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

Does A Greedy Intel Driver Improve Performance?

Michael Larabel

Published on 15 April 2009
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 8 - 20 Comments

As we have outlined before and shared benchmarks of in the past, the Intel graphics driver stack has been going through some significant changes. The Intel graphics driver now has a proper memory manager in the form of the Graphics Execution Manager, there is upstream kernel mode-setting support, and a new 3D component is coming soon in the form of Gallium3D. With all of this invasive work going on, regressions are currently prevalent from stability problems to graphical corruption to slower 2D performance. While these are problems users will face with the new distribution updates in H1'09, some have been trying out different driver configurations in order to circumvent the situation. Canonical, for example, had been toying with the idea of enabling greedy migration heuristics by default.

The migration heuristics deal with how pixmaps move to video memory, but when operating under the greedy mode, some acceleration routines are avoided, where some of the current performance problems seem to be taking place. This problem should ultimately be corrected in EXA and UXA, but for now, Canonical's Bryce Harrington has been considering setting the migration heuristics to greedy in order to increase the xf86-video-intel 2D performance. The MigrationHeuristics option can be set to greedy in the xorg.conf file.

To see how much of a difference the greedy migration heuristics make, we decided to test out the different driver options. Using X Server 1.6 with the latest xf86-video-intel 2.6.3 driver from Ubuntu 9.04, we ran a set of benchmarks when the driver was using its default EXA acceleration method, EXA with the greedy migration heuristics, UXA acceleration, and then when reverting to the older xf86-video-intel 2.4.1 driver and using EXA acceleration. Previously we have found that UXA to offer faster performance, which is based upon the EXA API but uses the Graphics Execution Manager for managing its pixmaps.

Our test system consisted of a Dell Inspiron Mini 9. The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 was loaded with an Intel Atom N270 processor, Intel 945 graphics, an 8GB STEC PATA SSD, and (compared to our earlier Mini 9 articles) it now had 1GB of DDR2 system memory. We were using a clean installation of Ubuntu 9.04 (i686) with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, GNOME 2.26, X Server 1.6.0, xf86-video-intel 2.6.3 / xf86-video-intel 2.4.1, Mesa 7.4, and were running at the native resolution of 1024 x 600. Compiz remained active by default during testing.

To look at the 2D performance with the EXA, EXA Greedy, UXA, and 2.4 EXA options, we used the QGears2, GtkPerf, x11perf, and JXRenderMark profiles available through the Phoronix Test Suite.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
  2. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  3. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  4. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ubuntu 14.10 Linux 32-bit vs. 64-bit Performance
  2. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  3. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  4. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
Latest Linux News
  1. Nouveau Now Supports DRI3 Without GLAMOR
  2. Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
  3. Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer Merged Into GCC
  4. Debian Now Defaults To Xfce On Non-x86 Desktops
  5. Phoenix Is Trying To Be An Open Version Of Apple's Swift
  6. Linux 3.19 To Have Skylake Graphics, PPGTT Enablement
  7. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  8. Imagination Releases Full ISA Documentation For PowerVR Rogue GPUs
  9. Features GNOME Developers Want In The Linux Kernel
  10. GTK+ Gains Experimental Overlay Scrollbars
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  2. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  3. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  4. Proof that strlcpy is un-needed
  5. xbox one tv tuner
  6. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  7. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  8. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux