NVIDIA RTX, AMD On Linux & Distro Performance Dominated Linux Discussions In October
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 November 2018 at 07:27 AM EDT. 1 Comment
PHORONIX --
During the month of October on Phoronix there were 330 original news stories and 26 featured articles / Linux hardware reviews penned by your's truly.

October was another busy month on the Linux/open-source scene with Linux 4.19 winding down, the Linux 4.20~5.0 cycle kicking off, hardware launches from the GeForce RTX 2070 to the new AMD Threadripper 2 CPUs, the arrival of our dual AMD EPYC server, and a lot of other events. It was quite busy while November will also be busy with System76 unveiling Thelio (later today!), the NVIDIA AGX Xavier Dev Kit arrived yesterday for benchmarking, Steam Play Proton benchmarking now that it has stabilized enough, continued Linux GPU benchmarks, various Linux kernel benchmarks, and many other hardware and software events coming up.

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The most popular news for October 2018 included:

The Linux Kernel Is Now VLA-Free: A Win For Security, Less Overhead & Better For Clang
With the in-development Linux 4.20 kernel, it is now effectively VLA-free... The variable-length arrays (VLAs) that can be convenient and part of the C99 standard but can have unintended consequences.

Linus Torvalds Shows His New Polite Side While Pointing Out Bad Kernel Code
When Linus Torvalds announced last month that he would be taking a temporary leave of absence to work on his empathy and interpersonal skills as well as the adoption of a Linux kernel Code of Conduct, some Internet commenters thought this would lead Linus to being less strict about code quality and his standards for accepting new code to the mainline tree. Fortunately, he's shown already for the new Linux 4.20~5.0 cycle he isn't relaxing his standards but is communicating better when it comes to bringing up coding issues.

EA SEED's Halcyon R&D Engine Experimenting With Vulkan & Linux Support
Halcyon is a research and development engine being built by Electronic Arts' SEED group (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division). While previously they talked up Microsoft DirectX ray-tracing and have been experimenting with it, they have also begun work on a Vulkan back-end for Halcyon that also includes Linux support.

ODROID Rolling Out New Intel-Powered Single Board Computer After Trying With Ryzen
While ODROID is most known for their various ARM single board computers (SBCs), some of which offer impressive specs, they have dabbled in x86 SBCs and on Friday announced the Intel-powered ODROID-H2.

The D Language Front-End Finally Merged Into GCC 9
The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has a new language front-end! The D language support has finally been merged.

The Leading Linux Desktop Platform Issues Of 2018
Linux developer Simon Peter who has spent years working on application standards like AppImage and Klik recently presented on what he believes are the 2018 Desktop Linux Platform Issues and the unfortunate continually moving target of "the year of the Linux desktop" that never materializes.

Samsung Open-Source Group Reportedly Shuts Down
If you are looking for new open-source talent for your organization, check out LinkedIn but it's under unfortunate circumstances for the availability of a sudden surplus in skilled Linux/FLOSS developers... Samsung has apparently shut down the Samsung Open-Source Group (Samsung OSG) as a blow to the wider free software ecosystem considering the group's prolific contributions over the years from low-level open-source projects to desktop/user-facing code-bases.

Raspberry Pi's Raspbian OS Updated With New Kernel, Startup Wizard Improvements
Raspberry Pi's Debian-based Raspbian OS has been updated today with four months worth of improvements for this popular ARM SBC.

Linux Code of Conduct Likely To See Changes Ahead Of 4.19 Kernel Release
The Linux kernel's Code of Conduct that was abruptly dropped onto the Linux kernel, which happened as Linus Torvalds was announcing his empathy retreat last month, will likely see some revisions ahead of the upcoming Linux 4.19 stable debut.

Fedora 29 Succeeds At Flicker-Free Boot Experience On Intel Hardware
After optimizing the Linux laptop battery life last cycle, Hans de Goede of Red Hat has been working on Fedora 29 to provide a "flicker-free" boot experience. A Linux desktop flicker-free boot has been talked about for a decade or longer but with Fedora 29 and using Intel graphics that is finally becoming a reality.

And the most popular featured articles:

The Ubuntu Linux Performance Over The Past Six Years On An Intel Xeon Server
In needing to make some room in the racks for some new hardware and some other interesting platforms on the way, I've retired the last of the Intel Nehalem era hardware at Phoronix that was still used for occasional historical Linux performance tests... I decided to take this Sun Microsystems SunFire X4170 server with dual Intel Xeon E5540 (Nehalem EP) processors for a final spin before pulling it from the racks. Here is a look at how the near-final Ubuntu 18.10 Linux performance compares to that of Ubuntu 12.10.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti To GTX 980 Ti TensorFlow Benchmarks With ResNet-50, AlexNet, GoogLeNet, Inception, VGG-16
For those curious about the TensorFlow performance on the newly-released GeForce RTX 2080 series, for your viewing pleasure to kick off this week of Linux benchmarking is a look at Maxwell, Pascal, and Turing graphics cards in my possession when testing the NGC TensorFlow instance on CUDA 10.0 with the 410.57 Linux driver atop Ubuntu and exploring the performance of various models. Besides the raw performance, the performance-per-Watt and performance-per-dollar is also provided.

AMD Athlon 200GE: Benchmarking The $60 Zen+Vega Chip
At the high-end of the AMD desktop CPU 2018 spectrum is the insanely fast Threadripper 2990WX while at the opposite end of that spectrum is the recently announced Athlon 200GE. For just $60 USD is this Zen+Vega chip that we have begun testing and have our initial Linux performance benchmarks out today compared to a range of lower-end and older desktop CPUs as well as integrated graphics test results, power consumption data, and performance-per-dollar metrics.

8-Way Linux Distribution Benchmarks On The Intel Core i9 9900K - One Distro Wins 67% Of The Time
Following last week's release of the Intel Core i9 9900K, I spent several days testing various Linux distributions on this latest Core i9 CPU paired with the new ASUS Z390-A PRIME motherboard. I was testing not only to see that all of the Linux distributions were playing fine with this latest and greatest desktop hardware but also how the performance was looking. Benchmarked this round on the i9-9900K was Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu 18.10, Clear Linux 25720, Debian Buster Testing, Manjaro 18.0-RC3, Fedora Workstation 29, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and CentOS 7.

A Look At Linux Application Scaling Up To 128 Threads
Arriving last week in our Linux benchmarking lab was a dual EPYC server -- this Dell PowerEdge R7425 is a beast of a system with two AMD EPYC 7601 processors yielding a combined 64 cores / 128 threads, 512GB of RAM (16 x 32GB DDR4), and 20 x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. There will be many interesting benchmarks from this server in the days and weeks ahead. For some initial measurements during the first few days of stress testing this 2U rack server, here is a look at how well various benchmarks/applications are scaling from two to 128 threads.

Intel Core i9 9900K Linux Benchmarks - 15-Way Intel/AMD Comparison On Ubuntu 18.10
Intel sent over the Core i9 9900K as their first 9th Gen Coffeelake-S CPU hitting store shelves today. With the embargo on that now expired, let's have a look at how well this eight-core / sixteen-thread processor performs under Linux.

AMD Dual EPYC 7601 Benchmarks - 9-Way AMD EPYC / Intel Xeon Tests On Ubuntu 18.10 Server
Arriving earlier this month was a Dell PowerEdge R7425 server at Phoronix that was equipped with two AMD EPYC 7601 processors, 512GB of RAM, and 20 Samsung 860 EVO SSDs to make for a very interesting test platform and our first that is based on a dual EPYC design with our many other EPYC Linux benchmarks to date being 1P. Here is a look at the full performance capabilities of this 64-core / 128-thread server compared to a variety of other AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors while also doubling as an initial look at the performance of these server CPUs on Ubuntu 18.10.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X & 2970WX Linux Performance Benchmarks
Beginning today the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX and 2920X processors are shipping and we are now allowed to share our performance benchmarks for these latest Zen+ Threadripper 2 processors. Here's a look at the Linux performance and related metrics for these new 12-core/24-thread and 24-core/48-thread processors.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update Performance Against Ubuntu 18.10, Fedora 29
As the latest of our benchmarks using the newly re-released Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update, here are benchmarks of this latest Windows 10 build against seven different Linux distributions on the same hardware for checking out the current performance of these operating systems.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 OpenCL, CUDA, TensorFlow GPU Compute Benchmarks
Here are the first of our benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that launched this week. In our inaugural Ubuntu Linux benchmarking with the GeForce RTX 2070 is a look at the OpenCL / CUDA GPU computing performance including with TensorFlow and various models being tested on the GPU. The benchmarks are compared to an assortment of available graphics cards and also include metrics for power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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