Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Is Much Faster With Mesa 9.2
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 10 July 2013 at 12:28 PM EDT. 17 Comments
This morning I posted new Radeon Gallium3D - Mesa 9.1 vs. Mesa 9.2 benchmarks, which showed the upcoming Mesa release performing nicely for AMD APU graphics. However, what is the performance like the software-based LLVMpipe driver that is commonly being used in fallback situations where there is no GPU hardware driver available? It's generally a lot faster now for handling OpenGL.

The performance of Gallium3D's LLVMpipe driver has generally been quite limited since OpenGL after all is meant for running on GPUs and not CPUs, but up until more Linux desktops have become expecting OpenGL support, it was mostly used as a tool for having a vendor-neutral code-path for debugging Mesa/Gallium3D issues. More recently, the LLVMpipe driver has been seeing more improvements along with the more general areas of Gallium3D, and as well the upstream LLVM project that this software driver relies upon for taking advantage of modern CPU instruction set extensions and other modern capabilities.

When running some Mesa 9.1.4 Git vs. Mesa 9.2 Git (master) benchmarks yesterday of LLVMpipe from an Intel Core i7 3960X "Sandy Bridge" EE system running Ubuntu Linux and having LLVM 3.3, I was quite impressed with the performance improvements.

All of the results in full and the hardware/software information can be found in the OpenBenchmarking.org 1307103-SO-LLVMPIPEM53 result file, embedded below is just a teaser.

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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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