Is Intel Sandy Bridge Getting Faster On Linux?
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 21 June 2013 at 02:55 PM EDT. Add A Comment
With the extensive coverage on Phoronix this month of Intel's new Haswell processors on Linux, many articles have shown that when using the latest components (e.g. Linux 3.10 kernel and Mesa 9.2) that the OpenGL performance is a whole lot faster. But are these changes specific to Haswell or benefit Intel's driver as a whole? In this article are new benchmarks from an older Intel "Sandy Bridge" system with HD 3000 graphics to see whether the performance there is also improving with the latest Linux code.

For those curious how the Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" performance with HD 3000 graphics change when upgrading to the Linux 3.10 kernel and the Mesa 9.2 development code, I ran some benchmarks from an HP EliteBook notebook and uploaded the results on to 1306213-SO-SANDYBRID14.

Note: with the Linux 3.10 kernel and the new P-State driver the Turbo Boost frequency is now being reported rather than just the base frequency.
The short answer is that there isn't much (or any) change for Intel Sandy Bridge with the Linux 3.10 kernel and Mesa 9.2 compared to Mesa 9.1 and recent versions of the Linux kernel. Most of the Intel Linux OpenGL driver optimization work is specifically focused around Haswell.

With Intel's Windows OpenGL driver for Sandy/Ivy Bridge still outperforming Linux, it's unfortunate there aren't any new performance optimizations to speak of at this time for the older hardware.

Find the rest of these Intel Core i5 OpenGL benchmarks here.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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