Yesterday I shared open-source Linux graphics benchmarks showing the Intel Ivy Bridge performance improving on Mesa 9.2 over the earlier releases of this important open-source Linux graphics driver component. However, for the latest-generation Intel "Haswell" graphics, Mesa 9.2 is an even more important upgrade. Here's a look at the performance benefits in moving from Mesa 9.1 to the soon-to-be-released Mesa 9.2.
With Intel Haswell processors only having been released in early June and Mesa 9.1 being from early 2013, there's been months worth of performance optimizations building up for Haswell that aren't yet found widespread on the Linux desktop for owners of the new CPUs. (Fortunately this will be improved in the future with a new Mesa release process.) Ivy Bridge performance also improved as the aforelinked article shows, but Haswell is quite noticeable as the Linux support is still stabilizing, becoming feature-complete, and catching up to the Intel Windows driver. (The long-awaited Intel Haswell Linux vs. Windows results are also forthcoming, but the latest delay is due to having to order a new Microsoft Windows disc after losing the previous one, but that should be here in the next day or two.)
In today's article, an Intel Core i7 4770K processor with Intel HD 4600 Graphics are being tested on Mesa 9.1.4 stable with Git revision e790e24 and compared to the latest Intel Mesa Git as of earlier this morning, which is Mesa 9.2.0-devel git-07baf9c. The operating system was Ubuntu 13.10 with the Linux 3.10 kernel and Unity 7.0.2 desktop.
All of this OpenGL benchmarking for Intel Haswell was handled in a fully streamlined and automated manner using the commercially supported Phoronix Test Suite software. Between testing Mesa 9.1 and Mesa 9.2, all other packages and settings were maintained the same.
Besides Mesa 9.2 being important for Haswell owners due to increased performance, Mesa 9.2 also will bring new features. The latest plan is to release Mesa 9.2 as stable software in August. For those using AMD Radeon graphics, there have also been R600 Gallium3D Mesa 9.2 benchmarks too, while more are on the way. LLVMpipe is also much faster on the new Mesa code.