Earlier this week I talked about the direction of ATI Radeon graphics in Ubuntu 11.04, which is quite positive with there being measurable 3D performance improvements in the latest open-source driver code, after a week prior talking about a massive Intel Sandy Bridge performance fix that is able to now put the open-source Linux performance closer to being on-par with Intel's Windows OpenGL driver. How though is the performance of Intel's previous-generator Clarkdale/Arrandale graphics looking? Quite good too. Here are some quick benchmarks.
This weekend on Openbenchmarking.org (1103120-IV-INTELCLAR75) I have uploaded results from an Intel Core i3 530 "Clarkdale" CPU with an Intel H57 motherboard, in particular the ECS H57H-M motherboard. There is 2GB of DDR3 system memory, a 32GB OCZ Vertex SSD, and the Intel integrated graphics.
Ubuntu 10.10 x86_64 was used as the Linux distribution and it was tested in its stock configuration before upgrading to the latest Git bits. The stock packages include the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, xf86-video-intel 2.12, and Mesa 7.9-devel. Upgrades included the latest Linux 2.6.38 kernel as of yesterday, xf86-video-intel 2.14.901, libdrm 2.4.24, and Mesa 7.11-devel Git as of today. GNOME 2.32 with Compiz, GCC 4.4.5, X.Org Server 1.9.0, and the EXT4 file-system remained the same.
The quick weekend benchmarks included World of Padman, OpenArena, Nexuiz, and VDrift via Phoronix Test Suite 3.0-Iveland.
Out of the box with Ubuntu 10.10, the Intel Clarkdale graphics can't really provide a playable World of Padman HD experience for the Core i3 530 system, but when upgrading the open-source graphics stack, the performance more than doubles and becomes playable at 1920 x 1080.
The OpenArena gain with the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and Mesa 7.11-devel is not quite as dramatic as World of Padman, but this ioquake3 game jumps up by nearly 30%.