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Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9

Michael Larabel

Published on 21 August 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 3 - Comment On This Article

Tests I carried out last month with a Haswell-based Apple MacBook Air showed Linux largely smashing OS X 10.9 with the latest open-source graphics driver code on Linux over Apple's OpenGL driver. Today I'm testing the latest OS X 10.9.4 state against the newest Linux kernel and Intel Mesa driver code on Ubuntu while this time using an older Sandy Bridge era Apple Mac Mini.

Out of curiosity after last month's MacBook Air benchmarks with the Haswell CPU and HD Graphics 5000, I carried out a Sandy Bridge Mac Mini OS X vs. Ubuntu Linux comparison with this older hardware and the very mature drivers. The test configurations included:

- OS X 10.9.4 with Apple's Intel OpenGL driver and other stock OS X components and all available updates.

- Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 64-bit with all available package updates.

- The above Ubuntu 14.04.1 configuration then upgrading to using Mesa 10.3-devel and other newer user-space components supplied by the Oibaf PPA.

- The above configuration of Ubuntu 14.04.1 with Mesa 10.3-devel and then using the Linux 3.16 kernel in place of Ubuntu 14.04's default Linux 3.13 kernel. The newer kernels were obtained from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA.

- The above Ubuntu configuration then upgrading to the very latest Linux 3.17 kernel. As shared yesterday, there appears to be Intel Sandy Bridge improvements with Linux 3.17.

The same Apple Mac Mini was used throughout all testing and was equipped with an Intel Core i5 2415M CPU, 2GB of DDR3 system memory, 500GB Hitachi HDD, and Intel HD Graphics 3000. No hardware changes or setting changes were made between test runs. All tests were facilitated by the Phoronix Test Suite GPLv3 benchmarking software. The selection of OpenGL tests used were limited to those with native OS X and Linux ports of comparable quality.

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