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Intel Glamor Acceleration Compared To SNA, UXA

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  • Intel Glamor Acceleration Compared To SNA, UXA

    Phoronix: Intel Glamor Acceleration Compared To SNA, UXA

    Going back to last year there's been the "Glamor Acceleration" project out of Intel to accelerate the 2D operations within X using OpenGL on Mesa. This is similar to the Xorg state tracker approach and while it's not yet enabled by default, Intel OTC developers have been making much progress in recent months. In this article is a look at the recent Glamor update while comparing it to the stock Intel UXA acceleration as well as to the other experimental acceleration option: Intel SNA.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=17358

  • #2
    SNA on GMA

    I would be interested if Intel SNA driver improvements would pay out for a GMA950 or GMA3150 netbook integrated graphics. I mean is there general improvement to intel drivers or only the sna parts.

    Greetings
    Last edited by atcl; 05-17-2012, 05:59 AM.

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    • #3
      At least GMA45 gets benefits from sna.
      ## VGA ##
      AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
      Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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      • #4
        SNA is supported all the way down to Gen2 (i8xx, except 810/815). So I too would be interested in tests on those low-end GPUs, particularly the netbook ones.

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        • #5
          And now let Intel will add only a good driver management manager, as it is under Windows and you can use their drivers

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          • #6
            Once again I am confounded by your results, so I ran the benchmarks locally (though it appears that I no longer have glamor on the i5-2520m) to check: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1...SU-1205175SU41 There are some interesting conclusions one can draw from the relative performance on a desktop chip with HD2000 and a mobile chip with HD3000; where the test is GPU bound the lower power SNB is indeed faster than its desktop brethren, but the higher frequency CPU cores and memory on the desktop is hard to compete with.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by atcl View Post
              I would be interested if Intel SNA driver improvements would pay out for a GMA950 or GMA3150 netbook integrated graphics. I mean is there general improvement to intel drivers or only the sna parts.

              Greetings
              gtkperf runs in half the time with SNA instead of UXA using a GMA950 here.

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              • #8
                Thanks

                Thanks for the info! I downloaded the current tar already. Do I just need to compile it with --enable-sna and everything is fine to use sna? The documentation on options is pretty sparse...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by atcl View Post
                  Thanks for the info! I downloaded the current tar already. Do I just need to compile it with --enable-sna and everything is fine to use sna? The documentation on options is pretty sparse...
                  What options were you expecting? Every option is a workaround for a driver bug, it is meant to just work...

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                  • #10
                    I'd love if the SNA work was applicable to the GMA500. I have video acceleration (VA-API) and all that working and it's pretty nice, certain 2D operations are quite a bit slower than it seems like they should be so if SNA has different caching and memory management strategies I expect it could radically affect performance on it too. I don't know where the "binary blob"/"open source" line is on this driver though, if the blob insists on managing memory itself than nothing can be done with it.

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                    • #11
                      Took to long to edit my last post... anyway, with the way things are going perhaps Glamor will be the way to go on GMA500.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hwertz View Post
                        I'd love if the SNA work was applicable to the GMA500. I have video acceleration (VA-API) and all that working and it's pretty nice, certain 2D operations are quite a bit slower than it seems like they should be so if SNA has different caching and memory management strategies I expect it could radically affect performance on it too. I don't know where the "binary blob"/"open source" line is on this driver though, if the blob insists on managing memory itself than nothing can be done with it.
                        I too would love to get my hands on the specs for the GMA500... At the moment, the only open source components for it are the KMS portions which is loosely based on the already open i915 display engine and we do not have enough information to write a Graphics Execution Manager for doing mixed core and Render acceleration. (Render acceleration would require access to the 3D pipeline.) The existing binary driver is a mockery and delivers performance that is more than a order of magnitude slower than the Atom CPU to which it is attached could manage. That driver is so inexcusably slow that even glamor is faster there, but it still falls far below my expectations. However, I still maintain that if a team is not able to accelerate the simple X drawing protocols then I have no confidence in their ability to accelerate the entirety of OpenGL! Even before considering that 2D rendering stresses the buffer allocation and command execution paths far greater than the typical game and as a result the drivers need a large amount of optimisation for this new workload. A typical example is the simple blit performance, where glamor on mesa is 50x slower than the dedicated 2D driver due to the CPU overhead of GL command processing. An only slightly more complex example is that at 7Mglyph/s SNA is GPU bound (cpu utilisation is around 60%), whereas at only 1.8Mglyphs/s glamor is CPU bound.

                        Back to the original discussion, SNA actually has broadly similar ideas of pixmap migration to EXA upon which the proprietary Poulsbo driver is based; so in reality the only limiting factor for that driver is its quality of implementation. That it is not open source speaks volumes for the level of confidence and commitment Intel have made for that GPU and driver.

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