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

Intel SNB Linux Driver Can Out Run Windows Driver

Michael Larabel

Published on 23 May 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 4 of 4 - 17 Comments

These results are certainly very interesting and paint a very different story from the February test results. The Intel Linux Sandy Bridge graphics driver is not conclusively faster than the Windows driver is, but it is getting there and at least for nearly all cases does deliver comparable performance.

While the performance may now be hitting parity, in other areas the Linux driver still lags behind. First and foremost, while the latest Linux code is now delivering this impressive performance, most Linux users won't be using this code until the end of the year when hitting the next round of updated Linux distributions. For most end-users, upgrading the open-source Linux graphics driver stack is a pain due to needing to upgrade all of Mesa, the respective X.Org driver, often libdrm, and then most problematic can be needing to upgrade the entire Linux kernel. Even with this latest code we had to manually enable semaphores with the Intel DRM driver for the system to not crash due to the last-minute 2.6.39 revert and the "out of the box" Ubuntu 11.04 experience is troubling.

The Intel Linux driver also lacks features such as Quick Sync Video, InTru 3D Technology, Intel Wireless Display, Intel Flexible Display Interface, and other technologies currently only found in their Windows driver. There are also OpenGL extensions and other functionality found within their Windows driver but not the Linux driver, such as S3TC texture compression support and other patented features that cannot be implemented in the open-source stack by default.

In terms of performance, there is more good news coming soon as well to the Intel Linux code. Intel developers have told Phoronix that more SNB optimizations are on the way and will be landing in the Linux kernel DRM and their Mesa driver soon. At that point, perhaps, the Linux driver will now clearly outperform the Windows blob.

Stay tuned for more Intel Linux coverage. There will also be the continuous flow of Intel Sandy Bridge benchmarks on a per-commit basis from this Intel laptop soon as the setup process finishes.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. AMD Launches New FX CPUs, Cuts Prices On Existing Processors
  2. Preview: AMD's FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux
  3. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  4. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17
  2. How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers
  3. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  4. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
Latest Linux News
  1. GSoC 2014 Yielded Some Improvements For Mesa/X.Org This Year
  2. webOS Lives On As LuneOS With New Release
  3. Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ Improvements
  4. Mozilla Firefox 32 Surfaces With HTML5, Developer Changes
  5. Nouveau X.Org Driver Released With DRI3+Present, Maxwell, GLAMOR
  6. Microsoft & AMD Release C++ AMP Compiler With Linux Support
  7. AMD, Wine & Valve Dominated August For Linux Users
  8. Linux 3.17-rc3 Kernel Released Back On Schedule
  9. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  10. Mesa 10.3 RC2 Arrives Via Its New Release Manager
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  2. AMD graphics doesn't work with AMD Catalyst drivers
  3. Best Radeon for a Power Mac G5?
  4. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  5. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  6. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  7. SSD seems slow
  8. Is laptop with Intel CPU and AMD dGPU worth buying considering especially AMD Enduro?