With talking recently about LLVMpipe driver improvements and having not benchmarked this Gallium3D software driver in a while, here are new benchmarks of this LLVM-based software fallback driver when using Mesa 9.1-devel Git in conjunction with LLVM 3.3 SVN code, for the very latest look at the OpenGL software acceleration possibilities.
The last time there were thorough LLVMpipe performance benchmarks on Phoronix was last November when benchmarking Mesa 9.1-devel with LLVM 3.1/3.2. Since that point, Mesa 9.1 has become stable and there's been many Gallium3D/LLVMpipe driver changes in the past three months. LLVM itself also continues to advance and saw the release of LLVM 3.2 while LLVM 3.3 is now under heavy development.
The same software/hardware setup was used and the lowest of these low-end graphics cards on the open-source Gallium3D stack were compared to LLVMpipe as of the same code revision. Aside from the OpenGL performance, with this latest LLVMpipe testing it seems the software driver running off the CPU is now working better for a larger selection of the OpenGL Linux games commonly used at Phoronix for benchmarking.
The benchmark results in full can be found on OpenBenchmarking.org via 1302278-FO-LLVMPIPEG49 while embedded below is a sub-set of the results.
Fore the CPU bound OpenArena 0.8.5, LLVMpipe runs at less than half the speed of the Nouveau driver controlling the 8400GS and GT 520 graphics cards. It's not even a playable frame-rate with a 1280 x 1024 resolution.
For the newer OpenArena release that makes use of GLSL and other functionality, the LLVMpipe driver comes up just behind the AMD Radeon HD 6450 using the R600g driver.
The LLVMpipe driver is actually faster than the Radeon HD 6450 on the open-source driver when running Reaction Quake 3. The LLVMpipe rendering was also correct.
With Warsow, LLVMpipe is also faster than the low-end HD 6450 graphics card on its Gallium3D hardware driver.
With the Xonotic tests, the LLVMpipe driver falls back to being noticeably slower than the discrete graphics cards. See the rest at OpenBenchmarking.org.