When running some OpenGL performance benchmarks this week of the Radeon driver using "drm-next" code that's set to be merged into the Linux 3.8 kernel, some significant performance improvements were discovered thanks to AMD's code contribution. Curious to see if the Intel graphics performance is likely to change, I also ran some drm-next Linux benchmarks from an Intel Sandy Bridge system.
The testing was done from an Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" laptop that presents Intel HD 3000 "Gen6" graphics. While there were no stated performance optimizations within the Intel DRM driver changes piling up for Linux 3.8, I was curious to see if there was anything that went unnoticed or any regressions. For this quick weekend testing, the drm-next code from 13 December was compared to the vanilla Linux 3.6 and 3.7 kernels.
The Intel Sandy Bridge OpenGL performance under Linux has basically flattened out on recent Linux kernel releases compared to early on when the hardware was still fresh and the Intel OTC developers were making aggressive optimizations. These days the developers are mostly focused upon enabling support for Haswell and Valley View along with other changes.
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter and Google+ or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.