Sandy Bridge Gets Layered Rendering, Fixes Longtime Regression
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 29 May 2014 at 05:19 PM EDT. 7 Comments
While improvements to Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver that explicitly target Sandy Bridge hardware is rare these days with the Intel OTC crew being busy with Broadwell, Haswell, and Bay Trail, there is an SNB improvement to report this afternoon. A patch-set has emerged for Sandy Bridge to implement layered rendering and in the process it takes care of a long-time OpenGL performance regression.

Jordan Justen of Intel published sixteen patches of "Gen6" render surface state changes to allow layered rendering to work for Sandy Bridge. These patches also fix 10 Piglit tests plus Bug 56127, a report that was opened in late 2012. Back in October of 2012 a regression of the Unigine Sanctuary performance being reduced by 98% and Nexuiz was reported. The issue was bisected and back in 2013 it was attributed that Jordan's layered rendering work should fix the problem.

Jordan's patches for this Sandy Bridge improvement are now under a "request for comments" on the Mesa mailing list. Hopefully this work will be merged for Mesa 10.3 when released in about three months time.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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