Subject: Graphics Cards | September 9, 2016 - 03:59 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, linux
Unfortunately, I don't tend to notice when Linux drivers get released; it's something I want to report more frequently on. Luckily, this time, I heard about NVIDIA's 370.28 graphics drivers while they were still fresh. This one opens up overclocking (and underclocking) for GeForce 10-series GPUs, although NVIDIA (of course) mentions that this is “at the user's own risk”. It also fixes a bunch of Vulkan bugs.
Many of these fixes were in the previous, but beta-class drivers, 370.23. It, like 370.28, also includes experimental support for PRIME Synchronization. PRIME handles choosing which GPU drives a given display, which may be different from the GPU that is rendering that image. I'm not too familiar with the system, and I've heard some jokes from the Linux community over the last couple of years about its almost vaporware-like status, but I don't have any personal experience with it.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 31, 2016 - 05:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, radeon, open source, linux, RADV, graphics driver
As of yet, AMD has not delivered the open-source Radeon Vulkan driver originally slated to arrive early this year, instead relying on their current proprietary driver. That has not stopped a team of plucky programmers from creating RADV, utilizing the existing AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end and Intel's work with Mesa NIR intermediate representation to pass to LLVM IR. You won't get Gallium3D support, ironically RADV is too close to the metal for that to work.
Phoronix just wrapped up testing of the new driver, looking at performance for The Talos Principal and DOTA 2, contrasting the open source driver with the closed source AMDGPU-PRO. RADV is not quite 4k ready but at lower resolutions it proves very competitive.
"With word coming out last week that the RADV open-source Vulkan driver can now render Dota 2 correctly, I've been running some tests the past few days of this RADV Vulkan driver compared to AMD's official (but currently closed-source) Vulkan driver bundled with the AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan driver."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Windows 10 vs. Linux Radeon Software Performance @ Phoronix
- PowerColor Red Devil RX 480 8GB Review @ OCC
- XFX Radeon RX 460 Double Dissipation @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech | July 25, 2016 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, kernel 4.7, security, rx 480, LoadPin
For now we are awaiting the benchmarks but with the release of this new kernel, Linux users will be able to run the new RX 480 from AMD. The new kernel also contains a new security feature called LoadPin which ensures that kernel-loaded files come from within the same file system in an attempt to maintain security without requiring each file to be individually signed. There were also some improvements made to network drivers along with several other changes which The Inquirer covers in their own unique manner.
"Despite it being two weeks since RC7, the final patch wasn't all that big and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There's a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- We threw a Minecraft party to test Samsung's Gear VR headset @ The Tech Report
- Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it? @ The Register
- Tesoro Interview @ techPowerUp
- Moore's Law to be revoked in five years' time @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2016 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, iot, security, Automotive Grade Linux
Has the almost obscene lack of security in automobile software made you somewhat paranoid, even if you trust the Tesla autopilot? Has the fact that a mere attempt to access your cars software could land you in jail turned you completely off of buying a car less than 10 years old?
How would you feel about a version of Linux controlling some of the features of your car? That is exactly what the Linux Foundation is working on with the AGL project. The hardware used will include DragonBoard, Wandboard, and Raspberry Pi and automobile manufacturers joining the project include Ford, Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, and Jaguar Land Rover. So far the project only encompasses in-car entertainment but it does have the potential to grow beyond that. Check out the story on Linux.com for more.
"The Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project, which is developing a “Linux-based, open platform for the connected car,” announced the release of the second version of its Unified Code Base (UCB) distribution for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The NVIDIA VR Fun House Experience @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA’s VR Funhouse Is A Skeet Shootin’, Mole Whackin’, Clown Paintin’, Physics Loaded Good Time @ Techgage
- The Screenshot Tool You Didn’t Know You Wanted: A Look At NVIDIA’s Ansel @ Techgage
- A Drone Photosphere is Worth 4000 Times Pi Words @ Hack a Day
- Nintendo Is Launching a New, Tiny NES For $60 With 30 Games @ Slashdot
- Microsoft: Only Microsoft Edge Will Play Netflix Content At 1080p On Your PC @ Slashdot
- Juniper's bug hunters fire out eight patches @ The Register
- Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West @ The Register
- Drupal Framework patches could fix flaw that exposed Panama Papers @ The Inquirer
- Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 09:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, linux, graphics drivers, rx 480, Polaris
Linux support from AMD seems to be improving, as it has been on Windows. We'll be combining two separate, tiny stories into one, so bear with us. The first is from Fudzilla, and it states that AMD has AMDGPU-PRO 16.30 drivers for the RX 480 out on day one. It's nice to see that their Radeon driver initiative applies to Linux, too.
That brings us to the second story, this one from Phoronix. One Windows, the Crimson 16.7.1 drivers will include a fix for the RX 480 power issues (which we will obviously test of course). Michael Larabel was apparently talking with AMD's Linux team, and it seems likely that this update will roll into the Linux driver as well. They "are still investigating", of course, but it is apparently on their radar.
Subject: General Tech | July 2, 2016 - 02:21 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, steam, linux
The current split of Steam users, according to the Steam Hardware Survey, is 95.5% for Windows, 3.6% for Mac OSX, and 0.8% for Linux. Phoronix reports that this does not count SteamOS, and there might be other “inaccuracies” with the survey, but the Linux figures are 0.04% less than they were before (a relative drop of about 4.8%).
Windows users are up, and Mac OSX is flat.
A 4.8% drop in a month isn't promising, but it's also not too concerning. If you were intending to target a platform with 0.8% marketshare, then you can benefit from the long shelf life that Linux provides. It's not like a publisher is counting on that platform to reach two-week launch window sales figures. We'll see if the pendulum will swing back in the future, especially if Valve creates compelling, new, first-party content for Linux. They seem to be waiting to put their full weight behind it.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 20, 2016 - 04:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, ubuntu, R9 Fury, nvidia, linux, GTX1070, amd
Phoronix wanted to test out how the new GTX 1070 and the R9 Fury compare on Ubuntu with new drivers and patches, as well as contrasting how they perform on Windows 10. There are two separate articles as the focus is not old silicon versus new but the performance comparison between the two operating systems. AMD was tested with the Crimson Edition 16.6.1 driver, AMDGPU-PRO Beta 2 (16.20.3) driver as well as Mesa 12.1-dev. There were interesting differences between the tested games as some would only support one of the two Linux drivers. The performance also varies based on the game engine, with some coming out in ties, others seeing Windows 10 pull ahead and even some cases where your performance on Linux was significantly better.
NVIDIA's GTX 1080 and 1070 were tested using the 368.39 driver release for Windows and the 367.27 driver for Ubuntu. Again we see mixed results, depending on the game Linux performance might actually beat out Windows, especially if OpenGL is an option.
Check out both reviews to see what performance you can expect from your GPU when gaming under Linux.
"Yesterday I published some Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux gaming benchmarks using the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards. Those numbers were interesting with the NVIDIA proprietary driver but for benchmarking this weekend are Windows 10 results with Radeon Software compared to Ubuntu 16.04 running the new AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver as well as the latest Git code for a pure open-source driver stack."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 FE Overclocking @ [H]ard|OCP
- DX11 vs DX12 Intel 4770K vs 5960X Framerate Scaling @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G Overclocking Review @ OCC
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 Review @HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming RGB @ Kitguru
- ASUS GTX 1080 Strix Gaming 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- HIS Radeon R7 360 GREEN iCooler OC 2GB Graphics Card Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2016 - 03:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows, pc gaming, osx, linux
The next week-and-a-half should be good for video game enthusiasts. E3 2016 starts on June 14th, although EA, Bethesda, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, and AMD (with PCGamer) have press conferences throughout the 12th and the 13th. Of course, not to get lost in the traffic, many entities are releasing their announcements prior to those conferences. For instance, Watch Dogs 2 will have a reveal on this Wednesday, June 8th, five days prior to Ubisoft's press conference.
This post is about a Kickstarter project called Yooka-Laylee, though. This title is being created by Playtonic Games, which contains several past employees of Rare, apparently to create a proper Banjo-Kazooie-style platform title. It raised over two million British Pounds (~3 million USD) and targeted an October 2016 release date. That has since slipped to Q1 2017, but that should be expected for a crowdfunding project, especially when the stretch goals start piling up. It is scheduled to be released on Windows, Mac, and Linux... and a few other boxes.
Of course, they couldn't resist making a Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts joke at the end...
... I chuckled.
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2016 - 07:46 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: steam, pc gaming, linux
According to Phoronix, gaming on Linux has experienced exponential growth in recent times. Over the course of the last two years, Steam's catalog on the platform expanded from 500 games up to over 2200. This is a little over a 4.4x increase over two years. If I'm doing my high-school math correctly, and I seriously hope I am, this corresponds to an average increase of just under 2.1x year-over-year.
In other words, this is litearlly the trend, minus half-life. Snicker snicker snicker.
The quantity of Linux's games catalog is a very different argument from its quality, of course. Still, you can find many interesting titles there. Valve has been porting their catalog to the OS, as have other, high-end titles, like Tomb Raider, Trine, Civilization V, Civilization: Beyond Earth, XCOM, and a couple Borderlands versions. If interested in specifics, and you enjoy a sense of humor like you would see on our PC Perspective Podcast, check out LinuxGameCast for their reviews of specific titles.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 3, 2016 - 11:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: linux, graphics drivers, AMDGPU, amd
On Windows, we really only have one graphics driver per GPU. On Linux, however, there is a choice between open drivers and closed, binary-only blobs. Open drivers allow users to perpetuate support, for either really old hardware or pre-release software, without needing the GPU vendor to step in. It can also be better for security, because open-source software can be audited, which is better (albeit how much better is up for debate) than just having a few eyes on it... if any at all.
As we reported a few months ago, AMD has been shifting their structure. Rather than two completely different code-bases, AMDGPU is an open-source driver, officially supported by AMD, that communicates with the Linux kernel. This chunk is compliant with the GPL, so it can be bundled with the operating system. Above this, a user space driver adds the various APIs, game-specific optimizations, and so forth. AMD calls this plug-in component AMD GPU-PRO.
This component has now been released for Ubuntu 16.04, which includes OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2, and Vulkan 1.0.
Open-source developers can create their own components, using the same AMDGPU hooks that AMD uses, and release those on their own. This is not a perfect solution, though. If, at any point, AMD disagrees with a necessary, proposed change, then the only way forward could be to fork the project, which AMD wouldn't support with their closed-source blob, leading to the previous situation. That said, AMD is putting a lot of effort into this, so it would stand to reason that they aren't intending to throw all of that away over a pull request.
Either way, you can get AMD GPU-PRO Beta from AMD's page for Ubuntu 16.04. SteamOS added AMD GPU-PRO with their 2.80 update last week.