For seeing where the current OpenGL driver performance stands for Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver on Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, the very latest Linux kernel and Mesa development code were tested across four different processors to stress the HD 2000, HD 2500, HD 3000, and HD 4000 graphics capabilities atop Ubuntu.
In this article are benchmarks of the Core i5 2400S, Core i5 3470, Core i5 2500K, and Core i7 3770K processors when using the Linux 3.10 Git kernel and Mesa 9.2 Git as of this week. This round of testing is to be part of a larger Intel Linux hardware comparison to be featured on Phoronix in June... The clock speeds on the four tested CPUs are different and for this article we didn't go through to re-clock them to the same base frequency, but these results provide a look at how the latest Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors are performing as some reference numbers, which is interesting especially as Haswell is to soon be introduced. Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has long been working on Haswell support so it will be interesting to see how the next-generation graphics are on the day the hardware is released.
Thanks to the Phoronix Test Suite, you can also compare your own system's OpenGL performance against these results regardless of your platform or whether you are using Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA graphics. It's simply a matter of running phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1305306-UT-INTELMAY222, thanks to the fully automated and reproducible nature of the Phoronix Test Suite in conjunction with our OpenBenchmarking.org collaborative results platform.
With the i965 Mesa 9.2 DRI driver working out for Unigine Sanctuary and Unigine Tropics without rendering artifacts or needing any tweaks, those tests have been included now for this Intel OpenGL comparison. There's also the assortment of other test profiles too for stressing the Intel OpenGL stack.
In relation to how the Intel Linux driver is performing against the Windows driver, updated cross-OS benchmarks are coming very soon as well. For now, from last month you can see the Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 vs. Ubuntu 13.04 vs. Fedora 18 benchmarks.
Some other general notices to pass along at this time is that with the current Mesa development code, the Intel OpenGL driver is still working on OpenGL 3.2~3.3 support, which should be ironed out by the official Mesa 9.2 release. Unfortunately, the driver is still off from supporting OpenGL 4.0 as is capable with the forthcoming Haswell hardware. Sadly, it will likely not be until 2014 before the Intel Linux driver is officially compliant with the OpenGL 4.0 specification. The other major shortcoming is the OpenCL support, which can be handled on the GPU with Ivy Bridge and Haswell. The only Intel OpenCL GPU solution for Linux users is Beignet, which is a less than stellar solution and isn't yet feature-complete or widely adopted.