Debian anti-harassment team on Wednesday caught my attention when reading, “We were requested to advice on the appropriateness of a certain package in the Debian archive. Our decision resulted in the package pending removal from the archive.” Curiosity got the best of me… What package was deemed too inappropriate for the Debian archive?

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.

One Of LLVM’s Top Contributors Quits Development Over CoC, Outreach Program
Rafael Avila de Espindola is the fifth most active contributor to LLVM with more than 4,300 commits since 2006, but now he has decided to part ways with the project.

The Controversial Speck Encryption Code Will Indeed Be Dropped From The Linux Kernel
While Google got the NSA-developed Speck into the Linux kernel on the basis of wanting to use Speck for file-system encryption on very low-end Android (Go) devices, last month they decided to abandon those plans and instead work out a new “HPolyC” algorithm for use on these bottom-tier devices due to all the concerns over Speck potentially being back-doored by the US National Security Agency.

PostgreSQL Begins Landing LLVM JIT Support For Faster Performance
The widely-used PostgreSQL database software may soon become much faster thanks to a work-in-progress LLVM JIT back-end that has begun to land.

Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping x32 Support
It was just several years ago that the open-source ecosystem began supporting the x32 ABI, but already kernel developers are talking of potentially deprecating the support and for it to be ultimately removed.

Patches Revived For A Zstd-Compressed Linux Kernel While Dropping LZMA & BZIP2
For more than a year it’s been talked about adding an option to support Zstd-compressed Linux kernel images while it looks like that Facebook-backed high performance compression algorithm for kernel images could soon finally be mainlined.

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.

EA SEED’s Halcyon R&D Engine Experimenting With Vulkan & Linux Support
Halcyon is a research and development engine being built by Electronic Arts’ SEED group (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division). While previously they talked up Microsoft DirectX ray-tracing and have been experimenting with it, they have also begun work on a Vulkan back-end for Halcyon that also includes Linux support.

And the most-viewed featured articles of 2018:

Initial Benchmarks Of The Performance Impact Resulting From Linux’s x86 Security Changes
Over the past day you’ve likely heard lots of hysteria about a yet-to-be-fully-disclosed vulnerability that appears to affect at least several generations of Intel CPUs and affects not only Linux but also Windows and macOS. The Intel CPU issue comes down to leaking information about the kernel memory to user-space, but the full scope isn’t public yet until the bug’s embargo, but it’s expected to be a doozy in the data center / cloud deployments. Due to the amount of interest in this issue, here are benchmarks of a patched kernel showing the performance impact of the page table isolation patches.

Further Analyzing The Intel CPU “x86 PTI Issue” On More Systems
2018 has been off to a busy start with all the testing around the Linux x86 PTI (Page Table Isolation) patches for this “Intel CPU bug” that potentially dates back to the Pentium days but has yet to be fully disclosed. Here is the latest.

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.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Benchmarks
Last week on Pi Day marked the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ with a slightly higher clocked Cortex-A53 processors, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, faster Ethernet, and other minor enhancements over its predecessor. I’ve been spending the past few days putting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ through its paces the past few days with an array of benchmarks while comparing the performance to other ARM SBCs as well as a few lower-end Intel x86 systems too. Here is all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ performance.

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.

Bisected: The Unfortunate Reason Linux 4.20 Is Running Slower
After running a lot of tests and then bisecting the Linux 4.20 kernel merge window, the reason for the significant slowdowns in the Linux 4.20 kernel for many real-world workloads is now known…

The Fastest Linux Distribution For Ryzen: A 10-Way Linux OS Comparison On Ryzen 7 & Threadripper
While we frequently do Linux OS/distribution performance comparisons on the latest Intel desktop and server hardware, some requests came in recently about looking closer at the fastest Linux distribution(s) when running on AMD’s Ryzen desktop processors. Here are benchmarks of ten popular Linux distributions tested out-of-the-box on Ryzen 7 1800X and Threadripper 1950X systems.

The Performance Cost Of Spectre / Meltdown / Foreshadow Mitigations On Linux 4.19
One of the most frequent test requests recently has been to look at the overall performance cost of Meltdown/Spectre mitigations on the latest Linux kernel and now with L1TF/Foreshadow work tossed into the mix. With the Linux 4.19 kernel that just kicked off development this month has been continued churn in the Spectre/Meltdown space, just not for x86_64 but also for POWER/s390/ARM where applicable. For getting an overall look at the performance impact of these mitigation techniques I tested three Intel Xeon systems and two AMD EPYC systems as well as a virtual machine on each side for seeing how the default Linux 4.19 kernel performance — with relevant mitigations applied — to that of an unmitigated kernel.

Linux KPTI Tests Using Linux 4.14 vs. 4.9 vs. 4.4
Yet another one of the avenues we have been exploring with our Linux Page Table Isolation (KPTI) testing has been looking at any impact of this security feature in the wake of the Meltdown vulnerability when testing with an older Linux Long Term Support (LTS) release. In particular, when using a kernel prior to the PCID (Process Context Identifier) support in the Linux kernel that is used to lessen the impact of KPTI.

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.

Ubuntu 16.04 vs. 18.04 Performance On Six Systems
Continuing on with our benchmarking of the recently released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, here are some reference benchmarks on a total of six systems with AMD and Intel hardware while looking to see how the out-of-the-box performance compares to the previous Long Term Support release, Ubuntu 16.04.

Windows 10 WSL vs. Linux Performance For Early 2018
Back in December was our most recent round of Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarking with Windows 10 while since then both Linux and Windows have received new stable updates, most notably for mitigating the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. For your viewing pleasure today are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Windows 10 WSL performance against Linux using the latest updates as of this week while also running some comparison tests too against Docker on Windows and Oracle VM VirtualBox.

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.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS vs. Fedora 28 vs. Clear Linux Benchmarks
Given last week’s release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and then Fedora 28 having debuted earlier this week, I decided to see how these popular tier-one Linux distributions now compare to Intel’s own Clear Linux platform. This three-way Linux distribution comparison was carried out on six systems comprising both of Intel and AMD CPUs.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti To GTX 980 Ti TensorFlow Benchmarks With ResNet-50, AlexNet, GoogLeNet, Inception, VGG-16
For those curious about the TensorFlow performance on the newly-released GeForce RTX 2080 series, for your viewing pleasure to kick off this week of Linux benchmarking is a look at Maxwell, Pascal, and Turing graphics cards in my possession when testing the NGC TensorFlow instance on CUDA 10.0 with the 410.57 Linux driver atop Ubuntu and exploring the performance of various models. Besides the raw performance, the performance-per-Watt and performance-per-dollar is also provided.

Vulkan vs. OpenGL Performance For Linux Games
It has been a while since last publishing some Linux GPU driver benchmarks focused explicitly on the OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance, but that changed today with a fresh look at the performance between these two Khronos graphics APIs when tested with AMD and NVIDIA hardware on the latest RadeonSI/RADV and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers.

Benchmarking Linux With The Retpoline Patches For Spectre
While the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) patches were quick to land in the mainline Linux kernel for addressing the Meltdown CPU vulnerability, the “Retpoline” patches are still being worked on as the leading approach on the Linux side for dealing with the Spectre CPU vulnerability. The Retpoline patches are said to have little impact on performance, but here are our benchmarks of these kernel patches for seeing how they affect a variety of AMD and Intel systems.

The Ubuntu Linux Performance Over The Past Six Years On An Intel Xeon Server
In needing to make some room in the racks for some new hardware and some other interesting platforms on the way, I’ve retired the last of the Intel Nehalem era hardware at Phoronix that was still used for occasional historical Linux performance tests… I decided to take this Sun Microsystems SunFire X4170 server with dual Intel Xeon E5540 (Nehalem EP) processors for a final spin before pulling it from the racks. Here is a look at how the near-final Ubuntu 18.10 Linux performance compares to that of Ubuntu 12.10.

The Spectre/Meltdown Performance Impact On Linux 4.20, Decimating Benchmarks With New STIBP Overhead
As outlined yesterday, significant slowdowns with the Linux 4.20 kernel turned out to be due to the addition of the kernel-side bits for STIBP (Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors) for cross-HyperThread Spectre Variant Two mitigation. This has incurred significant performance penalties with the STIBP support in its current state with Linux 4.20 Git and is enabled by default at least for Intel systems with up-to-date microcode. Here are some follow-up benchmarks looking at the performance hit with the Linux 4.20 development kernel as well as the overall Spectre and Meltdown mitigation impact on this latest version of the Linux kernel.


NetBSD Working On Better LLVM Toolchain Support


BSD --

While a number of BSDs already have great LLVM toolchain support and are generally quite fond of this liberally licensed compiler alternative to GCC, the NetBSD support has lagged behind a bit for LLVM but that is continuing to improve.

More LLVM test failures are being addressed not only for LLVM/Clang but also for the LLD linker, libunwind, LLVM OpenMP, libc++, etc. Clang and libc++ have been the biggest benefactors in getting fixes/improvements. Future work is focusing on better Compiler-RT coverage and porting LLD to yield working executables on NetBSD.

NetBSD / LLVM fans can learn more about this ongoing work via the NetBSD blog.


NVIDIA’s 2018 Linux Highlights Included Some Open-Source Milestones, But Not Many


NVIDIA --

Besides the launch of their successful RTX “Turing” graphics cards, releasing the exciting Jetson AGX Xavier board, and other hardware initiatives, the green giant continued work on their flagship Linux graphics driver that while proprietary continues offering effectively the same feature set and performance as their Windows driver. They did make some open-source surprises this year, but not nearly as many as many in the community would have liked to see.

On their official (proprietary) driver front, they continued maintaining punctual support for their new products on Linux, added Vulkan ray-tracing support, and even improved the performance — yesterday I provided a NVIDIA Linux driver recap and a look at their 2018 driver performance so check that out for their 2018 Linux driver overview.

On the open-source front, NVIDIA (re)released PhysX as open-source, started some new open-source efforts like RAPIDS, did provided some new firmware binaries to Nouveau developers although not the long-awaited PMU bits they’ve been seeking, created a new I2C USB Type-C driver for Turing cards with the VirtualLink connections, continued working on the open-source graphics/display driver support for Tegra SoCs, is working on contributing an EGLStreams back-end to KDE Kwin, and other minor open-source work where it makes sense for the company.

From the Nouveau open-source NVIDIA driver front there hasn’t been much progress this year besides the Red Hat led work on Nouveau compute and SPIR-V support, which is not yet merged to Mesa. They didn’t manage an open-source Vulkan driver this year nor any other breakthroughs… The biggest breakthrough we would want to see would be being able to get better performance if they could have re-clocking work for GTX 900 Maxwell GPUs and newer but sadly no signs of a solution on the near-term horizon.

For those wondering what were the most popular NVIDIA Linux stories on Phoronix this year, of 175+ original NVIDIA Linux related articles on the site this year, the most viewed ones were:

NVIDIA Makes PhysX Open-Source

As a very big surprise bundled alongside the announcement today of the $2,499 USD TITAN RTX graphics card is word that NVIDIA’s PhysX software is going open-source!

The NVIDIA 390 Driver Is Playing Nicely With Linux 4.15 Kernel

For those NVIDIA Linux users reliant upon the proprietary driver and wanting to upgrade to the Linux 4.15 kernel that will be officially released within the next two weeks, the 390.12 driver is playing nicely.

NVIDIA 410.57 Linux Beta Released With RTX 2080 Support, OptiX/Vulkan Ray-Tracing

The Linux driver I’ve been using today for the just-posted GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux benchmarks is now publicly available. This NVIDIA 410 Linux driver is most exciting for Volta and Turing GPU owners, but there are also some EGL and Vulkan updates along with other changes.

NVIDIA Ends The GeForce Partner Program

Following controversies the past few weeks about their GeForce Partner Program (GPP), NVIDIA is today ending the initiative.

NVIDIA Publishes Signed Volta Firmware Images For Enabling Open-Source Driver Support

While there are no signs of an imminent “Turing” signed firmware release as a prerequisite for open-source driver support on the new GeForce RTX 2070/2080 series, NVIDIA has finally let loose the signed firmware images for Volta “GV100” hardware.

NVIDIA CUDA 10 Officially Released With Turing Support, nvJPEG, CUDA-Vulkan

Coinciding with the debut of the GeForce RTX 2080 series line-up is now the official release of CUDA 10.0.

Nouveau Developers Begin Reverse-Engineering NVIDIA Turing Driver Support

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics cards are only officially beginning to ship today, but at least one independent Nouveau developer already has his hands on the hardware and beginning to work on the clean-room, driver reverse-engineering process in order to eventually get open-source “Nouveau” driver support working.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Series Expectations On Linux

One of the exciting events to look forward to this month is the actual launch of the GeForce RTX 2080 series with these graphics cards slated to begin shipping on 20 September. While NVIDIA has talked up the RTX 2080 series performance it has exclusively been under Windows. NVIDIA hasn’t provided any official comments about the RTX 2080 series on Linux, but here is my pre-launch analysis and commentary.

NVIDIA Releases The 396.24 Linux Driver With X.Org Server 1.20 Support

NVIDIA has introduced their first stable driver in the 396 driver series for Linux, the 396.24 release.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Arrives For Linux Benchmarking

It looks like NVIDIA has their launch-day Linux support in order for the GeForce RTX 2080 “Turing” graphics cards slated to ship later this week as arriving today at Phoronix was the RTX 2080 Ti.

NVIDIA Introduces A Number Of New OpenGL Extensions For Turing

As part of the GeForce RTX 2080 series launching with the new GPU architecture, NVIDIA has published a number of new OpenGL extensions for making use of some of Turing’s new capabilities.

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit: Under 30 Watts, 8-Core ARMv8.2, 512 Core Volta

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit is pretty darn exciting with having eight ARMv8.2 cores, a 512-core Volta GPU, 16GB of LPDDR4, and under 30 Watt power use.

[email protected] Performance Is Looking Good On The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Yesterday I published a number of CUDA and OpenCL benchmarks for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card that happened to show the very strong GPU compote potential for this new Turing GPU. Another workload with promising potential for this powerful but pricey graphics card is [email protected]

Nouveau NV50 Gets Patches To Help Dolphin Emulator By As Much As ~50%

If you are using the Nouveau Gallium3D driver there is now the possibility of having much better performance with the Dolphin emulator.

NVIDIA Open-Sources New I2C USB Type-C Turing GPU Driver In Linux 4.20

The Linux 4.20 kernel has just received a new post-merge-window new driver: i2c-nvidia-gpu that is being contributed by the NVIDIA crew for their newest Turing graphics cards.

More Linux Tests & Driver Observations With The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Here are some additional notes to complement my GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux review from yesterday now that I’ve had more time with this card and a working Linux driver.

NVIDIA 396.18 Linux Driver Reaches Beta With New Vulkan SPIR-V Compiler

NVIDIA has rolled out an exciting beta Linux driver today, the first in their upcoming 396 driver series.

NVIDIA 396.45 Linux Driver Fixes Vulkan Direct-To-Display & Multi-Threaded EGL Apps

The NVIDIA Unix developers have released the 396.45 binary display driver today with just two listed bug-fixes.

NVIDIA 396.54.02 Vulkan Beta Driver Brings Some Fixes For DXVK

NVIDIA today released new Vulkan beta drivers in the form of v399.17 for Windows and v396.54.02 for Linux.

NVIDIA Preparing To Drop Fermi Support From Their Mainline Drivers

NVIDIA is in the process of retiring GeForce 400/500 “Fermi” GPU support from their mainline graphics drivers on Windows and Linux/BSD/Solaris.

And in terms of our most popular NVIDIA reviews/benchmarks of the year:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti To GTX 980 Ti TensorFlow Benchmarks With ResNet-50, AlexNet, GoogLeNet, Inception, VGG-16
For those curious about the TensorFlow performance on the newly-released GeForce RTX 2080 series, for your viewing pleasure to kick off this week of Linux benchmarking is a look at Maxwell, Pascal, and Turing graphics cards in my possession when testing the NGC TensorFlow instance on CUDA 10.0 with the 410.57 Linux driver atop Ubuntu and exploring the performance of various models. Besides the raw performance, the performance-per-Watt and performance-per-dollar is also provided.

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.

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.

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.

Initial NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux Benchmarks
Here are the first of many benchmarks of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti “Turing” graphics card under Linux with this initial piece exploring the OpenGL/Vulkan gaming performance.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Shows Very Strong Compute Performance Potential
Besides the new GeForce RTX 2080 series being attractive for developers wanting to make use of new technologies like RTX/ray-tracing, mesh shaders, and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), CUDA and OpenCL benchmarking so far on the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is yielding impressive performance — even outside of the obvious AI / deep learning potential workloads with the Turing tensor cores. Here are some benchmarks looking at the OpenCL/CUDA performance on the high-end Maxwell, Pascal, and Turing cards as well as an AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 for reference. System power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar metrics also round out this latest Ubuntu Linux GPU compute comparison.

The NVIDIA vs. Open-Source Nouveau Linux Driver Benchmarks For Summer 2018
It has been some months since last delivering any benchmarks of Nouveau, the open-source, community-driven for NVIDIA GPUs. The reason for not having any Nouveau benchmarks recently has largely been due to lack of major progress, at least on the GeForce desktop GPU side, while NVIDIA has continued to contribute on the Tegra side. For those wondering how the current performance is of this driver that started out more than a decade ago via reverse-engineering, here are some benchmarks of the latest open-source Nouveau and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers on Ubuntu.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 To RTX 2080 Ti Graphics/Compute Performance
Yesterday were the initial NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux benchmarks based upon my early testing of this high-end Turing graphics card paired with their new 410 Linux graphics driver. For your viewing pleasure today is a look at how the RTX 2080 Ti compares to the top-end cards going back to Kepler… Or, simply put, it’s the GeForce GTX 680 vs. GTX 780 Ti vs. 980 Ti vs. 1080 Ti vs. 2080 Ti comparison with OpenGL and Vulkan graphics tests as well as some initial OpenCL / CUDA tests but more Turing GPU compute tests are currently being conducted. For making this historical comparison more interesting are also power consumption and performance-per-Watt metrics.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 OpenCL, CUDA, TensorFlow GPU Compute Benchmarks
Here are the first of our benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that launched this week. In our inaugural Ubuntu Linux benchmarking with the GeForce RTX 2070 is a look at the OpenCL / CUDA GPU computing performance including with TensorFlow and various models being tested on the GPU. The benchmarks are compared to an assortment of available graphics cards and also include metrics for power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar.

AMD Raven Ridge Graphics On Linux vs. Lower-End NVIDIA / AMD GPUs
This week we have delivered the first Linux benchmarks of the OpenGL/Vulkan graphics capabilities of AMD’s new Raven Ridge desktop APUs with the Vega 8 on the Ryzen 3 2200G an the Vega 11 on Ryzen 5 2400G. Those tests have included comparisons to the integrated graphics capabilities of Intel processors as well as older AMD Kaveri APUs. For those interested in seeing how the Raven Ridge Vega graphics compare to lower-end Radeon and GeForce discrete graphics cards, here are those first Linux benchmarks.

20-Way NVIDIA GeForce / AMD Radeon GPU Comparison For Rise of The Tomb Raider On Vulkan/Linux
Today Feral Interactive released their much anticipated Linux port of Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game that was released for Windows in January of 2016 and then released for macOS last week. Feral’s Mac port was relying upon the Apple Metal API while the Linux port is now their second game (after F1 2017) exclusively relying upon the Vulkan graphics/compute API rather than OpenGL. This morning I posted the initial Radeon results using the RADV driver while here is the NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon graphics card comparison on Ubuntu Linux using twenty different graphics cards.

September 2018 Drivers: The Current Linux Performance & Perf-Per-Watt From NVIDIA Kepler To Pascal vs. AMD
There is one week to go until NVIDIA begins shipping the GeForce RTX 2080 “Turing” series but while waiting for that hardware, here is a look back at how various graphics cards are performing for Linux games from the GTX 1000 Pascal series back through the GTX 600 Kepler series. On the AMD side in this comparison is also going from Vega back to the GCN 1.0 Southern Islands. The Vulkan/OpenGL Linux gaming performance is being looked at as well as the overall system power consumption and performance-per-Watt.

20-Way AMD / NVIDIA Linux Gaming Benchmarks For The 2018 Holidays
If you are hoping to pick-up a new graphics card during the upcoming holiday sales, here is a 20-way NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon Linux gaming benchmark comparison using a wide assortment of GPUs while using the very newest graphics drivers and a variety of OpenGL/Vulkan titles.

AMD Radeon RX 590 Linux Benchmarks, 18-Way NVIDIA/AMD Gaming Comparison
With the very newest AMDGPU Linux kernel patches, the Radeon RX 590 is now working correctly on Linux. Here’s a look at how this latest Polaris graphics card is performing for Linux games against seventeen other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards in a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks.

The Radeon RX Vega Performance With AMDGPU DRM-Next 4.21 vs. NVIDIA Linux Gaming
Given the AMDGPU changes building up for DRM-Next to premiere in Linux 4.21 that is on top of the AMDGPU performance boost with Linux 4.20, here are some benchmarks of Linux 4.19 vs. 4.20 Git vs. DRM-Next (Linux 4.21 material) with the Radeon RX Vega 64 compared to the relevant NVIDIA GeForce competition.

NVIDIA 396.54 Linux Driver Offers Big Performance Boost For Frequent Gamers
Yesterday NVIDIA released the 396.54 Linux driver update and while from being another point release might feel like a mundane update hot on the heels of the GeForce RTX 2070/2080 series debut, it’s actually a significant driver update for Linux gamers. Here are some benchmarks showcasing the performance fix that warranted this new driver release.

20-Way NVIDIA/AMD Vulkan Linux Gaming Performance Comparison
For those curious about the current performance state for the recent wave of Vulkan-powered Linux games, which so far are primarily Linux game ports from Feral Interactive, aside from Valve’s Dota 2 and Croteam’s games, here are some fresh benchmarks using twenty different graphics cards on the latest drivers.

The Tighter NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Battle With 396.54 + Mesa 18.3-dev Drivers
Last week NVIDIA released the 396.54 driver that has a significant performance fix for OpenGL/Vulkan Linux performance due to a resource leak regression introduced at the start of the 390 driver series. With that updated driver (also as of yesterday back-ported to 390.87 too), there is a measurable boost in performance after running a few games on NVIDIA Linux systems. But at the same time, the Mesa 18.3-dev open-source graphics driver stack with RadeonSI/RADV continues improving on the open-source AMD front. Here is a fresh look at how the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards compare using these latest drivers.

NVIDIA Gaming Performance Minimally Impacted By KPTI Patches
Earlier this week when news was still emerging on the “Intel CPU bug” now known as Spectre and Meltdown I ran some Radeon gaming tests with the preliminary Linux kernel patches providing Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) support. Contrary to the hysteria, the gaming performance was minimally impacted with those open-source Radeon driver tests while today are some tests using the latest NVIDIA driver paired with a KPTI-enabled kernel.


Clear Linux Ending Out 2018 With Even More Performance Optimizations


With the Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux benchmarks this week on a dual socket Intel Xeon Scalable server and testing six different Linux distributions and three Windows Server configurations, Intel’s open-source Clear Linux was the winner in nearly half of the dozens of benchmarks carried out across these Linux and Windows operating system tests. But the results did yield some areas they could improve upon for better performance and as a result have already landed some more performance optimizations.

As a result of the recent Windows Server vs. Linux benchmarks, at least one takeaway was the Rscript performance not meeting their expectations. To which they have now pushed out an update that resolves an issue in their OpenBLAS linear algebra library use by R as well as Numpy and other packages. With this fixing/tuning, the performance should be back to their expectations. Curious, I ran some benchmarks to see the difference.

I did load up Clear Linux 26930 on the same dual Xeon Gold 6138 server where the recent Windows Server vs. Linux benchmarks happened.

Indeed, the R benchmark was much faster… The original Clear Linux performance already was faster than Windows Server and Debian/Ubuntu, but now it squeezed out better performance. Though surprisingly Fedora Server 29 still managed to have slightly better performance.

The other tests not building against OpenBLAS obviously weren’t affected with this targeted change besides the usual rolling changes on Clear:

I next ran some tests on a Xeon Silver box…


F2FS Gets More Fixes In Linux 4.21 With The File-System Now Supported By Google’s Pixel


LINUX STORAGE --

The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) has some new features for the current Linux 4.21 development cycle but it’s mostly fixes stemming from increased testing with Google now supporting this flash-focused file-system for their Pixel device line-up.

Jaegeuk Kim, who started developing F2FS years ago while employed by Samsung and then since transitioned to Google almost two years ago, sent in these F2FS patches on Friday for the Linux 4.21 merge window. The F2FS maintainer mentioned they have been focusing on bug fixes with Pixel devices now shipping with F2FS. The fixes include taking care of some encryption issues, better idle time tracking, and a number of garbage collection fixes.

There are also some minor enhancements for this file-system like a flag in the ioctl shutdown to trigger the fsck process for QA, doing garbage collection in sub-sections when the section is large, and better handling to try to prevent a no memory error. Details via this pull request with all of the patches.

Google Pixel devices are not the first with support for F2FS; among other mobile Android devices that have shipped with F2FS support in the past have included various Motorola phones and Huawei P9 / Mate 9, but now Pixel is arguably the most notable deployment.