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

"Mega Drivers" Being Proposed For A Faster Mesa

Intel

Published on 08 August 2013 06:59 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
32 Comments

Eric Anholt of Intel is currently working on some experimental Mesa code for shipping "Mega drivers", or building all of the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers together as a single shared object library file. There's some promise to this mega drivers concept in enhancing performance due to compiler/linker optimizations.

As it stands right now, a lot of shared Mesa code is built as a shared library (libdricore), which the independent Mesa/Gallium3D drivers link against for sharing common code paths. This is a change that was done by Canonical two years ago in having this single shared library for saving space on the Ubuntu CDs.

While it saves a few megabytes of space, having this shared Mesa library between drivers ends up requiring all of Mesa's symbols be public. All the public symbols could mean a program calling one of the Mesa symbols or even overriding one with their own code.

In clearing up the public symbol problem, Eric Anholt has been experimenting with "mega drivers" where the drivers are built together as a single .so file. The win in this case is that by building all the code together, there's new compiler optimizations that can be tapped and allowing link-time optimizations that aren't possible with the shared library approach.

Eric has stumbled across a few problems so far in the mega drivers implementation, but he's continuing to experiment with new code. In terms of the benefits making it worthwhile, Anholt says, "Initial performance results: Enabling LTO on a dricore build, I saw a -0.798709% +/- 0.333703% (n=30) effect on INTEL_NO_HW=1 cairo-gl runtime. On a megadrivers+LTO compared to non-megadrivers, non-LTO, the difference was -6.35008% +/- 0.675067% (n=10). I think this is definitely promising."

Eric says he will be talking at DebConf about this Mesa Mega Drivers design and also some ideas for how to get graphics driver updates out faster. More details can be found from his blog post.

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. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
  2. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  3. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  4. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
Latest Linux News
  1. Fedora Doesn't Yet Enable F2FS File-System Support
  2. XZ 5.2 Adds New Multi-Threaded Options
  3. Intel 2.99.917 X.Org Driver Released, 3.0 Release Finally Near
  4. Server-Side XCB Is Being Discussed For The X.Org Server
  5. Adreno A4xx Rendering With Freedreno Takes Shape
  6. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
  7. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  8. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  9. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  10. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Maker3D - create your 3D RPG
  2. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  3. Speeding up systemd networking service
  4. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  5. Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel's Mesa Driver
  6. Looking for an nVidia GPU, but not sure how well they are supported.
  7. Are there an app using HSA ?
  8. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems