1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A 13 Line Patch That Boosts Intel Sandy Bridge Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 4 March 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 25 Comments

After some initial Linux troubles, last month we finally got Intel Sandy Bridge graphics working under Linux. The latest Intel CPUs (such as the Core i5 2500K) with integrated graphics are blazingly fast, and the classic Intel Mesa driver was fast compared to other open-source Mesa / Gallium3D drivers, but it still was a ways behind the low-end discrete graphics cards with the proprietary AMD / NVIDIA drivers for Linux. It was also shown that the Intel Linux Mesa driver is much slower than the Intel Windows driver for Sandy Bridge, as we had also found was the case for previous generations of Intel graphics. Committed to the Mesa mainline Git repository this week though was a very important Sandy Bridge change. While the commit only touched 13 lines of code (11 lines of new code, 2 lines of changed code), it has dramatically improved the Sandy Bridge Linux performance as our results show in this article.

It is this Git commit from the 1st of March by Intel's Zou Nan hai that we are talking about. For Sandy Bridge / "Gen 6" Intel hardware, it bumps the VS thread count to 60. It is a relatively straightforward and simple patch, but how it affects the OpenGL performance is dramatic.

In this article are the original Phoronix test results for the Intel Core i5 2500K "Sandy Bridge" from early February using the Intel Bearup Lake motherboard (the show-stopping problem with the ASUS motherboard remains unresolved) plus the already-published Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1 results. What is new are the updated Intel numbers. On a clean install of Ubuntu 10.10 to the same Sandy Bridge system, the latest Linux 2.6.38 kernel was loaded (2010-03-02; Linux 2.6.38-rc7) plus the latest xf86-video-intel DDX from Git on 2010-03-02 (xf86-video-intel 2.14.901), the latest Git libdrm, and then Mesa from Git master on 2010-03-02 marked as Mesa 7.11-devel.

Besides the Intel Core i5 2500K processor and Intel Bearup Lake motherboard was 2GB of DDR3 system memory and a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. Via the Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 and OpenBenchmarking.org software, the test results from Nexuiz, OpenArena, World of Padman, Warsow, Urban Terror, Tremulous, VDrift, and Lightsmark were used.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  2. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  3. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
  4. CPUFreq Scaling Tests With AMD's Kaveri On Linux 3.16
Latest Linux News
  1. Steam Now Supports VA-API For In-Home Game Streaming
  2. GNOME 3.14 Beta Released
  3. Mesa 10.3 Branched & RC1 Released, Mesa 10.4 On Master
  4. Intel Sandy Bridge Gains On Linux 3.17 Extend Beyond Graphics
  5. LinuxCon: What's Going On With Fedora.Next
  6. Canonical Joined The Khronos Group To Help Mir/Wayland Drivers
  7. EFL 1.11 Is A Big Milestone For Enlightenment Users
  8. DirectFB Updates GTK3 Support, Working Towards DirectFB 1.8
  9. Userptr Support Set For AMD Radeon GPUs In Linux 3.18
  10. NVIDIA Releases CUDA 6.5 As A Huge Update
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  2. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  3. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. AMD Offers Mantle For OpenGL-Next, Pushes Mantle To Workstations
  6. ATI CrossFire Does Not Support On This Platform When Enabling (Ubuntu Lucid)
  7. Dead Island for Linux (?)
  8. The dangers of Linux kernel development