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Intel 2D GLAMOR vs. UXA vs. SNA On Ubuntu 14.04

Michael Larabel

Published on 11 March 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 19 Comments

With GLAMOR generating a lot of interest lately due to AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver depending upon it and Intel driving lots of improvements into it now that it's been merged into the X.Org Server, here's some new benchmarks of Intel Haswell HD Graphics 2D performance of the latest Intel xf86-video-intel 3.0 pre-release on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS comparing the GLAMOR, UXA, and SNA acceleration architectures.

The Intel 2D benchmarking today is of the experience you will find on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the X.org Server 1.15.0 and xf86-video-intel 2.99.910 with the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.1-rc3. This testing isn't of the latest development code of the experimental X.Org Server 1.16 code but that will come later. For the i7-4770K with HD Graphics 4600, SNA, UXA, and GLAMOR were compared on Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity 7 by changing the AccelMethod option within the xorg.conf.

Sadly, the packaged Intel X.Org driver doesn't enable optional GLAMOR support at build time. As a result, we had to rebuild the xf86-video-intel 2.99.910 driver with the --enable-glamor flag after installing libglamor-dev. GLAMOR 0.6 is found in Ubuntu 14.04. For some months has been a Launchpad bug about enabling support for GLAMOR in the xserver-xorg-video-intel Ubuntu package (and keeping to the SNA default), where it was said the packaging change might happen for Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr", but it hasn't happened (Ubuntu stable users not wanting to build the Intel DDX manually can find a supported Intel DDX driver via the Oibaf PPA). For what it's worth, in that bug report, Intel's Chris Wilson wrote, "From a stability point-of-view, I will never recommend glamor."

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