Intel Lands Some MSAA Mesa Performance Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 24 March 2014 at 03:57 PM EDT. 1 Comment
A series of commits hitting Mesa's mainline Git this afternoon offer up some multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) improvements for the Intel open-source graphics driver.

Among the commits entering our radar a short time ago include:

Change the winsys MSAA blits from blorp to meta - This change of about 150 lines of code yields the MSAA-forced "citybench" OpenGL test-case to run about 8% faster while DRI2 MSAA-enabled glxgears performance drops by about 13%.

Skip reallocating the private MSAA miptree, unless it's resized - The performance of a micro-benchmark with MSAA was increased by about 1.237%.

Add an env var for forcing window system MSAA - Intel has finally added back an environment variable for forcing multi-sample anti-aliasing. However, Intel is using the INTEL_FORCE_MSAA environment variable for this override by specifying the MSAA sample count, while other drivers use a different approach. The Gallium3D drivers meanwhile use GALLIUM_MSAA and they also support __GL_FSAA_MODE -- with this later environment variable also being what's used by the NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.

There's also been a number of other Intel driver changes landing today for this "classic" DRI driver in Mesa Git.

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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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