When running some Iris Pro 5200 graphics benchmarks we were surprised to see the Intel Linux 3.12 kernel changes didn't boost the performance at all given that it enables the 128MB of dedicated video memory. Additionally, within the forums there's been reports of Intel users seeing decreased performance out of the 3.12 kernel code. To clear up matters a bit, here's some Intel Ivy Bridge tests on Linux 3.12 compared to prior kernel releases.
Some quick benchmarks were done on Tuesday at Phoronix of the Linux 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, and 3.12 Git kernels from an ASUS Ultrabook bearing an Intel Core i3 3217U CPU with HD 4000 graphics. Xubuntu 13.10 was in use when changing out the kernels from the Ubuntu mainline PPA. Mesa 9.3-devel was in use.
These early Intel Ivy Bridge Linux 3.12 kernel benchmarks can be found on OpenBenchmarking.org via 1309185-SO-INTELIVYB44. Similar to the Iris Pro results, there really isn't much change out of the Linux 3.12 kernel. For this generation-old Intel graphics core, the Linux 3.12 kernel didn't really lead to the OpenGL frame-rates in any of the games tested to be substantially different -- for better or worse.
Testing will continue, but so far the Linux 3.12 kernel doesn't appear to bring any significant performance changes on the graphics side for Intel users. At least though Linux 3.12 has a whole lot of new features.
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.