A 13 Line Patch That Boosts Intel Sandy Bridge Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 4 March 2011. Page 4 of 4. 25 Comments

With the more demanding VDrift racing game, the frame-rate with the latest code is also much higher than found in the February Mesa code. On average, it is a 51% improvement in performance. At 1920 x 1080, all improvements are important as the frame-rate nears 30 FPS.

Lastly, with Lightsmark, the OpenGL lighting benchmark, the frame-rate is 2.66x higher than it was one month ago! The Linux frame-rate is closer to the Windows OpenGL performance for the Core i5 2500K, but the Microsoft OS still leads by 27%.

These updated results today speak for themselves with huge performance gains being experienced thanks to the VS thread count fix. The Intel Mesa Linux driver is still not faster than the Intel Windows driver overall (nor does it support all of the same features, such as no mainline S3TC texture compression support, no OpenGL 3.0 support yet, etc), but it's running much closer now than it was a month ago. This work will land in Mesa 7.11 when released in a matter of weeks. Hopefully it will also be back-ported to the Mesa 7.10 branch since the patch is not invasive and it is the Mesa 7.10 release that will be used by Ubuntu 11.04 and other Linux distributions releasing soon.

The test results shown today can be further analyzed on OpenBenchmarking.org. On OpenBenchmarking.org you can also find more Linux performance data for the Intel Core i5 2500K and Intel Core i7 2600K.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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