Mesa Shader Compiler Cache Proposed, Reduces Game Start Times
Similar to functionality offered by other drivers, Mesa might finally have a shader compiler cache to save compiled GLSL shaders to the disk in an effort to reduce the start-up time for modern Linux games.
Tapani Pälli of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center sent out the initial set of 20 patches that would implement a shader compiler cache for enhancing the open-source gaming experience with Mesa/Gallium3D drivers.
Tapani wrote, "This series provides a disk cache for the shader compiler and is used to 'skip glLinkProgram' like GL_ARB_get_program_binary does but under the hood without api for the client...With the series I get 50% improvement for L4D2 startup (goes down from 30s to ~15s) This is the time after startup video to menu screen. With some other apps the improvement varies a lot (as example I measured ~10% improvement with GLBenchmark 2.7)."
The Mesa shader compiler cache patch-set can be found for now on the Mesa-dev list but hopefully it will be mature in time for the Mesa 10.3 release in three months.
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