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How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers

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  • How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers

    Phoronix: How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers

    As earlier this week I did a 20-way AMD Radeon open-source comparison, looked at the most energy efficient Radeon GPUs for Linux gaming, and then yesterday provided a look at the fastest NVIDIA GPUs for open-source gaming with Nouveau, in this article is a culmination of all the open-source graphics tests this week while seeing how Intel Haswell HD Graphics fall into the mix against the open-source Radeon R600/RadeonSI and Nouveau NV50/NVC0 graphics drivers.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=20832

  • #2
    I'll definitely be switching to Intel Graphics when they improve a bit more. They have impressive performance per watt, lower temp, and better open source support.

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    • #3
      I just ordered a Radeon HD 6570, passively cooled, for my media PC. Should work well enough for watching films, Youtube, and maybe stream Steam games.

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      • #4
        Eh, "16GB of DDR3 system memory". Does Michael have any clue about Intel graphics? The speed of system memory has huge effect on graphics performance. Was it ddr3-1600 or something decent for gaming? Switching to faster DDR3 might improve game performance 20-50%.

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        • #5
          Clue? No

          Originally posted by caligula View Post
          Eh, "16GB of DDR3 system memory". Does Michael have any clue about Intel graphics? The speed of system memory has huge effect on graphics performance. Was it ddr3-1600 or something decent for gaming? Switching to faster DDR3 might improve game performance 20-50%.
          DO you have any clue. Thats graphics memory, thats important, not the normal ddr system memory. And speed improvements of 20-50% are so wrong dude.. If its once cached, there wont be improvements. What I find sad is that Michael did not test the very latest Iris Pro Graphics.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gotwig View Post
            DO you have any clue. Thats graphics memory, thats important, not the normal ddr system memory. And speed improvements of 20-50% are so wrong dude.. If its once cached, there wont be improvements. What I find sad is that Michael did not test the very latest Iris Pro Graphics.
            WTF man. System memory *IS* the graphics memory when talking about Intel HD graphics. What cache? L1-L3? You can't use e.g. instruction cache for graphics assets. L3 might be useful, don't know if Intel uses it for IGPU. However, the fastest DDR3 is twice as fast as ddr3-1333 or 1600. Of course it can improve speed at least 20%. Especially with bigger textures and resolutions.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by My8th View Post
              I'll definitely be switching to Intel Graphics when they improve a bit more. They have impressive performance per watt, lower temp, and better open source support.
              If you don't play games what's stopping you from switching now? If you do play games, switching TO intel is a stupid idea. If there's anything you should be waiting for improvement, it's AMD.

              Keep in mind the intel CPU in these tests is a high-end i7. Intel GPUs, AFAIK, get worse as you go with weaker models.


              Anyway, as an owner of an i5 Ivy Bridge laptop, I'm disappointed about how bad the support is. I have several games where they are nearly unplayable on it in linux but can run at nearly full detail and full frame rate in Windows. The same game will also play just fine using the open source radeon drivers, albeit not as smooth as it could be. I've also had rendering problems on intel, though many of those seem to have gone away with driver updates.

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              • #8
                Would be nice if Michael would compare Intel graphics to AMD APUs both on the open source stack. I assume most people thinking about going with an intel graphics would only consider an AMD APU as alternative, not discrete GPUs...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                  Would be nice if Michael would compare Intel graphics to AMD APUs both on the open source stack. I assume most people thinking about going with an intel graphics would only consider an AMD APU as alternative, not discrete GPUs...
                  It would have been nice ot include APUs, agreed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gotwig View Post
                    DO you have any clue. Thats graphics memory, thats important, not the normal ddr system memory. And speed improvements of 20-50% are so wrong dude.. If its once cached, there wont be improvements. What I find sad is that Michael did not test the very latest Iris Pro Graphics.
                    Caligula is right - IGP memory uses system memory, and unlike CPUs, the performance of a GPU is directly related to the frequency of the RAM. CPU tends to care more about latency than frequency, while GPUs care more about total bandwidth. Yes, cache does make a difference, but I never got the impression GPUs care that much about cache. I'm not aware of any discrete GPUs that have an L3 cache, and from what I do know, GPU caches tend to be really insignificant (like 1/4 the size of CPU caches). Since your system is as good as your worst hardware, if the RAM isn't fast enough, your cache won't keep up.

                    I would have to comment though, that intel graphics don't get as much of a performance boost as AMD graphics with faster RAM; a 20% improvement seems like a little too much for intel.

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                    • #11
                      If you only care about open source graphics, or want to see all open source graphics vs. each other, this is a useful comparison.

                      However, a real world comparison would be the fastest driver for each card vs. one another. Closed nVidia, open or closed AMD depending on card, and Intel (there is no closed).

                      Because it's just fucking hilarious seeing an Intel 4000 graphics chipset beating a nVidia 780 Ti, the fastest nVidia card.

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                      • #12
                        If I remember right, Micheal has the fastest ddr3 ram available. So that should be the highest speed that the integrated graphics should reach.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                          Anyway, as an owner of an i5 Ivy Bridge laptop, I'm disappointed about how bad the support is. I have several games where they are nearly unplayable on it in linux but can run at nearly full detail and full frame rate in Windows. The same game will also play just fine using the open source radeon drivers, albeit not as smooth as it could be. I've also had rendering problems on intel, though many of those seem to have gone away with driver updates.
                          Sorry to hear that. Which games are you having trouble with? Perhaps I can take a look...
                          Free Software Developer .:. Mesa and Xorg
                          Opinions expressed in these forum posts are my own.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                            Caligula is right - IGP memory uses system memory, and unlike CPUs, the performance of a GPU is directly related to the frequency of the RAM. CPU tends to care more about latency than frequency, while GPUs care more about total bandwidth. Yes, cache does make a difference, but I never got the impression GPUs care that much about cache. I'm not aware of any discrete GPUs that have an L3 cache, and from what I do know, GPU caches tend to be really insignificant (like 1/4 the size of CPU caches). Since your system is as good as your worst hardware, if the RAM isn't fast enough, your cache won't keep up.

                            I would have to comment though, that intel graphics don't get as much of a performance boost as AMD graphics with faster RAM; a 20% improvement seems like a little too much for intel.
                            Some information about GPU pipelines
                            http://www.realworldtech.com/ivy-bridge-gpu/6/
                            http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/ke...Whitepaper.pdf

                            What I was referring to is
                            "One of the fundamental challenges for integrated graphics is memory bandwidth. High-end graphics cards have dedicated memory controllers with expensive GDDR5 and recently exceeded 250GB/s of bandwidth. Integrated graphics must share the memory controllers with the CPU and rely on much less expensive DDR3 that is limited to around 34GB/s."

                            The iGPU really has a limited memory BW compared to dedicated GPUs. iGPUs have lower memory BW than even the cheapest $20 passive cooled GPUs with 64-bit memory bus. If you can see the difference in memory bandwidth with dedicated GPUs, it should be obvious that iGPU's limited BW is a bottleneck. It might not make sense to buy fastest memory, but it does have some effect. It's probably still cheaper to just buy a mid range NVIDIA/AMD GPU.

                            But FWIW, I like the contributions from Intel on Linux. Intel is the most friendly GPU on the market for Linux users. Their developers rock. AMD on the other hand sucks bad. NVIDIA works, but is closed. Like this test shows, Intel has so good drivers that for Linux tasks, it beats most discrete graphics cards just because of the better drivers. So investing in a GPU makes sense in Windows world, but on Linux you might just use Intel and call it a day. Thanks guys @ Intel.
                            Last edited by caligula; 08-31-2014, 01:12 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Swiftpaw View Post
                              It would have been nice ot include APUs, agreed.
                              Absolutely.

                              I also wonder how low you can limbo with AMD, meaning, would a cheap FX and a low end dedicated ATI graphics card give a comparable package than an i7 Haswell for less money? Part of the answer is in this article, but I dont have the info to put together all the pieces ...

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