Earlier this week we had published ATI benchmarks of the open-source Mesa stack and X.Org in the Ubuntu releases going back to Ubuntu 7.04. While the open-source graphics drivers have matured a lot over the past eighteen months and many new features have been added, the ATI performance with an R430 GPU really hadn't improved in the newer releases. To see if the open-source Intel situation is any different, we have carried out similar tests with an Intel 945G Chipset across the past four Ubuntu releases.
With Ubuntu 7.04, Ubuntu 7.10, Ubuntu 8.04, and Ubuntu 8.10 we had used the Phoronix Test Suite to run twelve tests on each distribution release. These tests included GtkPerf, Nexuiz, Tremulous, Urban Terror, World of Padman, and x11perf. The version of the Phoronix Test Suite in use was 1.4.1 Orkdal. We had used the same test system as we did in our earlier ATI Mesa article when it came to the use of an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400, ASRock Conroe1333-DVI/H, 2GB of OCZ DDR2-800MHz memory, 200GB Seagate ST3200826AS HDD, and then instead of using the ATI Radeon X800XL we had used the integrated Intel 945G graphics.
To recap the relevant package versions in each release, Ubuntu 7.04 shipped with the Linux 2.6.20 kernel, X.Org 7.2, and Mesa 6.5.2. Ubuntu 7.10 had upgraded the kernel to Linux 2.6.22, X.Org 7.2 with the X Server 1.3 release, and Mesa 7.0.1. Ubuntu 8.04, which was a Canonical LTS release, shipped with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, X.Org 7.3 with the X Server 1.4.1 pre-release, and Mesa 7.0.3.
The 8.10 release of Ubuntu provided the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X.Org 7.4 with X Server 1.5.2, and Mesa 7.2. When it came to 2D acceleration, the xf86-video-intel driver on Ubuntu 7.04 was using XAA while all the newer releases we were running with EXA. With the 3D tests, the results weren't deliverable from Ubuntu 7.10 due to a bug with the Intel driver that would cause the monitor to lose its signal when changing the mode to 1280 x 1024 for the testing.