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Intel Iris Graphics 5100: Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.04 Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 13 March 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 23 Comments

Under the Linux microscope today is the Intel Iris Graphics 5100 (GT3) found on the Core i7 4558U CPU within the ASUS Zenbook UX301LA "Haswell" ultrabook. How do the Intel Iris Graphics performance compare between Windows 8.1 and the soon-to-be-released Ubuntu 14.04? We can tell you the answer today with a fresh round of multi-OS OpenGL benchmarks from this high-end Intel ultrabook.

The Intel Iris Graphics 5100 sports 40 execution units and a 1.2GHz clock speed to offer up to 832 GFLOPs of power on the graphics core. Sadly compared to the Iris Pro 5200 Graphics, there isn't the 128MB of embedded DRAM, but at least the graphics performance of the Iris 5100 is still a big upgrade over the HD Graphics 4400/4600 found more commonly on Haswell processors. The Intel Core i7 4558U processor on this ASUS UX301LA is a dual-core part with Hyper Threading and runs at a base frequency of 2.8GHz but its Turbo Frequency tops out at 3.3GHz. The max TDP of the CPU is 28 Watts. The Iris Graphics 5100 are capable of driving three displays simultaneously.

With the ASUS Zenbook having shipped with Windows 8.1, prior to my Linux testing I did Iris Graphics 5100 tests with the fully updated Windows 8.1 x64 software. The Intel Windows driver used was the latest 15.33.0.3464 release available at the time of testing.

After the Windows testing was completed with a variety of games known to run well under both Windows and Linux and have a comparable OpenGL renderer, testing turned to Linux. The test configurations for this same hardware under Linux were:

- Ubuntu 14.04 with its stock configuration of shipping the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.1.

- Ubuntu 14.04 with the stack above but then upgrading to the latest Linux 3.14 daily development kernel.

- The above configuration but then also enabling the xorg-edgers PPA to bump the Intel OpenGL driver to Mesa 10.2-devel.

Besides the above-mentioned changes, nothing else changed during testing. Worth noting is that with the Linux 3.14 kernel the i7-4558U processor reports the Turbo Frequency instead of just the Base Frequency. All benchmarking was handled in a fully automated manner using the Phoronix Test Suite. Expect more benchmarks of the new ASUS Zenbook UX301LA in the days ahead along with the complete review of this very promising Intel Haswell ultrabook.

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