Tag Archives: Support

Intel Iris Driver Gets ~5% Performance Boost With Direct3D 9 Support On Gallium Nine


The Gallium Nine state tracker providing Direct3D 9 API support for Windows games/applications running on Linux under Wine will now be a little bit faster when using Intel’s new Iris Gallium3D driver.

Simply having access to Gallium Nine is already a big advantage to the new Intel Iris driver where as Intel’s current i965 “classic” Mesa driver isn’t Gallium3D based and thus doesn’t work with the state tracker. While Gallium Nine has been working out well with Iris ever since the state tracker landed NIR support to complement the TGSI IR support but now it’s going to be even faster.

With Intel’s Iris driver being thread-safe, Gallium Nine’s black-listing no longer blocks Iris/Intel from enabling Command-Stream Multi-Threading (CSMT).

According to Andre Heider with the patch, enabling CSMT helps boost the performance by about 5%. This isn’t to be confused with Wine’s CSMT feature but is internal multi-threading for Gallium Nine to help the performance and is already used by the RadeonSI and R600 Gallium3D drivers with this D3D9 state tracker.

NVIDIA Releases Nsight Graphics 2019.2 With Vulkan Profiling Support


Released for GDC/GTC week was Nsight Graphics 2019.2, the proprietary cross-platform, closed-source utility tool for debugging, profiling, and analyzing Direct3D, OpenGL, and other GPU-accelerated APIs.

With this week’s Nsight Graphics 2019.2 release they finally have added Vulkan profiling support. This support allows inspecting GPU performance metrics under Vulkan workloads within the program’s Range Profiler. Other new additions include improvements for running Steam games on Linux, a feedback button, and enhancements to the accelerated structure viewer and API inspector.

For Windows developers there is also improved DirectX Raytracing (DXR) and other additions around Direct3D 12.

More details on Nsight Graphics 2019.2 via developer.nvidia.com.

Nsight Graphics is a great and powerful tool albeit closed-source. AMD meanwhile continues offering their own developer tool-set as open-source like this week’s updates to the Radeon GPU Analyzer and other components.

NVIDIA 418.56 Linux Driver Released With GeForce MX230 / MX250 Support


Out for GDC week is the NVIDIA 418.56 Linux driver as the latest stable update to their current long-lived driver release branch.

New hardware support with the NVIDIA 418.56 Linux driver is support for the GeForce MX230 and MX250.

This stable driver update also updates NVIDIA-Settings to disable line wrapping when outputting to a non-terminal in CLI mode, better G-SYNC reporting, a Vulkan application lock-up fix when PRIME is enabled, and the driver now restricts GPU performance counters to system administrators by default.

More details on the NVIDIA 418.56 Linux driver release via devtalk.nvidia.com.

Intel Sends Out Initial Linux Graphics Driver Support For “Elkhart Lake”


It’s busy as ever for the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver developers bringing up support for upcoming hardware like the recently published driver patches for Comet Lake, continuing to tweak the maturing Icelake “Gen 11” graphics, and also plotting the necessary re-engineering of the driver needed to bring-up Intel’s in-development “Xe” discrete graphics. And Intel developers this evening sent out their initial enablement work for Elkhart Lake.

Elkhart Lake, thankfully, isn’t yet another 14nm CPU revision nor based on the long-standing “Gen 9” graphics but is an Icelake offshoot. Elkhart Lake is the SoC successor to Gemini Lake that will be based on Icelake. Public details on Intel’s Elkart Lake are still light, but the patches out on Wednesday confirm that it’s indeed featuring Gen 11 graphics very similar to what is found in the Icelake processors.

The initial volley of Elkhart Lake Linux support are 9 patches to Intel’s i915 kernel DRM driver. Patches for the rest of the Intel Linux graphics stack (namely their Mesa drivers) have yet to be published but will likely be out in short order.

The code presents just some basic differences between Elkhart Lake “EHL” and Icelake “ICL”. At least for now there are just four PCI IDs for the Elkhart Lake graphics adapters: 0x4500, 0x4571, 0x4551, and 0x4541. These initial kernel bits for the Elkhart Lake SoC will likely end up being introduced into the Linux 5.2 kernel cycle this summer, still giving plenty of time for the released kernel to work its way into distributions before the SoCs debut.

Linux 5.1 Might Pick Up Support For Using Persistent Memory As System RAM


While we are expecting to see more Intel Optane NVDIMMs this year that offer up persistent memory using 3DXPoint memory on the DDR4 bus for persistent storage, the Linux 5.1 kernel might pick-up support for treating this persistent memory back as traditional RAM if so desired.

Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory is expected to begin appearing in more servers this year for offering application-level persistent memory for use-cases like database servers, HPC, and other enterprise computing possibilities. If you are buying such NVDIMMs in the first place, chances are you planning to utilize the persistent memory for such purposes, but otherwise with Linux 5.1 there are patches pending to allow this PMEM to function as traditional system RAM.

Device-DAX code updates queued for Linux 5.1 allow for persistent memory and other reserved/differentiated memory to be assigned to the core memory management code as system memory. This will treat the NVDIMMs as volatile RAM and support all of the traditional Linux memory management interfaces.

More details on this pending work via this patch series. While it’s a pull request to land in Linux 5.1, Linus Torvalds has requested clarification about some behavior from Intel and is awaiting that before he considers merging the code.