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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: AMD Publishes New RDNA Whitepaper and Mesa 19.2.0 RC1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Publishes New RDNA Whitepaper

    AMD's new RDNA whitepaper goes into detail explaining the efficiency and programming optimizations of this new design while retaining backwards compatibility with the GCN architecture. The 25-page read also covers True Audio Next, the Radeon Multimedia/Display Engines, caches, SIMD units, and other modern bits to these new Radeon graphics processors.

  • mesa 19.2.0-rc1
    The first release candidate for Mesa 19.2.0 is now available.
    
    The plan is to have one release candidate every Tuesday, until the
    anticipated final release on 10th September 2019.
    
    The expectation is that the 19.1 branch will remain alive with bi-weekly
    releases until the 19.2.1 release.
    
    In the path to 19.2.0 release, there is a tracker bug for the
    regressions found since 19.1:
    https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=111444
    
    Here are the people which helped shape the current release.
    
  • Mesa 19.2-RC1 Released But Intel Still Looking To Add OpenGL 4.6 Support

    Yesterday we shared that Mesa 19.2's release process would finally be getting underway with the first release candidate expected today following the code branching. Sure enough, that process began but now prominent Intel open-source graphics developer Jason Ekstrand is looking to get the OpenGL 4.6 support into this release.

    Mesa 19.2 release manager Emil Velikov branched the Mesa 19.2 code from master this evening followed by creating the first release candidate. Mesa 19.2-rc1 is now available and the plan is to issue new release candidates every week until the official release is ready to ship. Assuming they close their blocker bugs on time, the hope is to officially release Mesa 19.2.0 on 10 September.

Graphics: Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze and Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze / Release Candidate Process Beginning Tomorrow

    Mesa 19.2 was supposed to be branched marking its feature freeze two weeks ago on 6 August along with the issuing of the first release candidate. That milestone has yet to be crossed but should happen tomorrow.

    Mesa 19.2 development dragged on for the extra two weeks to allow some extra features to land. Those extra features were metrics/counters support for Intel Iris Gallium3D, CCS_E modifier support, and slice/sub-slice hashing optimizations for Intel -- a big performance win. Now that those blockers have landed, the release process is expected to get underway on Tuesday.

  • Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi
    This patchset enables Display Stream Compression (DSC) on DP 
    connectors on Navi ASICs, both SST and DSC.
    
    8k60 and 4k144 support requires ODM combine, an AMD internal
    feature that may be a bit buggy right now.
    
    Patches 1 through 5 enable DSC for SST. Most of the work was
    already done in the Navi promotion patches; this just hooks
    it up to the atomic interface. The first two reverts are of temporary
    changes to block off DSC. The third is of a commit that was
    accidentally promoted twice. The fourth and last revert fixes a 
    potential issue with ODM combine.
    
    Patches 6 and 7 are fixes for bugs that would be exposed by 
    MST DSC. One fix is with the MST code and the other in the DSC code.
    
    Patches 8, 9, and 10 are small DRM changes required for DSC MST:
    FEC, a new bit in the standard; some export definitions; and
    a previously uninitialized variable.
    
    Patches 11 through 14 are the DSC MST policy itself. This includes
    the code for detecting and validating DSC capabilities, enabling
    DSC over a link, computing the fair DSC configurations for
    multiple DSC displays, and adding to atomic state crtcs that might 
    need reprogramming due to DSC.
    
  • AMD Posts Navi Display Stream Compression Support For Linux

    One of the kernel-side features not yet in place for AMD's newest Navi graphics processors on Linux has been Display Stream Compression support but that is being squared away with a new patch series.

    Fourteen patches posted today adding more than six hundred lines of code to the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver enable Display Stream Compression support for DisplayPort connectors on Navi GPUs. VESA's Display Stream Compression is for low-latency lossless compression performance for power-savings and higher resolution/refresh-rates based on bandwidth and enabling the likes of DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST) technology.

POWER9 & ARM Performance Against Intel Xeon Cascadelake + AMD EPYC Rome

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how ARM and IBM POWER hardware stack up against AMD's new EPYC "Rome" processors and that of Intel's existing Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors, here is a round of tests from the POWER9 Talos II, Ampere eMAG, and Cavium ThunderX in looking at the cross-architecture Linux CPU performance currently in the server space.

Our AMD EPYC Rome benchmarks this month have been focused on the performance compared to earlier AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors, but given the broader architecture support on Linux and there also being significant interest in the likes of IBM POWER / OpenPOWER thanks to more open-source designs when paired with motherboards from Raptor Computing Systems, here are some initial numbers for ARM and POWER9 performance against the new x86_64 server CPUs.

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NetBSD Sees Its First Wayland Application Running

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Graphics/Benchmarks
BSD

Wayland support is inching ahead on NetBSD for this secure, modern next-generation successor to running an X.Org Server.

NetBSD has seen a lot of interesting developments this year on the desktop front from DRM graphics driver improvements to better Wine support and now the first Wayland bits are proving successful on this BSD operating system.

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Cool, but obscure X11 tools

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Software

A small collection of tools for the X Window System. For cool terminal tools, see Kristof Kovacs’ Cool, but obscure Unix tools. All applications have been tested on FreeBSD but should run on other Unix-like operating systems as well. This page is still work in progress …

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AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Linux Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Now that the new AMD Ryzen 3000 series are running great with the latest Linux distributions following prominent motherboard vendors issuing BIOS updates that correct the "RdRand" issue, we're moving on with looking at the performance of the rest of the Ryzen 3000 series line-up while having freshly re-tested the processors under Ubuntu 19.04. Up for exploration today is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, the six-core / 12-thread processor retailing for about $250 USD.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X has 6-cores / 12-threads while having a 3.8GHz base frequency and 4.4GHz maximum boost frequency. This CPU has a 95 Watt TDP, 32MB L3 cache, and other features in line with the rest of the Zen 2 family. AMD bundles the Ryzen 5 3600X retail CPU with their Wraith Spire cooler.

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Intel Tries Again To Auto Enable GuC/HuC Functionality For Their Linux Graphics Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Intel previously tried auto-enabling GuC and HuC functionality within their Linux kernel graphics driver but ended up reverting the support since the driver didn't gracefully handle the scenarios of missing/corrupt firmware files. The driver should now be more robust in such situations so they will try again for turning on the automatic behavior, possibly for the upcoming Linux 5.4 cycle.

Intel GuC and HuC have been around since Skylake and used for graphics workload scheduling, some power management bits, and for select media capabilities. For newer hardware is also being used as part of HEVC/H.265 handling.

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Network transparency with Wayland: Final report.

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The goal of this 2019 Google Summer of Code project is to develop a tool with which to transparently proxy applications that use the Wayland protocol to be displayed by compositors. Unlike the original X protocol, only part of the data needed to display an application is transferred over the application's connection to the compositor; instead, large information transfers are made by sharing file descriptors over the (Unix socket) connection, and updating the resources associated with the file descriptors. Converting this side channel information to something that can be sent over a single data stream is the core of this work.

The proxy program I have developed for the project is called Waypipe. It can currently be found at gitlab.freedesktop.org/mstoeckl/waypipe. (I am currently looking for a better stable path at which to place the project; the preceding URL will be updated once this is done.) A few distributions have already packaged the program; see here; alternatively, to build and run the project, follow the instructions in the README and the man page. My work is clearly identified by the commit logs, and amounts to roughly ten thousand lines of C code, and a few hundred of Python.

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Also: Vulkan 1.1.120 Released As The Newest Maintenance Release

Linux 5.3 Kernel Yielding The Best Performance Yet For AMD EPYC "Rome" CPU Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Among many different Linux/open-source benchmarks being worked on for the AMD EPYC "Rome" processors now that our initial launch benchmarks are out of the way are Linux distribution comparisons, checking out the BSD compatibility, and more. Some tests I wrapped up this weekend were seeing how recent Linux kernel releases perform on the AMD EPYC 7742 64-core / 128-thread processors.

For some weekend analysis, here are benchmarks of Linux 4.18 through Linux 5.3 in its current development form. All tests were done on the same AMD EPYC 7742 2P server running Ubuntu 19.04 and using the latest kernels in each series via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA.

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Graphics: Radeon (AMD) Software for Linux 19.30 and Intel Code

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 Updated With Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS Support

    In addition to AMD releasing the Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 Linux driver, they also quietly released a new Radeon Software Linux driver release for consumer GPUs.

    This new Radeon Software for Linux release is still in the 19.30 release stream as was the case since the AMD Navi launch driver one month ago. But with this updated Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 driver they now are claiming official support for the Radeon RX 5700 (Navi) series.

  • Intel Volleys Another Batch Of Tiger Lake "Gen 12" Graphics Code

    While it remains to be seen if Tiger Lake will be able to ship on time in 2020 as the Icelake successor, the "Gen 12" Xe Graphics continue to be worked on with the company's open-source Linux graphics driver.

    At the end of June Intel sent out the very preliminary open-source Linux graphics driver changes for Tiger Lake that is coming with "Gen 12" graphics compared to Gen 11 with Icelake. Though so far at least there hasn't been too many changes to the driver side while today a third round of Tiger Lake enablement patches were sent out.

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