A Historical Look At Intel Ironlake Graphics Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 25 May 2011. Page 1 of 3. 3 Comments

For the past five months when mentioning Intel graphics at Phoronix, it's been pretty much about their latest-generation Sandy Bridge hardware and most recently about their next-generation Ivy Bridge. The talk has either been about new hardware enablement, performance improvements, or bad regressions. In this article, we are going a generation back to look at how the Clarkdale/Arrandale-Ironlake graphics performance has evolved under Linux over the course of Ubuntu releases.

These benchmarks are quite straightforward and similar to the historical ATI graphics benchmarks published last month for the past two years of testing. Using a system with an Intel Core i3 "Arrandale" CPU, each Ubuntu release going back to Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" was tested in its out-of-the-box configuration. With the latest Ubuntu 11.04 release we had also pulled the latest graphics bits to see where the code is in Git as of 19 May. Ubuntu 10.04.2 was as far back as we tested since accelerated support for this Intel hardware was not dropped until after the Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic release.

The testing was done with an ASRock NetTop that had an Intel Core i3 330M dual-core at 2.13GHz with Hyper Threading, an ASRock HM55-HT motherboard, 4GB of system memory, 500GB Seagate ST9500325AS SATA HDD, and the integrated Arrandale graphics.

The key package information for each tested Ubuntu (x86_64) release is as follows:

Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS: Linux 2.6.32, X Server 1.7.6, xf86-video-intel 2.9.1, Mesa 7.7.1.
Ubuntu 10.10: Linux 2.6.35, X Server 1.9.0, xf86-video-intel 2.12.0, Mesa 7.9-devel.
Ubuntu 11.04: Linux 2.6.38, X Server 1.10.1, xf86-video-intel 2.14.0, Mesa 7.10.2.
Ubuntu 11.04 + Git: Linux 2.6.39, X Server 1.10.1, xf86-video-intel 2.15.0, Mesa 7.11-devel git-116133a.

Tests via the Phoronix Test Suite included Nexuiz, OpenArena, World of Padman, Urban Terror, Smokin Guns, Tremulous, and Warsow.

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