DragonFly BSD


Broadwell CPU support (e.g. Gigabyte BRIX and similar)

Last update 4-June-2015.

We have started working on support for Broadwell based systems. The current status is as follows:

What Works

What Doesn't Completely Work

Misc overview

The model I am testing has a i5-5200U CPU @ 2.20GHz in it. The i5 has turbo (the i3 does not). 2-core/4-thread. It's fairly snappy, about 25% faster than the Haswell-based chromebooks on a per-thread basis but with double the threads, so it is significant. Roughly speaking these cpus are about half as fast on a per-thread basis than a workstation i7, which means the system as a whole is about 1/4 as fast (4 threads each half as fast vs 8 threads).

This cpu has SSE4, AESNI and RDRND, along with other things, so it should perform very well for a multitude of environments.

Power consumption: pristine system idle around ~9.5W. With machdep.mwait.CX.idle=AUTODEEP set idle power consumption drops to ~8W. At full cpu load (all 4 threads running gcc compiles) power consumption is around ~20W or so. Note that I have not yet been able to measure power consumption under GPU load.

The box I purchased takes 2 SODIMMs. I loaded 16GB of ram into mine. Nominal memory bandwidth looks reasonable w/ DDR3 1600, around 30 GBytes/sec to the L1, 22 GBytes/sec to L2/L3, and ~13 GBytes/sec non-cache.

Booting - normal legacy boot supported (USB drive or SSD), and netbooting is supported.

For DragonFly use as a workstation I think it's very close. Stability has been very good so far with the non-accelerated "intel" driver (i.e. NOT "VESA"). 2D performance is excellent. I'm not ready to check it off yet because firefox is not entirely stable (probably related to firefox's insistence on using more and more opengl junk for 2D). This is still under investigation.

Broadwell KMS support in X - updated 19 April 2015.

Francois Tigeot (ftigeot)'s has synchronized his working tree through to linux 3.14, which is where Broadwell support had just started to go into the linux KMS/DRM code. We have successfully brought up X on DragonFly on Broadwell via GEM (and not VESA) with acceleration turned off, and that appears to be relatively stable. For 2D stuff it is really snappy even without the accel so prospects are looking good!

At this point in time (4-June-2015) we've fixed most of the breakage the sync did to older chipsets. We are currently working on bringing in the KMS console support. We have a patch that works with numerous chipsets but it has some radeon issues so it has not yet been committed.