Tag Archives: Linux Hardware

Mesa Radeon Vulkan Driver Sees ~30% Performance Boost For APUs


Mesa’s RADV Radeon Vulkan driver just saw a big performance optimization land to benefit APUs like Raven Ridge and Picasso, simply systems with no dedicated video memory.

The change by Feral’s Alex Smith puts the uncached GTT type at a higher index than the visible vRAM type for these configurations without dedicated vRAM, namely APUs.

This fix boosted the average frame-rate for the Rise of the Tomb Raider Linux port by around 30% and other Feral Vulkan-powered Linux games as well as other titles.

The good news is due to the significant boost to performance and its high exposure, this “fix” to the RADV driver is marked as a candidate for back-porting to the Mesa 19.2 series rather than needing to wait until next quarter’s Mesa 19.3.

Or if you are building your own Mesa, it’s just a dozen line patch yielding the double digit Vulkan driver performance improvements.

Intel Shares Highlights From Their 2019 Open-Source Technology Summit


Taking place back in May at the beautiful Skamania Lodge in Washington was Intel’s OSTS 2019 for their annual Open-Source Technology Summit that traditionally was internal-only but has begun opening up including allowing external participants this year. I was at OSTS 2019 and it’s by far my highlight of the year with many really great sessions and a lot of useful networking at the event. Intel’s open-source team has now shared some video recordings from this open-source/Linux event.

OSTS 2019 was a phenomenal event and I hope to be able to be back next year. This was a really great event with a lot of interesting and technical talks compared to so many other events these days often being filled with marketing fluff. Among the talks now available for your viewing pleasure are on Intel’s contributions to the Rust programming language, Optane DC Persistent Memory / new memory tiers on Linux, better kernel randomization, hardware crypto, and more. The only pity is that it took so long to get these interesting talks out there and hopefully they will be rounding it out with the other talks that took place at the event — there was a lot of interesting material and that’s even when unfortunately missing out on one of the days.

Those wanting to enjoy some nice technical presentations this weekend can find the current Intel OSTS 2019 videos via 01.org in a new blog post by Imad Sousou.

Intel Submits Final Batch Of Graphics Driver Changes For Linux 5.4 – Growing Tiger Lake


After having been submitting various feature updates to DRM-Next the past few weeks of new graphics driver feature code to introduce in Linux 5.4, a final pull request was sent in today with the remaining feature work slated for this next version of the Linux kernel.

As added earlier to Linux 5.4, the big focus at this stage for the open-source Intel Linux developers is on bringing up the “Gen 12” graphics support for Tiger Lake. With the Icelake / Gen 11 graphics support now in good shape, the developers have already been busy plumbing Gen 12 graphics that are at least a year out from being available through retail channels. This final Intel DRM feature pull for Linux 5.4 includes:

– Continued work on bringing up Tigerlake Gen 12 graphics.

– DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) fixes.

– GuC and HuC improvements.

– Gen11 graphics fixes and improvements around cache flushes.

– Missing Comet Lake PCI ID has been added.

– GPU reset fixes.

The complete list of changes for this pull request can be found via the mailing list.

The Linux 5.4 cycle will be formally starting in September while the Linux 5.4.0 stable release should be out in November.

Systemd 243 RC2 Released – Phoronix


Released nearly one month ago was the systemd 243 release candidate while the official update has yet to materialize. It looks though like it may be on the horizon with a second release candidate being posted today.

Red Hat’s Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek has just tagged systemd 243-RC2 as the newest test release for this new version of this de facto Linux init system. Over the past month have been new hardware database (HWDB) additions, various fixes, new network settings, resolvectl zsh shell completion support, bumping timedated to always run at the highest priority, and other changes.

The systemd 243 official release will hopefully be out shortly for allowing sufficient time for it to land ahead of the autumn Linux distribution releases. Those wishing to give RC2 a whirl can do so via GitHub.

Intel’s New OpenGL Driver Is Looking Really Great With The Upcoming Mesa 19.2

Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver “Iris” Gallium3D that has been in development for the past two years or so is getting ready to enter the limelight. Months ago they talked of plans to have it ready to become their default OpenGL driver by the end of the calendar year and with the state of Mesa 19.2 it’s looking like that goal can be realized in time. With our new tests of this driver, in most games and other graphics applications the performance of this Gallium3D driver is now beyond that of their “classic” i965 Mesa driver.

Over the past year we’ve been looking a lot at the Intel Gallium3D performance and it’s been a remarkable journey from the performance starting out well below their decade old OpenGL driver to now mostly exceeding that classic Mesa driver and often times by wide margins. The Intel Gallium3D driver is also largely now to feature parity in terms of OpenGL extensions and other capabilities. With all of their bases covered, this summer for the upcoming Mesa 19.2 release we’ve been seeing a lot of performance optimizations land. Back in April is when they indicated they hope to have it become the default by end of year 2019 and viable by Mesa 19.2.

Given Mesa 19.2 is now branched and first release candidate issued, I decided to try out this new Intel OpenGL driver with its latest code as of yesterday for seeing just how viable it is in Mesa 19.2. Long story short, it’s very viable and I didn’t encounter any hangs or other problems and the performance is great with only a few regressions to note at this point.

Using an Intel Core i9 9900K with its Gen9 UHD Graphics 630, I ran benchmarks of the Mesa 19.2-devel code as of 20 August for both the classic i965 Mesa driver and this modern “Iris” Gallium3D driver. Linux 5.3 was used for the kernel version and Ubuntu 19.04 made up the rest of the software stack. Various OpenGL games and applications were tested for looking at the current performance difference between these drivers using the Phoronix Test Suite.