1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Low-End Sandy Bridge Linux Graphics Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 25 March 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 5 of 5 - 13 Comments

When it comes to H.264 VA-API video decoding on Sandy Bridge, the Core i3 2100 is still plenty capable and works fine assuming you are using the latest Linux 2.6.38 kernel DRM and the updated libva library.

In most tests the Core i3 2100 performance is only down by 7~8% compared to the Core i5 2500K boasting a similar graphics engine, but with some OpenGL applications this puts the integrated Intel graphics under Linux closer to the brink of not being playable at higher resolutions or with ramped up visual settings. The Core i3 2100 still though does provide modest integrated graphics abilities and is more than suitable for use on a composited desktop with Compiz, KWin, or other compositing window managers.

The H.264 VA-API decode support for Sandy Bridge is also great (it's not just using shaders like some proposed Gallium3D work) and the encoding support is expected to land sometime soon. With that said, the Core i3 2100 could make a very modest processor for an HTPC / media PC.

Intel's Core i3 2100 Sandy Bridge is currently retailing for $130 USD or less at NewEgg and Amazon. Remember though for a pleasant "out of the box" experience you will need to wait for Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 15, etc, or be updating the key packages (Linux kernel, Mesa, DDX, libdrm, libva) manually.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  2. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  3. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
  4. AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
  2. Is The Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Fast Enough For Steam On Linux Gaming?
  3. Linux 3.18 File-System Performance Minimally Changed But Possible Regressions
  4. AMD Radeon Gallium3D Is Catching Up & Sometimes Beating Catalyst On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.18 Kernel: Not Much Change With Intel Haswell Performance
  2. More File-System Tests Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
  3. Using NVIDIA's NVENC On Linux With FFmpeg
  4. There's Talk Again About An "Open To The Core" Ubuntu Laptop
  5. PowerVR SGX Driver Code Gets Leaked
  6. V2 Of KDBUS Published For Linux Kernel Review
  7. VirtualBox 4.3.20 Arrives, Still No Sign Of VirtualBox 4.4
  8. Scientific Linux 6.6 vs. Scientific Linux 7.0 Benchmarks
  9. Qualcomm Looks To Get Into The ARM Server Business
  10. HHVM 3.4 Adds New Features, Support
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  2. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  5. Script for Fan Speed Control
  6. Debian Init System Coupling Vote Results
  7. The Slides Announcing The New "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver
  8. Ubuntu Developers Still Thinking What To Do About Adobe Flash Support