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Intel Linux Driver Still Working To Address Tearing

Intel

Published on 21 October 2012 04:50 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
24 Comments

Open-Source Intel developers have long been working towards a tear-free Linux desktop with proper vsync support. For Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge hardware there's still been some tearing issues, but they hope to soon finally have it solved.

Beginning with the Linux 3.8 kernel (yes, 3.8) paired with a brand new xf86-video-intel DDX driver, the last troubling issue that caused tearing on Sandy Bridge graphics and newer will hopefully be eliminated.

Chris Wilson released the xf86-video-intel 2.20.12 driver this weekend (he also released the 2.20.11 driver on the same-day too, but that was plagued by an immediate UXA problem). With this driver using secure batch buffers when available, finally the driver can hopefully performance updates to the scan-out while being synchronized to the refresh rate for Sandy/Ivy Bridge graphics card. With the synchronized scan-out working, this will hopefully eliminate tearing problems.

On the downside, however, this tearing elimination with legacy vsync through secure batches comes at "quite a power cost" as the GPU needs to be kept out of its power-savings mode.

The xf86-video-intel 2.20.12 driver release announcement can be read on the mailing list.

About The Author
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 and or contacted via .
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