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Intel Sandy Bridge OpenGL Support Lags Behind

Intel

Published on 22 November 2013 10:56 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
17 Comments

While Intel "Sandy Bridge" graphics hardware is capable of full GL3 support, the open-source Intel Mesa graphics driver is still limiting it to OpenGL 3.1 compliance.

While Ivy Bridge and Haswell have OpenGL 3.3 in the forthcoming Mesa 10.0 release, Sandy Bridge is now the left-out child to Intel's Linux developers. Sandy Bridge isn't hitting OpenGL 3.2 compliance for lack of the driver implementing geometry shaders. This comes while Broadwell already supports OpenGL 3.3.

OpenGL geometry shaders could be implemented for Sandy Bridge hardware, but no one has cared enough to do so. Paul Berry of Intel had wrote on Mesa-dev last month, "I believe geometry shaders are all we would have to implement for Sandy Bridge. Unfortunately, geometry shaders work pretty differently on Sandy Bridge, so getting them to work won't be a slam dunk."

While it would be nice to see Sandy Bridge have better Linux OpenGL support (and performance) since the hardware isn't too old, the Intel Linux developers' resources are limited and personally I enjoy seeing the very interesting advancements they are making to the latest and greatest Intel hardware. Plus nothing should be limiting any other independent developer(s) from limiting the GS support in SNB should Intel not be interested in turning out the code.

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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