AMD’s Linux moves from FreeSync HDMI to PyTorch ROCm in H1’21

As part of our various Linux / Open Source recaps of the 2nd quarter, 21st and 1st half year, here is a look back at the most popular Linux / Open Source news from AMD this calendar year.

AMD’s Linux graphics team continues to make advances in current and future open source GPU driver support, ROCm continues to mature, AMD is hiring more Linux engineers on the CPU side, and AMD’s latest Zen 3 processors continue to work very well Linux.

The most popular AMD Linux / Open Source news for H1’2021 on Phoronix included:

AMD is currently hiring more Linux engineers
It looks like AMD is hiring more Linux engineers thanks to AMD’s soaring sales and continued success in the enterprise space with more HPC wins and the like. AMD currently has several interesting vacancies on the Linux front.

Chrome 89 vs. Firefox 86 performance benchmarks on AMD Ryzen + Ubuntu Linux
With Chrome 89 launching this week and the recent Firefox 86 debut, here are some quick benchmarks for those curious about the current performance when using Ubuntu Linux with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and Radeon graphics.

dav1d 0.8 released with further optimizations – more AMD performance
Dav1d 0.8 was released this weekend (and subsequently also 0.8.1) as the latest major release for this CPU-based AV1 decoder hosted by the VideoLAN project. Dav1d is still about providing the best AV1 decoding speed, and the v0.8 series produces even faster results – so here are some of our first data points from some weekend benchmarking.

The Radeon Vulkan driver adds the option to do less rendering for ~ 30% higher performance
If your current Vulkan-based Radeon Linux gaming performance isn’t falling short and a new GPU isn’t in your budget, or you couldn’t find a GPU upgrade you want in stock, the Mesa RADV driver has added an option that is likely made by You are interested … Well, at least it will continue if this feature is limited to RDNA2 GPUs for the time being.

AMD Ryzen 5000 temperature monitoring support for Linux 5.12. sent in
Due to an unfortunate misalignment of the Ryzen 5000 series launch and Linux kernel cycles, the CPU temperature monitor for Ryzen 5000 (Zen 3) desktop CPUs does not land with the Linux 5.12 kernel cycle as yet.

The 11 Most Interesting Features for Linux 5.11 – Much for AMD + Intel in this cycle
Linux 5.11 stable is expected to be released on Sunday, unless Linus Torvalds has second thoughts about it, which could lead to an eighth weekly release candidate, which in turn would postpone the official release by a week. In any case, Linux 5.11 is officially coming out soon, and it’s an exciting feature on the front lines.

Quake II RTX performance for AMD Radeon 6000 series vs. NVIDIA on Linux
Last month, Vulkan ray tracing support was finally added to this proprietary Vulkan driver component with the Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 driver, the first time Vulkan ray tracing has had any AMD Radeon 6000 series graphics card on Linux several driver options were available. Last month I posted some initial Vulkan Raytracing AMD vs. NVIDIA Linux benchmarks while raising questions about how well the driver works with NVIDIA’s Quake II RTX port. Here are some initial benchmarks for those who are wondering.

AMD Proposes Redesign of How Linux GPU Drivers Work – Explicit Fences Everywhere
The well-known open source developer for AMD Linux graphics drivers, Marek Olšák, published a first proposal this week as “Redesign of how Linux graphics drivers work”.

AMD publishes security analysis of Zen 3 “PSF” that could potentially lead to a side-channel attack
AMD released a security whitepaper this week on its Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) feature, which is new to Zen 3 series processors. AMD will allow customers to disable this performance feature as they believe it could be vulnerable to a Specter-like attack.

AMD FreeSync HDMI patch appears for their open source Linux driver
While the AMD Linux graphics driver has supported FreeSync over DisplayPort connections for some time, FreeSync displays connected over HDMI are not supported. But now we’re finally seeing the start of patches, at least as far as support for HDMI prior to v2.1 is concerned.

Linux 5.11 with Intel Integer Scaling, AMD Performance Boost, RTX 30 KMS. released
What better way for open source enthusiasts to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with the stable release of the Linux kernel 5.11 … Linus Torvalds even changed the kernel code name to “Valentine’s Day Edition” kernel for the occasion.

AMD Releases First Open Source Linux Driver Code For “Beige Goby”
AMD has released an initial open source Linux graphics driver code for a new GPU called Beige Goby.

System76 introduces Thelio Mira Computer – powered by AMD Ryzen 5000 series
System76 today introduced the Thelio Mira as its newest desktop computer offering, which lies between the Thelio and the Thelio Major and still offers some computing potential.

Linux 5.10.20 released – Fixes the faulty record-breaking AMD clock frequencies
Recent kernel point releases reported incorrect maximum frequencies on AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 CPUs in the 6GHz + range, while the latest stable releases are now being fixed.

AMD Energy Monitoring driver is to be removed from the Linux kernel
As a surprise and great disappointment, the “amd_energy” driver, which provides the CPU energy monitoring metrics of the AMD EPYC server under Linux for calculating power consumption per core and package and more, has now been removed from the mainline Linux kernel.

The AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 Performance Fix for Linux 5.11 has landed
In time for the expected stable release of Linux 5.11 on Sunday, the AMD frequency invariance performance regression that I’ve been writing about since Christmas has been fixed, with the previously discussed fix merged today.

Linux 5.12 corruption, GNOME 40, AMD Milan, rust in Linux-Next made for an exciting march
There has been a lot to be excited about over the last month when it comes to our focus on open source and Linux.

Mesa’s Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver is taking its first steps towards ray tracing
Much remains to be done, but Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” has taken the first baby steps towards ray tracing support with the hardware of the Radeon RX 6000 “RDNA2” series.

PyTorch 1.8 released with AMD ROCm binaries
PyTorch 1.8 was released on Thursday as the latest version of this widely used machine learning library. Exciting will be the simpler AMD Radeon ROCm support with Python wheels now being provided for Radeon Open eCosystem support.

QEMU 6.0 on the go with LTO support, AMD SEV-ES guests, multi-process experiment
This week marked the hard feature freeze for QEMU 6.0 along with the tagging of QEMU 6.0-rc0. QEMU 6.0 for this important part of the open source Linux virtualization stack should be released towards the end of April.

This year’s most popular AMD / Radeon Linux hardware reviews and benchmark articles included:

AMD Radeon RX 6800 vs. NVIDIA RTX 30 Linux performance heating up
Given the advances in open source Radeon drivers for RDNA2 over the past three months since the Radeon RX 6800 series was launched, here’s how the Radeon RX 6800 series and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series are currently running on Linux compete if the latest version is used Linux drivers from the respective manufacturer.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Linux performance
In early March, AMD announced the Radeon RX 6700 XT as the new RDNA2 graphics card, starting at $ 479. Tomorrow the RX 6700 XT goes on sale, while the embargo on ratings is lifted today. We have tested the Radeon RX 6700 XT for the past two weeks and would like to share our first experiences with Linux support and gaming benchmark results.

Linux 5.11 now looks great for AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 performance
The AMD “CPU Frequency Invariance Regression” from this new support with the Linux 5.11 kernel in development is on track not only to address the performance deficits I outlined last month, but with the patched kernel for a range of workloads performance is ahead now where it was with Linux 5.10.

Benchmarking AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Linux Performance on a $ 450 Lenovo Laptop
The six-core / twelve-thread AMD Ryzen 5 5500U in a Lenovo laptop for $ 449 is a real bargain. This is also my first benchmarking of the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U after waiting months for Ryzen 5000 series laptops to become available. Here are some first benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 5500U under Ubuntu 21.04 Linux against various other Intel / AMD laptops.

Windows 10 Build 21370 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 Linux on AMD Ryzen 5900X
When we ran Windows 10 vs. Linux tests on the Intel Core i9 11900K “Rocket Lake” processor last month, we were very surprised that Windows 10 honestly does so well compared to Ubuntu and takes more wins than usual. The unexpectedly strong performance for Windows 10 could be due to Intel’s P-State behavior with Rocket Lake or other energy management tunings or the lack of Linux under Linux at the moment. But it got me to wonder if the latest Windows 10 updates on the AMD Ryzen side spelled something different … So here are some benchmarks of the latest Microsoft Windows 10 versus Ubuntu 21.04 on the same AMD Ryzen 9 5900X system .

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 on the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
Earlier this month, benchmarks were run with Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop, with Ubuntu coming out about 8% faster on average than the Microsoft operating system. But what is the difference for HEDT systems? Given the more radical performance difference we’ve seen in the past with Windows vs. Linux for Threadripper systems, here are some recent benchmarks on that front using the 64-core Threadripper 3990X.

NVIDIA RTX 30 series vs. AMD Radeon Linux gaming performance for April 2021
Since we recently received the remainder of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 “Ampere” range that we previously had no access to for testing, the past few weeks have been busy testing / re-testing these new graphics cards as well as the earlier GeForce RTX 20 series to test hardware and relevant AMD Radeon graphics cards for an up-to-date look at the 1440p and 4K Linux gaming performance.

GCC 10 vs. GCC 11 compiler performance on AMD Zen 3
After recently looking at LLVM Clang 12 early compiler performance on the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, in today’s benchmarking we look at how GCC 11 compiler performance in its near final state compared to GCC 10 among a variety of CFLAGS builds / CXXFLAGS looks like configurations on the AMD Zen 3 desktop.

Updated Portal 2 Vulkan rendering code with great Radeon results
Valve released a new Portal 2 build on Monday that improves the new Vulkan renderer support. For those interested, there are some fresh benchmarks from Portal 2 with OpenGL and Vulkan for the open source AMD Radeon Linux drivers.

Radeon RX 6800 series Linux performance nearly three months after launch
Given the daily advances and changes to the open source AMDGPU Linux kernel driver and the Mesa drivers that provide the open source support for OpenGL (RadeonSI) and Vulkan (RADV), here’s how the Radeon is performing RX 6800 series currently is for the latest Linux graphics driver code compared to the performance seen on launch day in November for the Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT graphics cards.


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