1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Will Intel Completely Drop Support For EXA?

Intel

Published on 24 April 2009 02:50 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
6 Comments

Earlier this month Intel had pushed out the xf86-video-intel 2.7 graphics driver that brought a variety of new features and fixes. This 2.7 X.Org driver has been rolled into Intel's "2009Q1 Package" along with Mesa 7.4 plus a few more patches, the Linux 2.6.29.1 kernel plus a few more patches, and libdrm 2.4.9. It is also suggested that X Server 1.6.1 be used with this recommended Intel software configuration. The details regarding the 2009Q1 package can be found here.

When announcing this package release, Intel's Gordon Jin stated "We are moving to UXA/DRI2/KMS, so this is probably the last release supporting EXA/DRI1." DRI2 is great and certainly superior to the outdated DRI1, so that point is moot unless you want to build xf86-video-intel 2.8+ on a system running old packages. On the EXA side, if this is indeed the last quarter where the Intel X.Org driver will support this standard 2D acceleration method, that could cause a few problems.

UXA was conceived to sort out pixmap memory management in the world of 2D acceleration and be the grounds for testing out other changes when using a kernel-based memory manager (such as GEM). UXA is based off of the EXA API and for a while they planned to merge the changes back into a new version of EXA, but that idea was scrapped.

UXA does offer better performance, but at this current time there are some very prominent bugs outstanding. We have talked about these problems before, but they largely deal with stability issues and graphics rendering defects. The UXA problems can be common among users so much so that Canonical decided to disable UXA and continue using EXA as the default acceleration method for Ubuntu 9.04. For those users not running into such bugs, UXA is faster though in some areas there are still performance regressions where EXA does better.

In order to use UXA, your Linux kernel must support the Graphics Execution Manager, which went mainline only in the Linux 2.6.28 series. Therefore, if the EXA support is indeed stripped out of future Intel driver releases, but you are still running an older kernel, you will need to upgrade your kernel if you wish to upgrade your Intel driver and still have 2D acceleration. UXA or having no 2D GPU acceleration would be your options.

Let's see how this evolves and whether the next quarterly update due out around July has EXA support (whether it may be stripped out completely or limited to a build-time argument) and whether Intel has worked out its issues.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Acer B286HK: A 28-inch UHD LED 4K Monitor For As Low As $350
  2. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  3. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  4. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Mesa Git Yields Performance Improvements For Newer AMD GPUs
  2. Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance
  3. Mesa 10.5-devel Brings Some Intel Haswell HD Graphics Changes Over Mesa 10.3
  4. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
Latest Linux News
  1. Jolla Tablet Could Have MicroSDHC, Split Screen, 3.5G Upgrade
  2. Intel Has Last Round Of DRM Changes For Linux 3.19, Starts Dropping DRI1/UMS
  3. Fedora 21 Release Candidate 1 Awaits Your Testing
  4. GCC 5 Adds Support For ARM's Cortex-A17
  5. KWayland Server Component Coming For KDE Plasma 5.2
  6. NVIDIA Posts Tegra Gallium3D Patch For K1+ Support
  7. Ubuntu 14.10 MacBook Air Tests With Linux 3.18, Mesa 10.5
  8. AMD Richland APU Support Added To Coreboot
  9. 2014 Holiday Shopping Reminder, Happy Thanksgiving
  10. Python 3 Support Added To The GNOME Shell
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Hurrican SDL Port
  3. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  4. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  5. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  6. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  7. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control