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Intel Sandy Bridge Gains On Linux 3.17 Extend Beyond Graphics

Intel

Published on 21 August 2014 11:00 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
5 Comments

Yesterday I shared some benchmarks showing Intel Sandy Bridge HD Graphics performance increasing on Linux 3.17 for this several year old architecture. This came as a surprise but the good news is the performance improvements on this new Linux kernel don't stop with OpenGL but extend to CPU performance too.

Intel Sandy Bridge Gains On Linux 3.17 Extend Beyond Graphics


The Sandy Bridge performance gains found in Linux 3.17 Git over Linux 3.16 came as a bit of a surprise since the i915 DRM driver improvements for this merge window didn't indicate any "SNB" optimizations. After having the time to conduct further testing in non-GPU workloads, there's a few performance improvements to note with the Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" processor with Linux 3.17. This likely indicates that the improved SNB performance with Linux 3.17 isn't due to DRM optimizations but perhaps optimizations to the P-State scaling driver, the kernel scheduler, or other areas that affect the entire processor performance.


The MP3 encoding test saw one of the biggest improvements in performance with Linux 3.17 for the Core i5 CPU found in the Sandy Bridge Apple Mac Mini.


However, not all tests benefit from the Linux 3.17 kernel.



You can dig through all of this Core i5 Sandy Bridge performance data between the Linux 3.16 and 3.17 Git kernels via this OpenBenchmarking.org result file. I'm currently in the process of testing Ivy Bridge and Haswell hardware too in looking for similar changes in performance, followed by AMD APUs/CPUs. If you appreciate all of this Linux hardware testing that's single-handedly done every day, please subscribe to Phoronix Premium or consider a PayPal tip.

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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