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- The Closed-Source NVIDIA Linux Driver Is Incompatible With Linux 5.9 And Support Won't Come Until Mid-NovemberThe latest Nvidia graphics driver for Linux, v455.28, won't work with the latest Linux kernel. This may be due to an intentional change on the Linux kernel side that blocks third party shims from using GPL-only symbols. Regardless of the root cause, anyone using Nvidia on Linux should stick with Linux 5.8 for now. Nvidia has promised that an updated driver compatible with Linux 5.9 will arrive mid-November.
- AMDVLK 2020.Q4.1 Is Released With A New Vulkan Extension And Three Game-Specific FixesAMD has released a new version of their AMDVLK Vulkan driver for Linux with support for one new Vulkan extensions and game-specific fixes for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Second Extinction and X-plane. Performance is still overall worse than the AMD RADV Vulkan driver that comes with Mesa 20.2.0 and performance is much worse in specific graphics benchmarks and image up-scaling.
- Mesa Just Got A Significant Performance Boost For Intel Tiger Lake ChipsIntel's Kenneth Graunke has written a few patches for Intel Gen12+ graphics chips that boost graphics performance by one to twelve percent. Don't get too excited, it only applies to Intel Tigerlake and newer and they won't arrive in mainstream GNU/Linux distributions until Mesa 20.3 is released mid-December.
- Vulkan Specification Version 1.2.158 Brings Two New ExtensionsVersion 1.2.158 of the Vulkan specification introduces
VK_KHR_fragment_shading_ratethat lets developers change the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-region, per-primitive or per-draw basis and
VK_KHR_shader_terminate_invocationwhich, together with the previously introduced
VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocationextension, lets developers do a much more specific
- Latest 20.41.18123 Intel NEO OpenCL Driver Claims "Production" OpenCL 3.0 Quality On All Intel CPUs Going Back To BroadwellIntel made their Neo Graphics Compute-Runtime OpenCL claim to have OpenCL 3.0 support on all chips going back to Broadwell in the v20.40.18075. The latest v20.41.18123 goes one step further by having that same claim in the release-notes. There's also a new
clinfowarning regarding the supposed OpenCL 3.0 support.
- Mesa 20.1.10 Is Released With A Handful Of Bug-FixesMesa 20.1.10 is a small bug-fix release for GNU/Linux distributions that have not yet upgraded to Mesa 20.2.0. There's not much to see, there's seven for the Intel graphics drivers and two on the AMD side.
- Intel's latest NEO OpenCL Driver Claims Support For OpenCL 3.0 On All Intel Chips Going Back To BroadwellIntel's latest NEO OpenCL driver, now going by the name Compute-Runtime since it has gained support for more than just OpenCL compute, claims to have OpenCL 3.0 support on all Intel chips going back to Broadwell. It doesn't actually support OpenCL 3.0 on anything other than Intel's latest Tiger Lake chips, but it does claim to.
- DXVK DirectX To Vulkan Translation Layer 1.7.2 ReleasedThe latest DXVK Direct3D 9 to 11 to Vulkan translation layer has seven game-specific fixes and some Direxct3D 9 fixes specific to AMD's AMDVLK Vulkan driver. DXVK can be used as an alternative to Wine's own wined3d DX 9-11 to OpenGL translation layer while we wait for Wine to get their own C-implemented DX 9-11 to Vulkan back-end ready.
- Mesa Developers Debate Using Rust Code In MesaThe Mesa code-base does not have any code written in the Rust programming language. That could change. Alyssa Rosenzweig has taken the initiative to allow parts of Mesa to be written in Rust.
- AMDVLK v-2020.Q3.6 Is Released With Four Game-Specific FixesThe latest AMDVLK driver has one new Vulkan extension and game-specific fixes for Doom VFR, Baldur's Gate 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2. AMDVLK's performance is still worse, in some cases far worse, than what the RADV Mesa Vulkan driver from Mesa 20.2.0 offers. AMDVLK v-2020.Q3.6 does offer better compatibility so it may be worth installing it side-by-side the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver if you own a AMD graphics card.
- Mesa 20.2.0 Is ReleasedThere is a lot to of new features in the latest Linux graphics stack. Mesa 20.2 offers Vulkan 1.2 support, OpenGL 4.5 support for llvmpipe, faster NIR performance and the ACO shader compiler for Vulkan on AMD hardware is now the default shader compiler for the AMD RADV Vulkan driver.
- Linux 5.9-rc7 Is A Total Disaster On Machines With Intel GraphicsThe latest Linux 5.9 release candidate won't even let you start the X display server on machines with integrated Intel graphics. Running Linux on machines with integrated Intel graphics has been problematic since Linux 5.0. All those problems remained an issue with Linux 5.9-rc6. Linux 5.9-rc7 takes it one step further, it won't even let you get into a graphical environment without crashing the
i915kernel display driver for Intel GPU chips. It is a complete and utter disaster for people using integrated Intel graphics.
- Vkd3d 1.2 Is ReleasedThe Wine team has released a new major version of their vkd3d DirectX 12 to Vulkan translation layer library used by Wine. Two years of hard work allows this vkd3d release to let you launch Mario Kart DX12. That is an improvement since vkd3d 1.1. You can now see the start menu, but you can't actually play the game. There's also support for tessellation shaders, stream output and a now publicly available libvkd3d-shader library in vkd3d 1.2.
- Support For Mysterious AMD VanGogh and Dimgrey Cavefish GPUs Merged To The Mesa RadeonSI OpenGL DriverAMD merged support for two new graphics chips into the RadeonSI Mesa OpenGL driver for AMD graphics cards today:
CHIP_VANGOGH. The patches were written back in July 2020. Dimgrey Cavefish is placed in the Navi (
FAMILY_NV) family while VanGogh is something different. Both chips are in the GFX10 family with the features AMD markets as "RDNA2".
- AMD At The X.Org Developers Conference 2020: No-No Baking Your Graphics CardLinux kernel developer Rajneesh Bhardwaj from AMD's Radeon Open Compute team warned that you should absolutely not bake your graphics card at the X.Org developers conference this week. He explained the dangers and stressed "Don't try this at home!". He went on to detail the many runtime power management advancements the
amdgpukernel driver for AMD graphics cards has seen the last year.
- Vulkan Will Soon Have A Vendor-Neutral Cross-Platform Ray-Tracing APITwo currently provisional Vulkan extensions,
SPV_KHR_ray_tracing, are on their way to the core Vulkan API. These new Vulkan extensions will let developers write cross-platform device-independent ray-tracing code. The new Vulkan ray-tracing extensions are not yet set in stone but they are close to being finalized. Intel, of all GPU vendors, is leading the charge towards the new Vulkan ray-tracing paradigm. Intel-employed developer Jason Ekstrand gave a long and detailed overview of the upcoming Vulkan Ray-Tracing API at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020 held earlier this week.
- How the ACO Mesa Vulkan Shader Compiler For AMD GPUs Came To Be: From Prototype To DefaultThe Vulkan ACO shader compiler for AMD graphics cards on Linux will be the default shader compiler when Mesa 20.2 is released later this month. Developer Timor Kristóf held a 40 minutes long and interesting talk about the development process and the efforts behind making ACO a reality at the The X.Org Developers Conference 2020. Here it is.
- The X.Org Developers Conference 2020 Is About To Go LiveThis years X.Org developers conference is, like so many other conferences, being held "virtually". The event, which is bought and paid for by Intel, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia and other multi-national corporations, will be live-streamed to YouTube. Those who are interested in all things open graphics related (X11, Mesa, the DRM layer, the kernel, Wayland etc) can tune in and see how the power that be wants to shape the future Linux graphics and display server experience.
- AMD Reveals Picture Of RX 6000 Series GPU With 2 8-Pin PSU ConnectorsAMD has revealed a single picture of a RX 6000 series graphics card with three fans and two eight-pin power connectors. They shared no details beyond it being a "upcoming #RDNA2" card with a "brand new cooler design". What we can educationally guess from the latest Linux kernel code is that these cards will have sdma 5.2 and new a new display core called "Display Core Next 3.0".
- AMDVLK 2020.Q3.5 Alternative AMD Vulkan Driver Released With Four Game Specific Fixes And Sub-RADV PerformanceAMD has released a new version of their special "open source" Vulkan driver with game-specific fixes for Detroit: Become Human, Tropico 4, Doom 2016 and GTA IV. Vulkan API compliance is updated to Vulkan 1.2.152. Performance is overall slightly worse than what the latest Mesa RADV Vulkan driver provides and magnitudes worse in very specific GPU stress tests.
- Linux 5.9 Brings Hardware Accelerated Video Playback To 10+ Year Old AMD Graphics Cards Using The "amdgpu" Linux Kernel DriverAMD kicked off their HD 7000 series graphics cards with the launch of the Radeon HD 7970 code-named "Tahiti" in December 2011. Linux users are finally able to get working Hardware Video Decoding and Vulkan support on these and other older AMD graphics cards using the Linux kernel's "amdgpu" driver.
- Vulkan Applications Running On Linux With Older Mesa Versions Could Eat ALL Your RAMThe Mesa Vulkan Linux drivers had a very unfortunate bug that would cause Vulkan applications to fill all GPU memory, all system memory and eventually all of swap too if textures are shared between Vulkan and OpenGL using external memory. This is why our test of Chromium 84 with Vulkan enabled resulted in a disaster where all types of memory were filled. Mesa <=20.1.5, the upcoming Mesa 20.2 release and Mesa git have a fix.
- Mesa 20.1.5 Is Released With 29 Bug-Fixes And SDMA Disabled On Vega GPUsThe fifth bug-fix release to the stable 20.1 branch of the Mesa graphics library all GNU/Linux machines use to provide 3D capabilities has 29 mostly very small bug-fixes. Only one change will have larger impact: Vega graphics card join the rest of the AMD line-up in having SDMA disabled. That will result in a slightly higher CPU overhead.
- New Nvidia 440.49 Linux Driver Brings DisplayPort Multi-Stream Audio SupportThe latest Nvidia driver for Linux has PRIME synchronization support on Linux kernel 5.4+, multi-stream DisplayPort audio on kernel 5.5 and display hotplug support for NVIDIA High Definition Audio (HDA). There are also several fixes including one for DXVK.
- Nvidia Drops Linux Support For GeForce G8x, G9x, and GT2xx graphics cardsNvidia has announced that they are dropping support for the their legacy 340.* graphics driver. That ends official Linux support for Tesla family G8x, G9x, and GT2xx graphics cards. Those with a laptop or desktop with an affected GPU can keep on using the final 340.108 release with kernel versions up to 5.4 and Xorg versions up to 1.20. No-no upgrading to newer versions of those if you are using a no longer supported GPU and you do not want to replace fully functional hardware due to a lack of driver support.
- Mesa 20.0.0-rc1 Is Released With Vulkan 1.2 Support and Iris As New Default Intel OpenGL DriverLinux machines with Intel graphics chips are currently using the aging i965 Mesa graphics driver for OpenGL. Intel has been working on a fancy new OpenGL driver called Iris for some time. That driver will be the new default driver for gen8+ Intel graphics chips in Mesa 20. Iris brings slightly better performances compared to the old i965 driver. There will also be full Vulkan 1.2 support in Mesa 20.
- Vulkan 1.2 Specification Finalized, Linux Support In PlaceThe Khronos Group has published the final specification for version 1.2 of the Vulkan graphics API. It adds 23 extensions to the core API and it brings features like timeline semaphores synchronization and a formal memory model. Mesa already supports most of the extensions which were added to the core specification and Mesa 20, expected to be released towards the end of February, will have full Vulkan 1.2 support.
- AMD Confirms "Big Navi" GPU Coming In 2020AMD has published a video interview with AMDs CEO Lisa Su at CES 2020 on their YouTube channel where Dr. Su confirms that AMD will be bringing a "Big Navi" GPU product to market in 2020. She did not provide any details what so ever beyond that. The only thing we can say for sure is that it will have more than the 40 compute units the currently biggest RX 5700 XT Navi GPU has.
- Linux Kernel 5.5 Will Not Fix The Frequent Intel GPU Hangs In Recent KernelsLinux users running machines with Intel integrated graphics have been struggling with frequent system hangs and other problems caused by a buggy i915 kernel module for Intel iGPUs for quite some time. 5.3 series kernels went from being completely useless to problematic as of 5.3.14 while 5.4 series kernels remain utterly broken. Several fixes attempting solve some of the more common problems with Intel graphics chips have been merged into the Linux Kernel mainline git tree the last few days. Problems with frequent hangs remain and it looks like Linux Kernel 5.5 will be as problematic as previous kernels for those using Intel integrated graphics.
- Mesa 19.3.2 Is Released With SDMA Disabled On Older AMD GPUsThe latest stable version of the Mesa graphics stack has SDMA disabled in the RadeonSI OpenGL backend on AMD GFX8-series graphics cards due to a few reported cases of graphics corruption in OpenGL games on AMD RX 580 graphics cards. The result will be a 0-4% performance-penalty on a older graphics cards ranging from the R9 285 to the RX 580.
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