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Intel OpenGL Performance: OS X vs. Windows vs. Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 29 August 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 9 - 39 Comments

As mentioned last week when publishing the OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks, a large Intel OpenGL driver performance comparison was being carried out at Phoronix. The comparison is now compete and here are the results when comparing the Intel HD OpenGL graphics performance under Apple OS X 10.8, Microsoft Windows 7 Pro, and Ubuntu Linux 12.04/12.10. The results of this Intel OpenGL gaming performance comparison are quite interesting, but reveal some troubling Linux facts.

A few days ago in Intel Graphics Mature Greatly With The Linux Kernel, it was said this multi-OS Intel OpenGL comparison is being done from a mid-2011 Apple Mac Mini with Intel HD 3000 Sandy Bridge graphics. Ivy Bridge is obviously out now and more interesting, but unfortunately no Ivy Bridge Mac Mini yet and the Retina MacBook Pro is currently a Linux lemon while the new Ivy Bridge MacBook Air also has Linux problems. So in order to run OS X tests on Apple hardware, last year's Mac Mini with integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics on the Core i5 processor was used.

The same Apple Mac Mini with the Core i5 2415M processor was used throughout all of the tests in this article (pardon the slight differences in the auto-generated Phoronix Test Suite system details with each OS not exposing the component information in an identical manner, but rest assured the same Mac Mini was used for all these tests). All operating systems were tested with all available operating system / package updates at the time of testing and in a stock configuration except where mentioned otherwise. The 64-bit (x86_64) version of each operating system was used.

With OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple integrates its own Intel OpenGL driver stack directly in the operating system. For the Microsoft Windows 7 Pro x64 testing, the latest Intel OpenGL graphics driver available from Intel.com was used for testing (v15.22.54.2622). For Ubuntu Linux, a few different configurations were tried.

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