1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Why Mesa 9.2 Doesn't Work For All Linux Users

Mesa

Published on 21 August 2013 05:16 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
12 Comments

While Mesa 9.2 has some performance improvements and many new features, this open-source 3D graphics library isn't cut for everyone.

The soon-to-be-released Mesa 9.2 comes up short for some Linux enthusiasts and open-source desktop users with regards to:

OpenGL - Mesa 9.2 only has OpenGL 3.1~3.2 support for the key Radeon, Intel, and Nouveau graphics drivers. The latest Khronos specification is OpenGL 4.4 as of this month, which won't be coming to Mesa anytime soon. The latest hope is to have open-source OpenGL 3.3 support by the end of the year while GL4 support isn't likely until the 2014 Mesa releases. The proprietary AMD and NVIDIA drivers on Linux already support OpenGL 4.3/4.4 and the Windows proprietary driver from Intel is also GL4 compliant.

RadeonSI & LLVMpipe OpenGL - While the R600 Gallium3D driver supports OpenGL 3, the "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 7000/8000 series graphics cards only fully enables OpenGL 2.1 support. GL3 support for this newer Radeon Gallium3D driver is still actively being pursued. The LLVMpipe software driver fallback also only advertises OpenGL 2.1 but almost has OpenGL 3.0/3.1 support. Hopefully for the next Mesa release these increasingly-used drivers will see the light of GL3.

OpenCL - The OpenCL language support via the "Clover" Gallium3D state tracker is still less than ideal. The Radeon and Nouveau drivers have been working towards Gallium3D OpenCL and some GPUs can withstand bitcoin mining on the open-source stack, but for most users interested in real-world CL workloads, the Gallium3D support isn't yet enough.

Performance - The Nouveau driver is not faster than the NVIDIA Linux (or Windows) driver, the Radeon Gallium3D drivers are not faster than AMD Catalyst, and the Intel Linux driver isn't faster than the Intel Windows driver. The Mesa/Gallium3D drivers still have performance that comes up short of the proprietary competition, but at least the situation has been improving.

Sadly, these missing/incomplete features haven't changed much since Mesa 9.1. What missing features or open bugs are currently making your Mesa driver experience less than ideal? Share with us in the forums.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  2. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  3. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
  4. AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Mesa Git Yields Performance Improvements For Newer AMD GPUs
  2. Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance
  3. Mesa 10.5-devel Brings Some Intel Haswell HD Graphics Changes Over Mesa 10.3
  4. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
Latest Linux News
  1. Git 2.2.0 Released With 550+ Changes
  2. GNOME 3.15.2 Released
  3. Quantum OS Aims For A Linux Desktop With QML, Wayland & Material Design
  4. New Open-Source, Linux Benchmarks To Feast On
  5. FreeBSD Plans For The Next Ten Years
  6. Qt 5.4 Planned For Release On 9 December
  7. Meizu's Ubuntu Phone Not Expected Until Early Next Year
  8. DragonFlyBSD 4.0 Drops i386 Support, Improves Graphics
  9. Expensive "Free/Libre Software Laptop" Uses A NVIDIA GPU
  10. QEMU 2.2-rc3 Released, Final Release Pushed Back By Couple Days
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Hurrican SDL Port
  3. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  4. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  5. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  6. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  7. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control