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Having SNAppy Intel 2D Acceleration In 2012

Michael Larabel

Published on 31 January 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 8 of 8 - 8 Comments

As far as how SNA impacts 3D performance, since it has affected some OpenGL performance results in the past, the situation is currently mixed. SNA for Ironlake did cause the OpenArena frame-rate to go up while for the Core i5 2400S the frame-rate dropped and for the i5-2520M the performance was unchanged. Regardless, for Sandy Bridge hardware, Mesa 8.0 is a huge improvement over Mesa 7.11 as earlier Phoronix benchmarks have illustrated.

The World of Padman performance was similar.

The Nexuiz graphics performance was largely unchanged for the Sandy Bridge hardware across the three tested software configurations.

As you can see from the results, overall Sandy Bridge New Acceleration (SNA) does offer some compelling performance improvements for the 2D Linux desktop. However, this is not without some regressions, some of which have recently come up as SNA continues to be developed very actively by Chris Wilson. As said by Chris when seeing these results early, "Judging by those results, I fear performance has regressed considerably on those systems." Chris is currently investigating the regressions found by these SNA results. (Update: Looks like there's some Intel DRM bugs being hit during the 2D usage. More SNA results will surely come when the Linux 3.4 DRM is ready.)

SNA is still looking very hopeful and if you wish to try it out the xf86-video-intel DDX driver needs to be built with the "--enable-sna" switch. Ideally if testing SNA the Git snapshot is the best due to its very active development state. As to whether we will see SNA-by-default anytime soon, stay tuned to Phoronix for the latest developments.

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 .
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