SNA Continues To Be Far Better Than UXA, GLAMOR
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 1 October 2013 at 11:58 AM EDT. 26 Comments
Intel's Chris Wilson has shared new performance data of UXA vs. GLAMOR vs. his prized SNA acceleration architecture for Intel 2D acceleration on the Linux desktop. To no incredible surprise, SNA is far better than UXA and GLAMOR for an Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics processor.

SNA has matured a lot since its debut two years ago. With the forthcoming Intel 3.0 X.Org driver, this acceleration method is becoming the default over UXA. The OpenGL-based GLAMOR library just remains an experimental non-default option for the xf86-video-intel driver.

Our latest benchmarks have shown SNA continuing to work great and Chris Wilson's benchmarks of Cairo with SNA vs. UXA vs. GLAMOR show the same outcome.

Chris Wilson concluded on his blog, "The summary here is that Glamor offers a meagre improvement over UXA. However, both are still much slower on average than cairo-image, i.e. the performance attainable by using a single CPU core. It takes multiple threads inside the DDX to match the performance of cairo-image – this is due to the inherent inefficiencies of the current Render protocol. However, if we then utilize the render acceleration on the GPU (using SNA) we can indeed outperform cairo-image, on average about 2x faster and about 4x faster than UXA and Glamor. Thus SNA does deliver hardware acceleration that succeeds in offloading work onto the GPU (letting the CPU get on with other tasks) and performs faster than rendering everything with the CPU."
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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