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Graphics/Benchmarks

XanMod's Linux 5.10 Kernel Helping Tap Extra Performance With The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how the likes of the XanMod and Liquorix kernel spins are competing these days with the mainline Linux kernel, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at these popular derivatives of the Linux kernel. XanMod in particular atop Ubuntu can easily help squeeze extra performance out of the system as shown by these benchmarks on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop.

The Liquorix kernel patches the Linux kernel with the MuQSS scheduler, high resolution scheduling, hard kernel preemption, BFQ I/O scheduler, and other tuning to help with the system responsiveness and throughput. More details on the Liquorix changes can be found at Liquorix.net.

XanMod is another popular kernel flavor with enthusiasts. XanMod carries some of the same patches as Liquorix along with various networking patches, the CacULE scheduler, and many other additional patches. More details on it can be found at XanMod.org.

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Kernel and Graphics: exFAT, Linux 5.12, Mesa's Panfrost Gallium3D and Mesa 21.0

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

  • Linux's exFAT Driver Will Soon Be Able To Delete Big Files Much Faster - Phoronix

    For those making use of Linux's modern exFAT file-system, a significant optimization is on the way for when deleting files with the "dirsync" mount option set. 

    The exFAT file-system driver for Linux 5.12 should be able to delete (large) files much faster when running with the "dirsync" mount option set where the directory updates are done synchronously. 

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  • AMD + Older Intel CPUs To See Much Faster AES-NI XTS Crypto Performance On Linux 5.12 - Phoronix

    AMD processors along with older Intel processors will enjoy much faster AES-NI XTS crypto performance with the Linux 5.12 kernel this spring. 

    Processors supporting AES-NI instructions and that also are subject to Retpolines as part of their Spectre V2 mitigations will enjoy a big speed-up with AES-NI XTS for that next version of the Linux kernel. This includes past and current AMD processors as well as older Intel CPUs, but recent Intel processors do not need the return trampolines and thus not subject to this speed-up as they are not currently handicapped. 

  • Mesa's Lima Driver Finally Implements OpenGL Shader Cache Support - Phoronix

    While Mesa's Panfrost Gallium3D driver has been working out well for modern ARM Mali open-source graphics support, for the old Mali 400/450 series hardware there still is the "Lima" driver within Mesa that doesn't receive too much attention these days (just around 70 commits over the past year) but as its first work of 2021 saw an initial shader cache implementation.

  • Radeon Vulkan "RADV" Driver Saw Many Optimizations This Week For Mesa 21.0 - Phoronix

    Prior to Mesa 21.0 being branched this week in preparations for the quarterly stable Mesa3D release, a number of open-source Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver optimizations were merged.

Graphics: Latest From Intel and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel "Compute Walker" Support Lands For Xe HP In Linux Drivers - Phoronix

    A new compute code path has been merged into Intel's open-source "ANV" Vulkan and "iris" Gallium3D drivers for the forthcoming Xe HP graphics hardware.

    The initial "COMPUTE_WALKER" code has been in development at Intel for the past 1~2 years while the merge request was just submitted a few days ago to replace the "legacy" compute path from the upcoming Gen12.5 Xe HP hardware. The check is for newer than Gen12 or GEN12HP, so the new compute path will trickle down to lower-tier parts outside of the Xe HP scope moving forward after the existing Gen12 parts like Tiger Lake or the upcoming Rocket Lake still flagged as Gen12 (not 12.5).

  • AMD Sends In More "New Stuff" For Radeon Graphics With Linux 5.12 - Phoronix

    Sent in last week were many AMD graphics driver updates slated for Linux 5.12 including the likes of Radeon RX 6000 series OverDrive support. This week marks another batch of AMDGPU kernel driver changes being submitted to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.12 cycle.

    Among the "new stuff" for AMDGPU in Linux 5.12 include more code warning fixes, enabling of GPU reset and recovery for Navy Flounder yet-to-be-released RDNA 2 SKUs, SMU workload profile fixes for APUs, various display code updates, SR-IOV fixes, various VanGogh APU updates, another Renoir device ID being added, the new bits around Secure Display TA, another Green Sardine device ID being added, and a range of other code improvements.

  • Mesa's RADV ACO Adds Support For Rapid Packed Math - Phoronix

    Hitting the Mesa tree when Mesa 21.0 was being branched (but looks like it will still make it now part of "staging/21.0") is support for AMD's "rapid packed math" with the RADV driver's ACO compiler back-end.

    Rapid Packed Math is the AMD terminology for allowing two FP16 operations within a single FP32 operation. ACO, which is the default shader compiler back-end since last year in Mesa's RADV driver, now supports this functionality for Vec2 16-bit operations.

The Performance Of Clear Linux vs. Fedora vs. Ubuntu Over 2020

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Earlier this week we looked at the performance of Intel's Clear Linux over the past year but how does that compare to the likes of say Fedora and Ubuntu? This article is looking at the performance of Fedora Workstation, Ubuntu, and Clear Linux on the same hardware over the past year.

This testing off the same platform (Core i9 7980XE, ASUS PRIME X299-A, Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe SSD, 4 x 4GB DDR4-3200) is intended to provide a look at how the Ubuntu and Fedora performance has evolved since the end of 2019 to see the direction of these tier-one Linux distributions up against Intel's performance-focused Clear Linux.
For the EOY2019 state with Clear Linux was 31890 to 34150 for EOY2020. For the Ubuntu look was Ubuntu a 20.04 development snapshot at EOY2019 when that testing took place for a prior article to now Ubuntu 20.10 with all stable release updates. Meanwhile Fedora was from Fedora 31 with all stable release updates at end of 2019 when testing happened for a prior article to Fedora 33 with all stable release updates as of testing time.

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Kernel: Linux 5.11, TuxMake, Linux 5.12, and NVIDIA "Nouveau" Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • 5.11 Merge window, part 2

    Linus Torvalds released the 5.11-rc1 prepatch and closed the 5.11 merge window on December 27. By that time, 12,498 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline; nearly 2,500 of those wandered in after the first merge-window summary was written. Activity slowed down in the second week, as expected, but there were still a number of interesting features that found their way into the mainline.

  • Portable and reproducible kernel builds with TuxMake

    TuxMake is an open-source project from Linaro that began in May 2020 and is designed to make building Linux kernels easier. It provides a command-line interface and a Python library, along with a full set of curated portable build environments distributed as container images. With TuxMake, a developer can build any supported combination of target architecture, toolchain, kernel configuration, and make targets.

    Building a Linux kernel is not difficult. Follow the documentation, install the dependencies, and run a couple of make commands. However, if a developer wants to build for multiple architectures, with multiple toolchains, things get complicated quickly. Most developers and maintainers have a set of custom scripts that they have written and maintained to perform their required set of builds. TuxMake provides a common layer of abstraction to reduce the need for every developer to write their own build scripts.

    TuxMake publishes containers for various toolchain/architecture combinations. These containers eliminate the need for individual developers to source and install multiple toolchains and toolchain versions on their systems. It also makes builds reproducible and portable because now the environment in which a kernel is built is versioned and shareable across the internet and on mailing lists.

    TuxMake has two goals. First, remove the friction that may cause developers, especially new developers, to skip build testing for uncommon toolchain/architecture combinations. Second, to make it easier for builds and build problems to be described and reproduced.

  • Linux 5.12 To Allow Disabling Intel Graphics Security Mitigations - Phoronix

    The Linux 5.12 kernel will allow optional, run-time disabling of Intel graphics driver security mitigations, which so far is just in regards to last year's iGPU Leak vulnerability. This i915.mitigations= module parameter control is being added as part of finally fixing the Haswell GT1 graphics support that was fallout from this mitigaion.

    The drm-intel-gt-next pull request to DRM-Next for Linux 5.12 was sent in. Most notable is that fixing of the Haswell GT1 support that came from the clear residual security mitigations. Since that iGPU Leak mitigation for Gen7/Gen7.5 graphics was merged last year, Haswell GT1 graphics have resulted in hangs at boot. That's finally fixed up. Besides being in Linux 5.12, it should also get back-ported to recent stable kernel series as well.

  • Open-Source "Nouveau" Driver Now Supports NVIDIA Ampere - But Without 3D Acceleration - Phoronix

    Patches were sent out today that provide the open-source Linux kernel "Nouveau" driver with support for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series "Ampere" graphics cards. But at the moment there is no 3D acceleration and the developers are blocked still by signed firmware requirements, so it's basically just a matter of having kernel mode-setting display support.

    Red Hat's Ben Skeggs sent out the pull request today that provides kernel mode-setting support for the RTX 30 "Ampere" graphics cards with the long-standing open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver

Collabora’s Panfrost Open-Source Driver Gets OpenGL 3.1 Support on Mali GPUs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The big news Collabora wants to share with us is the fact that they’ve added desktop OpenGL 3.1 support in the open source Panfrost graphics driver for Midgard (Mali T760 and newer) and Bifrost GPUs, which will be available for most GNU/Linux distribution as part of the upcoming Mesa 21.0 open source graphics stack.

This work follows on the footsteps of the initial OpenGL ES 3.0 support on Midgard GPUs added last year to the Panfrost driver as part of the Mesa 20.0 graphics stack series. This implemented new features like 3D textures, uniform buffer objects, instanced rendering, as well as multiple render targets on Mali T760 GPUs and higher.

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Graphics: Intel, AMD and Zink

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Sends In Another Batch Of Graphics Work For Linux 5.12 - More Display Fixes - Phoronix

    At the start of the month Intel sent out their initial graphics driver changes targeting Linux 5.12 while now a secondary set of changes have been sent to DRM-Next.

    That initial pull included restoring Tiger Lake Gen12 frame-buffer compression, HDR display support for select Intel Gen9 graphics hardware support, atomic mode-setting improvements for Big Joiner, and other changes.

  • AMDGPU Working On "Secure Display" Functionality - Phoronix

    The AMD Radeon "AMDGPU" open-source Linux kernel driver is tacking on another new feature: Secure Display TA.

    Over the past two years we have seen AMD Linux driver developers work on more "security" features that at least initially appeared to be driven by AMD picking up Chromebook design wins and needing to support this functionality for those use-cases. There has been HDCP display support for APUs to land as well as Trusted Memory Zones - TMZ for securing video memory buffers. The latest feature being tackled is "Secure Display TA".

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Overhead

    As in all software, overhead is the performance penalty that is incurred as compared to a baseline measurement. In Mesa, a lot of people know of driver overhead as “Gallium sucks” and/or “A Gallium-based driver is slow” due to the fact that Gallium does incur some amount of overhead as compared to the old-style immediate mode DRI drivers.

    While it’s true that there is an amount of performance lost by using Gallium in this sense, it’s also true that the performance gained is much greater. The reason for this is that Gallium is able to batch commands and state changes for every driver using it, allowing redundant calls to avoid triggering any work in the GPU.

    It also makes for an easier time profiling and improving upon the CPU usage that’s required to handle the state changes emitted by Gallium. Instead of having a ton of core Mesa callbacks which need to be handled, each one potentially leading to a no-op that can be analyzed and deferred by the driver, Gallium provides a more cohesive API where each driver hook is a necessary change that must be handled. Because of this, the job of optimizing for those changes is simplified.

Mesa 21.0.0 RC1 and More on Mesa, Panfrost/Bifrost

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • [Mesa-dev] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 21.0.0-rc1
    Hi list,
    
    It's that time again, the mesa 21.0 release release candidate cycle has
    begun. The first release candidate is available, and the blocking
    milestone has already been created. Please be sure to add any issues you
    want resolved before 21.0.0 is released.
    
    Cheers,
    Dylan
    
  • Mesa 21.0-rc1 Released To Get The Quarterly Release Process Underway

    While normally the feature branching and first release candidate for new Mesa3D quarterly releases doesn't begin until around the end of the first month of a new quarter, this time around with Mesa 21.0 it has begun today -- half-way through the month of January. This should at least ensure Mesa 21.0 stable ships in February rather than March. Mesa 20.3.3 was also released today as the newest stable version for the time being.

  • Mesa 21.0-devel RADV vs. AMDVLK 2021.Q1.1 Vulkan Driver Performance - Phoronix

    For those wondering how the open-source Radeon Vulkan drivers of Mesa's RADV and AMD's official AMDVLK are competing as we start the new year, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the performance for various Linux games (native and via Steam Play with DXVK) as well as Vulkan compute tests.

  • Desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Mali GPUs with Panfrost

    The open source Panfrost driver for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs now provides non-conformant OpenGL ES 3.0 on Bifrost and desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Midgard (Mali T760 and newer) and Bifrost, in time for Mesa's first release of 2021.

    This follows the OpenGL ES 3.0 support on Midgard that landed over the summer, as well as the initial OpenGL ES 2.0 support that recently debuted for Bifrost. OpenGL ES 3.0 is now tested on Mali G52 in Mesa's continuous integration, achieving a 99.9% pass rate on the corresponding drawElements Quality Program tests.

    Architecturally, Bifrost shares most of its fixed-function data structures with Midgard, but features a brand new instruction set. Our work for bringing up OpenGL ES 3.0 on Bifrost reflects this division. Some fixed-function features, like instancing and transform feedback, worked without any Bifrost-specific changes since we already did bring-up on Midgard. Other shader features, like uniform buffer objects, required "from scratch" implementations in the Bifrost compiler, a task facilitated by the compiler's maturing intermediate representation with first-class builder support. Yet other features like multiple render targets required some Bifrost-specific code while leveraging other code shared with Midgard. All in all, the work progressed much more quickly the second time around, a testament to the power of code sharing. But there is no need to limit sharing to just Panfrost GPUs; open source drivers can share code across vendors.

  • Rosenzweig: Desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Mali GPUs with Panfrost

    Alyssa Rosenzweig presents a progress report on the Panfrost driver for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, which now provides non-conformant OpenGL ES 3.0 on Bifrost and desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Midgard.

Clear Linux Squeezed Out More Open-Source Performance In 2020

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Here is a look at how the performance of Intel's Clear Linux compares for the end of 2020 against the end of 2019 and 2018 on the same hardware platform for looking at the Intel performance optimizations made to this open-source Linux distribution. This was another year of Intel engineers making more headway on out-of-the-box Linux performance even though they have been less vocal about the project over the past year.

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Also: AMD Ryzen 7 5700G Zen 3 APU Makes Benchmark Debut With 3.8GHz Base Clock

Graphics Leftovers

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Radeon "RADV" Vulkan Driver Adds Sparse Memory Support - Will Help Some D3D12 Games - Phoronix

    Adding to the growing list of Mesa 21.0 features is spare memory support for the Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver.

    Vulkan sparse memory allows for resources to be non-contiguous, re-bound to different memory allocations over its lifetime, and relaxed descriptor requirements. All of the Vulkan sparse memory details can be found via this chapter of the Vulkan API specification.

  • Mesa 21.0 RadeonSI Will Run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Faster - Phoronix

    Mesa 21.0 is bringing some overdue improvements for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver with the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

    Mesa 21.0 with the RadeonSI driver for modern AMD Radeon graphics cards is finally enabling "mesa_glthread" by default for Counter-Strike: GO. This is the opt-in Mesa OpenGL threading behavior that can help increase the performance of various GL games but isn't universally enabled as it has been found to hurt some games or yield no benefits for others.

  • AMD Files Patent on New GPU Chiplet Approach [Ed: Monopolies but with openwashing]

    Accelerated development by AMD, Intel, Nvidia and other chip makers also reflects efforts by groups such as the Open Compute Project to establish open interfaces and architectures that would permit mixing and matching chiplets from different vendors on individual SoC accelerators.

  • Blackberry Is Bringing Vulkan To QNX - Phoronix

    The newest platform working on Vulkan API support is... Blackberry's QNX.

    While Blackberry devices are no longer popular as they once were, Blackberry's QNX Unix-like platform that they have owned now for a decade is still popular in the embedded space for various in-vehicle systems to medical devices and other similar use-cases. QNX continues to be developed with QNX 7.1 being the most recent release from this past July.

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 8 Core Cezanne 'Zen 3' APU Specifications Leak Out in Geekbench, Clocks Up To 4.66 GHz

    The exact speeds are not known for the memory configuration but surprisingly, the test was done within the Ubuntu operating system.

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