Recently I have shown that Intel graphics hit a high point with the Linux 3.6 kernel and that Ubuntu 12.10 is faster with Intel hardware compared to the current Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release. In this article are more Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. Ubuntu 12.10 benchmarks to highlight the performance improvements for Intel Sandy Bridge graphics that will be found in Ubuntu 12.10.
Nearly across the board, Ubuntu 12.10 with Intel graphics is noticeably faster for OpenGL than on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS thanks to improvements made across the stack -- including some non-Intel-specific improvements like with bettering Unity and Compiz. The improvements are also not over as Mesa 8.1/9.0 has yet to be uploaded, which benefits Intel some more. Besides some performance optimizations, the new Mesa release provides near-complete support for OpenGL 3.1 and other functionality not currently offered by Mesa 8.0 in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. While it doesn't look like it's going to happen, if Ubuntu 12.10 switches to the Linux 3.6 kernel that will up Intel's game some more.
In this article are benchmarks of an updated Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installation -- meaning it has some of the Unity performance fixes and other stable release updates made since April. The updated Ubuntu 12.04 LTS results are then compared to Ubuntu 12.10 using all of the latest packages as of 20 August 2012. This benchmarking is being done from an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 2415M system with Intel HD 3000 (GT2+) graphics found from a mid-2011 Apple Mac Mini. The results being shared today are part of a much larger comparison... It's just not Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Ubuntu 12.10, but Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Ubuntu 12.10 vs. Apple OS X 10.8 vs. Windows 7. This four-way Intel graphics showdown between the competing operating systems will be published in full soon (once new ad campaigns start up, likely early September -- though you can subscribe to Phoronix Premium to help out). This OpenGL comparison between Linux and Windows and OS X for Intel graphics drivers is quite interesting.