Intel Mesa Driver Ups Counter-Strike Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 28 July 2012 at 12:24 PM EDT. 20 Comments
A patch to mainline Mesa yesterday from Intel has resulted in a ~7% performance boost for Sandy Bridge "GT2" graphics when running the video stress test for Valve's Counter-Strike: Source.

The patch that was authored by Intel's Zou Nan hai and committed by Kenneth Graunke is rather simple. The patch just increases the maximum WM thread count to 80 from 40 for "Gen6 GT2" graphics, a.k.a. Intel Sandy Bridge processors with the HD 3000 graphics.

Previous to increasing the WM thread count limit there was a code comment that the number could potentially be increased but would require disabling of WIZ hashing and resetting the GPU. It turns out that those changes aren't actually needed and that the WM thread count can be upped to 80 without changing anything else. This simple change now ups the Counter-Strike: Source frame-rate by 7.18% based upon the Git commit.
intel: increase wm thread number to 80 on gen6 GT2
It seems reset is not required for setting the max_wm_threads to 80 on gen6 GT2. Increases performance in the Counter-Strike: Source video stress test by 7.18% (n=5).
It wasn't reported what other OpenGL workloads this Intel Mesa DRI driver commit (to be included in Mesa 8.1) will benefit or by how much, but of course Phoronix benchmarks will illustrate that next time around.

Good times are ahead for Valve's games on Linux.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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