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Intel Linux OpenGL Driver Leading Over Apple OS X

Michael Larabel

Published on 21 May 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 3 - 23 Comments

In revisiting the OpenGL graphics and gaming performance for an older Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" Apple system, the Ubuntu 13.04 performance with Intel's open-source graphics driver is now easily surpassing Apple's OpenGL driver found in OS X 10.8.3.

This testing happened from an Apple Mac Mini bearing an Intel Core i5 2415M "Sandy Bridge" processor with 2GB of RAM and was using Intel HD 3000 graphics. OS X 10.8.3 was tested in its stock configuration and compared to Ubuntu 13.04. Ubuntu 13.04 was benchmarked in its stock configuration of the Linux 3.8 kernel, xf86-video-intel 2.21.6, and Mesa 9.1.1 driver. Additionally, the latest Linux kernel (Linux 3.10 Git) and Mesa Git (Mesa 9.2.0 git-ccb041f) were installed for a second run atop Ubuntu 13.04 to get an idea for the very latest state of Intel's Linux OpenGL driver.

To complete the cross-platform OpenGL benchmarks, a range of other Apple OS X vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks are forthcoming on Phoronix. All benchmarking on each operating system was handled in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. The selection of OpenGL games benchmarked were limited to those that could run sufficiently on the Intel HD 3000 graphics hardware and where the game ports are of similar quality under Linux and OS X.

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