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Making more informed Linux hardware Choices - Phoronix

Making more informed Linux hardware Choices - Phoronix



Presentation by Michael Larabel & Matthew Tippet at SCALE. Available at:

Presentation by Michael Larabel & Matthew Tippet at SCALE. Available at:



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    Making more informed Linux hardware Choices - Phoronix Making more informed Linux hardware Choices - Phoronix Presentation Transcript

    • Making More InformedLinux Hardware Choices With Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 and OpenBenchmarking.org Michael Larabel & Matthew Tippett
    • Evolution Of Linux Hardware Support Linux hardware support has improved a lot over the years. Most hardware now works "out of the box" with new distributions. Theres still troublesome areas (mainly graphics processors, select motherboard, peripherals). With the maturity of Linux has also come new problems: multiple drivers covering the same hardware and offering different features/performance, different tuning options, and optimizations/completeness of the driver. There will always be the challenges that face even Windows users: what component to upgrade, finding the hardware thats the best value
    • The Phoronix Ecosystem Phoronix.com was founded in 2004. Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 was publicly released in 2008.Our Software Ecosystem: Phoronix Test Suite OpenBenchmarking Phoromatic
    • The EcosystemPhoronix Test SuiteTesting & Benchmarking Platform Cross Platform PHP based solution Local and cloud based results aggregation Runs on Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, BSD, Windows Available natively on almost all distributionsSince Inception in 2008 More than 38,000 results shared on Phoronix Global Used near universally by Tier-1 IHVs, ISVs, other organizations More than 72,000 individual systems activated on PTS
    • The EcosystemOpenBenchmarking.orgCollaborative benchmarking platform (launching today!)Allowing users to compare their platform against thousands ofother users.Allowing projects and companies to crowd source performanceand functional testing over hundreds or thousands of usersAll driven by Phoronix Test Suite 3.0.
    • The EcosystemPhoromaticCoordinated, remote test execution across a number ofsystems.Automatically directs clients to switch between configurationstates to allow ongoing automated testing.Can be configured to automatically detect regressing behaviorsacross suites.
    • So you are looking for new hardware... So many choices.
    • Lots of QuestionsDoes it work?How fast is it?How do I make my system faster?
    • Does it work?Google, Google, GoogleWeve all done it.1. Google for hardware2. Read, read, read3. Download, compile4. Cross fingers5. Hope for a good return policy.You are really relying on the success of other usersdocumenting what they didOver time, the distributions make it easy, but new hardwaremeans a lot of research.
    • Does it work?Hardware Compatibility ListsDistribution Vendors such as SuSE, Red Hat and Canonicalmaintain large lists of products that are "certified"Certification usual means it kind of works (?) the manufacturer has requested the certification.Unfortunately, there are no standardized tests It "works" for graphics may mean just pixels on the screen with the VESA driver.HCLs provide some value, but dont guarantee experience
    • Does it work?OpenBenchmarking searchesExistent proof that the system with that hardware works and anindication of the configurations that showed the hardwareworking.
    • Does it work?OpenBenchmarking searchesLots of tests to explore
    • Does it work?OpenBenchmarking searchesNews articles to read, both Linux orientedand general
    • How fast is it?OpenBenchmarking.org PerformanceSearch for Hardware, get some benchmarks.
    • How fast is it?OpenBenchmarking.org HeatmapsFor a given test... There area lot of results.Collapse these against time,and you get a histogram witha particular distribution.
    • How fast is it?OpenBenchmarking.org HeatmapsHistograms provide sparseinformation and are kind ofboring if we had lots of them.Weve created an alternateview of the histogram - theOPC Heatmap
    • How fast is it?OpenBenchmarking Performance ClassificationOPC allows you in a snapshot understand where your results sitagainst other systems in the OpenBenchmarking database.This system is a "High" performer in encoding. Ranked performance 33rd 66th percentile percentile
    • How fast is it?Understand your hardwares performance
    • How fast is it?Understand your hardwares performanceAt a glance, you can see that this system is a "High" performingsystem, always above the 66th percentile.But... The filesystem performance is "Low"... Maybe a badfilesystem?
    • How fast is it?How does it compare?Find your hardwareFilter for your test
    • How fast is it?How does it compare?Find how you stack upFind some comparative testsSee how that hardware stacks up
    • What else can I do?CompilersMaybe the Gentoo crowd is onto something after all
    • What else can I do?New HardwareUpgrade the GPU or switch drivers?
    • Future StandardizationOPC SuiteStandard suite that exercises the primary attributes of asystem.Trivially executable by any user.Provides a standard performance benchmark that fits into theOPC groupings.
    • Future StandardizationPCQS SuitePhoronix Certification and Qualification Suite (PCQS)Formal validation of a system across a number of functionaland system performance areas.Provides a very high confidence that a system will work.
    • Future WorkVirtual Build-a-systemGiven a particular set of components, explore other systemsthat contain similar hardware.Burrow down to a particular set of components that maximizeperformance.
    • Future WorkVirtual Build-a-systemGiven a particular set of components, explore other systemsthat contain similar hardware.Burrow down to a particular set of components that maximizeperformance.
    • Future WorkCrowd Sourced Validation & BenchmarksOpen Source projects can trivially define a suite to be executedby their users.Email the users to run a benchmark command, PTS takes careof the hard work, OpenBenchmarking gives a view of therelative behavior of a large portion of the user base.No longer do developers need to be tied to their own PCs.
    • Future WorkHighly interactive comparisonsTaking the scenario described above and making it fullyinteractive across the entire discovery process.
    • Future WorkAutomated Regression Identification SystemSimilar to git-bisect, PTS can run a collection of automatedtests across a set of builds and determine a break point.
    • Questions?Phoronix Test Suite - http://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/OpenBenchmarking - http://www.openbenchmarking.org/Phoromatic - http://www.phoromatic.com/Michael Larabel - michael@phoronix.comMatthew Tippett - matthew@phoronix.com