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The Top Features Of Mesa 10.1 For Linux GPU Drivers

Mesa

Published on 08 February 2014 05:39 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
3 Comments

Mesa 10.1 should be released by the end of February if all goes according to plan. Here's a look at some of the most interesting features to be found in this next major release that provides the open-source 3D graphics drivers for the Linux desktop.

The list of features are what I find to be most interesting about Mesa 10.1 but isn't an exhaustive list of all new functionality. If I missed out on covering an interesting change, please let me know via Twitter or in the forums.

- OpenGL 3.3 compliance has been reached for the Radeon Gallium3D drivers (both R600g and RadeonSI) and with the Nouveau NVIDIA drivers. Core Mesa and the Intel DRI driver reached OpenGL 3.3 compliance with Mesa 10.0 a few months back.

- There's support for more OpenGL 4 functionality than in past releases, but there's still a fair amount of work left before being able to reach OpenGL 4.0 (hopefully it will come soon) but there's even more when it comes to reaching GL 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4. It will still likely be years before Mesa is caught up with the latest Khronos Group OpenGL specification of the time.

- Better support for Intel Broadwell hardware with the much improved graphics capabilities coming on these processors to be introduced in a few months time. While lots of work has been committed, Mesa 10.2 (or what could be known as Mesa 11.0) will likely offer the initial "decent level" of Broadwell Linux graphics support.

- Improved support for Bay Trail Atom SoC graphics (formerly known as Valley View) along with some lingering improvements for current-generation Haswell hardware.

- Various game optimizations especially for Valve's Source Engine games and other new Linux games distributed via Steam. There's also countless other large and small performance improvements in Mesa 10.1 for the different GPU drivers. Check out our many Mesa 10.1 benchmarks for plenty more details!

- Many improvements and new functionality within the Freedreno Gallium3D driver for reverse-engineered GL/GLES support on the ARM side with Qualcomm Adreno hardware. There's also Adreno 330 support as a new addition.

- HiZ and other improvements to the "ILO" Intel Gallium3D driver that's an experiment out of LunarG.

- New AMD GPU hardware support within the RadeonSI driver. The RadeonSI driver overall is in much better shape than where it was in Mesa 10.0 and earlier releases. The RadeonSI Gallium3D driver is now nearly at par with the mature R600 Gallium3D driver for older AMD graphics processors. There's also 2D tiling and other performance optimizations.

- H.264 and MPEG-4 video support within the NV50 Gallium3D driver for VP3/VP4 GeForce GPUs.

- Some improvements to "Clover" as the OpenCL state tracker.

- Wayland support for eglSwapInterval and some other Wayland Mesa improvements.

- Many bug-fixes.

We have already delivered a fair amount of Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau benchmarks from Mesa 10.1 at Phoronix but plenty more are on the way as Mesa 10.1 settles down for its release in the next few weeks.

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 .
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