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AMD surprised Linux users in 2020 with its amazing Zen 3 processors, timely new open source GPU support



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This year AMD not only delivered the very powerful Ryzen 5000 “Zen 3” desktop processors and introductory Radeon RX 6000 “Big Navi” graphics card, but for exciting Linux users, timely support for open source code for the new GPUs was in good time (and also already preparing for some 2021 graphics products) as well as more timely support around Zen 3 thermal support and other add-ons. AMD’s open source code continues to improve, although not yet optimal, but all in all it was a hell of a year for AMD Linux users.

AMD’s hardware launches this year were fantastic with the Ryzen 5000 series continuing to impress on Linux with its great performance, and the Radeon RX 6000 series also delivers the best GPU performance for an open source code driver to date. With enough open source components, the new products went smoothly from day one ̵

1; provided you were able to obtain the hardware. But to allow for improvements in the future, is that they can be even more punctual in the core activation work to facilitate users, especially business people who want to stick to LTS core versions. There are also other features such as the support software for the Zen 3 compiler that only appear after launch, and so far there are still some updated cost tables, planning models or other optimizations to really accommodate the updated processors. Intel is still leading the way in having open source support from compiler tool chains and core support well before product launches, but AMD has been on an improved path.

Looking forward to 2021, I’m damn excited about the next generation AND Ryzen mobile processors, the next generation Threadripper, and definitely for the EPYC 7003 “Milan” … Stay tuned for references for both when the time comes. Plus many other interesting Zen 3 and RDNA 2 reference values ​​that still come with the evolving open source / Linux state.

The most viewed AMD source code / Linux news articles for 2020 on Phoronix included:

Linus Torvalds switches to AMD Ryzen Threadripper after 15 years with Intel systems

An interesting anecdote that was shared in today’s announcement of Linux 5.7-rc7, is the word that Linux and Git creator Linus Torvalds switched their main rig to an AMD Ryzen Threadripper.

The AMD Radeon Graphics Driver makes up about 10.5% of the Linux kernel

Given the forthcoming release of Linux 5.9, I had fun with cloc today and looked at the current code lines for this almost final Linux 5.9 kernel state.

AMD vs. Intel contributions to the Linux kernel over the past decade

Driven by curiosity, here’s a look at how the total number of AMD and Intel developers contributed to the upstream Linux kernel during the 2010s, as well as the total number of commitments each year from the respective hardware vendors.

Acer launches in Germany What could be a great AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Linux Laptop

For those who have been looking for an AMD Linux laptop powered by a Ryzen 4000 series processor, Acer is set to launch a new laptop at least in Germany that can be quite appealing to Linux users.

I have run AMD Ryzen 7 4700U + Ubuntu 20.04 as my main system

For about a month and a half now I have been using the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U as the main laptop along with the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It has worked very well for not even being state of the art AMD Renoir SKU. Here are some additional comments for those thinking of one of the new AMD laptops with Linux usage.

Benchmarks Of Arch Linux’s Zen Kernel Flavor

Following the latest Linux kernel tests of Liquorix and other planning discussions (and more), some requests from premium supporters rolled in to see the performance of the Arch Linux Zen kernel package against the generic kernel. Here are these reference results.

A quick look at the Blender 2.82 performance on Intel + AMD processors

With Blender 2.82 released on Friday, we have this weekend begun our benchmarking of this new Blender release as the leading open source 3D modeling solution currently available. Here are some preliminary v2.81 vs. v2.82 figures on various higher Intel and AMD processors.

Ryzen CPUs on Linux Finally see CCD temperatures, current + voltage reporting

One of the few frustrations with AMD Ryzen CPU support on Linux to date has been in addition to the fact that often delayed support for CPU temperature reporting has been the main line core that does not support voltage readings and other additional sensors. But finally, the “k10temp” driver is being expanded to include current and voltage reporting plus CCD temperature reporting on Zen 2 processors.

Rusted Redox OS boot 128-thread AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

Rust-language-focused open-source Redox OS operating system is now capable of launching the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core / 128-thread processor and running with full multi-thread features.

ASUS TUF laptops with Ryzen have now been updated to stop overheating on Linux

The AMD Ryzen Linux laptop experience continues to improve, but quite tough on some elements of the support. In addition to the fact that the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub driver was finally released and current / voltage reporting for Zen processors on Linux, another step forward in Ryzen mobile support is a solution for ASUS TUF laptops with these processors.

LLVM / Clang 10.0 Adds AMD Zen 2 Scheduler model for optimized code generation

It’s a shame that it’s taken so many months since AMD Zen 2 based Ryzen and EPYC processors started shipping to see this compiler support in place, but the good news now is that for the upcoming release of LLVM 10.0, Zen 2 the planning model is added to the “znver2” target.

AMD is starting to offer PowerPC builds of their “AOMP” GPU compiler

AOMP is the AMD GPU compiler for OpenMP and HIP support on GPUs as part of Radeon Open eCosystem 3.0 (ROCm 3.0). Now they have started delivering PowerPC 64-bit LE buildings by AOMP as part of allowing Radeon GPU computing to take place on POWER9 systems.

A series of ACO optimizations for the Radeon Volcano Driver landed in Mesa 20.0

Valve-backed ACO compiler back-end possibly used by RADV The Radeon Vulcan driver has continued to grow in popularity among Linux gamers, and has also continued to mature a lot for Mesa 20.0 coming out later this quarter.

RenderDoc 1.6 Released, NVIDIA + AMD + Intel All Primed For Vulcan 1.2

This morning’s release of Vulkan 1.2 has a good start.

Mesa 20.0 released with major improvements for Intel, AMD Radeon Vulkan / OpenGL

Mesa 20.0 is now released as the first quarter 2020 update to the Mesa 3D open source graphics driver stack.

AMD Ryzen 4000 Mobile Series “Renoir” graphics are no longer experimental with Linux 5.5

While the Linux 5.5 kernel is expected to be released as soon as this Sunday, a last-minute change to the AMDGPU DRM driver means that Renoir graphics are no longer treated as experimental. With that, there is open source code support outside the box instead of being hidden behind a core module flag.

System76 can offer AMD Ryzen laptops when they start their own production

System76 is preparing to start shipping its new Lemur Pro laptop in early April. This will be their most open laptop, but still based on Intel. But it seems that as they move forward with their ambitious plans to start producing their own devices, we can finally see a System76 AMD-powered laptop.

FFmpeg 4.3 Released with AMD AMF coding, Vulcan support, AV1 coding

FFmpeg 4.3 is out as the latest version of this important open source multimedia library. FFmpeg 4.3 is quite a big release.

AMD is hiring another leading Linux kernel developer to work with the graphics driver

Should you have experience with upstream Linux kernel development, AMD is hiring a leading Linux kernel developer.

Linux k10temp driver for AMD processors updated for better power / temp analysis management

As we’ve been talking about for the past week, the Linux kernel’s k10temp driver has been updated for better AMD CPU CCD temperatures and voltage / current reporting. These improvements have developed rapidly thanks to the work with open source code, with AMD unfortunately keeping the data sheets on the power / temperature registers close to the west. A new version of k10temp was released on Wednesday.


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