Software Archives
Running OpenCL On The CPU With POCL 1.0, Xeon & EPYC Testing

This week marked the release of the long-awaited POCL 1.0 release candidate. For the uninformed POCL, or the Portable Computing Language, is a portable implementation of OpenCL 1.2~2.0 that can run on CPUs with its LLVM code generation and has also seen back-ends for its OpenCL implementation atop AMD HSA and even NVIDIA CUDA. I've been trying out POCL 1.0-RC1 on various Intel and AMD CPUs.

7 December 2017 - 18 Comments
The New Features Of Linux 4.15: AMDGPU DC, RISC-V, EPYC Benefits, VR Improvements

The merge window is effectively over for Linux 4.15 with it being the 14th day of the process, although 4.15-rc1 might not end up coming out today due to Linus Torvalds' traveling around the US Thanksgiving holiday. But with Torvalds tending to not approve major last minute additions to new kernels, we don't anticipate any last minute surprises and therefore here is our feature overview of the changes and new features of Linux 4.15. This is arguably the most exciting and feature-packed kernel update ever.

26 November 2017 - 12 Comments
Benchmarks Show Firefox 57 Quantum Doing Well, But Chrome Largely Winning

With the hype this week around Firefox Quantum Beta with its user-interface refinements and more noticeably the performance improvements, I decided to run some benchmarks on my end with a variety of tests comparing Firefox 52 ESR, Firefox 56 stable, Firefox 57 Quantum beta, and Chrome 60. Here are those web browser benchmark results from the Linux x86-64 desktop.

28 September 2017 - 90 Comments
GCC & LLVM Clang Compiler Benchmarks On AMD's EPYC 7601

For squeezing maximum performance out of Linux systems with source-based workloads, most of you know there can often be tweaks to be had to the compiler stack for greater performance. As well with the never-ending advancements to the leading open-source code compilers, between releases can be measurable performance benefits but sometimes not without regressions too. With AMD's EPYC line-up still being very fresh and the underlying Zen microarchitecture (or "znver1" as referred to by the compiler toolchains), here are a variety of benchmarks under recent releases of the GCC and LLVM Clang compilers.

26 September 2017 - 17 Comments
How AMD EPYC & Intel Xeon Gold Compare To Various Amazon EC2 Cloud Instances

Last week we began with our EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarking of this high-end AMD server CPU featuring 32 cores / 64 threads per socket. Earlier this week were also some 10-year old Opteron vs. EPYC benchmarks and power efficiency tests while the latest in our EPYC Linux testing is seeing how the new AMD processor compares to various Amazon EC2 cloud instances.

20 September 2017 - 13 Comments
The Exciting Features Of Linux 4.14: Zstd, Vega Hugepages, AMD SME, New Drivers

With Linux 4.14-rc1 having been released one day early, here is our look at the new features of Linux 4.14 with the merge window having been closed. There's a lot to get excited about with Linux 4.14 from graphics driver improvements, new hardware improvements, a new Realtek WiFi driver, a PWM vibrator driver, and Btrfs Zstd compression support..

17 September 2017 - 7 Comments
A Look At The New Features Of GNOME 3.26

With GNOME 3.26 due to be officially released on Wednesday, 13 September, here is a look at the new features to be found in this major desktop update and screenshots from testing the latest GNOME 3.26 packages via Fedora 27's development images.

10 September 2017 - 114 Comments
Power Use, RAM + Boot Times With Unity, Xfce, GNOME, LXDE, Budgie & KDE Plasma

One of the first follow-on requests from this morning's Razer Blade Stealth Linux testing was for on top of all the other data-sets shared in that article to also look at the RAM usage, battery power draw, and boot times for the different desktop options on Ubuntu 17.04. As the request came in from a Phoronix Premium supporter, I jumped on that and here are some of those numbers.

30 August 2017 - 137 Comments
OpenGL 4.6 Released With Vulkan/SPIR-V Ingestion, Parallel Shader Compiles & Finally AF

As we have been anticipating for weeks/months, a new formal update to OpenGL has been in the works and it's officially out today. Meet OpenGL 4.6! This is a pretty significant update and internally they had the debate whether to call it OpenGL 5.0, but here we are with OpenGL 4.6 that features Vulkan/SPIR-V extensions and more. The good news is the open-source Mesa drivers aren't too far out from OpenGL 4.6 support, at least RadeonSI and Intel.

31 July 2017 - 25 Comments
Ryzen Compiler Performance: Clang 4/5 vs. GCC 6/7/8 Benchmarks

A few days back I posted some fresh AMD Ryzen compiler benchmarks of LLVM Clang now that it has its new Znver1 scheduler model, which helps out the performance of Ryzen on Linux with some of the generated binaries tested. But it was found still that Haswell-tuned binaries are sometimes still faster on Ryzen than the Zen "znver1" tuning itself. For continuing our fresh compiler benchmarks from AMD's new Ryzen platform, here are the latest GCC numbers.

23 July 2017 - 21 Comments
Benchmarking LLVM/Clang's New AMD Zen Scheduler Model

Just prior to LLVM 5.0 being branched yesterday, the AMD Zen scheduler model finally landed in LLVM and has the potential of boosting the performance of generated binaries targeting AMD's Zen "znver1" architecture. Here are some benchmarks of LLVM Clang 4.0 compared to the latest LLVM Clang compiler code when testing with both generic x86-64 optimizations and then optimized builds for the first-generation Zen CPUs, tested on a Ryzen 7 processor.

20 July 2017 - 7 Comments
AMD Ryzen AOCC 1.0 Compiler Tuning Benchmarks

On Friday I posted some benchmarks of AMD's new AOCC code compiler for Ryzen compared to LLVM Clang 4.0/5.0 and GCC 6/7/8. The AOCC 1.0 benchmarks on Ryzen 7 didn't offer much over LLVM Clang for which this "AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler" is based, but in this article are some tuning benchmarks.

21 May 2017 - 25 Comments
Benchmarking AMD's New AOCC Compiler For Ryzen

This week AMD released AOCC 1.0, the AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler, with initial support for Ryzen/Zen CPUs. In this article are our first benchmarks of the AOCC compiler compared to the GCC 6/7/8 and LLVM Clang 4/5 compilers.

19 May 2017 - 36 Comments
A Look At The Changes & New Features Of GNOME 3.24

With GNOME 3.24 due to be released next week, I've spent some time trying out the latest, near-final packages using Fedora Rawhide. The experience has been good and from my initial impressions it appears to be another reliable update to the GNOME Shell experience. Here are some screenshots and a recap of the new features and changes for this six-month update to this open-source desktop environment.

17 March 2017 - 69 Comments
The New Features Of The Linux 4.11 Kernel

If all goes according to plan, Linus Torvalds will have announced the first release candidate of the upcoming Linux 4.11 kernel before the day is through. The Linux 4.11-rc1 release also marks the end of the feature merge window for this kernel cycle. So with that said, here is a look at the new features of the Linux 4.11 kernel that I have been covering through closely watching the Git repository and mailing list over the past two weeks.

5 March 2017 - 20 Comments
Benchmarking OpenCL On Intel Graphics With Beignet 1.3

Last week marked the release of Intel's Beignet 1.3, their open-source project implementing OpenCL acceleration atop modern CPUs with HD/Iris Graphics. Significant with Beignet 1.3 is that they've finally implemented OpenCL 2.0 support! OpenCL 2.0 is now available for Skylake hardware and newer. Beignet 1.3 also has other new features, runtime improvements, LLVM 3.9 support, new extensions, and much more. Thus time for some benchmarking of this new Beignet release.

29 January 2017 - 15 Comments
GCC 7.0 vs. LLVM Clang 4.0 Performance (January 2017)

LLVM Clang 4.0 is set to be released in February while GCC 7 will be released as stable in March~April. For those curious how both compilers are currently performing, here is our latest installment of GCC vs. LLVM Clang benchmarking on Linux x86_64.

28 January 2017 - 30 Comments

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